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Archive for March, 2011


After our more astute friends in Scotland pointed out there are “Nae windaes” (No windows). I made a frame to fit a pre loved window and we tacked it into place and marked up the opening. We cut the hole and Robin welded the frame in place. We painted and sealed the edges and then fitted the window. Big improvement.

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We needed to connect both the containers. The opening has to be quite large and roomy but able to allow the containers to be secured and able to be transported without the shape being affected. A design by Jeff and a trip to the steel shop resulted in a design for a wide door that will swing open and stow out of the way for everyday use, but will bolt in place when we move the container.

This task was bigger than it looked but it turned out well in the end. We re-used the steel from the hole to make the door that filled it.

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The tin roof is where we harvest the rainwater for drinking, is fitted with a gutter and this will go to the rainwater tank. Alyson kindly donated her 200 litre  barrel to the cause. We are improvising tanks until bigger more permanent tanks can be installed.

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The biggest challenge in the bush in Australia without air conditioning is keeping cool in summer. Step one – build a big sun shade. Insects eat wood, wood catches fire. Answer – make it in metal. The roof is made in 3m x 3m sections, each is removable. I have only built a single section so far to test the design. The tin was recycled from another roof that no longer needed it. This is the biggest meccano set I have ever had.

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The containers were delivered by truck and lifted into place with a 50 tonne crane. All the foundations posts were in the right place!

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Many hands make light work. Help from Rick, Jacob, Sandhi, turned a raised sand bed into foundations for 2 shipping containers. Short lengths of power pole were sunk into the ground for the containers to sit upon. One of the containers “floats” over a lower section of ground that will house the composting toilet.

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Port shipping containers Newcastle NSW gets containers from around the world. The containers are use to ship products around the globe on ships and are never transported empty. This means they grow in large quantities at the docks of all the major ports. We requested “premium grade” containers and they came from Sydney to Newcastle where they were refurbished. We had them  painted green. We added “thermilate” to the paint. Thermilate is a powder that helps the isulation. The powder is a ceramic bead filled with a vacuum that resists conducting heat. It can create a 7 degree drop in temp with only a thin layer.

Added to pain for insulation

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