The Megalith Movers Prehistoric Engineering
Blog 11th July 2015    This last week has been a week of mixed emotions, frustration, satisfaction, triumph, puzzlement and eventually enlightenment.    On Sunday, Joe flew back to England for a three week trip, so with Sean back at sea and Ewan still busy with other commitments, Megalith Movers was reduced to a workforce of just two, Steve and myself. Worse was to come, for when I arrived at Steve's place Monday morning he came hobbling over obviously in some pain and discomfort “Won't be able to help much today Gordon, I have gout again, but it never lasts long, I should be OK by tomorrow.” “No problem Steve. Anyway I want to try to level out the bottom of the stack once and for all, when it is out of line with the fulcrum it makes everything more difficult when setting the levers, If I can get it right we may start to make more substantial  progress.”    I cut the next piece with a notch cut out of one end, and packed it up against the underside of the stack. When I put the level on it was perfect. And with what was now the lifting bar level with the fulcrum, I was able to set the first lever fairly easily. With Steve helping as best he could, I set the single levers on the port and starboard side, and the rest of the main lifting levers at the bow. We achieved a lift of about 2 inches. A major triumph for one old man and another who was temporarily infirm. But I was now more puzzled than ever, Although we had started the lift with the lifting bar perfectly level it was now out of level again perhaps by more than before. What was happening?    The next day Steve was back to normal in terms of mobility and we continued the erection. I was still puzzled as to why the lifting bar didn't seem to want to remain level. But without knowing what was causing this, I was at a loss as to what to do about it. On Tuesday, we completed two clean lifts and also drilled and pegged the new timbers to the stack. As well as rearranging the two fail-safe stacks a total gain of about six inches, all in all a good day. And as we were now progressing in an unhurried and relaxed manner, taking great care at every move. At the end of the shift I wasn't feeling overtired, despite the fact that the temperature in the shade was reading 40 degrees C and we were working in the full glare of the sun.    Next day Wednesday, the heavens opened, and we had to abandon the idea of working that day. But Thursday dawned dry and a great deal cooler. Thursday proved to be our best day ever, we completed three full 3 inch lifts, making a total gain of about 9 inches, which made the total gain for the week to-date about 17 inches. Same again on Friday. This would be our best ever week, and all done with a workforce of two. I was getting excited.    Friday was again reasonably cool with the temperature in the shade about 32 degrees C, although working in the sun we were still sweating, which we compensated for, by drinking plenty of water. The first lift was completed in thirty minutes including the adjustments to the fail-safe towers, and  packing under the main tower, I again began to get excited by the possibilities. The second lift began just as easily and we had just loaded the last of the sandbags onto the main levers when I saw the port-side lever beginning to swing back towards the plinth, which also caused the Starboard side lever to do the same. I shouted a warning to Steve but he was already beginning to move, he too had noticed the fulcrum beginning to roll back towards us. We lost the 3 inches we had almost just gained, as the top layers of the working platform and the main levers collapsed in some disarray. However, the fail-safe towers arrested any further loss, as they took the weight of the descending Obelisk and remained firm.    “The fail-safe towers have got it for now Gordon,” said Steve. “Yes, let's take a break and have a think,” I replied.    We then spent the next hour discussing what had happened, why it had happened, and checking the evidence contained in the main tower, which was still more or less upright and fastened to the Obelisk. In the end we reached agreement, and after carefully removing the tangled levers and top layers of the working platform, we were able to push the base of the main tower back to where it was several weeks ago and pack it so that it was also supporting the Obelisk.    Later that day, I met Steve at Ken's bar and we continued our discussion and possible ways to prevent this problem reoccurring in the future. Next we we will test what we think is the best option, and see what happens. << previous blog page next blog page >> To read & post comments click here return to top of this page

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