Steve Marr

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since Mar 02, 2018
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Recent posts by Steve Marr

Great stuff. I also build with bamboo and live in a bamboo house. Please post more pics.
2 years ago
Thanks for the helpful replies. Lime plaster has been recommended by others. The problem is I've hurt my back a few weeks ago, so I'm quite limited, so I'm looking for the easiest effective option. Regarding sealing the wall and rot, it would not be sealed on the inside. Sealing with linseed oil is done by some, so I'm not sure if rotting is an issue. Naturally is always better, but sometimes not practically possible. I don't think I could find anyone to help with the lime plaster.

The Tung option is interesting, just difficult to get information. We're in the tropics, right next to a rainforest, it get's extremely humid here and can rain for days, although there's little wind, so the walls wouldn't get too wet, it's the humidity that concerns me more.
2 years ago
I haven't read all the posts, but thought it worth echoing some important points
- animal aggression is NOT the same as human aggression
- dogs are animals and have drives/instincts, which includes prey drive
- the more dogs the worse it gets, when there's three it's a pack

Dogs are animals, they can be dangerous to livestock and people. It's important for owners to realize this and take responsibility, by not leaving the dog alone with livestock of children.
2 years ago
We've build a large bungalow using bamboo for structure and earth for the walls. The method is wattle and daub. To finish the building I need to protect the walls from rain/spray/humidity. We live in the wet tropics, bordering a rainforest, it's extremely humid with high rainfall for half the year (and pretty much dry for the rest).

I'm looking for a fast and effective finish and am considering:

ACRYLIC PAINT: I'm told this will work, but is frowned upon because it's not natural. Considering the roof is steel, the floor concrete, I'm OK with using acrylic paint if it works.

TUNG OIL: This is a natural option. Tung oil is a great natural sealant, better than linseed oil. I have a 44 gallon drum full of it, but can't find for sealing earth walls. Could I use the same mix as with linseed oil (replacing linseed with tung.

Below are pics of the bungalow.
2 years ago
I have not read thru this topic, but certainly intend to, it's exactly what I'm looking for.

I have a couple of things to add:
GROWING MEDIA - I use coconut, not the dust (coir?), but large sections or sometimes diced sections, these allow for enough drainage/air, while being really absorbent it still has lots of gaps for roots to enter. It's light, cheap and can eventually be added to the garden or used as a potting mix.

The hard inner shell can also be used, it needs to be crushed into small pieces, this allows for much better drainage. It last longer, has a textured surface for roots to cling to. It's much lighter than gravel or clay balls.

FRAME - For this I use borax treated bamboo, painted with white acrylic to protect it from rain and sun. I've tried adding pics here, I can upload them but can't figure out how place them in the text.

ADDITIVES - I've added molasses, which seems to add iron. I've added worm casting teas, aged urine and STRUVITE, which is high in phosphorous and made by mixing aged urine with epsom salts.

2 years ago
I've treated thousands of bamboo culms, in most cases I use borax. The basics are similar to what has already been mentioned. One thing I suggest is to do more research from lots of different sources, rather than to start building with an unknown species. Here's some pointers:
- Identify the species, make sure it's suitable for building
- Cut mature culms (3+ years)
- Clean with scourers and detergents
- Drill through the whole length, to allow the borax to enter, so it can be absorbed
- Immerse in a 10% borax solution.

For building:
- Design in planes
- For joints, lash or drill holes and use dowels or threaded rod

I could add more info, but it's better you spend a couple of days reading, there's a lot of info on the net.
2 years ago