Saturday, July 07, 2007

Melting styrofoam (and braincells...)

In the previous post I mentioned I had no pictures to illustrate how they prepare the window openings in the SIPs by melting a channel in the insulation (see previous post for a more detailed explanation). Being that it is a summer Saturday and seeing as the kids were otherwise occupied, I headed over to the site to try to document the process before it's all over. Leo was happy to demonstrate on a piece of scrap SIP.

Leo wields the home-made melter. It is basically a big soldering iron ( I guess) whose heated coil is the width of a 2x4 (as well as the dimension of the SIPs' foam insulation) with a bar across to top to control the depth.

Leo sinks the heated end into the foam (like butter - really cool! He let me try ;-)

... and then draws it down, melting out the channel.

With a flick of the wrist, the foam is removed...

...leaving a channel just the right width and depth to accept a 2x4. When the windows are delivered and ready to go in, they will simply be fit into the opening and nailed into the 2x4 nailers. Pretty neat invention. It goes quickly, too. In just a couple of days these guys have cut nearly all of the window and door openings and installed the nailers.

It is great to see all these openings opening up around the house, letting in light in new and interesting ways. The windows designed by our architects are *anything* but "typical"- which I love. See the links to the architects' designs for the elevations of the Bare Hill Barn House in the post below and you'll see what I mean.

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