Mount Vanguard site from a visit earlier this year.                 (photo by Lewys Edwards)
Next build day:
Sunday 24th May 10am
The Hangar 182 Arthurs Point

What’s been happening

Turk progress
While the Covid restrictions were at level 3 (construction activities permitted) a small group of us completed preparation and had the Spray Foam insulation applied. Previous Turks have used a flat sheet insulation similar to a sleeping mat that is cut with a knife and fitted to the walls. The spray foam allows for the insulation to be bonded onto the tank (yes it does stick) with no interface for moisture to accumulate. It also allows for insulation to be applied to the domed (complex curve) ceiling. While a bit more expensive, I think the result will be vastly superior in warmth than previous Turk builds.

Materials strategically positioned
The goal is to get the Turks in place for use this winter, however it might arrive with vengeance any day now! To make the most of the warm, settled weather a brave and dedicated team drove 4 sets (2 tons) of Turk bases and Dymaxion toilets up the Skippers Road to Branches Station. The adventure was not for the faint-hearted and Brent Jarvis who drove the truck thought having his appendix removed with no anaesthetic might have been a more pleasant experience. At the narrowest part there was 20mm to spare between the overhanging cliff and the load, with a hand width of space between wheels and a vertical drop a long way down to the river.

I drove the empty truck out and with the wing mirror hitting the cliff on one side realised if I opened my door I would be stepping into free space with a 200 metre vertical drop to the river below. The image below is on a wider section of the road before the Skippers bridge turnoff. The name of the truck gave us some degree of confidence.

Removal of the Crown Basin Turk

You’ll be disappointed if you try and visit the Crown Basin Turk because it is no longer there. We flew it out in preparation for its replacement in 4-5 weeks time.

The Crown Basin Turk was built 3 years ago as part of a crazy (and very successful) experiment. It’s not insulated, is single-glazed and not compliant with the engineering standards of our building permit. The structure is totally acceptable and 100% legal as a sleep out or hut at lower altitudes where the weather is not so extreme. The plan is to try and sell the Turk for $10,000. If this isn’t possible then we’ll refurbish it (has a recovery value of $5000).

What’s next
The focus now is to finish the Turks as soon as possible. The skills required climb as we get closer to completion. Task list:

  1. Trim and tidy the spray foam insulation. This is a low skilled and messy job. It will take 2 people 2 hours per Turk (5 Turks in total)
  2. Fit the wood paneling – medium skill
  3. Fit the ceiling hexagon and fabric – medium skill
  4. Glue on the felt backing behind the bunks – medium skill
  5. Fit the bench – builder-level skills
  6. Fit door – builder-level skills
  7. Fit window – builder-level skills
  8. Fit the window and door jamb/reveals – builder-level skills
  9. Fit the bunk ends – builder-level skills
  10. Fit the bunk supports and ladder – builder-level skills
  11. Plastic weld guttering – specialist skill
  12. Plastic weld window and door shades – specialist skill
  13. Fit shelves, solar lighting and other details – builder-level skills

If we get to stage 5 this weekend I’ll be happy! See the top of the email for details of where and when to meet.

Erik Bradshaw
Ph: 027 241 8571
22 May 2020

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