Sunday, August 23, 2015

Work Shop part 1

Putting in the stumps
We have decided that we dont want to use concrete at all so all of our buildings will have timber tree stumps. 
We purchased a petrol post hole digger and i have to say it is worth every penny.
I could not imagine digging all the holes by hand and not just for the buildings, we have miles and miles of fencing to put up as well.
We are cutting all out timber over sized so we cant be tripped up by the council if they come snooping around.

When the stumps are level we packed them with dirt and gravel. Tamp down around the stump until it is tightly packed. Then move on to the next one.

Because this will be a work shop it will have lots of very heavy tools and such, we wanted to make sure it could withstand the weight.
The stumps are 1500 apart from centre to centre, there are 12 stumps all up.

To get the level we used a string line, the side rails from the mill and a level.

It has worked pretty well and if any are a little low we can always pack them up when we put the bearer's on the stumps.
I think that i am enjoying working on the building more than Andrew is. I would be at it every day if i could, but we are working at Andrew's pace, cause he dose most of the heavy lifting so to speak.
Next up we will need to mill the bearers and then the joists.
I am having heaps of fun and i cant wait till the work shop is finished. 

Happy Adventures Nicole, Andrew & Sally Girl

Sunday, August 16, 2015


All of our buildings will be made from the timber we have here at Early Bird Farm.
We are very lucky to have so many trees to choose from, Yellow Box, Cyprus Pine, Eucalyptus, Black Butt and hundreds of other varieties of hard wood that i dont know the names of.  At the moment we are only cutting trees that are already down. 
All the smaller stuff for the fire and the big timber for the mill.

This tree is in the front paddock, this is one half of it, it's split down the middle.
A very good specimen for the Lucas Mill, the boys should get a few lengths from this one branch.

While Joshua was down for a visit he wanted to have a go at the mill.
The first step is docking the log.

Second step is using the Log Dogs to roll the log to the best spot so the mill could be erected over it.

It is a pretty big log and it was only a branch not even the main trunk of the tree.

Learning how to set up the mill is a lot easier than you might think.

This is great father son time and i am happy they were able to spend it learning a new skill while also having fun.

Once the frame is up you put the motor and blade in place. Then its time to measure and make sure the frame is in the right place so the log is in the middle. 

Adjust the blade for the first cut and your away.

No tree is perfectly straight so you need a few cuts to till it is all level.

Never forget your ear protection, cause it is very loud in deed.

This is the end result from that one branch, a small stack to get us started, that hopefully will get a lot bigger as i have plenty of plans that will keep us busy for years.

Happy Adventures Nicole, Andrew & Sally Girl

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015


We decided to move the shower to a better spot and as luck would have it when we bought the place this old concrete shower base was already here.
Joshua came down for 2 weeks and when we took him back to Sydney we came back with half a dozen pallets, they are really hard to come by down here.

We had a few slate tiles so they went down for the gas bottle to sit on.
Two pallets one for the shower and one for the veranda.

I cut the bottom out of the shower so it would sit over the concrete base and Andrew nailed the tent peg tabs to the pallet.

A few mats over the veranda and it all went together in about an hour.
With views of the bush.

The shower has had a good scrub but will need the pressure cleaner to really get the dirt off, in the mean time one of those blue mats will do to stand on.  
At the moment the water is directed by a trench, we will pick up some fittings so we can have it run through a hose and direct it to where we want it.

Next was the toilet, it didnt really have a place we just moved it to where ever.
Now we have a toilet with views that is up off the muddy ground. 
The only problem is, when it rains you get a bit wet. Thinking we either need an umbrella or another tarp.

For Andrew's Birthday Joshua got him a water cube, it holds 1000 litres .

At the moment we are just filling it up from the jerry cans when we go to town, but down the track we will pump water from the big tank off the house to the cube.

All hooked up and works like a dream.

Happy Adventures Nicole, Andrew & Sally Girl

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sydney and Home again

Joshua came down and stayed for two weeks, the weather was cold but it didnt snow.
We loved having Joshua down, two weeks was not enough time.
Every day was busy cutting fire wood, driving the buggy, milling timber, filling pot holes, going detecting, dragging out the truck when the guy brought the second container, going to the beach, into town and not to mention getting Betty stick in the mud. 
It all went way to fast, but Joshua had to get back for uni.

The snow did come on the day we left, we stopped at Nimmitabel, the snow was about 5 inches on the ground.
I'm 5 foot 8 1/2 and i look like a tiny person next to Joshua.

We spent 2 weeks in Sydney as our big solar set up was suppose to arrive at Dads and it was cancelled as they were still waiting on parts. The set up was payed for in June and we are still waiting and its now August.
On our second trip back to Sydney after dropping Joshua back our gear box blew up just out of Canberra, luckily we made it back to Dads. $3800 and one week later our Betty was like new again.
Unfortunately that was a big chunk of money we didnt want to spend but we need a car so there was no choice.  

We came home to a lovely surprise, mice nesting in our sleeping bags. If there is one thing i cant stand then that is mice and rats. Not only pee and crap every where but they also chewed a big whole in the bag.
There is no way i would have slept in that bed especially as we only had that bedding.
While in Sydney we went to Ikea and saw this bed we liked and as we have not had a good nights sleep since all our stuff was taken way by the removal truck, we decide to spend the money and buy the bed. Also purchased new sheets and a feather and down doona.


Andrew putting up our new bed.

The next day every thing came out of the cabin and we cleaned. it was a good thing as the new arrangement is a lot better than it was with a lot more floor space.

Sally Girl supervising on Dads arm chair.
Lots of things didn't make it back into the cabin like the two single mattress and the big work bench.

Now it feels like home, it is amazing what a bed can do.
We can both highly recommend our new Ikea bed, the mattress is wonderful, its like a giant marshmallow that's not to soft and not too hard. 

So much more room in here now and having the dinning table down the end means we can see out both windows, ill never get tired of these views.

I picked up 3 of these baskets at Big W for $10 each, 2 are hanging on the wall as storage and the other we turned into a light shade for over the table. The down light was $10 from the Blacktown Twin market. 
Makes reading at night so much easier.

There are many uses for pallets, this is our new front veranda and steps.

Happy Adventures Nicole, Andrew & Sally Girl

Phone Aerial

To get some sort of phone signal we purchased a Yagi aerial.
We live in a bit of a valley so getting a signal is not easy, the first attempts were no good.
A quick phone call when we were in town to the guy we purchased it from and he said it has to be high, as high as we can get it.

Another trip into town to see Mal the metal guy and had two pieces of square tube cut and drilled to size so when we got them home we could join them for a hight of 10 metres. 
It swayed a bit too much so we decided to drag up a downed tree from the second paddock.
Brought it up using the buggy, it really is a very handy vehicle.

Dug a hole for the tree to sit in right next to the aerial pole.

To get it up we lifted it onto the T bar on the back of Betty.
It might look like a small tree but i can tell you it was very heavy.

Andrew reversed Betty very slowly till the pole was pretty close to the house, the bottom slid into the hole.

 Andrew had a good try at lassoing it but it was harder than he thought.

Decided to tie a lead to it, that i threw up onto the roof.

Pulled it up and the tree slid into place, too easy.....

For the time being the pole is attached to the tree with cable ties.

The big question is does it work?
Well yes and no, some times it is awesome and then other times we get nothing, mostly when the weather is bad like fog, rain, wind and snow.
When you move to a property with no services it makes life more interesting and sometimes challenging. 
Face everyday with a smile and an open mind and you can over come most things.

Happy Adventures Nicole, Andrew & Sally Girl