The Megalith Movers Prehistoric Engineering
Blog 5th September 2015    Monday was a complete washout, rain persisting all day long. I decided to enjoy the rest, and in the afternoon was in Ken's bar partaking of my favourite Thai beer when Sean walked in. “Thought you might be in here.” he said as he sat down. Inevitably we discussed our plans for the rest of the week. Sean would be unavailable, as the next day he was flying to the Philippines for a safety course and would be away for the rest of the week. However, he was broadly in approval of the revised plan, which was to combine the power of the cantilever with the pulling power of the A frame, and to stop using levers at the bow as soon as it became possible to do so.    Tuesday dawned overcast, but dry, and when Joe and myself arrived at Steve's place we immediately set about loading more sand at the top end of the cantilever platform, to bring the load into perfect balance. Once this was done we decided to build the A-frame, which we set behind the plinth, leaning backwards at an angle of about forty-five degrees. This A-frame was fastened to the top of the obelisk with ropes that led over the cantilever. Bags of sand were then fastened, again with rope, so that they hung off the crossbar of the A-frame, and finished hanging about one foot above the ground. This would provide the motive force for the A-frame, and also provide a breaking mechanism as when the bags of sand reached ground level, the motive force would be spent. But would also, if we keep everything finely balanced, anchor the obelisk in its new position. At the present angle of the obelisk, the force provided by the A-frame will be largely ineffective, but will grow in efficiency as the obelisk rises until the cantilever and the A-frame combined will be effective enough to raise the obelisk without the help of the levers at the top end.    Wednesday, when I arrived at Steve's place, Ewan was already there, and Joe arrived shortly afterwards. With the luxury of a four men team, we continued the work we had started the previous day. The day remained dry, and I began to harbour thoughts of completing this experiment before Steve leaves for England the following weekend. But the next day the rain was pouring down again, and I knew any last chance of doing so was more or less over. In northern Thailand the wettest months are August and September, with the monsoon tailing off during October. Sean would be available next week, but would be going back to sea on the twentieth of September, returning some time in October. So hopefully we will be able to complete this experiment sometime in November.    On Friday it was still overcast but dry. Steve was suffering one of his periodic bouts of gout, so Joe and myself continued stringing the ropes from the top of the obelisk, over the cantilever and tying them off on the A-frame, before hanging more sandbags in place.    Next week if we have a break in the weather, we may be able to test the effectiveness of these combined forces. I am sure we can continue with the levers for a while, before they become ineffective as the angle of the obelisk rises. What is not yet clear is how much weight we can put on the cantilever, and how effective this will be and at what angle the A-frame pulling on the top of the obelisk becomes truly useful. If I knew a well educated mathematician, he could probably work out these forces on paper, but as I don't we will have to continue as we started, finding everything out by trial and error.    I was hoping to include some photos of the new set-up, which would give you a better idea of how this will work, if indeed it works at all, but they are not yet ready, so I'll include them next week. Once again I am looking forward to next week which promises to be quite exciting. << previous blog page next blog page >> To read & post comments click here return to top of this page

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