Today I spent the day oiling the finished floor of the lower cell at Allerton Abbey (as well as the edges of the experimental bunkroom floor) while the rest of the boots were planting stuff. The experimental floor is now finished, except for drying, but the cob floor needs more oil.
A few notes:
The cob floor in the lower cell absorbed oil much more quickly than the experimental floor did, which isn't surprising, since the experimental floor already had oil mixed into it to begin with. I put eight coats onto the cob floor today, and it still needs more (the oil is still being absorbed very quickly).
When applying the linseed oil, we leave the edges of the floor unoiled and come back later with a smaller brush due to potential wicking issues/not wanting to ruin the plaster walls with stray linseed oil. When going back over the edges of the experimental floor, I noticed some wicking up the wall from the last time I had oiled the edges (over a week ago). It was pretty minor, a few millimeters at most. This occurred despite having reserved the edges and gone back later with a small brush, so today I stopped the oil application a couple of millimeters away from the wall instead of going right up to it with the small brush.
The cob floor wicked much more dramatically in a much shorter period of time. Possibly because it's more absorptive, or because it contains manure fibers? The oil I applied before lunch wicked across approximately three inches of dry edge in many spots, although it didn't really hurt anything, because the lower edge of whitewashed wall has to be repaired anyway (it was damaged during the laying in of the finish floor). It wicked more dramatically at the edges where my brushstrokes were perpendicular to the wall (probably since more oil is deposited at the end of the brushstrokes); some wicking occurred where my brushstrokes ran parallel to the wall, but not nearly as much.
The process of applying the oil removed a lot of sand from the floor. The areas where Fred had burnished the finish floor held up much better; the areas that were not burnished (due to time constraints) are a bit pockmarked now where a lot of sand was rubbed out by my brushstrokes. The value of burnishing the floor is more apparent after oiling than before, when it seemed barely noticeable.
You and the boots have done an amazing job. What a huge change from June when I saw it last. I like the artistic touches and attention to detail. I'm looking forward to reading about how it does over the winter.
Congratulations on your new feline companion. I can't imagine living without kitties.
I woke up at 6:30 this morning and started up the tracking thermometers to begin the thermal inertia test. The four thermometers are placed: outdoors away from the Abbey, on the outside of the front exterior wall, on the inside of the same wall, and on one of the mass walls in the bedroom far from the stove.
After that, I built a fire in the stove to make my morning tea. Allerton Abbey was 61.6 degrees Fahrenheit in my bedroom, so it wasn’t too bad getting out of bed. When I checked the outdoor temperature a few minutes after waking up, it was below freezing (30.4). Inside the Abbey, it was even warmer in the front room than in my bedroom (64.1), so I got dressed and sat on the sofa there to enjoy my tea and write up this journal before heading to basecamp at 7:30 to join everyone for boot camp.
Yesterday evening I returned to the Abbey a little before 8:00 after a day of bootcamp, did some chores, and made a quick soup for dinner. Furniture was being moved in and out of the Abbey during the day, letting cold air in, and no one had been inside cooking or hanging out while I was gone, but the temperature inside was still in the 60s when I returned. I ate my supper and went to bed a little after 9:00.
This morning when I woke up at 6:15, it was just below 60 in my bedroom, and just above 60 in the front room, while it was 26.7 degrees outside. I lit a fire for my morning tea, made a PB&J, got ready for the day, and headed out for bootcamp at 7:30 after finishing my breakfast.
Yesterday morning, we worked at the Abbey for a little while before lunch unloading a trailer load of junkpoles for the Abbey fence. Dave and I were chilly, so we put the kettle on while we worked and had a cup of tea afterward to warm up on the way to load more junkpoles.
I came back to the Abbey a little before 8:00 yesterday evening and lit the fire to make supper. When I was getting ready for bed, the indoor temperatures were hovering around the low 60s, and it was just over 40 degrees outside.
This morning I slept in till 7:00 before getting up and making my breakfast. It was 60 degrees inside when I woke up, and in the mid-30s outside. Then I got ready and met Fred and the other boots to begin work.
Last night, I was enjoying hanging out with everyone at basecamp, so ate dinner there and didn’t come back to the Abbey till late or have a fire to cook on. This morning, I slept in until almost eight (Saturday!) and then did chores and caught up on personal projects for a while before starting the fire for tea and breakfast at 9:00, before heading to basecamp around noon to catch up on laundry.
I have finished oiling the floor of the lower cell now, including the the edges, so all the work on the floors is finished until spring. On Monday, we’ll be moving some furniture from the front room down to the lower cell. The Abbey is starting to look decently homey, and I am really enjoying being here.