Structure, yes. But first, look at all our beautiful pine nuts. Well, look at not-so-beautiful sacks, anyway; you'll just have to take my word for it that they're all full of beautiful pine nuts. 10 tons of them! All now dried and stored away, waiting for our shelling equipment to arrive (due sometime in December).
Ooh, and check out this sweet generator! That arrived the other day too, and after spending a day trying to get it to work we finally realized that at some point in the shipping process someone had bumped the safety "emergency off" button and that's why it wouldn't run. Reset that and presto! 48 kW of power, at our fingertips anytime we feel like spending $8/hour to run the thing.
But the really exciting recent development is the fact that there is actual structure going up on the site. I think for the first time it actually feels real, like there is an actual business there. The foundation, despite taking forever, is pretty much all underground now, so for a while it's just been a couple of stumpy walls and a floor, but now there is actual progress on top of that and a building is starting to take shape!
This is the 7-ton machine that was brought over the mountains into T-land to press the metal into the shapes we need to build the hangar-style building.
While we had the crane out there, we had him also move the temporary roofs we had built over our equipment. Everything had to get out of the way so that the actual roof could be built, and we are now using these roofs to keep the rain off of our coal and wood.
I'll put a video up that may help to explain this a bit, but this is how the machine looks in operation.
The first step is to press a roll of sheet metal into a "U" shape:
Then, you move that "U" shape over to the next part of the machine and run it back through, where it is bent into, well, a "U" shape relative to a different plane, preparing it to be a part of the roof:
The, you take the piece that you've just bent over to stack it on top of the others. There is a little machine that works like a giant electric can opener that then crimps the metal together from two strips, to seal them together. They stack the strips 5 high, sealing each piece to its neighbors:
Then, these 5-strip pieces are lifted into place by a crane:
For those of you who can't watch the video, this is basically what it looks like as the crane gets the piece of the roof together.
Then, these two guys come along and tap two bolts into each section, connecting each "U" to the steel corner piece, which is in turn welded every 2 meters to a piece of steel that is embedded deep into the foundation itself.
And that's where we're at. Nice, no? It actually is starting to look like a building!
Tomorrow the crew is planning to finish the first row of roofing, and then they need to put insulation down into each one of those "U's." Once that's done there's another level of sheet metal that keeps out the rain and looks nice that goes over all of that. Then we just have to put up the end walls (I know, "just") and we'll be done!
I figure we still have about a month of work left before the building is at least livable, but hey, that's not a bad thing as it means we'll be ready for our equipment to be delivered in December. Then we can actually start processing pine nuts, but at this stage I don't even want to start dreaming about that yet. Too many things in between here and there!
Thanks again for thinking of us - I have a busy couple of weeks ahead with our American investors coming in for a visit and then a trip up north to visit some colleagues, so please keep it up.