Thursday, August 4, 2011

It all hinges on.... hinges!

3 August 2011: A good day for progress, although not without setbacks, and having to endure working outdoors on the hottest day of the year so far.
   Having got the new party walls in, I focused on fixing the HINGES, and got those in during the morning. The next thing was to fix the FLOORS in permanently, and I managed that - see photo - using bolts not self tapping screws. If they ever need to be taken down, it will be with a scaffold, and whoever does that can undo bolts safely.
  The floors have reflective metal floor surfaces, so heat bounces up at the black panels when the sun angle is high. There is a light slot of 400mm between the wall and the start of the metal, so daylight comes through to the bedroom windows in summer.
  While working on the scaffold in hot Sun, it was possible to feel the flow of cool liquid through the black panels and to identify 'hotspots' where the velocity of fluid is slower. Along the top line of the black panels, it was almost too hot to touch! It is impossible to avoid slow hotspots somewhere, but the arrangement that I worked out with David Atkins in 2009 seems to be the one that has least wasted space.
  As often happens with such hot weather, it had to break and there was a period of heavy rainstorm passing over which stopped me working outdoors, but meant that I didn't have to water the garden later.

Later, I tried fixing the large front panels. All the hinges are identical, but I was dismayed to find that I had somehow got the height of the first hinge wrong by 20 millimetres, but I had manufactured and final-fixed all the remaining 3 to that exact size and position, millimetre identical, but still 20mm too low. As they are all firmly fixed in by bolting or riveting, I could not raise the position of the hinges. I had to 'bodge' by making 4 identical adaptors, little aluminium flats riveted to the original, but providing a new bolting position 20mm higher.
  So the finished product is serviceable, but not as elegant as the clean detail in the photo shows. Nobody looking at it from the ground will notice, but for me, it will always be an annoyance because I 'know' that it was a bodge.
  The first front panel is now fitted, and has been stripped of the protective plastic, and looks beautiful. It makes a nice airtight fix to the sidewalls and floor, and hinges conveniently.
  Photograph will follow when there is daylight.

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