the positions of the four piles were marked on the ground the
job of drilling the holes began. The holes had to go down
about 16 ft. Granite had been used as backfill in many places
when the town was built and we were worried that the drilling
rig might be stopped by a large boulder. Fortunately that did
One thing we did
hit was water which wouldn't be unreasonable as the Winnipeg
River is just in the background.
drilling the cages were lowered into the holes using a
backhoe. They were positioned and secured at the correct
elevation. The concrete was then poured. As some of the holes
had water in them, concrete was added until the majority of
the water had been forced out.
The completed piles
were 16 inches in diameter. There are two on the north-south
line and two on the east-west. This photo is taken facing
up the dial plate to within 6 inches of its final elevation
took almost a week and many loads of crushed limestone.
Limestone was chosen as it would provide the most stable base
and hopefully help prevent movement from frost. For proper
compaction the base was built up in short lifts and compacted
thoroughly at each stage.
This work was
carried out by inmates of the Milner Ridge Correctional Centre
and supervised by a local contractor, Norm Voss, who has many
years of experience in construction.
completed base for the dial plate is elevated so that the
final height of the finished dial plate is 18 inches above the
parking lot curb. Most of it is
located on the bed of an old road. This made building it up a
little tricky as one corner is located on the slope of the
road. However, the elevation of the final base was very
accurate over its entire area.
The photo on the
right shows the drainage pipes for the gnomon. There was some
concern that leaving the gnomon to oxidize would result in
staining of the completed dial plate from rusty water running
across it. To resolve this a drainage system was set up under
the gnomon. The three black pipes are joined together
underground and go to a nearby ditch. Plastic weeping tile,
not yet installed, is connected to these pipes, laid between
the piles, and set in a bed of gravel. Any water coming off
the gnomon is collected by the drainage system and taken away
through the underground piping. And it really works too! This
system was installed by volunteer Bill