August 12, 2000
A more sunny day than yesterday. It's nice to come out of the mine to a nice warm sun.
Dave and I worked further on the timbering in the New Drift and have it almost completed to the face. The last cross piece we placed needed a leg placed on the right side of the tunnel because it seemed that there wasn't enough support in the hole we carved out of the wall. The post is going to give us a headache using the mucker though, it's very close to the tracks on that side. We'll have to be careful.
We need one more cross piece, with lagging and cribbing above it, to complete the timbering to the face and have it stay stable over the winter. We are thinking now that we won't make much more progress tunneling north but, instead, dig to the west towards Byron's pocket from last year. Time is running out very quickly and mining is time consuming.
Before we can complete the timbering, we need to square up the face with a couple of well placed shoots. Along with the shoots in the face we will also put in a couple of lifters for Byron in the pocket to give him more room to advance. Byron says he needs at least one day of sawing to be ready for the shoots, so it won't be until next week sometime before we can complete the job.
After timbering as much as we could we mucked out the face. Byron had to cut one boulder in half to make it manageable. It was just to large to be moved by the mucker and it was about 2/3 of it's original size since Byron cut off a third that had a tube of fluorite running through it.
The tunnel is now fully timbered and lagged from where the 'ankerized' limestone starts to near the face for about 15 feet. It's nice to work under safe conditions again. Cal told me the other day that when he first visited the mine several years ago there was a very nice pocket left in the face in Mick and Lindsay's tunnel. When he asked why they didn't dig it out, both Mick and Lindsey replied that they NEVER work more than 3 feet from an arch and the pocket was about 4-5 feet from their last steel arch. Now I see why that is prudent advice, especially along the vein as in their tunnel.
Near the end of the day Dave and I checked out the main drift, Mick and Lindsay's tunnel, to plan for the arch support. A few more small pieces had dropped from the ceiling but for the time being it seemed pretty stable even though there is a five inch gap running above the blocks of limestone. This ground doesn't give much warning when it collapses. Monday we will shoot a couple of places for the arch feet and also on the left side of the tunnel at the face.
Tomorrow we will take a much needed day off. I'm cooking a leg of lamb for an early dinner with Cal and Kerith and friends, so until Monday.....