[ENG] Construction 72: The under-stair closet (1) - slate crazy paving

15/06/16 | ۩ |

The 360° tour over the floors of the Domus (main entrance, small loggia, main loggia, warehouse and service room) is now completed and it's time for the last area remained unfinished to be cobbled: this is the under-stair closet.
Actually it is made of two different areas, one of them smaller and accessible only from the other through a tiny opening and some brick steps.

Both rooms are set inside the perimeter of the tower and get contained by its huge stone walls.
The bigger one, set under the stone staircase that brings to the upper floor, will hold the woodshed. Here will be stored the firewood to fuel the whole Domus, including the kitchen.
The smaller room, initially thought as a simple recess into the wall and then extended over the vault of the cellar, could be used also as a storage closet for tools or small branches.

In the following picture, where I placed a real size sketch of the vertical section over the real structures, you can get an image of what the room will look like once finished.

This drawing will be useful to define the slope of the staircase during the laying of every step. The blocks will be visible from the under-stair room, actually forming its ceiling.

Before the laying of the floor, it is necessary to define the perimeter of the room by raising the walls. The gravel I use for their construction is quite harder to shape than slate. The reason of this choice lies in the attempt of diversify the structure of the tower from the rest of the Domus. Even if it needs a bit more effort and patience to be managed, it is possible to create sufficiently regular shaped walls with this stone.
The glue is the same I used for every other wall, although I noted that it needs more time to dry on the gravel. Maybe the reason is the irregular shape of the blocks that leaves bigger joints to fill.
Anyway, you can see below the result of this first stage of masonry work.

When the first lines of stone are placed on every side and a doorstep slightly raises the level of the floor, I'm ready to start flooring the room.
This time I'll try another simple method: natural split stones layed in a random pattern, a paving technique commonly used to make garden paths or to cobble cellars and courtyards.

To make the tiles for my floor, I cut a thick slate bar into flakes with hammer and chisel. Then I select the best fragments arranging them to form a sort of mosaic, cutting or polishing some corner to make them join together.
Once the composition is completed, I remove all the flakes and I put them again in position one by one, pasting them to the cement base.

Final touch, the filling of joints with cement slurry and a cleaning with a damp sponge to remove the dirt. And now the slate crazy paving is really finished!

slate flakes, gravel, Das modeling clay, cement, water, vinyl glue

tweezers, sandpaper, file, pincers, brush, sponge, chisel, hammer

SIZES (in cm):
under-stair closet: 6,5 x 3
door: width 2,5; expected height 4
walls thickness: 2 / 2,5


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