Originally posted by TCLynx on AGC, Nov 7, 2010
Raft Bed Saga Part 3
Grrrr, Here is what I found this morning when I cam out to see how the raft bed did filled over night. The Stays didn’t, stay that is, they sprung off. I must admit I didn’t secured them very well.
The bed was bowing out even wider than before. So I set the pump to draining it to the sump tank. I set the main grow beds to hold water so hopefully I wouldn’t loose too much to the sump tank overflowing and I headed to the store for 12 3 foot fence stakes (the green metal ones with the little flanges on the bottom to help keep them from twisting.) and a big heavy post installer thing (Not sure what you call them but I love it, I wish I had gotten one long ago. I’ll be pounding in posts all over the place just for the heck of it now!)
So how bout more pictures.
This was the image this morning.
So off to the store I went!
While I was out I found a few more handy tools I wanted. Some Fence pliers, definitely better for bending this heavy wire than the channel lock were.
And when I got back the bed was drained enough to hook up the ratchet straps.
See I knew this whole bowing thing was likely to be a problem. I did want to see how much of a problem before I went and got the stakes, just in case they wouldn’t be needed. But showing this process off will hopefully prepare others for the likely hood of such bowing of most any minimally reinforced gravel or water bed.
It also gives me the opportunity to show off favorite tools. Long time favorite are the ratchet straps, I’ve managed to do all sorts of amazing things with the help of these and here is just one more opportunity. Now see in the background there. That gray pipe with the handles, now that is a new favorite! Pounded in those little 3 foot stakes like cutting through warm butter, well I did have to pull the pounder off and flip it over for the last several inches since I wanted the post below the top edge of the bed. Anyway, far easier to pound in a stake or post with this thing than trying to do it with a sledge (where one is almost as likely to hit themselves as the stake.)
And the stakes are all in
Here we are filled back up. The sides are now angling in a bit even. I’ve re-installed the stays in a different fashion now so they help hold the top together between the stakes and they also help secure where the fence sections meet. I don’t think they can spring off now.
The wire arch bits are standing by to be installed over the stays to hold screen or frost blanket to keep the leaves and crepe myrtle seeds out of the bed.
Now my only worry is that with all the extra work I’ve now done, I rather want it to work out as a raft bed.
However, this old billboard liner is definitely a bit brittle. Any little abrasion seems to rip the material. I noticed this working along the top edge. I don’t really hold much hope for bio-slime being able to stop the seeping and weeping as I noticed one leak that was more like a spray. Will see what I find in the morning.
This experience with handling the PVC liner material does not make me a fan. I know this bit is old (It was free too) but I would hope that liner material would have more than a few year life span. I know the EPDM can last.
If buying liner, I don’t think I will pay for any PVC liner material. Free might be one thing but if I’m gonna pay for it, I’ll pay for the stuff I know is durable over time and is tough enough to be installed without getting leaks.