The Megalith Movers Prehistoric Engineering
Blog 28th February 2015    If last week was boring and repetitive then this week has been anything but.    On Monday we started on what promised to be just another boring and repetitive lift, with the benefit of hindsight I can now see that we set the levers at too steep an angle. As we piled on the dead men the angle of the levers barely changed as more and more dead men were added. What I didn't foresee was that the weight of these dead men was creating a great deal of backward pressure against the fulcrum, which was fixed to the bottom barn door just by the weight of the levers and dead men, and the bottom barn door which was held in place just by the weight of the Obelisk.    What we were doing in fact, in a very small way, was recreating the forces that build up in the earth’s crust prior to an earthquake, where everything is held in place by friction until the build-up of pressure overcomes the grip of the friction, and we experience an earthquake.      The levers finally passed 45 degrees as more dead men and weight was added, the Obelisk started to lift and the levers still had plenty of distance to travel before bottoming out as they came into contact with the scaffold. This was promising to be the best lift ever. Steve was closely watching the fulcrum which was behaving perfectly. Sean was on the scaffold, carefully adding concrete blocks one at a time, keeping everything in balance while I passed him the blocks.    The levers were now within a few inches of the of bottoming out on the scaffold, I passed Sean one last block and the earthquake happened! Not a real earthquake of course, but the one we had been creating in the support structure. As the last of the friction between the Obelisk and the bottom barn door was released with the weight of the last block being added, the pressure that had built up pulled the barn door towards the scaffold. This robbed us of all the height we had gained that day and destroyed the integrity of the buttress frames that had been supporting the barn door.    We made everything safe with new props under the Obelisk and decided to think about the next move over a beer. The pic below shows the situation at this time.     The next day Tuesday, we decided to rebuild the support structure from scratch, while retaining the gains we had already achieved. This was to be done by using temporary props under the Obelisk, to hold it at the present angle while the the new support was assembled.   By the time we finished on Friday, we had everything cleared away and had made a good start on the new support. This was to resemble a flat topped pyramid in the shape of a parrots beak, which will form a sort of flying buttress against the Obelisk when it is finally upright.    The pic below shows the new support structure in the course of constuction. <<previous blog page next blog page >> To read & post comments click here return to top of this page

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