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Building and Bushwork for
Selectors, Squatters, and others.
(WRITTEN FOR THE " TOWN AND COUNTRY
THE object of the papers prepared for publica- tion under the above heading ia to provide, in a concise form, information constantly required by employers and employed, especially in the country
districts of Australia.
The reason for adapting the subjects specially to bush requirements is obvious.
Take up any English work, and the materials specified, such as stone, lime, timber, &c., are those indigenous to or easily obtained in that country. But that does not answer for the bush, where the materials available on the spot must be utilized. Gum, stringy bark, black butt,
and other indigenous timbers must supply the place of oak, elm, ash, and so on, though widely different in character, and thus requiring differ- ent application.
Buildings designed for temperate climates are unsuitable here. Even a common pump would not apply precisely at the same depth of water. The country, its productions and necessities, are dif- ferent in every respect. The most intelligent Lon- don artisan landed on one of the back blocks, with nothing but the primeval forest around him, and instructed to erect a homestead, yards, &c., and furnish water supply, would not feel quite at home. He oould make out a bill of quantities, but the old veteran squatter would hand, him an axe, saw, and a few other tools, and pointing to the forest tell him to take his quantities out of
The river and the rail are reducing the distance from seaports to the far inland settlements, but for generations to come settlers will have to rely mostly on local products for improvements.
Another important consideration is, that there
are but few skilled workmen to be found in the bush, and comparatively few lads of the present day are apprenticed to useful trades. Take any inland town, and it is astonishing how few boys are to be found apprenticed. In the cities there are more, but not more than will usually find employment in the cities.
The prospect then is, that most improvements in the bush will be executed by unskilled labour. Under these circumstances, it is therefore desir- able that employers should understand the con- struction of ordinary works, a qualification very
It is not for one moment desired to depreciate the services of proper mechanics, or imply that any written instructions would bo equivalent to the knowledge acquired by serving an appren- ticeship to a trade.
The principles of construction here laid down are those wbich he would have practically learnt; for any departure from them would inevitably entail failure in the work, no matter what it may
An inexperienced tradesman, on the other hand, in framing any structure, might perhaps apply heavy timbers in the wrong way, which would thus only help to cripple the work, where a light spar in the right place would have pre-
vented any possibility of failure.
With every disposition to give a tradesman his due, it much too frequently happens that, unless executed under strict professional supervision his work does not stand. This sometimes arises from carelessness, sometimes from ignorance.
Take, for instance, a ordinary brick cottage, of the favourite but absurd colonial design; two rooms in front, and two skillion rooms behind, it is an exceptional case where the walls are not fraotured, and why? Because no provision has been made for unequal settlement, the arches are imperfect, or some other simple error in construc-
Now this is a very serious evil, because cracks may be pointed up, but the building can never be secure again. The joints are broken from one post subsiding, leaving the bond only to carry the other portion, which ia liable at any time to give
Arches carry tho superincumbent load ovor openings, and would do so beyond possibility of failure, if properly constructed.
In most cases thoy aro void of any principio of tho arch, and would not support themselves, but for tho iron bar which is usually built in for the pur- pose, and which ia quite unnecessary if tho abut monta aro good, as thoy ought to bo in any woll designed building.
When it is remembered that every rod of brick- work weighs over 16 tons, tUoro should bo somo
thing more reliable than a flat bar of iron. It io the weight of the brickwork or masonry that gives it stability, but the same weight causes its
destruction if the construction is bad.
There is no reason or excuse for any failure in a brick building, and no other precautions aro necessary than what aro given in the following pages, to insure that it will never fail, if these are faithfully carried out, for it is the very nature of good brickwork to improve with age.
A brick building ia instanced, but a wooden building should also stand in perfect order, till in the course of nature the material itself decays ; a catastrophe which can be deferred for a long time by artificial means.
The bulk of tho papers is original mattor, being the only Australian work of the kind, and within the scopo of my everyday practice. Other parts are common property, as it were ; for inatance, it would be hard to give my authority for the faotof 80 chains being a mile.
BUSH SAWPIT. V ' r
Particular facts are taken from two com-
panion vols, of Mr. llobort Scott Burn, the one carpentry and general framing, the other brick- laying and masonry, recently published by M'Gready, Thompson, and Niven, which are believed to be the two best works extant on thece particular subjeots.
Also tho splendid series of technical works published by Mr. Weale and the Messrs. Spon. Among the most talented authors who have con- tributed to these works, and thus indirectly to mine, are Messrs. Tredgold, Molesworth, Hurst, Dobson, Swindell, Heather, Allen, Burnell, Bland, Brooks, Beaton, Baker, Stevenson, Gen. Sir J. Burgoyne, and others.
In addition to the abovo we are indebted to Molesworth's " Pocket-book of Engineering For- mula," Hurst's " Architectural Surveyors' Hand- book," Yeoman's " Dictionary of Daily Wants," Spon's " Workshop Kecipes," Tomlineon's "Cyclopedia," Templeton's "Worshop Com- panion," and the American wcrkB of Vause, Woodwood, and others.
It ia unnecessary to refer particularly to any of
the numerous subjects set forth in a table of con-1 tents. It will bo found that the scope of contents is wide, embracing the falling of the tree, and splitting or sawing it into useful material, to the completion of the building, bridge, fence, or what- ever purposo to which it may bo appliod ; brick making, quarrying, lime burning ; the nature, weight, and strength of other materials; the principles of construction, measurement of tanks, earthworks, timber, &c. ; land surveying, aa far as sotting out or measuring areas of any shapo ; water supply, and the various mechanical appliancea for tho purposo; useful memoranda, tables and recipes, woolsheds and presses, home- steads and fiirm buildings, whima, bridges, fencing, tradesmonfs work of all kinds, quantities, specifications and agreements, management of stook,and amass of information which must be of great value to almost every Australian.
Tho papers might be more concise by adopting formulai instead of rules, but the author has ad- hered to the plan of introducing nothing that could not be understood by ordinary workmen, and avoiding all unnecessary technicalities.
As treated, the subjects will be fully illustrated. Our engraving represents the bush sawpit, in making which the moBt important thing ia to got good straight stringer« or side skids, marked a. Theso should bo 20ft or 25ffc long, about Oin diamotor, dressed flat, and perfectly straight on the upper edge. It is dosirablo to build one end against a tree for the shade, tho other end may rest on logs built up tho required height, as shown
Take a spar about 8ffc or lOffc long and 12in or Min diameter, and lean it against a tree, as shown at c, and this will carry the end of one stringer, the other rests in a notch in the log at d.
Tho opposite ends aro supported on tho crossed logs at b, the stringors being about 4ft apart.
The rolling up skids (c) aro 12ft or lGft long, according to tho height of the pit and slopo of ground, and should bo about 12in diameter, faced at the upper side. Ono end is sunk in the ground about 1ft, the othor rests on the side skid and ia dressed on tho uppor surfaco, so ns to be just lovel
with tho transoms.
The transoms, /, aro about Gffc long and Gin square, and should be vory Bound timber, as thoy carry the log.
Thero is tho woighing transom, on which the lover rests as a fulcrum in utting tho end of the log. Tho heading in transom at the head of the log, and tho tailing out trauBom at the other end
Thoro aro two others, on whioh Bhort planks aro laid, BO as to form a stage for tho topman in tail- ing out, À lighter ono is ¡generally kept under
the log or flitch called a trap transom. It is use- ful in weighing over a flitch with a small hand spike, or in case of ita slipping off tho other
The outrigger, g, is very useful ; as with two or three transoms across to the other stringer, it formB a handy place for stacking spare flitches. _
The pit is dug deep enough to allow the pit-
man's head to be about 6in clear of the tranBom.
Two uprights aro placed under the centre of the stringers, and the pit is finished and ready for
The log is rolled up the rolling-np skids by lovers, getting a purchase on tho glut h. It is kept in its place -with chocks, while the glut ia brought forward each time, till you get it on the
To prevent the log rolling over tho other sido of the pit, chocks are placed on tho transoms, which should bo covered with eawdust; and two
I spare, or levers, are stood on end in the pit, lean«
ing against the stringer, which check the dog should it roll over the chocks. These spars are
The tailing-out transom receives the tail of the log ; the heading-in transom is placed about 3f t> or 4ft from the large end of the log. The Bmall end ie secured on the transom with chocks and dogs; the large end IB weighed up with the lever, while the chocks are pushed under on the transom, and as he log is let down they jamb and secure the log.