The Megalith Movers Prehistoric Engineering
Blog 14th May 2016    Monday we moved the top step further forward until it was again almost touching the obelisk which had been levered upward and forward during the previous week with the help of our mark three lifting frame, which was now looking worse for wear. The plan then was to use a simplified, more compact lifting plate on each side capable of accommodating just three levers each, we would then compensate for the lack of lifting power by using more levers from the end of the obelisk.    On Tuesday we set up the levers from the end, and because we were now some way down the obelisk we were able to get nine in place. As we had only been using ten previously we decided to load the levers and see what lift we could gain. We were using a method we had used before with good results. We used three short logs as fulcrums with three levers on each, making each fulcrum capable of independent movement. This had allowed us to lift the obelisk, and by swapping the bags about keep rolling first one fulcrum forward and then another. However, it was much more difficult with the obelisk at the present angle, although we made some progress the levers kept slipping just as we were on the verge of a good lift. We were working physically hard in the blazing sun for very little gain. We abandoned the idea of the rolling fulcrum and reverted to a single fixed fulcrum, this proved no better.    It was now Thursday and nothing we did improved things. Steve half jokingly suggested we tilt the top step, I had mentioned earlier how during an experiment to erect a Stonehenge upright we had levered from the sloping side of a stone-hole and how much easier it had been. I thought about the idea and decided it might be worth a try. We tilted it easily using three levers on each side and raised the end of the top step by six inches. See photo below:    It looked promising, so on Friday we tilted it a further six inches. The top surface of the step was now twelve inches nearer the obelisk, as measured at the leading edge.    We had solved one problem but, had at the same time, created another. The fulcrums as they sat on the top of the tilted step also sloped down as per the step. As the levers were loaded with sandbags they would inevitably swing towards the plinth, resulting in total failure. They would have to be restrained. I was very dubious that they could be restrained manually. However, the rest of the team were more confident, so we decided to give it a try. We put one of the old lifting plates on top of the step and it matched the gap almost perfectly. After rearranging the scaffold on each side we were ready. Despite the storm we had had overnight, it was still hot and humid and by ten-thirty a.m. we had had enough. We decided to call it a day and continue Monday. Regards Gordon.      << previous blog page next blog page >> To read & post comments click here return to top of this page

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