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--- A NEW BUILDING SYSTEM IS BORN --- This is the system I'll build my walls with, once approved.

Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
------------------- A NEW BUILDING SYSTEM IS BORN ------------------- This is an idea which I touched on during my first week on the forum but nobody was interested. Soon, I will have photographic and video evidence of further testing. When I first moved to B.C. 18 years ago I discovered cedar bark which had been mixed up with clay soil by logging equipment. The truck tracks dried hard in the sun, but the material was much lighter than regular dirt and difficult to break up. At the time I envisioned using it in cordwood construction. Now, I see it as infill for a post and beam or truss wall system. The material only needs to bear its own weight, so it needs enough clay binder to hold it together but would not require sand or other agregate which would lower the R value.

THE PHOTOS
This is the left over thin strips of wood and bark mixed with sawdust which I loaded into the bin. It packs really well when damp. Believe it or not, this crap could become the most valuable building material here. Mixed with a clay binder,it will be quite strong due to all of the stringy bark and wood strips which criss-cross in all directions. Many of the scraps are pointed at one end and blunt on the other. This makes them well suited to being used as pegs to lock successive corses together. This replacement for straw clay has several advantages.

1. It has a negative value, so I can get paid for its disposal.

2. Being cedar, it is naturally rot resistant, anti fungal and repellant to many bugs and vermin. Cedar chips, bark and sawdust have all been used as insulation historically. The shelf life of wet materials is long without deterioration.

3. Walls that take a long time to dry won't be nearly as prone to rot or mold as would similar straw-clay walls.

4. It is easily mixed with clay simply by driving a Bobcat over it numerous times.

5. After mixing it can be easily fluffed for partial drying before incorporation into the walls.

6. Most mills have some sort of loader which could be used for mixing in the clay. They pay to get rid of this stuff. All could be mixed on the giant slab of concrete at the mill and sent to the building site in bins as ready-mix. Slam, bam, done.

I started a thread called "Mechanized Green Building" where I propose many methods of mixing earth mixes. The Cedar mill 1 mile from my place has a giant loader. If I can swing a clean up deal there, then I'll only require a plaster mixer.

It's late at night. Tomorrow I'll insert some sketches and further explanation.

This is a done deal for me. After 7 months on the forum and an exhaustive search of every earth building and alternative building system on earth, I have decided that this makes the most sense for my situation on an island where straw is expensive but I can be paid to remove a superior building material. There is absolutely no talking me out of this. I would welcome any ideas on how to improve the product or the system.

Check out the thread entitled "FREE FIREWOOD FRENZY --- GAVE AWAY 45 LOADS SO FAR" in the frugality section. I made $2000 this week, cleaning up that cedar mill, so I'm not speculating or guessing about availability or workability of the product. The photos below are from that project.


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QUOTES FROM MEMBERS --- In my veterinary opinion, pets should be fed the diet they are biologically designed to eat. Su Ba...The "redistribution" aspect is an "Urban Myth" as far as I know. I have only heard it uttered by those who do not have a food forest, and are unlikely to create one. John Polk ...Even as we sit here, wondering what to do, soil fungi are degrading the chemicals that were applied. John Elliott ... O.K., I originally came to Permies to talk about Rocket Mass Heaters RMHs, and now I have less and less time in my life, and more and more Good People to Help ! Al Lumley...I think with the right use of permie principles, most of Wyoming could be turned into a paradise. Miles Flansburg... Then you must do the pig's work. Sepp Holzer
Fred Morgan
steward

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 961
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
    
  11
I think one of the concepts most central to being successful is "there is no such thing as waste".

Anytime I see things around us piling up, my first thought is "so, where can I use this.... or surely it can be used"

Another part of this is seeing plants that animals like sheep won't eat. I can get out there with a machete can cut it down, I can pull them out by hand, or I can find an animal that does like to eat them... I prefer the last. Surely something eats them is my thought!


Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 793
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    8
Hi Dale,

I liked that thread you started on Mechanized Green Building. There were some intriguing and informative posts there. My particular focus is Compressed Earth Block, and assembling as much as possible entirely off-the-shelf for a bolt-together (as in Designed for Deconstruction) hydraulic press and hopper with a vibrating block to squeeze out air bubbles, with molds for structural block, a roofing tile system (half or quarter-cylinder tiles designed to interlock), and pressed tapered tubes for the movement of water on-property. Your revelation about cedar fiber waste that you mix with clay as a byproduct of normal millyard activity is genius. I have thought for a while that adding soaked fiber to a dry mix just before pressing would be an ideal way to introduce a controlled amount of moisture to dry portland or any natural analog that sets after it is wet, and to add structural integrity to the individual masonry units. I think, though, that I will try your method of mixing the fibrous matter with clay, and then just pressing the whole shebang. You can guess from my slant that I prefer building systems that are entirely structural, as opposed to infill (no criticism intended, just a personal difference of opinion). I like the idea of structures that, if well-built, could measure their lifespans in centuries, and one integrated with the environment, like a WOFATI design, would be ideal for someone contemplating a food and land-use system designed to last as long.

Again, don't let anyone tell you not to try it! If you could take all the observational data you can over a season or two after the build, and inside vs. outside temperatures, I'd love to know how it holds up. It sounds intriguing.

-CK
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 5844
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
  88
That's even better than FREE...getting paid to haul it off!
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
John Polk wrote:That's even better than FREE...getting paid to haul it off!


I charge for many services which produce needed resources. Need bricks - chimney removal, need firewood - tree service, need posts - lot clearing, building components - demolition services. Now if I could just find a nice lady willing to pay for ...

The photos --- 1. Saturday morning was very frosty. The photo on my camera, shows every little crystal but not so much here. At first I thought I would be stalled until it melted, but then I remembered some wood that was up high and needed to slide 50 ft. sideways toward the loading area. A customer helped me to move some big slabs to form an ice railway. In a short time we slid down enough material to fill his truck.

2. Here I am using this pole to roll a bunch of crap off of good slabs. The power of the lever.

3. Usually if someone is standing in front of their new house, and it looks anything like this, it means that something horrible has happened.


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Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
--- There are plenty of big slabs that could be used to form wall trusses. Few could be used as posts, but many are stronger than standard 2x12, so as a 4 sided truss with an angle brace they would be overkill. The plan would be to snap chalk lines inside both sharp outer edges and cut with a circular saw,from the flat side, to produce slabs 2 inches thick at their narrowest and thicker toward the center. I'll get a really straight aluminum marking stick which can be nailed to the slabs as a guide. Everything in the wall trusses will be nailed flat side to flat side. This will be done inside a jig so that all is nice and square. In the end this sort of wall truss will differ from one of milled lumber only in that one of the sides is rounded and therefore stronger.

The entire wall truss will be encased in the wood-clay matrix, so the roundness of one side of each framing member will be covered over. Angle Braces and top and bottom boards lock the truss system together so that the entire structure is much stronger than a typical post and beam. The matrix will add more strength to an already powerfully built wall.




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Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 793
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    8
I don't know, Dale, I kinda like the whole idea of overbuilt. I was wondering if you are going to have a conventional roof, or if you are going for a WOFATI-style green roof.
It would be hard to overbuild if you're designing it to support, say, three feet of dirt and a food forest .

-CK
Mariah Wallener


Joined: Feb 02, 2011
Posts: 144
Location: Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, Canada
Have been enjoying reading your posts, and will be watching this one with much interest as well...

Q: are you saying that mixing it with clay will provent insects from wanting to eat it or live in it? Or does the plaster take care of that as it does with straw bales?


Permie Newbie. ruralaspirations.wordpress.com
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 793
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    8
Mariah,

Cedar itself is moderately antifungal, and I think fragrant conifers suffer fewer pest problems, hence the use of cedar as an untreated lumber used for outdoor and marine applications. At least I see it used a lot that way.

-CK
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
Yes, Mariah, cedar is bug repellent. That's why a few cedar sticks in a closet, protects the clothes from moths. It's the wood of choice for fences, decks, siding and roofing. The older cedar lasts longer. All of those totem poles in Duncan are made of cedar. Native carvers grabbed hundreds of carving blocks from this project, some for outdoor use.

These walls will be kept bone dry once completely finished but in our rainy winters, it will be nice to work without the shelf life issues that plague many other wall types. I would have no problem with infilling walls in December.

When packed into a container, the matrix packs quite well and most voids are filled. It tends to produce voids up against flat form boards. I don't see this as a problem. The millions of little surface voids add to the surface area, which facilitates faster drying. Surface irregularities will ensure that the earth plaster keys into the face well. I will use a shovel handle to create more voids.

Once form pressure is removed, many little sticks will spring clear of the surface. These protruding bits are the first to dry out, since they are exposed to the air. They will draw moisture from deep inside the wall. Later, they can be trimmed somewhat above flush and they will aid in plaster adhesion. I'm naming these "air wicks". Only a few hours after a hard rain, I gathered some air wicks which I used to build a fire. It was sunny and windy.
Brian Knight


Joined: Nov 02, 2011
Posts: 363
Location: Asheville NC
    
    7
I think its just as good as any earthen wall system if not better thanks to the cedar. Its one of the more permaculturelike solutions Ive seen for a wall system. I suppose it would still be considered a "mass wall"? What kind of R values are you guys required to achieve up there for mass walls? In the states right below you its 13-17 I think..


"If you want to save the environment, build a city worth living in." - Wendell Berry
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 793
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    8
Dale,

I love the air wick idea, though I think the name might already be trademarked. Please let me know how it all turns out, and pictures would be greatly appreciated. Oh, I'm assuming some variety of conventional roof?

-CK
Peter DeJay


Joined: Aug 10, 2011
Posts: 103
Location: Southern Oregon
I too agree that this sounds like a fantastic and promising system. I have been a fan of light clay-straw since I heard about it, and this sounds as good or better. I love end slabs of wood, with a flad side and a natural side, and i would probably try to include as many as possible so they are showing inside the house. That's so great you have such a fantastic resource at your disposal, it is going to inspire me to look into some of the local mills here. I am looking forward to following this as it unfolds! =)
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
Chris Kott wrote:Dale,

I love the air wick idea, though I think the name might already be trademarked. Please let me know how it all turns out, and pictures would be greatly appreciated. Oh, I'm assuming some variety of conventional roof?

-CK


No, on the conventional roof. Mine will be an aquaponic roof. A gently sloped grow bed with the highest point facing south. The entire system is documented in a thread entitled --- Green roof becomes perfect spot for aquaponics grow bed --- I don't know how to make links, so I'll update that thread and bring it to the top.

On the air wick thing --- There's a weird way of slowly poisioning your family with perfume from an automatic sprayer. Similar to bug killers in chicken barns. People pay good money to smell like a pansy, rather than take the time to clean up the stinking messes festering in their trailer park homes. The smell is similar to but not as headache inducing as those awful "car fresheners".
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 793
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    8
I hear you there, Dale. The whole industry is a by-product of laziness and the whole ziploc bag home envelope concept. I much prefer systems where your heat is locked up in your walls and floors, even traditional hydronic central heat, with hot water and rads and all that. At least you can open a window and clear things out without bankrupting yourself heating the place back up again. One of the biggest things with air quality in homes is the number of air exchanges. If the quality of each successive air exchange is diminished by either an improper filter, insufficient filtration, dirty ducts, or perhaps a general lack of maintenance, after a while, but before your furnace konks out from lack of proper heat dispersion due to lack of air flow, the levels of air contamination can become a truly scary thing, and that's not even mentioning those, like me, who suffer from allergies.

As to linking that thread, just go to it, select the address line (www.permies.com/forums/whatever...), copy it, and paste it into the next posting for this thread. It hyperlinks automatically, like those damnable smilies, just check it out in the Preview.

As to the aquaponic green roof, how are you planning on dealing with the weight? I like your wall panel design, and the idea of using end slabs is genius. I would almost think, though, that you'd leave some of the rounded surfaces exposed for their aesthetic value. I would love to see a floor plan with structural details and perhaps a brief overlay of what the green roof and aquaponics set up will look like.

I've been toying with the idea myself, because as you pointed out, an aquaponic set up on a green roof is simply a logical extension in some climates. I would be interested in hearing about the measures you are going to take to keep your aquaponic roof from becoming an indoor pool, too .
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
Chris Kott wrote:

As to the aquaponic green roof, how are you planning on dealing with the weight? I like your wall panel design, and the idea of using end slabs is genius.

I would be interested in hearing about the measures you are going to take to keep your aquaponic roof from becoming an indoor pool, too .


Notice how I edited the first sentence of quote to end with the word genius. The wall panels will be spaced to give adequate strength on the outer edges and everywhere else,I'll simply build to suit the load. My cost for extra support is low. Sometimes it will be less than nothing as I charge to remove trees. So, I have no reason to cheap out on support.

As for the roof leaking, the membrane will be protected on both sides with carpeting and the part facing the soil will have additional landscape cloth to prevent perforation. No intention to cheap out on any portion of that either.

The round portion of slabs faces the clay-chip matrix. The two inch thick sawn edge is what faces out and in. These surfaces will all be covered so there is no break in plastered surfaces. There will be plenty of other places to view wood with giant slabs made into window seats, whole tree support beams, big driftwood stumps as tables and seating. I find log homes opppressive with all of the bumpy wood on every surface, so often done in the same puke yellow. Nice off white natural plaster suits my taste. I created the thread --- Natural and Industrial Artifacts included inside house , which shows the sorts of things that will be included.---- and the link thing didn't take --- When the address pops up, I move toward it and it dissappears.
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 793
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    8
Cool. I've seen it mentioned in a couple of places that carpeting contains toxic chemicals that can contaminate your soil. I can see why you'd want to use carpet on the outside to protect the moisture barrier from damage, but that would entail soil contact, and I'd imagine that if you want a green roof with aquaculture, you don't want to poison your food source.

I like what you've detailed of your structural plans. I think that if I were to go the same route, I would make either open right-angle pillars (two slabs joined on each thick edge at a 90 degree angle, to make a corner) or a hollow, four-sided pillar out of four slabs, and as many of those as necessary by the numbers to support the roof load on lintels between them. I would then use the structual wall panels you've designed. I know it's overkill, but I figure if you combine two systems seamlessly, each of which could carry your roof load by itself, you would be able to have a dry-soil insulative layer, and then a living soil layer on top. Huge soil means huge root systems, no?

I also get what you're saying about log cabins with that same honey-woodgrain colour. That look holds nostalgia for me, as my paternal grandparents had a couple of cabins finished in that way. While I would definitely like some of that look, perhaps just soft pine floorboards and some feature walls, I feel the same way about artificial wood panelling as you do about log cabin interiors ad nauseum.

-CK
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
All roof insulation will be inside the roof and none of it will be soil. Cellulose, the re-cycled newsprint variety is free from my demolition projects.

I'm going the bare minimum soil thickness that works,even if that means eliminating some species of plants from the system. This will all be tested on a much smaller structure.
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 793
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    8
I've thought for a while about putting together a guild for an extremely shallow soil layer. It will be focussed on my region, but I would imagine that such a guild would be good for your project, as well as for increasing the soil layer in conditions where more soil is needed. The other consideration you might want to keep in mind is that a successful green roof will do what normal soil-based ecosystems do: make soil. Soil will accumulate. Also, a green roof will likely be less steeply sloped than a conventional roof, and for that reason will accumulate snow where applicable. I don't know what snow loads look like on Vancouver Island, in some places nonexistant some seasons, so I hear, so you may be fine, but I know that I would have some serious structural considerations were I to have a green roof here, where without clearing it off, a bad season could see six feet of accumulation.

I'd love to know what you're planning on putting on your green roof, and to what uses you are going to put it. What are you envisioning for your aquaculture project?

-CK
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
The slope will be 1/12 or similar. Only the grow bed will be on the roof,with the fish tank below. Snow load is a concern and I will build for it. I will plant all manner of vegtables and see which ones thrive. Rather than try to provide ideal conditions for any particular crop, I will provide a flow of nutrient rich water and determine which plants accept the conditions. Some tweaking will no doubt be needed to determine what works.
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 793
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    8
I like that approach, Dale. Food crops? And what are you planning on raising in your tank(s)?

-CK
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
I'll start off with some of the more valuable fish such as yellow perch and channel catfish. Might also try clams etc. But I may settle on carp or talapia in some combination. Again, I will provide an environment and species that thrive will be favoured.

I've never been one to fuss with trying to grow plants that don't belong in my climate. While some like to fiddle with palm trees, exotic orchids and emus, I prefer betting on species that are naturally resilient.
Chris Kott


Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 793
Location: Toronto, Ontario
    
    8
That's pretty much how I feel. I'm very fond of the idea of Landrace breeds, that is, ones that went feral from human supported populations and thrived in the wild over time. There are species of goat that fit that bill, but in every case, as you can imagine, the specific environment is different. For where I am, I like animals that would thrive in an oak savannah, so everything from wild boar to bison, certain smaller breeds of cattle bred in isolation in harsh terrain, like the West Highland Cattle, short-legged shaggy-coated survivors. I'd like to encourage an environment where the livestock that is either most fragile or poses the highest risk to the terrain if left unchecked, a case for each being chickens and swine, are either kept paddocked and closely controlled in their forage environments, or the ones left to roam in a more relaxed environment be the sterilized male specimens of each that would be harvested after the fall. I'd like to have a large piece of oak savannah tweaked with strong elements of food forest on a scale that it could easily support a herd of bison (I love bison meat over any type but bear, and a herd of bison will grow by a third a year in times of plenty, which you can encourage by keeping only the best bull for every twenty cows, if the population is large enough for diversity's sake or if genetic contributions can be made artificially, that is to say, from outside the system. That's a lot of good meat from a healthy population.

Sorry, I have this tendancy to ramble off-topic. I love channel cat. For my own part, the only fish I would try to specifically design an aquaculture system for would be salmon of some kind, probably atlantic, as the most successful farm variety, but apparently there is at least one Pacific variety that is largely vegetarian in its younger stages, which might be beneficial, if they can occupy an omnivorous middle ground, they stand to be more productive, no? My favourite sashimi is salmon. I'm going to start a thread on what I want to do in my area, as it obviously has little to do with your most innovative building solution.

-CK
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
Yes Chris, you are a ramblin man. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Salmonoids have very strict water quality and temperature requirements which make them unsuitable in most areas that are warm enough for comfortable human habitation. They are raised in the cold ocean water here but a land based system would require access to cold well or sea water in great quantity or would require some other means of cooling and water purification.

Successful rearing of fry is an even trickier business than catering to the requirements of the adults. I've been to streams that to me appear pristine with nice clear,cold water and discovered that the fisheries people are doing this and that to try and convince the salmon to spawn again. It's not the realm of amateurs. For me The success rate would be the same as my success with tropical air plants and orchids --- nil.

Any creature requiring large external inputs makes a poor candidate for my system. There are plenty of species native to warmer, dirtier water which can adapt to an aquaponic system.

But all of this has to do with the roof and not with the sawmill waste truss wall system. I wonder how that happened.
Rusty Bowman


Joined: May 30, 2009
Posts: 117
Location: Idaho
    
    1
Dale Hodgins wrote:

Once form pressure is removed, many little sticks will spring clear of the surface. These protruding bits are the first to dry out, since they are exposed to the air. They will draw moisture from deep inside the wall. Later, they can be trimmed somewhat above flush and they will aid in plaster adhesion.


Good work, Dale! Also, I totally forgot about the little sticks springing clear of the surface when I built my little structure. Trimming them took some time as I was doing it with small pruning clippers. I remember thinking a hedge trimmer might be nice for larger projects.


Earthen Exposure
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Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
Thanks Rusty, I've been doing an amazing amount of "armchair building" lately, so it's good to hear from someone who has built with clay chip. My thoughts on the "air wicks" were based on observing wet material. I had to clean up the jobsite before anything could dry properly. It rained most days as well.

In the next few days I'll post my ideas on where this system could work throughout the world, and what scrap resources could be substituted for each region. Brace yourselves. This is bound to be a long winded, no stone unturned affair.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
This could work in any region where mill waste is of little or no value.

The band of boreal forest that encircles the northern hemisphere contains huge volumes of soft wood waste. The west coast of North America from Alaska to California has a plentiful supply. Most mountainous regions that see adequate rainfall for tree growth will have sawmills.

There are other, less obvious supplies of wood. There are often small mills close to the city, that mill wood from trees cut within the city. Farmers often operate portable sawmills for their own use and as a business. Tree service companies accumulate wood.

Many agricultural wastes could be used for wall filler. Nut hulls, corn cobs, palm fronds, or other waste cellulose could be mixed with sawdust and clay to make wall filler. I'll finish this later.
Rusty Bowman


Joined: May 30, 2009
Posts: 117
Location: Idaho
    
    1
Dale Hodgins wrote:This could work in any region where mill waste is of little or no value.

The band of boreal forest that encircles the northern hemisphere contains huge volumes of soft wood waste. The west coast of North America from Alaska to California has a plentiful supply. Most mountainous regions that see adequate rainfall for tree growth will have sawmills.

There are other, less obvious supplies of wood. There are often small mills close to the city, that mill wood from trees cut within the city. Farmers often operate portable sawmills for their own use and as a business. Tree service companies accumulate wood.

Many agricultural wastes could be used for wall filler. Nut hulls, corn cobs, palm fronds, or other waste cellulose could be mixed with sawdust and clay to make wall filler. I'll finish this later.


In my case, the city I live in has a "wood waste recycling" program where people can dump off their tree trimmings for free. The city then shreds all this and leaves it in a huge pile for people to help themselves from. I'm guessing there are many similar programs throughout.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
Now that the mill site is pretty clean, I've struck a deal where I will go there from time to time to sell the good lumber for a 10% commission. Every day they produce around 5 tons of waste.Whenever I'm not busy, I'll sell firewood or gather good re millable stuff like the wood on my truck in photo one.

1. This is the result of about 4 hours of stirring through scrap. Time will tell if it's worth it.

2. Anything with one good edge can be milled with a tablesaw or a skil saw. Those with a right angle cut are good for posts. The rounded edge faces away from fence boards.

3. Many slabs are under 8 ft and some are as short as 2 ft. This can work for me but the mill has minimum standards. I will suply wood to those willing to sort to get wood at half price and I'll adjust my projects to the available resource.

This ongoing supply may become a good chunk of my income if marketing goes as well as material sourcing has. It is potentially the best find if my 16 years of being a professional scrounge.



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Carina Robicheaux


Joined: Nov 08, 2011
Posts: 35
Location: Oregon Coast Range zone 8b
Wow, brilliant idea! Cedar is a fantastic resource. We can get fir mill waste here and use it for siding/fences, etc. I look forward to hearing more about this system.
"Professional Scrounge" .....that is totally what I want to be when I grow up. Scrounging is SO much fun! Free is fabulous.


You can't fight the waves but you can learn to surf.
Warren David


Joined: Nov 18, 2010
Posts: 186
Dale Hodgins wrote: and the link thing didn't take --- When the address pops up, I move toward it and it dissappears.
Hover over the link
Right click
Select "Copy link location" (The link is now saved even though you can't see it yet and can be pasted into a post)
Right click in a reply box
Select "paste"
It is done.
Dale Look


Joined: Mar 07, 2012
Posts: 27
Dale Hodgins wrote:Now that the mill site is pretty clean, I've struck a deal where I will go there from time to time to sell the good lumber for a 10% commission. Every day they produce around 5 tons of waste.Whenever I'm not busy, I'll sell firewood or gather good re millable stuff like the wood on my truck in photo one.

1. This is the result of about 4 hours of stirring through scrap. Time will tell if it's worth it.

2. Anything with one good edge can be milled with a tablesaw or a skil saw. Those with a right angle cut are good for posts. The rounded edge faces away from fence boards.

3. Many slabs are under 8 ft and some are as short as 2 ft. This can work for me but the mill has minimum standards. I will suply wood to those willing to sort to get wood at half price and I'll adjust my projects to the available resource.

This ongoing supply may become a good chunk of my income if marketing goes as well as material sourcing has. It is potentially the best find if my 16 years of being a professional scrounge.

I too have been milling boards and posts from sawmill slabs with my table saw. Here is a pic unloading some slabs. The side racks are some I made out of sawn slabs.


[Thumbnail for USAFdeuce  mods. 098.jpg]

Dale Look


Joined: Mar 07, 2012
Posts: 27
Most of my slabs are spruce/fir.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
Looks like some good thickness there. With spruce it's probably easier to achieve uniformity.

How old is the truck?
Dale Look


Joined: Mar 07, 2012
Posts: 27
1970
Ivan Weiss


Joined: Dec 19, 2009
Posts: 152
Location: Vashon WA, near Seattle and Tacoma
Great thread, Dale! Hats off to you. I get the idea of the cedar-clay slabs, but in your opinion, would this mix work for blocks? Thanks again.


Pastured poultry, pork, and beef on Vashon Island, WA.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
Ivan Weiss wrote:Great thread, Dale! Hats off to you. I get the idea of the cedar-clay slabs, but in your opinion, would this mix work for blocks? Thanks again.


I'm not sure if you mean wood or concrete blocks. I suppose it could work with wood blocks as in cordwood construction, but it would need to be a mostly sawdust mix for spreadability. The long, skinny nature of the matrix materials ties it all together. Shorter materials would be more vulnerable to earthquake and other calamities. You don't need access to mill slabs in order to use this system. Any mixture of tree waste, construction waste and sawdust could work.

If I were doing this in the city, I would source materials by charging for disposal of wood waste from construction, demolition and renovation sites. Around here it costs $150 per ton for disposal. While doing this, plenty of usable building components would inevitably be aquired by fishing items from the junk and by checking out what each customer is trying to give away. You wails naturally be first in line for good grabs.
Ivan Weiss


Joined: Dec 19, 2009
Posts: 152
Location: Vashon WA, near Seattle and Tacoma
Sorry I didn't make myself clear. I meant could you make blocks out of the clay/cedar bark mixture? Thanks.
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 3511
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  40
It's an awkward material to separate into exact quantities. The stringy nature ties it together well, but this makes it difficult to confine in a small space unless the materials are reduced in size. Block making would be a time consuming exercise that would result in an inferior finished product, lacking the strength of a monolithic wall.
 
 
subject: --- A NEW BUILDING SYSTEM IS BORN --- This is the system I'll build my walls with, once approved.
 
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