Ceiling Trusses Up
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The vault trusses are up. Ben commented that now he can finally see what the ceilings of the rooms in our butcher shop will look like. Catenary curves. Barrel vaults. Domes. Each room sealable and isolated for sanitation. The reefer with its high thermal mass and extensive insulation to prevent heat from coming in. Not just industrial looks but some beauty to go along with it.
I ended up raising the height of the carcass chiller so that we can place the refrigeration evaporator above the rail. This will actually let us put in two units should we need the capacity – even two different types of units for doing carcass chilling vs dry aging. Most importantly it gave us five extra feet of valuable rail space.
When we startup our cutting room will be located in the carcass chiller. We’ll send the carcasses to the far north end to cool down. The work tables will fold up against the wall to save space. The grinder and vacuum packager will also be along the walls. This will let us start processing our own meat sooner. The unfinished expansion areas of the building can then be finished off later as we have the time. This gets us up and running sooner while also giving us room to grow.
Holly Cutting Chocks
We use a lot of small chocks and shims to get everything right, plumb, level and square yet also be able to be popped apart from inside once the building is poured. After the concrete cures we must be able to remove all the forms form the inside. Thus the wedges which can be slid apart to release forms. All screws and nuts must also be accessible from the inside so they can be removed once the concrete is hard. This makes building formwork a little more challenging. The exciting part is when we drop the trusses. When we did the cottage it was the first time I had used that technique on a large scale.
This is a ceiling catenary arch truss in its jig. We use jigs a lot to manufacture identical pieces in construction. It helps make sure the trusses are the same so the ribs line up and it speeds up the process. Here Holly is making the trusses for the wooden forms that will support the concrete as we pour the catenary arch ceilings of our cutting room and kitchen. The barrel vault is a different arc and used a different jig.
Overhead Pan in Chiller
Here’s looking up! This is an overhead pan from straight up to about eye level as I stand in the doorway between the abattoir and carcass chiller. The barrel vault ceiling trusses of the chiller are up and temporarily anchored with 2×4’s. Next will come ribs to make the barrels. On the ribs we’ll lay two layers of lapping masonite. Above that will go our steel work so we can do the ferro-cement arches. Because these ceilings will hold tons of carcasses they are designed to be far stronger than that of our cottage. The vault actually changes in three dimensions plus it has an additional beam running north south for added strength. Either one, the beam or the arch, could hold the weight. Together they are insurance and super stable in all dimensions.
Our formwork isn’t the only thing progressing. The leaves are definitely starting to change. It looks to me like we may have a long fall foliage period this year. I love fall for the colors, lack of bugs and temperate weather. Yet, in the back of our minds is that knowledge of winter fast approaching which lends a bit of pressure to everything we do. Still, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Outdoors: 73°F/56°F Mostly Cloudy, Light Rain
Tiny Cottage: 70°F/66°F
Daily Spark: Sometimes technology is figuring out a better way, a system and not just the electronic toys we all enjoy.