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Posted by: on 12/12/2016
Our second cohort has just completed their third week at the PCA training facility in Huntingdon. We covered a range of subjects in both the classroom and practical area.
In the classroom, we looked at the identification of wood boring insects, specific treatments requiredfor each species, wood decayingfungi covering both wet & dry rot. The students were taught how to distinguish between the various fungi as well as the appropriateform of treatment needed for each. Live samples were available for the students to visually inspect which assists in identifying the bore dust and particular damage resulting from various infestations. Our live dry rot sample was also inspected and discussed.
We covered the biology of many common timbers and the process of timber production from the growth of sustainable timber species through to the sawmill process.
In the practical area, they completed a number of tasks such as:
Removing a brick panel (setting aside the bricks for re-use) to allow for the cleaning of the cavities followed by reinstatement of the brick work using lines and pins to ensure a perfect finish. They were taught variouspointing finishes.
Installing new air bricks using both straight and telescopic cavity sleeves. This involved working out the correct height for the air bricks to be installed.
We tested various methods of chemical dpc installation and discussed the positives and limitations of each system.
We appliedfungicidal and insecticidal fluids to both timber and masonry to establish techniques to ensure that the correct loading was achieved and which products were most suitable in different scenarios.
And they were then taught how to cut an access hatch in a timber floor with the minimumof disturbance and damage to the surrounding floor finishes.
All in all a very varied 4 days covering a diverse range of subjects both technical and practical.
Written tests were applied after each classroom session.
The enthusiasm and willingness of the students to expand their knowledge continues to impress.