Richard's Workshop


4. Concrete Block Wall

The concrete block wall is completely different from the other three. The concrete block wall was already there as a "garden wall". It will form the external veneer of a wall that will be like a brick veneer wall. The existing wall will be a parapet wall, as it is taller than the shed roof. An essental feature of this building was to design it to "hide" behind this wall. The structure that will play the part of the stud wall in a brick veneer wall is to be of steel. It will support the roof, provide a cavity for the roof gutter, and will carry a rack for heavy long materials.

Photo shows the concrete block wall. This was painted with epoxy where other items have to be sealed to it. The rest of the internal face is painted with a water proofing compound. The small space at the end of the concrete wall (where the tee tree fence is visible) was clad in steel. This was painted on the external (neighbour's) surface before installation. There will be no connection between the structural steel wall and the concrete blocks. As the rack is loaded up with heavy materials, there might be a deflection of a millimetre or two .... won't matter at all, but I would not want to impose that deflection on the concrete block wall.

The concrete block wall will not match the thermal insulation of the other walls. It will make up for this a little with thermal mass and the fact that it is shaded on the other side with vegetation. (Helpful in Summer only). I wanted to add just a little thermal barrier, so I bought some 25 mm thick high density fibre glass board.

This was attached to the wall with bathroom tile adhesive, an idea I got from a German you tube site.

Glue applied and ready to "stick in place".

I decided to make up the steel frame in parts. Originally, I thought two parts, but the way it turned out, I made a "top assembly", and bottom assembly", and then cut the vertical pipes and fitted them in between. First the "Top Assembly". This carries several complicating details such as the structural surround to the roof gutter cavity and the sockets to take the rafters. When welded up this had to be moved around a bit, so it was good to be able to do this without the weight of the whole wall attached.

Above you see the "Top Assembly" resting on its side. The face facing "up" will face into the room when installed. The little boxes welded in black steel are the rafter sockets.'s the view of that from the outside.

Here is a view inside the building with the steel wall "Top Assembly" temporarily held in place with wooden blocks at the front and rear walls.

Another view of the same thing.

The uprights in the wall will be inch and a quarter water pipe. The pipe collection comes from a grape vine trellis that I pulled down for a bloke over twenty years ago. The pipes will be propped in place and then tack welded to a bottom rail and to the "Top Assembly". I had thought that I would need to tack weld the whole thing together and then take it outside for thorough welding. This would have needed serious muscle and the whole thing would have been very heavy. After pulling a muscle lifting a drill press, I decided to minimize heavy lifting, and weld the wall assembly up in situ and not try to move it after that. This would require soem tricky upside-down welding. I took my MIG welder out of storage for this task, but ended up doing the job by stick welding after all.

The fibre-glass baord was to be covered with glass fibre cloth. The cloth has long fibres just like cotton cloth, whereas the high density board has tiny fibres that might come away in the breeze and contaminate the workshop atmosphere. We attached the cloth with pressure pack contact cement. I thought that this would cover the surface with distinct droplets, and maintain some open area and allow the fibre glass board to provide a little sound absorption.

20-01-2018 The first piece of cloth in place.

Then the pipe pieces were cut and welded in place. These pipes will be covered in brackets so that this whole wall panel will form a rack for storage of long materials. That will come later, however. Now that this is installed, support for the rafters is available, and this side of the roof can go ahead. That comes before rack building.