Wednesday, 1 May 2013

core drilling

Core drilling is the root canal surgery equivalent of the building world.

core drill deep in wall
It involves using a powerful drill and a very wide drill bit that cuts a wide diameter hole through a wall. Arduous and tedious, it had to be done to allow three power or air ducts to reach our air source heat pump that will be situated outside our new home.

We also had two cores to drill in the pantry where our architect had specified two long pipes to reach deep into the earth mounding we are working on. These capped pipes will bring cool air into the pantry.

Deceiving it was too, with the inner course of Celcon lightwight blocks a joy to go through. But then, pulling the thick insulation to one side....

.... the outer layer of dense blocks were an utter beast to cut through. I called on nephew Matthew, a talented engineer, to help me. And for most of Saturday we toiled on our knees with the core drill frequently getting trapped in the wall or simply not turning. Hours and hours our work went on. We poured water onto the hot drill as it was withdrawn as we had been instructed.

We couldn't help reflecting on the mixed emotions of the trapped Venezuelan miners if we had been in charge of the rescue. First rejoicing that rescue was close at hand, turning to demoralisation and despair when they learned who was in charge of the drilling.

Or on the Eurotunnel engineering construction team on discovering that the English end of the tunnel had ended up in Holland.

With aching arms, the onset of vibration white finger and trousers soaked due to the wetting of the core drill bit, we eventually cut through and cores were drilled and pipes slipped snugly into the holes, in readiness for air source heat pump installation. After all the effort on Monday I proudly showed our handiwork to our installer.  He nodded perfunctory approval as he passed and went on with his next job.

Having spent a working life in primary school education I have become a compulsive encourager and thanker and forget that this is not the way in a mans' world. The job was done, 'end of' as they say these days. I was somehow expecting buckets of praise, if not a sticker and a special mention in whole school assembly after my efforts...

As a footnote, it was ironic to learn from one of our installers that the last thing you should do when core drilling is to wet the core drill bit. This prevents the drill from cutting.....

I laughed.

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