RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Anything to do with environmental building projects.
User avatar
RenewableCandy
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:16 pm
latitude: 54
Location: York
Contact:

RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Post: # 291215Post RenewableCandy
Fri May 11, 2018 9:36 pm

We had a load of decking to the side of our house and rats were using it as a roof so I decided it had to go. A friend - a well-built lad from our street - took it all up. All 30 sq m of it including the frame - in a morning!

The plan is to replace it with gravel (with hardcore inderneath). The stuff arrives in ton bags and they can't deliver it to the side - only the front.

And so the question is: can RenewableCandy (mass: 55 kg) wheelbarrow 5 tonnes of hardcore a distance of about 10 metres in a realistic timescale (like less than a week)?

My mum says I'm mad.

Watch this space.

Oh, and does anybody know whether I have to tamp it down before putting the gravel on top of it?

I admit this is hardly self-sufficiency, except to say that we now have lots of dry wood for the wood-burner (though I also admit using it alone is, as Americans would say, 'non-optimal'...)!
Soyez réaliste: demandez l'impossible :sunny:

User avatar
Flo
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1678
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:12 am
Location: Northumberland

Re: RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Post: # 291216Post Flo
Sat May 12, 2018 7:14 am

I reckon that if you do it in half filled barrow loads you'll get offers of help. :lol:

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8581
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Post: # 291217Post Green Aura
Sat May 12, 2018 7:31 am

I've done one of those big bags of gravel in less than a day, although I did way considerably more than you - mainly fat though. Just take regular, short breaks rather than going at it hell for leather. Keep hydrated.

...and yes, the gravel will sit better on well-bedded hardcore - I watched it on a Monty Don programme just yesterday.:lol:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

Skippy
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 414
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:13 pm
Location: south staffordshire

Re: RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Post: # 291218Post Skippy
Sat May 12, 2018 8:05 am

Several years ago I acquired around seventy 9" concrete blocks and stacked them on the front garden. Went to work as normally the next day but when I got home the pile had vanished. Turned out my father who was in his early seventies at the time had moved them , one at a time on a sack truck , round the back of the house and down the thirty or so metres to where they were going to become my workshop. Story there is , as others have said , do it with small loads and don't try to overdo it and you should be fine. One thing you could do is to tie a sling to the wheelbarrrow handles so some of the weight is taken on your shoulders rather than just your hands. As to tamping it down , best tool would be a petrol wacker plate , perhaps not totally green but done in probably less time than it would take to fetch it from the hire shop.
A couple of other points. If your gravelled area is adjacent to grass beware of gravel migrating onto the lawn. Not only does it not do the lawnmower blades any good but there is the possibility of those bits of gravel becoming little missiles with a seemingly homing instinct for glass as I unfortunately know to my cost.
The other point is the wood you intend burning. If it's that regular decking that people use then it will at some point have been treated. There's different qualities of treatments but from what I recall non of it is really suitable for a domestic wood burner as it won't get hot enough to prevent the forming of dioxins.

User avatar
Weedo
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 306
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:47 am
latitude: 35.0886S
longitude: 147.1289E
Location: Collingullie Australia

Re: RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Post: # 291234Post Weedo
Sun May 13, 2018 10:54 pm

The other trick is to try and find a barrow with a balance point that suits you. When loaded and picked up it should have as little weight as possible on your body (arms); The handles position should allow you to push it comfortable with nearly straight arms. The worst is to have one where you have to "carry" the barrow as well as push it. In past years working with concretors (pre concrtete pumps) most had modified the handle lengths to suit.
The winner of the rat race is still a rat!

Skippy
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 414
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:13 pm
Location: south staffordshire

Re: RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Post: # 291237Post Skippy
Mon May 14, 2018 7:16 am

This weekend just gone I went to a tool show . It was pretty well oriented towards cordless tools and one thing they had was a makita 36v battery wheelbarrow. How many charges that would take to move RC's gravel i wouldn't know . There are also petrol chomping barrows on tracks available as well and I recall on one job we had conveyor belts which made short work of shifting tons and tons of rubble from the cellars of a large old building . Now all someone needs to come up with is a powered shovel...

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8581
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Post: # 291242Post Green Aura
Mon May 14, 2018 3:20 pm

...it's generally called my husband :lol:
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

User avatar
Weedo
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 306
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:47 am
latitude: 35.0886S
longitude: 147.1289E
Location: Collingullie Australia

Re: RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Post: # 291248Post Weedo
Mon May 14, 2018 10:57 pm

Being time poor, I would hire a mini-loader. Here a mid-sized Dingo with 4 in 1 bucket will cost about $A 250 - 300 for a days hire and would move RC's 1 tonne Bulka of gravel in a couple of hours. Tee up a few other jobs for the critter while you have it. They will operate a rotary hoe, post hole digger, trencher etc. etc.

I hire quite a bit of low usage gear rather than buy or borrow. My local Hire Shop is not open Sunday so I order for Sat morning, pick up last thing Friday and return Monday morning; all for 1 days hire cost
The winner of the rat race is still a rat!

Skippy
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 414
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:13 pm
Location: south staffordshire

Re: RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Post: # 291250Post Skippy
Tue May 15, 2018 7:05 am

I had to look up what a dingo was but it does seem to be a cracking tool. I've never come across one of those in the UK ( which hardly proves they don't exsist here) . We do have mini diggers that seem more common and this sort of thing which seems quite similar ,
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/JCB-TD10-TRA ... Sw4Q5a-TEi
Perhaps a tad too expensive RC to buy but rental could be possible. It might also be possible to hire in a labourer for a day or two to shift the gravel.

User avatar
RenewableCandy
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:16 pm
latitude: 54
Location: York
Contact:

Re: RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Post: # 291252Post RenewableCandy
Tue May 15, 2018 1:34 pm

Wow everybody, thanks very much for your expertise!

Progress so far: have cleared all the rest of the wood and flattened the soil so I can put the membrane down. It already looks better out there than it did with the decking on :icon_smile:

THE HARDCORE HAS ARRIVED! (while I was writing this, in fact).

We tested the wood on the stove the night before last. It burns so hot that we're going to have to take care to alternate it with ordinary wood.

Marvellous other 1/2 thinks I'm mad.

We might need a skip for the quantity of mouldy wood we can't stash in the one dry place in the garden (don't want it anywhere near the house).

The weather is being kind. It hasn't yet said it thinks I'm mad.
Soyez réaliste: demandez l'impossible :sunny:

User avatar
RenewableCandy
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:16 pm
latitude: 54
Location: York
Contact:

Re: RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Post: # 291266Post RenewableCandy
Wed May 16, 2018 2:57 pm

The weather continues to be kind. 13 degrees is the optimal temperature (it has been proven scientifically, this) for shovelling it from one heap to another.

I couldn't actually start this morning though, because The Solar Man had come to replace our Inverter (it was 7 years old). That's another story which probably doesn't want to go here what with inversion and hardcore not being an optimal combo BUT I DIGRESS!!

I started at about 2:30. I broke-for-tea after just over an hour having shifted - get this - ALMOST A THIRD OF A BAG! Kudos to the neighbours (the ones with the strong lad) who leant me their perfectly-balanced wheelbarrow which I can lift & roll without bending either arms or back. A third of a bag translates as about a dozen loads, or 10 if you've gone metric. For comparison a top shoveller-of-coal in the Age of Steam, I seem to recall from somewhere, could shovel a tonne of coal into the furnace per hour (that was kind-of like a sprint, though).

The hardcore is a nice golden-brown colour and makes it look as if the sun's always shining.

Daughter (home from a year abroad) managed to not say she thinks I'm mad. She's very diplomatic. She sure as heck doesn't get it from me.
Soyez réaliste: demandez l'impossible :sunny:

User avatar
RenewableCandy
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:16 pm
latitude: 54
Location: York
Contact:

Re: RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Post: # 291313Post RenewableCandy
Thu May 24, 2018 11:37 am

Here are some people who've done approximately the same thing as me, though I remembered to lay the membrane in the right place and am not going to need those nifty plastic gravel-holding matrix things because Economy (plus we're not driving on it):

https://www.littlehouseonthecorner.com/ ... -driveway/
Soyez réaliste: demandez l'impossible :sunny:

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8581
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Post: # 291316Post Green Aura
Thu May 24, 2018 1:08 pm

We've got the grid thingy - works exceptionally well on our driveway which is on a slight slope.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

Skippy
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 414
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:13 pm
Location: south staffordshire

Re: RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Post: # 291318Post Skippy
Fri May 25, 2018 7:17 am

Not wanting to seem a downer but from experience I have found that the membrane doesn't suppress all the weeds for ever. Dirt will start to build up in the gravel and small weeds will start to grow . Ok so being largely in gravel means they will pull out easily but it does knock the whole maintainence free aspect on the head. Then in say three years time some weeds such as brambles , dandelions , docks and those little violets will start to grow through the membrane which makes the an absolute pain to get out which is the point at which a lot of people think "stuff it , out with the glyphosate " . I tend to shy away from that route but it's uphill work to convince people that lifting it and redoing is the best way.
Other than that well done with all the work shifting the gravel.

User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5044
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Re: RenewableCandy's Hardcore challenge

Post: # 291321Post Odsox
Fri May 25, 2018 8:03 am

I agree that weed membrane is not so useful when used like that.
When I created the paths in my polytunnels, I put down membrane covered with concreting ballast. It looked good for 6 months and then weeds started to grow in the ballast and put their roots through the membrane. It was impossible to pull them up as the membrane came up with the weeds. I ended up concreting the paths.

That link to the people doing their driveway will have the same problem. It was probably unnecessary to lay the membrane at all as there were no perennial weed roots to smother under the tarmac, and they will have the same problem with weed roots going down through the membrane that I had.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

Post Reply