Construction Work Begins On Fox Hill Hollow

What better thing to do on a long weekend than hire a digger and get to work!

This 1 1/2 tonne piece of machinery took some lugging over the Blue Mountains and out into the rocky land that surrounds Wyangala Dam but we made it and so did the dogs who were happy to finally get out and run around.

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Aub’s digger projects wish list consisted of:

  1. Digging out a pit toilet
  2. Grading the driveway.
  3. Digging footings for a second storage container
  4. Digging footings for the outdoor shower.

My wish list consisted of just one thing.  To have a go!

Job 1:  The Bush Toilet.

A most important job as I’m sure you will appreciate.  Apparently a deep pit is a good pit. We were trying to work off the recommendations for the average family of 6 using the loo full-time to last 5 years as that should be more than enough for us at the moment.

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And here’s the hole-in-progress.  Not quite deep enough to bury a husband yet but we are getting there (I didn’t mean that Aub).

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OK so that’s more like it but we hit rock before we got down to our ideal depth so we decided that the best course of action was to widen it a bit and to then build the hole up by back filling using the soil we just dug out. That way we get a deeper hole without having to bash through the rock layer!

Aub constructed a ‘poo tube’ out of some recycled corrugation and roofing screws.

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You get a better idea of how deep the hole actually is when comparing the before and after poo tube pictures here. I think that should do the trick!  Aub held the tube open (so it didn’t collapse onto it’s self) using a weird metal device that we happened to have lying around in our scrap heap.  Very ingenious and cheap.

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poo hole

There’s still heaps to do on the toilet front of course but for now, the diggers job is done and it is off to project 2!

2) Grading the driveway.

So our drive has a natural water run-off going straight through it which is lovely in some ways but a pain in others because where there is water flow there can be erosion.  Not wanting to be cut off from society the best plan of action is to grade the drive and address drainage issues so that water can flow freely under the drive through the pipe work without getting squashed, increasing flow rate and taking half the drive with it.  Keeping water channels clear and free-flowing is key to avoiding driveway loss (and other landscape loss as we will no doubt cover in another post).

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This picture proves that while a big digger is good there is no getting away from the fact that you need to get out and get stuck in to finish the job properly.  Good on you Aub!

3: Footings for container number 2.

Container number 2 is a project for early 2016 as while our caravan of 1970’s love is OK for now we need a bit more space for proper planning, comfortable sleeping and office work PLUS somewhere to put up our extra pairs of hands when they come to help – tents on rocky soil are a bit average.

The girls had helped mark out the container footings the weekend before so this weekend it was just time to get stuck in and dig.  Well it was until we found flecks of gold in the soil and decided to have an impromptu gold panning session….

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The new container site is within the approved building envelope for the site so we hope that it will also double up as our temporary home when we finally get started on the big building project in the next couple of years.  What a beautiful view we will have!

4) Digging the footings for the outdoor shower.

Ok so this is another exciting project as I mentioned before.  We have decided to use an IBC as the water tank instead of the donated tanks as it will be more stable – the donated water tanks won’t go to waste, they will be used to store water for a sink for the toilet and possibly another sink for the outdoor cooking area.

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So this time the digger wasn’t actually used for the holes, they were dug by hand as they didn’t need to be so deep (Post stirrups were sunk into the holes which were then filled with concrete to secure the uprights).

The digger was used to support the uprights while they were being secured into the metal framework – the metal framework was welded together by Aub and attached onto the frame of the container.

The digger was also used to help lift the empty IBC onto the roof of the container ready for water collection!

The shower will have a sloping corrugated roof feeding water in and some sort of  plumbing to gravity feed water down to the shower head which will be dangling somewhere within that square area.  As much as we currently love to wander around naked we will be putting ‘modesty’ screens around this shower so that we don’t scare off any visiting friends, family or workers who happen to be on site.

Even with the screens we will still be able to shower whilst looking out onto this beautiful view.  It should be lovely!

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So that’s it for Aub’s wish list, as for mine, YES I did get to have a go 🙂


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