Ever since the earth tremor on the 5th January 2007 some caves in the area have developed hairline cracks in the plaster. Although nothing to be concerned about and actualy quite normal this was not good news as far as our digging project was concerned. The cave rock is exposed and although we could see that the rear of the cave had moved we decided to stop extending width wise and create a more narrow room with supporting RSJ's.
Whilst digging we are now supporting the ceiling of this room as we go, rsj's will be cemented into the walls to provide width support, once the cement has set the verticle supporting joist will be moved 2 feet nearer the back of the room as it dug out.
A shot from the back wall, approximatly 10 hours of digging and removing loose cave rock, 50+ wheelbarrows have gone out but the room is now twice the size it was
The first original supporting joist in the doorway, rocks are driven in above the beam between the cave ceiling, this will then be back-filled with cement. Once set this will be a sound support, surrounding plaster may crack which at first may be a slight worry however this is only due to the wooden beam expanding slightly due the moisture in the fresh cement mix.
Next up, Stage 3 - fitting the roof beams and more digging.