Ted Abbey wrote:Dang.. if I wasn’t locked into my own project, I’d be glad to come and help you. Looks like a good build, and you sound like a solid person. Best wishes in your endeavors, and I hope you can find the help that you are looking for..
HELP NEEDED. School will be in session again soon so I will be losing the young lad I'd normally reach out to. I also have a bit of elbow tendonitis which has put me behind schedule. So...... I'm am looking for help ASAP. The project is located in Twin Falls. Currently, I need help stacking the last remaining bales, and stuffing the voids with a mix of locally harvested clay and straw. There is roughly 1 - 2 weeks of easy-to-learn work. However, it could possibly turn into more. The work days can be as long as one likes.
No experience needed. However, I would need the following:
- the two most important things I'm looking for is integrity and someone who is as interested in learning as they are in getting a pay check. This is an opportunity to get hands-on experience with the different facets of straw bale construction as well as learning about design, passive solar, and more.
- decent strength, good stamina, and an eye for detail
- knows how to efficiently handle a shovel and pitchfork
- not afraid of work (the work isn't farm/ranch hard but IT IS tougher than mowing a lawn)
- someone willing to get their hands dirty (will be immersed in clay)
-a self-starter who catches on quick
-positivity and a quick smile
Pluses but not required:
-an interest in art and philosophy
-knowing how to efficiently use a drill and other simple tools
-being raised on or has worked on a farm or ranch
What I DO NOT need:
-one who is not interested in asking questions
-a know it all
- a boss
I would like references...character and employment.
This job could be for an individual or a couple, younger or retired.
The job site is 100' off the Snake River canyon rim. All the work will be under the shade of huge overhangs and porches. There is a stream on site and lots of trees. I see a surprising amount of wildlife while building. There is also a trail into the canyon which makes for a beautiful hike after work.
One could camp on site during the work phase. There are shady areas next to the creek, well water, and electricity. If one doesn't have a van or RV to stay in, my restored sheep camp (sheep wagon) is on site and available.
I'm flexible, friendly and easy to be around and talk to. You can learn more about me at www.earthenexposure.com
The best way to get in touch with me is through the above website.
Gerry Parent wrote:Yes Rusty, that's all it is.
Just make sure your fasteners penetrate deeply enough into the wood to firmly support the weight of the plaster. Burlap can also be used in more curvy places.
Thanks! That's what I was hoping to use in my place I'm currently building. Trying to get an idea of what to expect. How far apart did you staple it, roughly?
Gerry Parent wrote:Hi Rachel, I would suggest that you need something for the plaster to adhere to that is a little more substantial than just the insulation. Also, the expansion and contraction between the studs and insulation (being dissimilar materials) would most likely cause cracks that will never stop reoccurring. Some sort of stiff and non smooth surface such as conventional steel lathe or more natural reed mat should do the trick. In the days before drywall, the norm was putting up narrow horizontal boards with small spaces between and plastering over that.
Here are some reed mat pictures to give you an idea...
I like your photos. Question for you: Is that simply reed privacy fencing stapled to the wall studs?
Christopher Westmore wrote:Minimum wage does not buy a living but it could be fair if you provide a place to stay and some basics.
I have seen a lot of people abuse these situations and claim they are offering a "learning experience" or "apprenticeship". A couple of things I see that repeat themselves.
A real apprenticeship is teaching someone a life trade that is marketable, someone doing ______ for the fist time is not teaching anyone anything, they are still figuring it out themselves. Doing manual labor on someones property is not learning marketable skills, it is labor. These situations usually the low paid of free labor leaves in a few days.
Now if you have a rocking organic farm with years of fine tuned growing and building experience with a crew of friendly young people to socialize with you can offer some value and people will stay. If you have a piece of secluded land a shack with a colmen stove you better be paying someone for their time or they will not stay long.
Then you have the issue of insurance, if someone brakes their back and sues you for everything you own ?
Just a couple of thoughts.
Point taken. I think.
This wouldn't be my first rodeo....
My plan would be to find someone that lived locally....someone who has seen or is generally familiar with my work....and wants to learn how they too can craft something similar.
My wife is an insurance agent so I haven't many worries on that front.
I was primarily interested in what a fair wage would be for someone to be my assistant in return to learn a variety of skills...to get first-hand experience under my tutelage. I'm not looking for someone to simply slave away. The first responder, Trace, mentioned $12-$15. Sounds like a reasonable place to start to me.
I am preparing to build a passive solar straw bale home and shop this summer. While I will have some help in the evenings and on the weekends, the rest will be done by my two hands...minus the concrete and plumbing.
I am considering taking on an apprentice....someone with limited to no construction knowledge or experience... someone who otherwise is good with their hands, ambitious, and most importantly....wants to learn how to use tools and build using both conventional and unconventional methods.
Stud framing, post and beam, standing seam roofing, steel fabrication, reclaimed and new materials, cedar siding, earthen plasters, earthen floors, cob, natural finishes, principles of passive solar, etc, etc will be some of the facets to this project. This will all be done with an array of tools...from the most basic to a variety of modern power tools.
As much as I would appreciate having the help, I am genuinely interested in helping someone who is keen to learn. So, this could be a great experience for someone. What is a fair wage to pay though?
Thanks. Before we know it, the flowers will be popping and birds chirping. Spring's coming!
Are you looking for totally off grid or will you have grid power for fans and such (you just want to avoid buying a tanker of propane every year)? There seems to be a difference in design to think about--grid tie is much easier to pump the heat out of the storage.
Are you looking at rock, dirt, or water as the mass or a combination?
Holy smokes.... there's heaps of valuable info on that site! Just what I was hoping to find. Thanks much for that!
As to your questions, my new place will be on grid. And you're correct: I don't want to be paying for or burning a bunch of propane. As far as mass.... it will likely be mostly if not all dirt... but with a fair bit of rock on site, I could incorporate that in as well, depending on the design.
James Freyr wrote:Hey Rusty, may I suggest the book Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman. He has been doing what you're asking about using cold frames and unheated greenhouses where he lives in Maine. It is an excellent book that I believe thoroughly covers the topic and offers a wealth of information, ideas and techniques to garden year round. Hope this helps!
Thanks, James! I actually have that book. It is where I learned how to harvest salad greens throughout the winter. As I recall though, his greenhouses were more conventional and he didn't use them for growing fruit... and I think the veggies he was growing in them required a second covering for protection. That said, it has been a while since I've had that book open. I'll have to take another peek. Thanks again for the recommendation on an awesome book!
In the early stages of designing a greenhouse for myself, I'm trying to gather various examples of greenhouses with track records in climates similar to mine or more challenging. I'm at 42.5 N latitude and 3700' elev.... in a 6a zone.
My goal is to grow year round, traditional veggies and fruit... WITHOUT supplemental heating.
After attending a greenhouse design workshop in the Colorado mountains where all manner of veggies and fruits were being grown (I ate freshly picked figs while pruning banana trees) at 7200' elev in a 4b zone with no supplemental heating, I was sold on that design. That design method is referred to as "climate battery" or "SHCS" (Subterranean Heating and Cooling System).
(side note: I attended the workshop partially due to a client wanting me to design one of these greenhouses for her. Unfortunately, her plan changed and I didn't get to use her as my guinea pig) ;-)
That said, I would be very interested in hearing/seeing what other designs have proven to work for people who are growing similar crops in similar climates without auxiliary heat. Of course, I would love to hear about those using the "climate battery" design as well. I am less interested in theoretical designs given all that can be found on the Net. I would like real-life and preferably long-term experience and numbers... even if they were not success stories.
Own a confluence on 28 acres! Unique with its two creeks, I feel badly for letting this property go. It's time though. 20 miles north of Boise, 3 miles east of Horseshoe Bend. Access via country maintained road.
3 miles east of the Payette River, 3 miles west of the Boise National Forest.
Two sides of this property abut BLM land. The other two sides are buffered by the creeks.
Virtually unlimited access to public lands and various recreational opportunities out the back door: kayaking, rafting, MTBing, ATVing, motorcyling, hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, snowmobiliing, camping, hotspringing, fishing, hunting, ziplining, paragliding......
Lax building codes with no minimum size. Build what you want!
Wildlife, including beaver on site. Well, power, septic approved, and private bridge. There's also a little and completely secluded island on one of the creeks. Perfect place to hang out or soak in a wood-fired hot tub under the milky-way! Priced to move. Please pass the word. Thanks!
Kelly Beck wrote:Very good stuff! I'm hoping to do some grey water use this year. The washer is a great place to start. I'm sorry if this was already discussed in the thread and I missed it, but when using cleansers appropriate for eventual garden use, I need more info.
Does anyone have experience or info?
Here are some of my thoughts. Please let me know if I'm off base. I have used baking soda with essential oils for laundry in the past. I want to do this again. I'm also learning to make natural lye soap, but I haven't researched if its safe for the garden yet.
Also, how about grey water storage WITHOUT aeration? Would laundry water be nasty after awhile? Hmmmm....
Yes, the "laundry to landscape" system is a great place to start. Very easy. As far as soaps, I don't know about the baking soda. I use a liquid detergent by ECOs that clearly states on the jug that it is greywater safe. Art Ludwig had a list of varying detergents that were good in one of his books and perhaps on his website too. I would check that out as he has or had a wealth of info there for free. Seems he even had a recipe for homemade stuff.
I'm not familiar with aeration but, can tell you from personal experience that greywater gets nasty smelling in a hurry. You want to get it on/in the ground as soon as you can so all those tiny creatures we can't see will deal with it.
On another note, not sure why the subject of crap and urine came up in this thread but for anyone that's apprehensive about its use...for anyone that cringes at the thought of it being called a "resource"... all I have to say is that the Humanure Handbook is a must read. Jenkins also has some good stuff on greywater in it and the philosophic aspect is excellent. In my humble opinion, it's one of the top books in the genre of eco, sustainable, etc living.
Had a few minutes and saw this forum so thought I'd make a quick post. Here's a pocket rocket fired sauna I made from salvaged materials. Have ~$100 in to it. Very happy with how it all performs and have enjoyed it immensely. The following is a copy & paste from the youtube video:
"This sauna was built almost entirely from salvaged materials. The only things purchased new: Two stove pipe elbows, silicone, and some screws. It's an old grain hopper that was headed to the scrap yard. Its roof was missing so I turned it upside down and capped the auger hole with a domed skylight I made from plexiglass. Each cedar shake was tapered with a carving ax. Time consuming! The benches and walls are from a redwood deck and the ceiling is cedar and redwood fencing. The floor bears on 4" of locally harvested cinders for insulation. The stove is 4 pieces of scrap metal (no bottom- it sits on the cinders), the top being a disk from a farm disk I welded on concave side up... a built-in pot to melt snow for humidity and add essential oils to. There's a damper in the chimney but the stove has no moving parts. Starts super easy and burns hot and clean. The ring surrounding the stove and containing the rocks, is the middle third of a 50 gallon barrel."
Malcolm Thomas wrote:... seems like the more man invents the harder it is to clean it up.
And that's why, in my humble opinion, we as a society, should keep things simple rather than always look towards technology to build "new ways" to do things. I'm always leery of some new promise, some new invention, that's going to get us out of one pickle or another. I like what Albert Einstein said: “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”
But I digress. I don't come here often these days due to having so many irons in the fire but...I always enjoy it when I do get here. Great links and thoughts. Thanks, everyone.
Linda Sefcik wrote:IMO --
spilling "grey water" directly and repeatedly around a living area is less than hygienic.
Could possibly be, I suppose... if left to run out in the open on the same area without ever moving. However, if stationary, and the grey water goes to a sub-mulch basin, like Ludwig and others often speak of, the grey water is all covered... or, underground.
I use both types...but the above ground version is via two hoses which get moved around frequently. In other words, nothing builds up...and all the little micro-organisms take care of things... presumably (according to Ludwig, there's not a single documented case of an illness due to grey water). On my sub-mulch basin, I open it up to inspect on occasion... and it can smell fairly bad. But covered, I never notice and it's not something exposed and being spread about by vermin, stepped in, or otherwise in contact with me or anyone or anything else.
Eric Rich wrote:My cooperative house based in Salt Lake City is looking to build a greenhouse on my land. We decided on using a Chinese design for the exterior, with a climate battery, but I keep wondering, there's all these different schools of thought, why not merge the elements that make the most sense from each? I like the idea of a pit greenhouse especially in our residential neighborhood, so we can grow tall plants without having such a high structure. I love climate batteries, and geothermal and really want to incorporate them both. I've poked around the internet for a hybrid greenhouse that uses both geothermal and a climate battery, but cannot find any that have adopted both means of heating. Is there such a thing? If not, why doesn't it exist?
Thanks for any and all help.
Around here (just north of you, in Idaho), the term geothermal is typically used to describe a means in which to heat floors with hot water. Is that what you are referring to as well?
That said, I have wondered the same thing... using a pit greenhouse with climate battery tech. It might be a good combo in some areas/contexts. Wouldn't be workable with a high water table though, obviously. Excavation isn't cheap either... but, if you had a friend with a backhoe...
I'd build a climate battery greenhouse in a heartbeat if I had room for one. Attended a workshop a few yrs ago and was sold on them. Was picking figs and eating them during breaks taken while pruning a banana tree. At 7,000'! Can't wait to get some property to build my own!
Well, here it is, shortly after building. It's on its third winter now. The hole in my first flush proved to be a touch big, allowing water to leak out faster than a drizzling rain could overcome. Because of this, I've just left the valve closed so as to completely bypass the washer until I have time to dial it in.
I'm very pleased with the system otherwise. Works really well and the cistern fills quicker than I thought it would. This spring, I'll be running the overflow downhill to a wood-fired hot tub I made.... then extend the roofing on the harvester to collect even more water, to help flush the hot tub.
Joylynn Hardesty wrote:That is... just beautiful! How does it shoot? In my limited knowledge, I'd gotten the idea a bow HAD to be long for accuracy. My klutzy self might could carry one of these with out snagging it everything within 10 feet of me.
Do you have a link to a simple and reliable tutorial? I'd love to see the process. Though as a project, it would be waaay down the list.
Thank you, Joylynn.
My experience with longer bows is limited. However, they certainly feel different... easier to shoot which probably means easier to shoot accurately.
As strange as it may sound, I've never really "target" practiced with any of my replica bows. I just find a style that appeals to me then try to replicate as close as I can, not caring about my draw length or the pounds (never measured how strong any of my bows are) then find open spaces and start flinging arrows. I do like the way this one shoots compared to my other bows though. Feels smooth.
Sorry but I don't have a link to a tutorial. I can tell you though, a sinew backed bow like this is quite the process... a labor of love, lessons in humility, and probably the cause of a couple gray hairs...
Glenn Herbert wrote:Nicely done! If it is only used a dozen times a year more or less, it will probably last a good number of years, maybe as long as the enclosure. Certainly worth the work of building it and diverting the materials from the waste stream.
Thank you! This is its second winter. Been fired up a ~dozen times total. Really enjoyed building it and have enjoyed using it even more.
While getting reacquainted with this site, I noticed this hunting forum so thought I'd post a little video of the most recent bow I made.
While I no longer hunt and have little knowledge of modern archery, I do have a fascination with prehistoric bows and their vernacular architecture. This one is fashioned after those collected in Southern California during the 19th century. It's ~40" long, made from the branch of a Juniper tree... the handle and recurves wrapped with buckskin. Made the string from elk sinew and the glue from sinew scraps. The black pigment on the tips is charcoal. I used no man-made materials. The materials are the same used prehistorically. 100%. Shoots nicely but needs retillered.
Yrs ago, my aspirations were to don a loincloth, go into the wilds and make a bow with stone tools I made... then shoot dinner. Someday. Maybe. For now, I'm content building them at home and flinging arrows through the air... mostly clothed.
With another lesson in humility, and the utmost respect for the indigenous people...
Here's what I came up with. (sorry, it's the best video I have of the stove). The stove itself consists of 4 pieces: the firebox (14" dia 5/16" pipe), feed tube (7" dia 3/16" pipe), 6" chimney, and the top which is a disk from an old farm disk... welded on concave side up so it serves as a place to melt snow or steep water with essential oils. The stove does not have a bottom. It just rests on the cinders that insulate the sauna's floor. Very simple and solid.
Very happy with this set-up. The stove burns very fast and hot and seems perfectly suited for this 6' diameter sauna.
The sauna itself is a grain hopper/silo that was headed to the scrap yard. The walls and benches are redwood and the ceiling a mix of redwood and cedar. The floor is fir, bearing on cinders harvested nearby. With the exception of two stove pipe elbows, some silicone, and nuts, this sauna was made entirely from materials being discarded or burned.
Wow! I haven't looked around here in a while. These forums have really grown! Almost overwhelming. Regardless, it is good to see the interest!
But I digress. I didn't know where to pose this question so am posting here. Can one insert a video on these forums in the same way they can insert a photo? Or must one post their video on Youtube then provide a link to it here?
I stumbled upon this thread while searching another topic. I love hot tubs!
At any rate, I don't know the status of this project as I don't visit the forums much any more but thought I'd share my experiences in case the project is still being considered....or for anyone interested. I have a 5'x3' cedar tub (~300 gallons) with the larger Snorkel underwater stove. Starting with a clean firebox (since ashes insulate), and filling it with very dry wrist to forearm sized pine....and keeping it fed, I can raise the water temp by 45° every hour. It takes a wheel barrow of wood to take the water from 55° to ~104°.....which, I'm guessing is ~40 pounds of wood.
The stove smokes until the fire is going good then, when it is kept going good, there is very little to no detectable smoke. The stove smokes terribly with less than totally dry wood...or with bigger pieces of wood...or hardwood that burns more slowly. Hence my reason for preferring pine or similarly soft wood. It burns fast
My tub has a cedar cover but it is not insulated nor is the tub itself. Even in freezing temps, the water loses less then 10° overnight. I can soak Fri night then, with only a small fire with several pieces of wood, can get it back up to temp Sat morning.
Re sanitation: I use 30% hydrogen peroxide. Took me a while to figure it out....but, I just add ~1/2 cup after each soak and stir. That gives me 5 months before the water/wood gets too slimy. We (family of 3) shower and thoroughly wash before each soak. When it comes time to clean the tub, I just drain the water on our landscaping. Plants thrive on it.
This tub has no jets, pumps, or filters. I'd really like to add a PV powered direct pump/filter system to remove the varying things that find their way in. I've just been using a head bug net. Not as slick as a solar filter would be but it works ok.
Re the feed and chimney pipe sizes: I've thought about this overnight and looked through Ianto's book again. I wonder if it could be analogous to putting a small tip on the end of a garden hose....creating high pressure....which, in the case of a smaller chimney, it might force the emissions out and through at a faster rate which pulls in air in at a faster rate??? Just thinking aloud here.........
Of course, I have no idea. Ianto seems pretty clear on the proportions though, and the chimney is smaller. Wish he would have explained his reasoning behind that.
Thanks. I just came in from looking at my pipe and it is thicker than my earlier guess. It's a whopping 5/16" thick!
Any thoughts on the size of the feed tube and chimney for my 14" pipe diameter? I see that Ianto recommends a 4" chimney for a smaller 5 gallon bucket. I reckon 6" would be roughly right for mine....but then would I need to have a bigger feed tube...like 8"?
I'm considering a pocket rocket for my 6' diameter sauna. I much prefer to use items I have on hand but will get different materials if what I have will not work well.
I have a 14" diameter x 24" long pipe. So, a couple inches bigger in diameter than a 5 gallon bucket. The steel on this pipe is thick - 1/8". I was thinking I could cut it to whatever length needed then weld on a bottom and top (holes for feed tube and chimney).
I also have a similarly heavy 6" steel pipe that could be used as the feed tube.
Lastly, I have lots of 6" stove pipe.
I have much experience with various wood stoves but only knowledge of rocket stoves. I assume a pocket rocket with a diameter of 14" will be plenty for the 6' diameter sauna, correct? (my idea was to surround the bottom half of the pocket rocket with rocks)
Will the 6" feed tube and 6" stove pipe work ok for my 14" pipe....or do the ratios need to be different?
I like to run my stove pipes vertically with no elbows. However, in the case of my sauna, it would be much easier for me if I were to run the stove pipe vertically about 3' then run it at a 90° through the wall then another 90° to get it vertical again. Will that work with a Pocket Rocket.....or is it critical I run the pipe vertical all the way? (if it matters, I'm concerned with smoke.... i.e., I'm hoping to have something that draws well so I won't have the smell of smoke (excessive) distracting from the experience)
Well, I have a full good winter on my system now. To cope with freezing issues, last fall I put a valve in so I could shut off the "first flush" during the winter and open in the spring. No issues at all. Went up to this locale this spring and found a tank full of water! So, I plumbed down to my yurt and now have running water. Super excited about that!
I'm contemplating one at a remote off-grid mountain location where it could go for weeks with no attention. I wouldn't think too much of it, however, rather than snow accumulating, with minimal (ie normal) freeze/thaw cycles, we've been encountering substantial melt during many mid-winter days and even rain. Yet, it's still freezing hard during most nights.
I can envision some problematic scenarios with a "first flush"...and have some ideas how to compensate. However, I would love to hear the experiences of others. Anyone?