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2016-Jan-16 - Wooroloo - Loft Floor Joists #23

We have had a fire ban for the last few days so I cannot slice up the lintel beam for joist brackets.

However, I have 13 blank brackets that I cut off some time ago when hot work was allowed.

During breaks from work I dressed any roughness in the cuts on a bench grinder and then marked up the positions of the 12 mm holes using two different templates.

I then drilled the pilot holes followed by the 12 mm holes.

Finally, towards the end of the day I gave each bracket a coat of primer.


During breaks from work I gave the brackets a coat of the "fire engine red" enamel


After work today, with the lifting of the total fire ban, I set up to slice up the remainder of the lintel.

I had to spend an hour before hand sweeping up the accumulation of leaves on our back patio area and watering down any hazardous areas.

Then about an hour's work to create another 14 blank brackets.

These are going to need a fair bit of work to grind off the sharp edge, drill the holes, prime and enamel.

This brings the total number of completed brackets to 15 with a further 14 waiting processing.


A very hot day with every moment spent in the sun very draining.

I would rate the day as being 70% successful.

The aim of today's project was to create a mechanism to quickly hoist a tarpaulin over the deck area of the loft so that I can work without getting heat stroke.

I set up four "flagpoles" at corners of the house.

For each one I needed to mount a bolt, spacers, locking nuts and a pulley in such a way that the pulley could not twist and foul.

For two of the "flag poles" I needed to lift the assembly further up the scaffold tube on which it was mounted.

I found it impossible to do this just using my own strength and ended up having to use my chain block.

Through each pulley I threaded 15 m of rope with a dog clip at one end.

This was my only chance to set up each pulley as it is impossible to reach them once the flagpole tube has been errected.

I finished all this by midday.

I then had lunch and a little rest.

I must have fallen asleep because next I knew it was 3.30 pm.

I emerged in to the heat and hoisted a new 9 m x 9 m tarpaulin up over the hallway (across some temporary timber cross members) .

There is not a lot in place at the moment to support the tarpaulin as it is unfolded but by working carefully and hooking the corners on to the "flag pole" ropes I was able to gradually unfold it and get it airborne.

I will need to investigate how successfully I can steer it around to cover the part I am working on.

We also have some intense heat coming through at a low angle at the beginning and ending of the day.

It is amazing how much "bite" there is in the sun even at 7.00 am.

At home we replaced a tarpaulin that we use on the temporary carport. It is split all the way down the middle but apart from that it is in good condition.

I will cut it in half, clean it up and attach each half as a "curtain" at the morning and evening heat positions on the main tarpaulin.

The main problem with the tarpaulin at this stage is that it moves up and down in the prevailing winds by 20 metres - one moment sailing way up in the sky, the next slamming in to the deck.

I have decided that I need to build something similar to a fold out wooden clothes airer - basically a 3 x 2.4 metre rectangle that can rest anywhere on the incomplete loft floor. Inside its outer frame will be a slightly smaller frame that will pivot up at right angle to give a height of just under 3 metres.

It will have removeable diagonal braces so that the whole assembly will fold down flat.

It should still be light enough to move around on the joists as they are installed and let me work on installing joists of floor boards with a tarpaulin above me that is not slamming me in to the deck.

Brackets drilled

Primer applied

Enamel applied

Next batch of raw brackets

Pulley carefully attached to avoid twisting

Tarpaulin hauled up for the first time