Waterworks – P project part IV

The weekend was dedicated to waterworks. We’re using copper pipe because we don’t want plastic pipe inside the aviary where the birds can gnaw at it. And there's a bit more to it, as always...

Day 21: It’s the first time I worked with copper, but it is quite nice to work with. Not as hard as the steel frames we used for the driveway nets, but having said that I was on my 3rd cutting disk since the start of the project. The grinder is coming in very handy. Couple of interesting challenges getting the copper pipe through underneath the aviary frame between the fox wire. Eventually used a trick of pushing some old 13mm irrigation pipe through, then slipping 19mm irrigation pipe over it, then taking out the 13mm pipe and slipping the copper through the 19mm pipe. That way the copper pipe doesn’t get clogged up with dirt. The day was pretty much measure, grind, file the ends clean, fit, repeat.

In between we had the young gentlemen’s birthday celebration with his friends at Rollerway. Glad to report I can still rollerblade. It was quite nice with so few people there thanks to the virus limits. Feels like the you have the place to yourself.

Did some odds and ends in between too, like fitting springs to the doors, putting clasps on the feeders, fitting door handles, touches of varnish here and there.

Late afternoon we started discussing the birdbath. It was quite a challenge designing the thing to be auto-fed from one of the waterers. Oh my goodness! The whole design turned into a full-on water feature!

Day 22: Got up early, did the chooks, and sped off to the green shed for opening time to get the parts for the new enhanced design. Before the family woke up, I had the whole thing laid out on bricks so I could just glue the bricks and make the connections and hopefully we’ll have some time to search for rocks and perches in the afternoon. No, the executive committee said, it’s too high, it has to be partially sunken into the ground. My mood just sank to the bottom of my work boots as I realised it was going to be a marathon project! Luckily I had gotten a large flat white on the trip so I channelled the caffeine into the job as the rest sped off for Christmas shopping and Rollerway part II with friends who couldn’t make it to the party. Very apprehensively cut a round hole into the water feature for the auto-fill mechanism. If it cracked, it was a $150 dollar experiment down the drain. Fortunately, it worked and I started off on the other work as the silicone set.

Cut the fox mesh with the grinder, dug the hole in the hard clay as it started getting warmer, and switched back and forth between gluing bricks and trying to make the water connections work out. By lunch time I had an ugly brick construction set up, but it was at the right height. I fit the solar panel for the pump and did everything else I needed to do to give the silicone as much time to set as possible. Then came the really challenging juggle get the waterer that was to fill the water feature at the same height, so it won’t under-feed or over-feed the water-feature. And then the fitting below the waterer sprung a leak. Fortunately, it was just the copper fitting which I could re-do. If it was the rubber fitting through the hole in the waterer’s base, it would have been a much bigger challenge.

Latish afternoon the team came back from their missions as I was finishing the last connections. With great glee the engineer could plug in the solar panel and see it work.

They wanted me to stop and swim, which was very tempting, as it was very hot at that stage, but I stuck to my guns, got a big flask of ice water, hooked the trailer and set of hunting for stones. Fortunately, there is a lot of development going on in the town so I pulled into one of the construction sites that wasn’t fenced off. That’s partly why I wanted to the rock-fetching on the Sunday afternoon; there is no way they would allow you in there if the excavators and trucks were working. Got a good load.

Late afternoon, as it was cooling down, I was carting rocks from the trailer while the lego man was fitting them around the water feature. The objective was to hide all the bricks and to make the structure as sturdy as possible, but still in a natural aesthetic kind of way.

Unfortunately, I was working at such a pace, as usual I didn’t take photos during the process. And the engineer had a lot of fun testing and retesting various fittings on the water feature, emptying and refilling it how many times too. Anyway, here’s the end result:

Water done, tick.

About martin@muchmoremulch.blog (201 Articles)
My name is Martin Rennhackkamp, I now live happily in Lara, Victoria, Australia with my wife, two children and two dogs. My interests, apart from the obvious Organic, Biodynamic and Permaculture Gardening and Farming, include sustainable living, surfing, horse-riding, a wide variety of music, dancing, nature, birds, reading, Christianity and a few other things which I never get to...

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