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My Escape To Reality.


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Great news. Neighbour put in the track up the hill. This hill and the creek the bridge is going over are the only reasons I have not been able to drive a vehicle other than a quad to the back of the farm about 2.5kms away. There was a track here before but only suitable for quads and the quads were often sideways going up. The track was very much off camber. Now I can drive anything up it.

http://O5ErpgJ.jpg

 

Back to the bridge. 2nd stage just about done and up to stage 3. Stage 1 was the bridge itself.

http://DGpL6IA.jpg

 

Knock over a couple of my several thousand trees.

http://JKfykFf.jpg

 

And drag it down to the bridge site. 250mm in diameter and 4.2 meters long this one.

http://UVMoqJt.jpg

 

Cut it in to join to the existing main beam. Take half out of each log, line them up and pin them together. Putting 300mm screws in these and there's two pins.

http://BL6hA6D.jpg

 

1st beam in and cutting in the 2nd.

http://a8VdKVX.jpg

 

Both beams in on the 3rd stage. The beams are 1300mm apart and the wheel base on the tractor is 1300mm. The 4 X 4 is 1420mm and anything else is to light to worry about on this bridge. The slabs that go over the bridge are 2400mm wide so you have 2400mm of bridge width to play with and the bridge length is just under 20 meters.

http://6wjuA8h.jpg

 

Back up the hill and cutting more slabs. These slabs will be 2400mm long, 230-280 wide and 2" think. Inches because Alaskan mills are US and that is what it's the depth guage is in. We set up in a site with a couple of suitable trees. Cut then in 2400mm sections and start making slabs.

http://uUrnG12.jpg

 

Couple of hours later and we had 9 slabs from this site.

Anything not used is firewood for next year and anything that isn't firewood gets burnt. Can't just leave this stuff on the ground or natural will burn it when it suits her and around here laterly it has been in summer on days you don't want to light a match.

http://e7eig1q.jpg

 

 

Been using a different chainsaw chain this year. I had been using US made Carton or Oregon brands but the price has near doubled through CoVid so I'm trialing a new brand this year. AYAO brand. We worked out we have done 11 cuts, 2400mm long on this blade and it's still slabbing well and I haven't touch it with the file yet so pretty happy considering they were a little over half price of the old US made chains. Usually buy 10-15 chains a year for the mill and the main saw I use so it is a pretty good saving. Let's just hope they don't snap or I'll quickly be buying US made chains again.

 

Finally bought myself a "Cant Hook" today. It's a tool that both rolls and lifts logs. You want to move logs like these around piss easy without getting a hernia like I did, ( twins this time) 😡, you get a Cant hook.

 

Well that's about it. Until next time.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Another visit. Time to mow to cut back the grass fire risk for the upcoming fire season. 10-12 liters of fuel in the rideon and about 6 hours later, looks much nicer and safer.

http://RRzSa7E.jpg

 

Don't know if the ducks will like it all mowed though. Easy fox bait ducks on a mowed field.

http://foT1cx6.jpg

 

Went down the bridge to see how things are. No working on it this visit.

http://BAFjhnH.jpg

 

Creek was flowing as there was about 50mm rain there last week. We calcuated 16-18 more slabs and see is ready, finally or for the second time.

http://0Ba5OZu.jpg

 

Went over to a mates house about 20kms away from the farm. His peacock now has a bitch and this was how I got greeted. Last time I came over, pre bitch days, you could near pat him on the head face to face. This time, nothing to view but my butt. I was trying to walk in front to get view front on and my mate yells out, "don't walk around him, he'll f'ing go ya".

Seems the males change big time when they get a misses.

http://R4QTfN7.jpg

 

We went out for a drive in his suzuki 4X4, into his neighbours property. 1700 arces and the owner is 89 years old. He gets my mate to go out and knock over a few wild dogs and other ferals when he goes out and in return can use the property.

This place is right on the top of the Great Dividing Range and was in the middle of last years fires.

http://sTUdTMT.jpg

 

Excellent swimmer hole that only a few ever see. Camera doesn't do it justice. The water is clearer than my suburban swimming pool.

http://gtw774Z.jpg

 

The trusty spewzuki that got use here. Bogged it once in a creek crossing getting here but it got 3 of us here and got 3 of us back so can't complain and be f'd if I walk here. About 10kms round trip and it was a stinking hot day.

http://ve3woPB.jpg

 

That's close to the top of the dividing range around here. Recovering after the worst fire since 1973 but it has had an excellent year to recover I guess. It's the wet year of the 7-8 year cycle and this was and still is the wetter than average wet year that occasionally comes up in those 7-8 year cycles, well in NSW anyway.

http://v8PeArj.jpg

 

Back at the farm, chasing an old pipe to the dam near the house. Lower pipe use to go to the corner of the house at the downpipe, under the road and into the dam. Then I made the kitchen extension, guest bedroom and the pool table / pinball room and it was no longer the corner of the house.

When I did the new storm water pipe to the new corner of the house, I ran the line to the water tanks, (that is the upper pipe). Problem is tanks are full, about 50,000 liters and water isn't an issue here as long as you collect it. In winter, ice melts all day off the metal roof so the tanks can do without 1/4 of the house roof feeding them and the dam can have it instead.

http://zAH4IUT.jpg

 

A bit of homework. Make a chainsaw holder for my quadbike. Getting the shits using hockey straps every time I use the chainsaw. Solution, weld up or make something that the chainsaw just drops into and clamps in or whatever to hold the chainsaw securely while it's on the quad and quickly releases when needed, sometimes a couple of times riding to the back of the block simply clearing the trail. Like I said, hockey straps are pissing me off.

http://OuFAY1R.jpg

 

I'll post some pictures of what I come up with if anyones interested. Anyway that's it for this installment. Hope ya'll enjoyed.

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  • 1 month later...

Homework done and then some. Chainsaw holder for the quads and the trailor. Had a few design changes and this is the one I settled on.

http://vv4z90y.jpg

 

Had to be strong so I started out with 4 ply marine ply and glued and stapled 3 pieces together. Made my own 12 ply marine to make them out of. Put a heavy duty offset hinge on it so it folds like a book on the chainsaw bar. Made a clamp, 6mm high tensile bolt so it won't stretch or break, with a Tee handle on it. Bolt screws into a piece of rolled 15mm steel bar with 6mm thread tapped through it to suit the clamp bolt. Attached rubber to the wood surfaces that the chainsaw bar is clamped with and cut a slot in the upper hinged lid so the clamping bolt only needs to be undone and not fully removed to remove the chainsaw. To lock the chainsaw back in you lay the chainsaw on it's side and just the chainsaw's bar lays on the lower half of the "book". You then fold the top half of the "book over the bar", push the clamp bolt back over the top half of the "book" using the slot cut in the top half of the "book" and tighten it with the Tee handle. A very quick, reliable method of holding the chainsaw on the machines was what I was after. Hockey straps really suck at this job and take to long to strap on or take off. The chainsaw blade also had a habit of cutting through the hockey straps as at some time using them meant the hockey strap had to go around the bar. This method takes about 30 seconds to clamp or release and even if the quad was to roll over, this method will still be holding the chainsaw to the quad.

 

More homework,

The weed wacker with the wood saw blade attached, ( the light saver), was also another quick clamping method I was after. Same story, hockey straps suck at this job. Much easier job this one. Bought a couple of spring loaded clamps from Bunnings and bolted them to the front and rear quad rakes. Light Saver simply uses the clamps to hold it to the quad and opening the clamps allows the weed wacker to come free.

http://GTw2hY8.jpg

 

Another bit of homework. A fuel transfer pump for pumping fuel out of the many jerry cans I use at the farm into what ever is needing fuel. A Ryobi All in One tool Ryobi haven't thought of yet. Long hose goes into the jerry can, you squeeze the trigger and the spinning attached pump pumps the fuel out the shorter hose just like a petrol bowser. Works well.

http://Xr9pbzy.jpg

http://qeRJM0f.jpg

 

Back to the farm.

Had this tree ready to turn to lumber some time ago and finally got back to it. Preping for the Alaskian Mill to cut more bridge slabs. As always on the side of a hill. I wish the wind would blow over more conveniently located suitable trees for slabbing.

http://DiHoTzl.jpg

 

An hour or two later and we have 8 2"thick X 2400mm log and 370mm wide gum slabs ready for the bridge.

http://pLNSver.jpg

 

Take the slabs for a ride in the quad trailer over a couple of hills to the partial completed bridge, trim the slab sides using the chainsaw to match the previous slab on the bridge and attach to the bridge main beams using timber hex head screwed pins, 14-10 X 200mm long, 4 per slab.

http://3bEZJb4.jpg

http://kvqaLFL.jpg

 

Getting closer. Need about 6 or 8 slabs more and I can start driving vehicles including the tractor to the back of the farm.

http://G2dfTPO.jpg

 

Will still need a heap of slabs for the center of the bridge but they are only for a smoother surface to drive on and don't need to all be 2400mm long like these ones used on the bridge approach.

 

Went for a hunt for another suitable tree to turn to slabs and found one. This tree was on a wicked angle as it had it's roots partial ripped out on one side as a result of the 100km/h winds that hit the farm about 3 weeks ago. Seemed an ideal tree as it was coming down sooner or later and I don't like potencial "widow makers" around the farm. "Widow Maker" is the name given to trees or branches that suddenly fall to the ground when you are walking near them. Alot of people are injured or dead from such widow makers every year.

Got two 2400 X 400mm sections of trunk to slab up, should get 8 slabs from them as the tree has little if any rot in the heart. The Heart is the center of the trunk and gums suffer from rotten hearts irrespective of how good they look. You have to physically saw them to see just how rotten they are in the center. As the tree had a full canopy, we got a lot of logs for firewood. It just took a couple of hours to saw it all up, stack it and build what isn't suitable for either firewood or slabs into fire piles to burn next year on site.

http://3PoUE22.jpg

 

More homework that come back to Sydney for the next visit. The Alaskian Mill. Been working sweet since I bought it but could be more user friendly. Example of more user friendly are the height adjustments were by undoing 13mm nuts and because of the plastic safely guard being right near the nut heads, you had to use a chainsaw tool but you could only get 1/4 turn each time to loosen or tighten them. I pissed off these nuts and replaced them with wing nuts and took the plastic guard off the machine. Not like it did anything because when you are using the mill there is the slab of wood you are cutting over the moving chainsaw blade and I have more faith in a 2" slab of tree preventing my fingers being cut off than a flimsy piece of 3mm perpex that had already cracked in a couple of spots.

Guard went and now a couple of turns of wingnuts and you can now make the height adjustments that deturmine how thick the slabs you are cutting. I tacked a spot weld on each thread so the wingnuts can never fall off and get lost. Real easy to do and can take hours to find if dropped in the bush.

The height adjuster scale maked on the height adjuster poles was also another problem. Numbers and scale were punched into the metal and then the poles were chrome plated making it rediculiously hard to read. Solution, spray the surface of the poles with black paint, wait for the paint to dry and sand with find emery paper. Sand paper took off all the black paint except what was in the punch marks leaving an easy to read scale, black numbers and scale on a chrome surface.

Wingnuts and black scale in this picture..

http://mOoAtmw.jpg

 

 

And last mod, replace chainsaw bar mounting bolts that again were chainsaw adjuster tool size. These bolts actually clamp the chainsaw to the Alaskian mill. You only need to loosen them when removing the chainsaw when changing a blade for example and tighten when putting it back in the mill. I swapped the hex headed bolts for allen headed bolts and then made a extended allen key for adjusting them. Being extending so even when the mill is set to cut 8" thick slabs, you can still use the tool.

Replacement allen head bolts are in this picture, they are gold in colour and the tool is hanging out of one of them. Tool is painted white and then covered in white heat shrink. Being a tool that could be dropped in the bush, at least being white you stand a chance of spotting it.

http://xVSTWDd.jpg

 

Another view showing the extended allen tool and a chainsaw tool you use for tighening the chainsaw blade on the chainsaw and also pulls the chainsaw apart.

http://o83Dbxb.jpg

 

And lastly the tools now have a place to be stored on the tool when not in use, inside the adjuster tubs.

http://uFbHsIg.jpg

 

Until next time. Hope you enjoyed.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Latest install,

Organised a couple of days with a mate to finish the bridge. Needs about another 6-8 slabs and ready to use. Still needs a bit of widening and a tidy up but would I drive my ute over it?. Hell yes. That was the thought after all, this is what it looked like the last time I had seen it.

http://bI7tVxK.jpg

 

Let's see exactly how many more slabs and we'll then get the mill out and cut them. On the quads and off to the bridge and.....

http://H6jIvci.jpg

 

Hmmmmm, mother nature. Well not exactly what I said although I think through memory what I said did contain the word mother.

 

Can see where it went down the creek......

http://usivtzx.jpg

 

OK, let's see if it made it to the road bridge about 3kms away. Looks like everything but our bridge they removed from beside the road bridge after the flood.

http://r2KZ2wY.jpg

 

Right, let's go down the creek. About a km away from the bridge site on a corner in the creek standing upsidedown, and on it's end the complete what we called, "the 2nd extension". About 4 meters long....

http://8Ciq3ph.jpg

http://Z7hYUqd.jpg

 

Didn't continue the search. No way of recovering what I've seen and not on my property to use as firewood and besides, why go down in the creek when I can drive the trailor along the public road and simply cut up those logs they pulled out from the road bridge. Damm good firewood some of that and just put it straight in the trailor and ute on the side of the road. Not like the coucil will be complaining> a little less they have to move sooner or later.

 

So that's it. Most is gone but my problem still exists that being I need a way of getting larger than quad bikes over the creek which usually has little to no water in it but is quite capable of having a flash flood that carrys logs down it.

I don't think the water was the issue but more the logs that probably dammed up against our bridge blocking the creek till the bridge went sideways and off on a surge of even higher water and a bankup of logs and crap.

Either way, I still have a problem to solve.

 

OK, enough of the bridge that doesn't even fuk ing exist and longer, Grrrrrrrrr.

 

It's yabby season. Dam's water are a nice 20 odd celcius ATM and not an inch of ice over them like in winter. let's get the traps out.

Success and on sausages in the trap. Usually use old KFC but only had sausages this time.

http://d1Kyv6H.jpg

 

Cooked a better way this time. Boil water in pot, big soup pot I used and once to the boil add 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and start dropping the yabbies in. After the last yabbie goes in leave stove on for about a minute and then turn off all heat. ( All have turned to orange by this time). Leave in water till you can grab them out of the water with your hand.

http://z3oPNd0.jpg

 

This was out of one yabby trap in one of the dams. We got 6 loads like this.

Start peeling.

The meat once peeled...

http://foZiM6E.jpg

 

I tried a couple of flavours that I cooked the yabby meat in on the stove. Hot Chilli, Satay and garlic flacks in butter. Basically, heat up flavour on the stove till it starts to boil and drop the yabby meat in it and keep moving them around for about 3 minutes and done.

Chilli was excellent but maybe not hot chilli next time. This shit was still letting it's heat be known about 2 hours later in the mouth.

Satay was also good.

Garlic butter, maybe the proper ingrediants next time. I want garlic prawns taste.

What really surprised me was how soft they are cooked like this compared to prawns.

 

One batch that didn't make it to the pot, this time.....

http://salRgJT.jpg

 

Had to mow all what I had already mowed this year on the ride on. I can tell you our land is loving this year's and last years rain. Everything is green and growing. Ended up mowing probably 4 acres but a bit here and a bit there, not a paddock and a lot was up and down hills. Point the rideon up the hill and keep driving till you can't go any more due to wheel spin, ( traction as the hill gets steeper) , and carefully roll back down the now mowed path to the bottom and do another row and so on and so on.

You get that wrong like not come back down straight and there's a good chance that ridon is rolling over and quite frankly I'd prefer to roll my quad at high speed than roll that ridon while I was on it with that propellor, the blade spinning around under it. Christ, that blade on that ridon hitting you or rolling on you would really make a bad day.

 

Still, has to be done. A lot of what we now mow was tea tree forests before we cut that down and the shit grows back until you mow it a couple of times and then it gives up. You finally win. A nice area with native grass growing on it that the native animals love. Not much likes a cluster of tea tree.

Anyway, that's all I've got this time. Hope you enjoyed.

 

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Bugger about the bridge, so much time and effort for it to be washed away. There must have been massive amount of water coming down the creek. Maybe need to build some sort of suspension bridge within budget if possible?

 

Nice yabbies. I have a friend that has a dam with the same sort of yabbies but I have only eaten them once, not a fan on the taste, maybe with all the different sauces your using would make them nicer to eat.

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Bugger about the bridge, so much time and effort for it to be washed away. There must have been massive amount of water coming down the creek. Maybe need to build some sort of suspension bridge within budget if possible?

 

Nice yabbies. I have a friend that has a dam with the same sort of yabbies but I have only eaten them once, not a fan on the taste, maybe with all the different sauces your using would make them nicer to eat.

 

The bridge had had about 1 meter of water over it in the last flood but this time the rain was far more concentrated in the local area and as you can see from the pictures of the crap from beside the road bridge, a lot of logs in it. I think the logs got jammed against our bridge and dammed up the water till our bridge was pushed off it's supports and road the creek on the dammed up surge of water.

 

Idea originally was spam the creek but trees long enough are all past the bridge so no way of getting machinery in to drag the 18 meter logs back to the bridge site.

Now looking at either concrete on the creek bed with approaches cut down deeper as the cross surface would now be 1.5 meters lower or logs again with slabs like the part of the bridge still remaining but bolt the logs down to the creek bed and steel cables attached to two massive granite bolders that are upsteam of the crossing.

I figure the water and possible logs should just pass over rather than getting stuck and forming a dam again.

 

Had yabbies before from our dams but found them tough and the taste rather bland, a bit like chicken with lots of butter I would describe the taste when just yabby on it's own. This time was a totally different cooking method and then cooked in the flavours I mentioned. Want to try a mornay, sweet chilli and a few others I find in the supermarket rather than what we happened to have in the farm's pantry at the time.

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Leave the Yabbies in fresh clean water overnight, this cleans them out and makes them taste heaps better

also try putting the boiled tails into some pickle onion juice overnight this is so tasty on a biscuit with cheese

 

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Leave the Yabbies in fresh clean water overnight, this cleans them out and makes them taste heaps better

also try putting the boiled tails into some pickle onion juice overnight this is so tasty on a biscuit with cheese

 

Pickle onion would give me heartburn for a week I'm afraid. Any other suggestions?. I did get some sweet chilli to try next time. The chilli we had was hot chilli. Just to hot but the chilli taste was great. Would really like to try like garlic prawns in the cast bowl and olive oil I think it is. Just don't know exactly how to do it and what with.

 

Consulted the brains trust over the last couple of days regarding the creek crossing. My mate that has pretty much been working on the bridge since day one with me, the wife, another mate that's helped out on it and a local mate that has seen the bridge a number of time at different stages.

Concences was make it concrete this time.

A slab tied to the creek bedrock with 10mm reo bar. Reo mesh set in the 4" minumim slab. It means the crossing will be at creekbed level but any floodwater or crap in the floodwater should just pass right over no matter how bad the flood is.

Problem now is one approach is in dirt and that approach road now needs to be 1.5meters deeper, ( the bridge was 1.5 meters high) and the other approach is made of wood and is the only part left of the old construction now has to go down to the creekbed height to get to the slab.

Thank Christ that part of the bridge didn't go. That has some of the best wood slabs we have done on it and actually looks nice. Still needs the 6-8 slabs for the ground end but now needs to be about 3 meters longer the creek end to get to the concrete slab. Don't worry. I will bolt that end to the concrete slab.

 

I should you all the log trailer I made some time ago for dragging logs around the farm. I brought it back a couple of weeks ago to improve on it. A gantry that you lower over the log you want to put on the trailer lowered by a manual boat winch.

Chain from top of gantry down around log. Boat winch cable goes up to top of gantry as well. Start winding up the winch pulls the log forward and lifts that end of the log as well as the gantry goes more vertical and places the log exactly where we used to manually bust our butts lifting on the log trailer. I've got a pair of unwanted twins, hernias that is so lifting these things, I had to find a better way. pictures may explain better how it works....

http://S3ilUb5.jpg

 

http://1vjd0ui.jpg

 

Also made this "attachment" for the trailer for when not dragging logs. A stick rack. Could have bought an EBay "Quad stick Rake" but the one I liked was going to cost about $1000 delievered and I knew I could build one for a fraction of that. Cost me $60 in steel as I had most of the steel already.

http://6ZHTvat.jpg

 

This is exactly what I want it for but behind my quad.

 

Gotta be a hell of a lot faster than manual raking and it leaves in convenient piles ready to burn off before next years fire season. To late to do this year's but there is no fire potencial this year in our area, simply to wet. To much bridge busting rains this year. Couldn't set fire to the bush with a flame thrower.

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That log trailer is fantastic. I've been trying to find something that I can use to do a similar job.

 

How does the quad bike go with the weight of those logs? I've got an old Suzuki King Quad that I use for towing and I want to do the same with a log trailer.

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That log trailer is fantastic. I've been trying to find something that I can use to do a similar job.

 

How does the quad bike go with the weight of those logs? I've got an old Suzuki King Quad that I use for towing and I want to do the same with a log trailer.

 

I made the trailer originally just for behind quads as most places on the property are only accessable on quads but this last round of mods to it included a longer draw bar so I could use it behind vehicles as well. The quad I use is a Elstar 250 and it has no trouble dragging logs about 10 meters long, 400mm diameter green gums.

http://UVMoqJt.jpg

 

Could of made it with 4 wheels so the whole log was off the ground but the tip of the log dragging on the ground works as a brake and stops it from pushing the quad down hills.

The gantry attachment hinges on hyme or rose joints, ( depending on what you know them as)..

http://EFtz1az.jpg

 

You could just use common hinges as the pivot points but hyme or rose joints don't rely on being perfectly square as they will self align so rose joints I used.

The gantry required a bit of maths and trial and error to work out how high it needed to be to get the required lifting of the log off the ground / pulling the log forward ratio. In my case I also wanted the gantry to sit flat on the draw bar for transportation when not carrying a log. Another reason I made the draw bar longer.

http://vYgctvZ.jpg

 

The strap and rachet in the picture is how I lash the log to the axle. Logs could slip off during transporting when the log trailer was like this originally.

http://Tm22WG3.jpg

Note how the axle and draw bar join. Log could slip on the shiney surface so I bolted one of these plates from Bunnings over the axle and draw bar joint so the log won't slip. Very effective and haven't lost a log since. Just gives the trailer something to bite into the trees trunk.

https://media.bunnings.com.au/Product-800x800/63cedb5b-0778-44eb-bf29-7f940c4ce7f2.jpg

 

 

 

 

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1. Yabbies - straight on the coals caveman style. They take on that wonderful char and smoke infusion. Give it a shot

2. With a pretty good supply of sand and aggregate from the creek bed maybe tie in to the bedrock as suggested with pillars just make it overkill and maybe increase the span of the bridge that way. As in make it longer and higher up the bank at entry points. Concrete piers running in the direction of the creek flow and length to the bridge width. Say 2.5 - 3 metres in length by half a metre thick Height to keep the bridge as high as possible. Two piers running in the direction of flow as stated. Take advantage of longer beams in the way of timbers on the property to increase the width between piers so as to furthermore eliminate the catching of debris during floods. It will not negate larger timbers, brush etc flowing down during heavy flows and catching but maybe reduce the likelihood. A lot of work I know but geez you are smashing it out pretty hard any way Steve!

Enjoying the thread as usual :)

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1. Yabbies - straight on the coals caveman style. They take on that wonderful char and smoke infusion. Give it a shot

 

I'll give that a shot. Out for as many variations of how to cook these things as I can. Seems everyone has a different method and I'm willing to try any. Going to make good this food source I seem to have in abundance.

2. With a pretty good supply of sand and aggregate from the creek bed maybe tie in to the bedrock as suggested with pillars just make it overkill and maybe increase the span of the bridge that way. As in make it longer and higher up the bank at entry points. Concrete piers running in the direction of the creek flow and length to the bridge width. Say 2.5 - 3 metres in length by half a metre thick Height to keep the bridge as high as possible. Two piers running in the direction of flow as stated. Take advantage of longer beams in the way of timbers on the property to increase the width between piers so as to furthermore eliminate the catching of debris during floods. It will not negate larger timbers, brush etc flowing down during heavy flows and catching but maybe reduce the likelihood. A lot of work I know but geez you are smashing it out pretty hard any way Steve!

 

That pretty good supply of sand and aggregate is probably peppered with gold ATM not that I'm taking time out to pan for it. To many other things to do and my mate's son went right over it with a detector but that was pre flood. I was oppossed to the idea of any piers from the start but that meant an 18 meter span. The use of piers was against my better judgement when we built the original crossing because of possible damming effects this could create. This year, the predicted wet year in the 7 year cycle has probably had more water go down that creek than the 8 years we have owned the farm combined. The creek is dry normally so a low level crossing isn't really going to effect it's usefulness.

If the crossing is a low level slab, I'm estimating 40 -50 bags of concrete that all have to be mixed on site as no concrete mixer can get there. The best I can hope for is a palet load of bags delivered near the house and bags loaded in 4WD utes to transport to the site.

Enjoying the thread as usual :)

Thanks for the encouragement such posts bring to me. I read everything everyone says in such posts and like to hear other people's perspective on problems I face.

 

I learnt a long time ago listening to others input and ideas costs nothing but not listening thinking arrogantly I know what's best often does.

 

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I'll give that a shot. Out for as many variations of how to cook these things as I can. Seems everyone has a different method and I'm willing to try any. Going to make good this food source I seem to have in abundance.

 

Steve, Ive even put the little tasty morsels on home made pizzas in the Timber pizza oven when I had access to a property with a good supply. There really is no limit and imagination and creativity Im sure you can employ given its seems you a bucket load also

 

That pretty good supply of sand and aggregate is probably peppered with gold ATM not that I'm taking time out to pan for it. To many other things to do and my mate's son went right over it with a detector but that was pre flood. I was oppossed to the idea of any piers from the start but that meant an 18 meter span. The use of piers was against my better judgement when we built the original crossing because of possible damming effects this could create. This year, the predicted wet year in the 7 year cycle has probably had more water go down that creek than the 8 years we have owned the farm combined. The creek is dry normally so a low level crossing isn't really going to effect it's usefulness.

If the crossing is a low level slab, I'm estimating 40 -50 bags of concrete that all have to be mixed on site as no concrete mixer can get there. The best I can hope for is a palet load of bags delivered near the house and bags loaded in 4WD utes to transport to the site.

 

Golden Gate bridge!!!! The only reason I was thinking in terms of elevation is that in periods of incremental weather you can still get around the place if you wanted and the bridge timber structure may be immune to the water flow. Agree the piers would potentially be catch points, but if the span was decent maybe a lot of flood floaties might pass under and through? A tonne of work though!!!!

 

Thanks for the encouragement such posts bring to me. I read everything everyone says in such posts and like to hear other people's perspective on problems I face.

 

I learnt a long time ago listening to others input and ideas costs nothing but not listening thinking arrogantly I know what's best often does.

 

I like to think that everyone has something to give us in our journey. I live by a little theory that I can learn something from a 5 year old or a 95 year old. The sharing of knowledge comes from anyone if we choose to listen. Looking forward to the next installment!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Stick rake needed modification. It wouldn't pick up sticks so back to the drawing board again. Instead of flatbar tines, this time 8mm round bar tines. Not the easiest material to bend. Had to make a wooden former to get the right shape.

http://Rx3Fd66.jpg

 

http://pdSW9zt.jpg

 

$50 more for 18 meters of round bar making a total spend so far for a stick rake, about $130 so still a massive saving over buying a pre made stick rake from Victoria that would of cost around a grand with post.

 

Hope I've got it right this time.

 

Going down for a couple of days to try the tractor with it's ripper attachment. Hopeing it makes short work of the bank that now needs going all the way down to the creek bed. Gotta teach a mate to drive the tractor as I don't think my double hernia will like the tractor's "heavy" double clutch.

We get the bank ripped out and then work out how many bags of concrete I'm going to need brought in for "the concrete pour weekend".

Was sorter hopeing I could mix in say a bag of concrete to a bag of lucky stones the size of cricket balls to reduce the amount of concrete I need. Anyone got any thoughts on that?

 

A quick rough calculation of mine come to 30 bags of concrete needed. My mate's calculations come to 60 bags. Either way, it's a hell of a lot of bags of concrete to mix. Looking at two concrete mixers, one petrol, one electric set up in the creek bed so mix the concrete and tip straight on the creeks bedrock maybe taking the wheel barrow out of the job. Hope the creek don't flood that day aye.

 

Hopeing to be able to take the concrete bags off the delivery truck, load straight on a pair of utes that can drive to the bridge site. Reverse a ute down the now ripped out creek bank right up to either of the concrete mixers on the creeks bedrock and start mixing.

Water comes from the tanks at the house. Multiple 13mm hoses all joined together with copper tube and hose clamps. I'm not going to trust plastic garden hose joiners. About a 40 meter elevation drop and about 1/2km long the hose needs to be....No choice other than carry in water as well as the bags of concrete. Creek will only have puddles and will quickly be dry making concrete up.

 

See how we go.

 

 

 

 

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Was sorter hopeing I could mix in say a bag of concrete to a bag of lucky stones the size of cricket balls to reduce the amount of concrete I need. Anyone got any thoughts on that?

 

The mpa rating will be massive so you could probably drive a road train across it, but I cant help but think adding a bag of your "Gold laden" river sand will knit it all together and save on the shrinkage straight cement powder is more susceptible too. You would have a 1:1:1 ratio

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Was sorter hopeing I could mix in say a bag of concrete to a bag of lucky stones the size of cricket balls to reduce the amount of concrete I need. Anyone got any thoughts on that?

 

The mpa rating will be massive so you could probably drive a road train across it, but I cant help but think adding a bag of your "Gold laden" river sand will knit it all together and save on the shrinkage straight cement powder is more susceptible too. You would have a 1:1:1 ratio

 

When the house slabs were poured, the local concreter doing the job refused to use local concrete mixers claiming the sand they used, local, was to "fatty" so all the concrete trucks come in from Nowra. Never did find out exactly what fatty referring to the sand meant.

 

The lucky stones would come from the river, Can drive a ute down on it and start collecting. Quick and easy. Alternative is quartz. The 3 mains types of rock on the farm are slate,sandstone and quartz. Slate and sandstone is useless in concrete but quartz, that would look cool set in the concrete.

 

So you see no problems mixing in large stones in the mix?

 

I was thinking stones in the concrete mixer as well when making up the concrete so all the stones are covered in concrete and it all gets poured together. Stones are already harder than the concrete will ever get but I was afraid the stones might weaken the slab?

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When the house slabs were poured, the local concreter doing the job refused to use local concrete mixers claiming the sand they used, local, was to "fatty" so all the concrete trucks come in from Nowra. Never did find out exactly what fatty referring to the sand meant.

 

The lucky stones would come from the river, Can drive a ute down on it and start collecting. Quick and easy. Alternative is quartz. The 3 mains types of rock on the farm are slate,sandstone and quartz. Slate and sandstone is useless in concrete but quartz, that would look cool set in the concrete.

 

So you see no problems mixing in large stones in the mix?

 

I was thinking stones in the concrete mixer as well when making up the concrete so all the stones are covered in concrete and it all gets poured together. Stones are already harder than the concrete will ever get but I was afraid the stones might weaken the slab?

 

Fatty’ sand refers to the high clay content in the sand, which repels water (like fat) allowing the sand to become stickier and more workable when mixed with cement

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We've been throwing in large stones into concrete pours on the farm for decades and have never had any issues..... so if it does weaken it, we have been lucky.

I've never put really large stones into a mixer, as I've always thought a huge stone being thrown around might make it unbalanced??? In the mixer I've only ever put stuff up to fist size, larger stones I just throw down into the concrete as its being poured.

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Thankyou @oldhank for explaining what fatty sand is. What effect does it have on the concrete? My concreter that did the slabs was definately not prepard to use it because of this fatty sand they used in the mix.

 

We've been throwing in large stones into concrete pours on the farm for decades and have never had any issues..... so if it does weaken it, we have been lucky.

I've never put really large stones into a mixer, as I've always thought a huge stone being thrown around might make it unbalanced??? In the mixer I've only ever put stuff up to fist size, larger stones I just throw down into the concrete as its being poured.

 

Cool, thanks for that advice and help me make up my mind. Stones won't be any bigger than a fist. The slab will have reo mesh in it so can't go to overboard on the size of the stones. Stones will just make the concrete go further.

 

Up to 6 different flavours to cook the yabbies in. Been watching the daily temps and I'm thinking this will probably be the last time this season I can trap and cook the yabbies before they hiberate.

 

Just wondering if anyone knows how to draw in the ducks?. We do ocassionally get ducks in pairs on the dams but they are far and few between and there are heaps in the area, they just don't like our dams for some reason. Would be good to always see ducks on our dam. Do the yabbies have an effect?

 

The pig numbers I noticed are on the up again. You rarely see them but you can see there diggings and the amount of diggings is a good way of telling how many pigs and more importantly, how big they are getting.

 

Only ever got pictures on the trail cams of small pigletts but looking at the diggings tells a different story lately. Hope to one day, maybe our annual burnoff week, set up the pig traps and get some pictures to show you guys what a real feral pig looks like. I won't set them up for catching when I'm not there. The pigs are feral yes but starving them to death in a trap doesn't sit right with me. 357 magnium to the head, hell yes but starvation no I'm afraid.

Nothing like the white fluffy pigs on the TV ad going at the moment by Animals Australia.

No ferals, just like if you release the white fluffy ones into the bush, look nothing like the domesticated ones. They are a lot skinnier, tick infested, scared all over and don't like anything. Often have open wounds through fighting other pigs and missing an eye, ear or half a nose happens.

Nasty, horrible beasts that like I said, don't like anything.

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When the house slabs were poured, the local concreter doing the job refused to use local concrete mixers claiming the sand they used, local, was to "fatty" so all the concrete trucks come in from Nowra. Never did find out exactly what fatty referring to the sand meant.

 

The lucky stones would come from the river, Can drive a ute down on it and start collecting. Quick and easy. Alternative is quartz. The 3 mains types of rock on the farm are slate,sandstone and quartz. Slate and sandstone is useless in concrete but quartz, that would look cool set in the concrete.

 

So you see no problems mixing in large stones in the mix?

 

I was thinking stones in the concrete mixer as well when making up the concrete so all the stones are covered in concrete and it all gets poured together. Stones are already harder than the concrete will ever get but I was afraid the stones might weaken the slab?

 

I wonder if the larger stones may succumb to gravity in the slurry and drop out of suspension? Can you use a smaller aggregate as cricket ball size is pretty large? I think the river stone in a smaller diameter would be the go. Too much and no sand will give you a "Boney" mix though

 

One thing is for certain here Steve and that is I cannot wait to see it! Like always entertaining and educational.

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[quote

The pig numbers I noticed are on the up again. You rarely see them but you can see there diggings and the amount of diggings is a good way of telling how many pigs and more importantly, how big they are getting.

 

Only ever got pictures on the trail cams of small pigletts but looking at the diggings tells a different story lately. Hope to one day, maybe our annual burnoff week, set up the pig traps and get some pictures to show you guys what a real feral pig looks like. I won't set them up for catching when I'm not there. The pigs are feral yes but starving them to death in a trap doesn't sit right with me. 357 magnium to the head, hell yes but starvation no I'm afraid.

Nothing like the white fluffy pigs on the TV ad going at the moment by Animals Australia.

No ferals, just like if you release the white fluffy ones into the bush, look nothing like the domesticated ones. They are a lot skinnier, tick infested, scared all over and don't like anything. Often have open wounds through fighting other pigs and missing an eye, ear or half a nose happens.

Nasty, horrible beasts that like I said, don't like anything.

 

Bait the traps every time you leave but make sure the mechanism is deactivated. Wire the door open to be safe and keep baiting them to draw them in. Sour sweet corn is killer but theyre feral pigs as you know and a bloody old sock would probably work. If they are eating well from the scrub and farms in favourable weather periods and are in good nik the little fellas make for awesome eating! Suckling pig on an open fire..... priceless.

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I wonder if the larger stones may succumb to gravity in the slurry and drop out of suspension? Can you use a smaller aggregate as cricket ball size is pretty large? I think the river stone in a smaller diameter would be the go. Too much and no sand will give you a "Boney" mix though

 

One thing is for certain here Steve and that is I cannot wait to see it! Like always entertaining and educational.

 

The concrete is pre mixed with stones and sand I'm using so will never have no sand in the mix. I just want to up the amount of stones. Large stones could sink in the wet mix yes but will still be in the concrete. Might line the sides of the slab with some of that lovely white quartz. Just push in the quartz while the concrete is wet and there's some markers for night time. Could look nice and practical as well. Bridge was going to have a telescopic bolad set in it in the middle of the bridge to stop "unauthorized" vehicles from coming over. Gotta come up with another vehicle block now.

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