Saturday, 12 October 2013

Saw, trim, shred ... saw, trim shred ...

Despite having been so busy over the last week or so following my other pastime – Freemasonry – I have still been working on the 'great garden tidy-up' project. So far my 'excavations' around our existing shed have revealed the fact that it has a much larger concrete base than expected. In fact the base is almost twice the size of the existing shed and means that when I come to replace it, I will be able to put up a replacement that has a floor area of six foot x four foot.

This is not big enough to 'convert' into a full-time wargames shed (or 'shed-quarters' as I have seen it called elsewhere!) as the largest table I would be able to get in there (and still have room to get in myself) would be three foot x three foot. Whilst this would be adequate for solo wargames using something like my PORTABLE WARGAMES rules, I could hardly invite other wargamers around to take part in a battle.

Before I can remove the existing shed I must clear it, and before I can do that I need to remove all the extra earth that has been washed down our garden and built up around the shed. The problem is that to remove the earth I also need to cut back the laurel bushes that overhang the area around the shed ... hence the title of this blog entry. Every morning I spend at least an hour sawing off branches, trimming off the leafy stems, and them shredding the lot using the heavy-duty garden shredder my brother and I inherited from our father.

At the current rate of progress I should have removed enough of the branches from the laurel bushes by the middle of next week so as to enable me to begin the process of clearing the earth off the concrete base. Weather permitting I should then be able to begin the process of clearing the existing shed. After that ... who knows?

10 comments:

  1. Good progress Bob.

    I think you should look into the possibility of increasing the size of the concrete base.

    You could possibly use a sand base and 2 x 2 concrete slabs. It is good to get a bit of air underneath the hut.

    That brings in the option of a 10 x 8 foot hut which would allow a 6 x 4 foot table inside.

    My hut is 17 x 10 foot with a 12 x 4 table and a considerable amount of storage.

    Maybe a small brick built retaining wall will keep the downward drift of soil off the hut itself.

    Worth planning that now as you will not want to do it again in a few years time.

    Jim

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  2. Jim Duncan,

    I already have a toy/wargames room on the second floor of our house, and hoped to use the shed for wargaming during the summer months ... subject to my wife's agreement!

    If she does agree, then I will certainly look at the possibility of extending the size of the concrete base so that I can build a bigger shed. The downside of doing that is that I would have to remove at least one - and probably two - laurel bushes. They are very large (the trunks are over ten inches thick) and I don't know if I could do that on my own. If I had to call in a specialist company to do the removal, it would cost me more than the price of the shed!

    In the end the cost may well be the deciding factor as to what I choose to do.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. I had to take a tree down to make room for my hut. Fortunately it was a fairly diseased ex-Christmas tree and the trunk was probably ten inches in diameter. It was a toughie.

    I produced logs for my neighbours wood burning stove which lasted over one winter.

    I have another 'dead' Laburnam tree in the other corner of my garden which I've whittled down to four stumps about 5 foot high and eight inches in diameter. It will probably take the rest of this autumn/winter to chop it down.

    My hut cost in excess of £6000 by the time it was useable as a hobby site.

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  4. Jim Duncan,

    My laurel bushes are in a state of very vigorous good health, which is one reason that they are none too easy to trim ... or even think of removing.

    The thicker branches (the ones I can't put through the shredder) are being set aside for my brother to use. I suspect that once they have dried out they will burn quite well.

    I have found a nice shed design that would be large enough for my requirement. It is 15' x 8' and has a steel reinforced frame and roof supports. It also has a roof height of 6' 8". It is constructed from some form of double-skinned and insulated polycarbonate. However my wife is not very keen on having something that large at the end of the garden ... so I may have to stick to a smaller shed that I only use during the summer months.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Consider offering your good lady your room in the house for whatever purpose she desires if you get your ideal wargames shed out back!

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  6. Isn't using one of those heavy duty shredders one of the most satisfying things you can do....

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  7. Jim Duncan,

    Negotiations on the matter of the shed are currently in a state of limbo. My wife has expressed the opinion that she would prefer me not to use the shed for anything other than storage ... and I don't think that she is going to change her position on the matter.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Trebian,

    Spot on! Watching it chew up laurel leaves and branches and then spit them out in tiny bits is very, very satisfying after all the effort of cutting them down.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Bob, I must disagree with Jim Duncan - on no account let your wife consign your hobby to a garden shed! Keep possession of your all-weather indoor wargame room at all costs!
    Arthur

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  10. Arthur1815,

    I suspect that Sue has already decided that the shed will be used as nothing more than a storage facility ... and that I will keep my existing toy/wargames room.

    All the best,

    Bob

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