Sunday, 5 February 2012

Another post bites the dust

A small update. Coming to the top of the stairs to the second floor there used to be a wall with a door.
August 2011

After removing all the plasterboard from the ceiling and walls in this landing area a few months ago, we were left with posts exposed where this wall was. These wobbled like hell, so were clearly not playing a structural role, so yesterday I took them out.

September 2011

This has opened up the area between the staircases, and now avoids the need to step over the beam that was at floor level (see photos below) when making one's way to the next level. As it turns out, this beam was simply resting on the floorboards, so it looks like it could have been a later addition, probably so a door could be built in.

February 2012
The effect of sandblasting the timbers is also clear!

Of course, the posts and beam haven't completely bitten the dust. They've gone into storage in the barn with many other timbers and will probably get reused for other projects. Some day...


  1. Hello Barry!
    It's great to use a sandblasting!!! We are before using this mashine, but we heavent no experience to use this thing . It's difficult?? And how many sand are you used?
    Best wishes from Poland!

  2. Hi Mirek!

    No, it's not difficult. It can be fun :) I can give some tips from my experience (sorry, this gets a bit long):

    Safety! It's obviously going to be dusty as hell, so you need some good protection. I used a full face mask with P3 particle filters (oak dust and silicates needs that level). If you can get a mask with pumped, filtered air coming from outside your blast area, even better. Some people use special sandblasting hoods, but I don't trust them, as they are not completely sealed. Be aware Silicosis is a danger when using sand for blasting, so make sure you are well protected, and consider other non-sand material (I tried nut shells, but they were too expensive to use much).

    If you need to blast in a room with windows, seal them off with card and plastic, as otherwise you'll end up with frosted glass :D Consider sealing off each room as you do it, as it's extremely dirty, and it get's everywhere!

    For sand, get the finest you can (0.06 - 0.3mm), so it does not pock-mark the wood. Larger grains might work quicker if there is paint to remove, but the finish is not so nice.

    The hardest thing is getting the right flow of sand. The machine I used was 36 years old, so I had to experiment a bit to get the right flow. Too much sand, and it will work really fast, but then you run out of sand very quick, and it could damage the wood :) Try with a small amount of sand flowing first. It's gentler on the wood, and you can do quite fine work with it. If the wood is really dirty, or it is too slow, adjust the flow of sand up till you get a level you feel comfortable with. It all depends on your machine. Just play with settings until you get what you like.

    The second part is the distance from the blast nozzle to the wood. Too close, and you could really eat into soft wood. Try from far away first, move a little closer, see what happens and you'll find the right balance.

    As for how much sand, that's hard to answer. I think I used about 20 x 20kg bags in total (could be more!). It also depends on the flow. My advice: buy 10, see how far it goes, and then buy more :D

    Some other pics, and the mask I used, are here:

    Your house looks amazing! Beautiful surroundings too! My wife is extremely jealous of the stables, and I'm jealous of the ceilings in the cellar :) Where do you want to sand blast?

  3. Oh, one thing: don't blast stuff like clay or lime plaster. It just goes POOF! into fine dust, and you can't see a damn thing after that :D

    Also, don't bother reusing the sand in the blaster, for the same reason. Sand it cheap, so it's better to keep using clean sand.

  4. Hi Barry!
    Thank’s for your answer. We would like to blast the wooden elements of walls and wooden ceilings inside the House on the second floor. Also we want something “cleaning” bricks on the ceilings in the first floor, there was formerly repair. Probably we blast the wood outside the House. I wrote probably, but we don’t now till today what to do with the old bricks in the wall – they are too “cold” and perhaps we change they for Ytong bricks. Sandblasting must be waiting, but it’s not too easy borrow a sandblastmachine. Special dry sand in the 50kg bags is very cheap and that’s no problem for us. Safety – also no problem we want to use a military face mask. Another ask for You: which Compressor are you used?
    Your House is also like a miracle! It’s good place to rest and drink cold beer!!!

  5. It could be good for cleaning brick, as long as the bricks are not damaged or soft and crumbling.

    I know what you mean about the brick in the timber frame construction. We have a mixture of brick and "wattle and daub". I think the wattle and daub might be a better insulator, but I plan on insulating the timber frame parts from the inside with wood fibre insulation boards. Ytong is a good idea we've also been thinking about. Would definitely make the house lighter :)

    As for the cimpressor, we borrowed this one from one of our builders:
    Diesel-powered, and up to 10 or 12 bar pressure. Good power!

    No time to rest in the house yet, but the beer is already ok ;)