Under construction

Think like a termite

AAAHHHGGRRRRHHHH.  I am a carpenter and maker of things so thought that making my own web site would be a piece of piss . Spent the last few weeks bouncing off the walls trying to collect photos and write some stuff to make a web site of work ive been involved in . Next few weeks should see some shuffling around of what I put up there , adding bits and redoing all the crap bits . It’ll come , as long as i can stop throwing the computer at the wall .

spring roof

before the haircut

before the haircut

lots of dead stuff

All this lush weather has seen the brownfield roof on the container building at Hackney City Farm bust into life . Thought it was time for some maintanence so got the ladders out , pulled off all the dead stuff and threw some buckets off water over it .

nickin the water

Salvaged the water from an unused water butt collecting water off the strawbale building .

new growth

spring greens

The roof garden looks like it seeded well from last year and should go crazy this year .

golden pigs

bike park

Oi , You cant park that there .

This is the new monster boat . Broads cruiser built by Breydon Marine about 30 years ago .We got it off Ebay and drove it from Shepperton all the way down the Thames to the canal system . Her name is Karen Ann but should really be Popeye . More about her later , im sure .

popeye sparks

Been working on upgrading the domestic battery system on Olive Oils big brother , Popeye ( mine and Ellens new boat )

This is the battery bank we get our power from for the electrical stuff we use like bilge pumps , lighting , stere ereo , hair straighteners and the like . Sick of run down batteries and no leccy we decided to do a proper job on it . First we got some fat new deep cycle batteries . Found them on ebay . Used to be back up power for the landing lights at Manchester airport . Never used , but replaced routinely every few years , a bargain at £ 100 for 2 6v to make one 12v 185 ah . We got 4 giving us 370 ah . GGrrrr . Should do the job .

We had a Sterling battery to battery charger laying around from bike power generating project , so we stuck that in . Simply put , this changes the voltage coming from the alternator to one that the leisure batteries like a bit more . Charges them quicker and more efficiently . Was easy to put in with only three 3 wires to connect .

To make sense of whats going on with it all , I splashed out and bought a NASA battery monitor . Until now ive always used a multimeter across the battery terminals to check the voltage . This gives some kind of indication of the state of charge of the batteries , isnt too accurate . The new monitor tells the batteries voltage , amps being drawn , percentage of capacity and time left till the next charge . Hopefully all this accuracy will prolong the batteries life , keeping them working better for longer.

Hunting around on ebay for a decent , cheap solar panel to add in to the system . Free sunshine power when its there and engine / alternator back up when its not .

Olive Oil

Until recently Olive oil was my home for 3 years or so . She taught me alot about a simple and uncomplicated way to live , free from the drip fed constraints of living in a plugged in box . Me and me shipbuilding partner , El , have been giving her a spruce up ready for her new tenants. Away from the building site for a while has given me some time to spend getting carried away with tiling the galley . My first mosaic . Smash the tile and stick em on the wall . Easy

grand designs

Time to catch up with some serious blog writing , after a 4 month writers block . Spent most the winter settling into a new boat , home on the river , and working on a new super modern eco house which was a good 45 minute bike ride across the other side of London . The project is called the slip house , on account  of each floor slipping slightly forward of the one below . After working with straw bale , hemp concrete , timber frame and the like , it were interesting to be involved with such a contrasting style . Its mostly steel frame with cast concrete panels dropped in to make the floors and ceilings and insulated wooden infill panels for the walls and loads of triple glazed glass front and back. Its been designed by Carl Turner Architects who ive worked for on and off for ten years . The ecology building society funded the house and this meant build quality was high with NHBC involvement and the achievement of code for sustainability level 5 . Its also gonna be famous as Grand Designs are filming the whole spectacle . To be aired in October i think . Day to day i was doing most the first fix carpentry and getting stuck into whatever else down to installing the underfloor heating . Freezing outside work all winter , up at six , in the dark made a man of me and some popeye thighs from all that cycling . Would have loved to stay longer but old Olive Oils calling me , an old converted ships lifeboat im renovating and giving some much needed love……Now …..Wheres me spinach