Tim and I left home at 8.30 am and then returned around 6.00 pm.
Tim made good progress on the painting but I found the bracing process very slow going.
First I shovelled out two barrow loads of clay and cleaned up the area around the water tank where I needed to mount the brackets.
Next I measured up the positions on the ground and up at the overhead PFC's.
I drilled small pilot holes in the PFCs so that I could run criss cross string lines to check for accuracy.
This all looked good so I drilled mounting holes in to the cement slab to take the dynabolts for the brackets.
Unfortunately I had not brought my impact drill or the bits that came with it.
Instead I needed to use my hammer drill and my standard 10mm masonary bit.
This meant that I was only able to drill 80mm holes instead of 100 mm holes and had to mess around trimming the flanges off the dynabolts to achieve a good fix.
The brackets are now very securely fastened to the slab.
Next I needed to drill 12 mm holes in to the overhead PFCs.
This is a difficult job and one I do not like at all - drilling through 7mm of steel flange from underneath.
I progressed through a 4mm pilot, then a 10 mm pilot and finally the 12 mm drill bit.
I had real trouble with the 10 mm hole with the drill bit screeching and binding.
Even though I had several attempts at sharpening the drill bit I just could not get it to cut well.
Eventually I accidentally blued the drill bit and ended up cutting off 30 mm of damaged flute before regrinding a completely new cutting face.
This fixed the problem and after that the drill bit worked very well.
Next, I held one of the ring pieces up to the intersection of the string lines and marked up the drill hole positions.
Again progressive drilling of 4 holes out to 12 mm but as this cyclinder material was only 4mm thick this was an easy job.
Now I was ready to cut a thread on to the 12 mm rod I had brought with me.
However, I suspect that there is something wrong with the 12mm 1.75 cutting die. It seems to be a millimetre or two under size.
I even went around to Ross and begged him for advice but in the end he concurred and agreed that it was undersize.
It was only a very cheap set so next week I will go to Rudds, take along a sample piece of rod and nut and get them to set me up with the appropriate cutting die and a good large handle.
I was a bit disheartened that I could not complete this stage of the project.
However, I went on to experiment with the bending stage.
The other week I had purchased a propane blowtorch so that I could heat and hammer the required angles in to the rod.
I gave this a try and ended up putting reasonably sharp bends in to 4 pieces of rod.
After this, dusk was nearing so it was time to pack up and head home.
Once again I am discovering that something I had hoped would take one day will turn in to a 4 weekend project.
During the week I purchased a number of dies and broke a few tools.
In the end I learned that my kit of dies does not work because it is really intended for cleaning up existing threads.
The button die that eventually worked for me has a gap for adjustment, and a really tapered lead in.
The trick is to cut the thread first of all with the loosest possible diameter and then do a second run with the minimum diameter.
Also a better result is obtained when bending the rod by clamping the heated piece in a vice as opposed to striking it with a hammer.