Monday, 25 January 2016

Dojo Build - Days Before Christmas.

Well, I have spent a good part of my summer holiday building a private dojo on my property. I am happy with the progress knowing that I am back to work this week.

In this blog I'm going to take you through the process from start to the current situation (or close too, I'm always out there painting or nailing). 

In the beginning...
The above photo is what I started with, this is approximately a 5 m x 7 m area of my shed. It has a concrete floor with a mechanic's pit covered by boards. As I am not a huge car enthusiast, I was happy to build over the pit and leave it there for resale in the future (in a good 17 years or so). I sealed the concrete to reduce moisture coming up. The pit was already painted on the inside. 

The first step was designing and building a sprung floor. I asked my wife's cousin to help with the dojo build as he was a professional builder. Needless to say, without Andy on board, I wouldn't have got nearly as far so quickly. 

I had some plans given to me from a training colleague at the Hamilton dojo but I modified them as I went based on cost and the space I was working with. 

Laying the framing for the sprung floor.
The floor is composed of 45 mm x 70 mm joists sitting on pads of high density EVA foam, 100 mm x 100 mm x 40 mm. The original plans had 45 mm x 45 mm joists but Andy was concerned with the wood warping and twisting so, taking his advice we went wider by 25 mm (1 inch). The pads are glued to the joists but not to the concrete. The floor wasn't perfectly level in places and you can see in the picture below we added expanding foam in places to make up for this. A solid timber frame sits around the outside to stabilise it. 
Putting on the plywood flooring.
Over the joists we laid 19 mm flooring plywood. These sheets fit with a tongue and groove system and are screwed down with 150 mm centres. Usually the screws would be 300 mm a part but we didn't glue the sheets to allow for the floor to be lifted if maintenance is required. This took over 700 screws to do! The end result is a solid floor that provides some 'give' with hard impact. I am very pleased with this result as the design is original and Andy had never built anything like it before. With judo tatami on top it will be great.

The internal wall goes up.
While I was busy screwing in 700 or more screws, Andy put up the framing for the internal wall. We left a space for a door in that wall to give access to the rest of the shed. You can see also at this stage that access to the shed is through a tilting garage door. That was destined to disappear!

Truss removed.
The next thing we did was to remove the middle truss of the training area. I wanted this done to increase head height and allow for weapon practice. Andy reinforced the remaining rafters and trusses with extra timber. By the way, the pink building timber is typical here in NZ. It is painted to show that it is chemically treated against insects and moisture. Pink signifies H1 treatment. Untreated timber is not coloured.

By this stage we had built a sprung floor, the internal wall framing and increased the head-height. This happened in about 2 and a half days just before Christmas. 

To be continued...

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