Jc Carter

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since Dec 02, 2012
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Recent posts by Jc Carter

Hey Boise Permies,

Haven't posted on here in some time, but I thought I would let you all know that it looks like Ashley Lubyk and Heather Noakes from Dirt Craft Natural Building will be coming to teach a straw bale workshop in June here in Boise. We are still working out all of the nitty gritty but it is shaping up to be pretty cool build.

Here is a link to the Dirt Craft Website if you are not familiar.
http://dirtcraft.ca

PM me if you are interested in more details.

John
6 years ago
Julia,

Not sure exactly what your framing (post layout) looks like. If you have 5 posts then you have pretty big stretches. Most designs for non-load baring seem to avoid your problem be having smaller spaces between the posts.

That said, add ing what basically amounts to a pressure plate can help considerably. This is just a piece of dimensional lumber nailed horizontally across the top of a full course of bales (often at the 4th course). Then apply some down pressure and toenail it in from the top. You can add more pressure by hammering the ends down a bit lower once you have purchase in your posts.

You might run into some bowing because of you long stretches, but would be rectified by placing the lumber on edge. Just make sure it is placed in a place where it is easy to notch the next course.

If you are sewing 1x2 or some sort of metal netting (stucco or welded wire mesh) then you really shouldn't have anything to worry about it while you stack as long as the last course is firmly squeezed between your top plate/box beam.

Hope that helps,

jc

6 years ago
I think my wife and I would both be interested in coming to the second workshop. Any possibility of a couples discount?

jc
6 years ago
Bengi,

Agreed. The ties will only rise above ground by roughly 5 inches. Additionally, they will be flashed/drip capped on the exterior on the exterior to reduce seepage. The off gassing into the interior should be somewhat minimized by full coverage with via lumber and earthen floor/plaster.

Also wanted to give this a bump. Does anyone have a preference between the two methods. From my current perspective it seems like the light straw clay would be faster overall (though probably not for just the infill portion).

Thanks,

JC
7 years ago
Over the summer I will be building a 13 x 18 outbuilding. I have pretty much settled on a pole building with a rubble trench foundation (and using the reclaimed railroad tie/gravel stem wall method). I have pretty tight time constraints. So I am trying to figure out which infill method (straw bale or light straw clay) will be the most efficient use of my time. Anyone out there use both methods and see one as a faster infill process?

Any insight or are thoughts are much appreciated.

John
7 years ago
Wow! Peter and Erica, thanks for the speedy replies. That was exactly what I was looking for. It is a vacation cabin in the mountains of central Idaho. So I think that is the heart of the problem. Sounds like we would have been happier building a Matt Walker half barrel style system for this application.

We did try and dry it out as best as possible this fall. I was probably able to run it for a total of 3 days before it sat for 6 to 8 weeks. There is roughly 6" of cob over the flew, and the flew does exit just behind and above the barrel.

The gap between the barrel and the top of the heat riser was designed to be 1.5" so we should be fine there, but I do think I will pull the barrel off and build a better insulated heat riser this summer. I may even add another run of flew pipe in hopes of helping it heat up more quickly.

Erica, thanks for the tip on "caping" the feed tube. We will start doing that right away.

We will be up there pretty much every weekend for the rest of the winter. Any great ideas on attempting to insulate the mass between visits to try and help it retain as much heat as possible?
7 years ago
This fall we built our first RMH. It is a 6 inch system with a seven foot bench. By the end of the build everything was working beautifully, but did not have a chance to let the stove really stretch its legs. Just got back from our first three days in the cabin and all aspects of the stove performed quite well save one. The bench never really heated up. both the cob between the barrel and the exterior wall and the cob around the feed chamber did, but never the bench. We ran the stove for several hours (4+) each day and finally this mornings firing started to lead to some heat in the bench. Do any of you have any thoughts of why this might be? Some thoughts I had are below.

1) The clay was not fully dry before the cabin froze for the winter so the stored water was actually ice?
2) The distance between the heat riser (6inch/8inch packed with clay and vermiculite mix) and the barrel is too big leading to most of the heat being transferred in the barrel?
3) The solid cob mass (17inches tall, 25 inches wide, and 7 feet long) is just a lot of cold cob for the system to heat up from 10-15 degrees?

We are gonna use it as is for the winter, but I hope to get it remedied over the summer. So any input is much appreciated.
7 years ago
Hi all,

I am John Carter. I am new to permies and permaculture all together. My wife and are slowly working towards converting our new to us home and suburban lot in NW Boise into a more sustainable place to grow our 6mo old. Most everything (including the baby obviously) is in the wee tot stages, but we hope to have some small hugel beds and raised beds in this spring. We are also hoping to start our lil troop of layers and fryers this spring. I am most interested in the building aspect of all this. I have started collecting materials for straw bale (infill of pole building) shop I plan to put in over the summer, and this fall I put in my first rocket mass heater in our winter camping gettaway up near McCall. It was a surprising success.

I was really excited to stumble onto this thread and can't wait to talk to and learn from others around the area who are doing this kinda thing.
7 years ago