On the sixth layer, remove the Outer Panel of the ICEBOX® because the form is tilted enough that the snow doesn't slide off and it is nearly impossible to put snow into the form from the outside with the panel on. With the Outer Panel removed, the shoveler won’t have to lift the shovel of snow near as high and can help pack the snow. The shoveler's help in packing is needed because the form handler can't reach all the way to the bottom of the form to pack properly for the lower part of the blocks on the sixth layer.
The packing and holding techniques change after the U-Bar and Outer Panel are removed. The Form Handler will continue to pull slightly on the top left corner of the form with his left hand while he also puts support on the lower right corner of the Inner Panel with his right hand while the shoveler places snow and packs it.
The shoveler packs the snow in until the Form Handler can once again reach far enough to pack the snow. This generally only takes a couple shovels full of snow.
On the higher layers, the front corner of the previous block sticks out across the form and this extra snow is broken off by the Form Handler after he starts pulling on the top left corner and before he adds support to the bottom right corner of the Inner Panel.
The Shoveler then uses his fingers to pack this snow into the crack all along the form edges.
At this point, the snowflake design on the Inner Panel has traction on the snow resulting in the form locked in place. This is a very delicate lock at this point and care must be given not to bump or move the form. As the form gets fuller, the traction increases and it is not as critical to be careful.
This traction and support comes faster if the Shoveler builds at an angle from the wall to the previous block just as the Form Handler has been doing in the lower layers.
With the first shovel of snow, the Shoveler will pack the lower corner and build out from this. He must remember to keep the wall at full thickness. As it is hard for him to see how thick the wall is, some advice from the Form Handler is needed.
Once the Outer Panel is removed the the underlying theory of packing snow to snow, not snow to form, will become even more critical.
It is not necessary to fill the block all the way to the top of the End Panel because, when you move the form and reposition it, there will be a chunk sticking out. On the sixth layer this projection is not as noticeable and is convenient for the Form Handler to break off so the shoveler can quickly pack the edges and lock the form in place. On the higher layers the Form Handler can once again reach all the way to the bottom of the form so he just breaks up the projecting snow and repacks it.
If the projection is not broken off, there will be air gaps or cracks where the snow can't be packed and the traction needed to lock the form in place is less also. The extra snow is also extra weight sticking out into the air that will increase the chances of fracturing the block when you release the support of the pole.
Teamwork comes in handy when the Shoveler times his placements when the Form Handler is ready and supporting the form.
It is hard to get the snow high enough to put it into the form while getting up the ramp to the sixth layer and it is easier if it is put in over the U-Bar end as the form is going up hill and the U-Bar end is lower than the End Panel.
On the layers after the sixth layer, it is very important to place the snow with care. Usually, sliding the shovel up the wall and rotating it to dump the snow works best.
The shoveler can also push a bit with the shovel to pack the snow some so none of the snow slides off the igloo when he removes the shovel. This push pressure varies with snow conditions because with dry snow, the block can be broken if the push is to hard.
On the last blocks, the Form Handler is down in the igloo some making it hard to talk to the shoveler and once again team work comes in handy. It’s important to let each other know what is happening on the other side.
It works well to dump the snow by rotating the shovel and then apply a slight push to pack the snow so the snow doesn't fall down into the igloo when the shovel is removed.
When the last block is finished, remove any extra snow from the top of the igloo so the wall thickness is kept constant and there is no extra weight on top to make the igloo sag.
Use this forum for more advanced questions.
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