The Megalith Movers Prehistoric Engineering
Blog 11th August 2014    Sean has returned to join his ship supplying an oil rig somewhere off the coast of Australia, and I think Joe may have been distracted by some young lady, so we are for the moment down to a team of four. However on the plus side Brian turned up this morning with a new lump hammer and bolster chisel, with which to continue the battle of the bulge and during the course of the morning with help from Ewan made good progress at chipping away at the ever hardening concrete.    Meanwhile Steve and myself started to build the crib. We are using coppiced Eucalyptus for this, I had seen these poles for sale at a local garden centre a couple of weeks previously. Now accompanied by Sean and driven by Steve’s partner, (who was able to negotiate a good price for us as the owner of the place was a friend of hers.) Sean identified the poles as Eucalyptus, a timber he knew well as it grows wild in Australia, and we had tested them and decided that the material would be good not only for the crib but also for the levers and the buttress frames so I ordered and paid for fifty poles although we will need many more). We soon had the poles arranged in the form of a crib and as we had run out of poles we lashed the different layers together using Spanish windlasses.    Brian hard at it Working on the crib, Steve passing the poles and myself laying them so that although the poles tapered, we kept the top fairly level      The crib built up to the level of the underside of the top barn door. At this stage we were able to position a fulcrum pole on top of the crib and test the strength of the top barn door by inserting a lever over the fulcrum pole and under the barn door, the result was disappointing, the barn door bent, the lever bent and the crib compressed as the pressure was applied. The result of this combination of factors meant that what should have been in theory a 6 inch lift would have been almost nothing. I knew of course that I had no chance of lifting the Obelisk with just one lever and one man but things were not looking good. While the bend in the levers was in fact part of the design (green unseasoned timber bends, seasoned timber breaks) the bend in the top barn door was not. I decided to tackle the problem of the top barn door first by reducing the length of the overhang between the top and bottom barn doors from 18 inches to 6 inches. See pic above    The crib and shortened barn doors. I have also lashed a pole under the top barn door to both increase the height of each lift by increasing the angle of the levers at the start of each lift and enable the levers to be used anywhere along the length of the pole. The shortened top barn door should have solved the first problem, the bend in the levers we will have to live with but the increased angle at the start should nullify most of this problem and the compression of the crib I think I can overcome. It should be possible to squeeze the different layers of poles together by increasing the number of Spanish windlasses used to tie the crib together. We will see how successful this has all been when we try the first real lift in about ten weeks time.    A couple more pics below show progress at the base. <<previous blog page next blog page >> To read & post comments click here return to top of this page

Megalith Movers - Building Stonehenge:

Megalith Movers -
Raising an Obelisk video 1:

Hapshetsut Obelisk -
     The base more or less levelled off. My thanks to   The remaining shutter removed. Note also the      Brian and Ewan for sticking at this boring task   shortened top barn door with the pole lashed   in place underneath for the levers
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