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After lots and lots and lots of planning we are ready to start digging, and concreting, the footings for the Fire Deck.

The footings are for the 8 radial bearers for the deck floor.  Each bearer is 2 x 3.0 meter treated pine sleepers.  Each pair is held together with 4 x M12 bolts/washers/nuts, and each bearer is supported on 3 x 450 mm Galvanised Stirrups.

Each radial bearer has been placed in position and and levelled.  The stirrups that will support the beams are already attached though the beams are in an upside down position.  This has enabled us to flip the beam and then mark the position of each hole for the concrete footings.

 

Fire Deck Bearer

 

Fire Deck Bearer

 

Once marked out, we set out to dig the holes. We knew what a tough job this would be as the majority of the topsoil has been eroded from our hill, and just below the remaining soil is a hard rock-like substance that we call ‘breccia‘.  That’s nbot an official name but it describes how hard the ‘soil’ is.  It is like rock!

We have a our trusty Pole Hole Digger, which works perfectly in soft soil, but in the hard stuff it just grinds away slowly.

 

Post Hole Digger

 

Post Hole Digger 2

 

It was going to be a hard slog, but we aren’t afraid of hard work.

After all the footing holes were completed we flipped the beam back over and levelled it again and ensure each stirrup was correctly placed in each hole.

 

Post Hole and Stirrup

 

We finished the first batch of post holes and everything fitted back into place nicely. Concreting the stirrups in place will be the next job.

Just 7 more bearers and 21 more post holes to dig.