|The platform named "Karl" was the last structure to be built during
the first development stage. It was done during a New
Zealand winter. The building materials were already taken to
the location in autumn and the tools and generator followed at the beginning of July when it was
already very wet, so wet that no tractor or 4 wheel bike would get through.
The generator had to be pulled on a sledge by hand through the wet Hokianga mud.
First temporary trial with timber to position the main beams.
|The platform is "glued" onto a big
boulder with 9 Bowmac Special
fittings using epoxy resin. Each bracket is capable of supporting over
kg. That would total a load of 27,000 kg, which would be about 340 people of
80 kg. Not that we would ever have so many people on it, but according to
calculations a much smaller rod could take the load. The size has been chosen to
ease the mind of tourists, who might be scared to entrust their lives on 9 bolts of
10 mm diameter.
Bowmac Special Fitting on 16 mm rod drilled into basalt rock.
|The first main beam was only put onto two
brackets, as I was working alone and there was nobody around who could secure me on
a rope. The view over the valley is just stunning and the markings on the boulders
on the other valley side are phenomenal. The size of the beams is 200 by 100 mm. They are
supported on both ends and in the middle, to take a load of 500 kg/m2. I think
I could park the bulldozer on this platform.
First main beam on just two brackets
|All three main beams are in place and soon
the joists will be fixed to the beams. The construction is designed in a way that no
nailing plates or other standard brackets are used. All stresses are passed on by
direct contact (timber to timber or timber to steel). As well, no stresses are passed
on through the stainless steel bolts, except the horizontal forces that
act on the posts
of the rails. The entire construction is bolted and no nails are used at all except
for temporary fixtures or to nail down the planks. All bolts are used just to hold the
timber in place.
All three main beams in place: some supports are still missing.
|Three posts for the handrail on the left side
are bolted onto the main beams and the joists. This ensures a strong connection
between the beams, joists and posts. The size of the posts is 100 x 100 mm.
The whole platform will be stronger than our cattle yard, but then
cattle know how to act, whereas some tourists not used to the wild and raw nature of
New Zealand's back blocks cannot know the dangers and risks, so we better make sure
they do not come to any harm at all.
The joists are laid out and the posts for the left hand rails are in place. Two
supports are still missing.