More work on shedopolis – foundations are completed and base is done

IMG_0082So, here we are with a nice set of brick pillars in place, as well as the ground lowered by 6 inches and the retaining wall on the right built up.

Once everything dried out a bit, the holes were filled in with some of the soil taken out, and the whole lot then covered in a tonne or so of bark. Once the shed’s in, I’ll get Jon to put a paving slab or two in leading up to it.

Below is the finished base, installed on the pillars, insulated before the top goes on. It’s all bracketed and screwed in with 70mm Reiser screws.


The new composites shed – digging foundations reveals nasty secret

So, I’ve engaged the services of Jon-The-Builder, who is wonderfully classically, old yorkshire. He’s a 60 year old experienced builder for whom belt and braces are not enough. You accept that when you engage his services, you just have to step back and watch the force of nature in action.
In my head, I wanted a few concrete pads set at ground level, and where the ground drops off, I would box in the concrete laying to take it above ground level. Simple, or so I thought.

Then, along comes Jon. He’s wonderfully old-Yorkshire. To quote (ish):

Tha’ don’t want pads, we need do level it, dig down, 2ft square concrete pads, brick pillars. Then, young’un, tha’ll have a solid foundation. T’shed won’t blow away.

Jon is brilliant and I’ve learned not to second guess him.

Here he is, about to get started.

Then, more or less straight away, he let me know I had a problem. This wasn’t a normal ‘air sucked through the teeth’ kind of problem, nor was it a dead king with an identity crisis. It turns out the people (or landscapers) who landscaped the house (before we bought it) had the soil tipped in up to the damp-course level. Looking at it, one can see the moss blooming up the wall.

So, we agreed and he went digger-tastic and took 6″ off the top-soil. It meant we could level-out the soil and I now don’t have a problem emerging in 5 years time.

The shed wins again.

Boxing in my (new) compressor

So, after my jury-rigged twin compressor arrangement suffered a fatal compressor moment, I needed a new compressor.

Rather than go for another jury-rig arrangement (a 50L and a 75L compressor running in parallel) I decided to go for a full-on grown-up 100L twin piston jobbie. After hunting around ebay for a bit, I found the compressor I needed. I had to move up the rankings because I needed to spray a lot more. My previous arrangement was kinda ok for soda-blasting but even then, I had to stop relatively frequently and let the tanks recharge so I had enough pressure. This compressor can provide the air I need to continuously spray or blast.

However, it is loud and large. So large, it won’t fit in compressor-corner where the others are, even if I evict them like a set of victorian tenants that don’t pay their rent. So, I decided to box it in and add sound-proofing to reduce the noise.

imageHere is the boxed in compressor, utilising several kitchen cupboard doors from my friendly cabinet maker (who had removed them from a job he’d done fitting a bespoke kitchen). Being the scientist I am, I took a few reading for loudness. Before building the workbench, I took a reading on my iPhone 1m away from the centre of the compressor to the normal of the length of the tank, it was reading 92dB.

After adding the bench and boxing everything in, it actually went up 1dB which didn’t surprise me – I’d basically put a sound-source inside a large sound-box.

imageThis is the insulation I used – it’s the cheapest recycled stuff I could get from B&Q, and I spray-tacked it to the inside. I didn’t have enough to do all the outward facing surfaces and the underside of the bench as well, but I may get more … this will be decided after I reveal the new amount of quietness.

imageHere’s the shot from the inside going down the bench. You can see just how much volume the insulation consumes.

So, why did I do this, and what was the result?

Why was easy – I tend to work on the car late at night, and I don’t want to disturb the neighbours. Furthermore, when I’m working in the garage, I don’t want to involuntarily evacuate every time the compressor fires up, nor do I want to work in the garage wearing ear-defenders all the time.

The result was brilliant – I have taken the sound-levels down from 92 dB to 82. This is significant, bearing in mind 10 dB is 10x the power. It’s not 10x the loudness of course.