Greenhouse Flume Raised

Marshfield’s 7,000′ long 5′ diameter Wooden Pipe

In olden days people built long wooden pipes and open chutes, called flumes, down mountain sides to bring water to power mills, transport logs and bring water in for mining and irrigation.

Our wooden chute for transporting concrete to our greenhouse work site, which I introduced a couple of weeks ago, is considerably smaller. It is just 32′ long, made of four sections that can be disconnected for transporting. The reason for the chute is that the concrete truck can only reach 18′ with it’s chute. I could have built a road to the greenhouse site, and I will eventually, but that was too much of a project for this year. Instead it was easier to park the concrete truck above the construction site in the home field by the upper pond and then deliver the concrete to the tractor with a chute. The tractor’s half cubic-yard bucket then delivers the concrete to the forms for making the footers and kneewalls of our new greenhouse.

Puttied Screw Heads

For our footer pour I had the chute resting on the ground but for the wall pour we needed to raise the chute to clear the wall forms. Thus we puttied the screw heads so they wouldn’t fill with concrete making them unremoveable.

Properly Puttied Philips Pulled

When the time came we removed the necessary screws from the supports.

Cutting Recalcitrant Screw

Or rather most of the screws. One screw had been missed on the puttying pass, or perhaps the putty fell out of the slots in the screw head. The result was the screw was irretrievable after the concrete hardened. In a case like this we chop off its head with a chisel. Sad.

Tractor Bench Pressing Concrete Chute

I had envisioned that we would all stand along the sides of the chute and ease it up using muscle power. But just on the off chance it would work I tried lifting it from the lower end with the tractor. Like a charm! There are times when the tractor is every so nice to have.

That’s a long wooden beam. It’s supported at the two very end points yet still felt very strong even when I stepped in and bounced around.

While the tractor held the chute up by it’s last few inches we re-attached the side braces and added new diagonals since it will now be higher up in the air and need more stability. Concrete’s heavy and we typically have about 1/2 to 3/4 cubic-yards of concrete in the chute at a time. Having it rock solid is very important so it doesn’t fall on someone.

Chute Raised

Will is reaching up to demonstrate how high the chute is now. After the wall forms are in place I will be able to get the tractor bucket above the forms and under the end of the chute to catch concrete that is being pushed down from the truck parked above.

Outdoors: 57°F/38°F Partially Sunny
Farm House: 56°F/48°F 2 Round bales out N+S
Tiny Cottage: 55°F/51°F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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1 Response to Greenhouse Flume Raised

  1. Claire says:

    You guys do amazing work!

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