It would have to be trial and error...find the sweet spot - maybe 6 feet away from the bags so that the nails only go halfway in. This would help bind the bags to each other but would not provide any lateral strength, which barbed wire would provide - the actual strand of wire. Is that significant? Is the barbed wire's purpose to hold the bags in place until the soil mixture sets?
Mike Jay wrote:How would you get them to only shoot in half way? If you could get double pointed nails, could you just stab them into the bags with your bare hands?
Gerry Parent wrote:I built a 12' diameter earthbag 'cave' about 4 years ago and used barbed wire. All the research I came up with suggested that the barbed wire was for shear strength and only needed in areas prone to earth quakes. Even though I am not in an earthquake area, I only used barbed wire because it was my first build and just wanted to be sure. From this experience though, if I were to build another one, I would leave it out as it was constantly getting caught on my clothes, the bags etc.
Dustin Rhodes wrote:fortunately, you only have to do it once, and it's mot exposed, so it won't pose a danger after building. it's also not under tension in the system, which is where it's more dangerous(when it break under tension and whips back.
Cutting it into small sections(enough to go across 3 bags, maybe?) might make it more manageable/less likely to catch when working with it, rather than leaving it all connected in one big strand.
A house that falls down on you is much more dangerous than a few scratches.