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Orin Raichart

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since Nov 25, 2018
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Recent posts by Orin Raichart

Coydon Wallham wrote:
They say it was done "by hand" but later mention dynamite. Is there organic dynamite that would meet WL standards...?



The Permaculture Design Manual by Bill Mollison mentions that wheat flour dust suspended in air can be as effective and leaves it to the reader, ( as I will too for obvious reasons), to find a way to implement this information.
6 months ago
hella Good (and hard) Work!!!


!!!Most Important Recent Work for Upper Wheaton Labs and Ant Village!!!  

....since the well and cistern installation was done and connected.

Why is this the most important???

Work done towards the Sacred Four (
  1 Shelter
   2 Water
   3 Fire aka energy
   4 Food ),

in that Specfic Order is precious to any human being living in Ant Village.

Any one who has a plot on Upper Wheaton Labs has the Sacred Duty to Create the Sacred Four on their Plot in that order.

Failure to create the Scared Four in this specfic order means failure to create the ability to live year around on your Upper Wheaton Labs plot.

Since each person has the duty to create their shelter on their own plot, what you guys have done is to help finalize the Second of the Scared Four,  !!!Water!!!, for ALL plots on Upper Wheaton Labs.

Why is the Order soooo Specific?

The first question to ask a person with a plot on Upper Wheaton Labs is where is your shelter? If the person can show you their shelter on their plot which heats itself in the winter and cools itself in the summer, you know you've found a person on their way to creating a real and vibrant Village life on Upper Wheaton Labs.

This person now has a location on the Lab where in they will not freeze nor die of heat stroke. From this shelter, they can carry out all other work. Below you will see why it is important to have a shelter on your plot instead of using CC or AA.

Now let us examine what might happen if a person says I do not have time to build a shelter, instead I will do the opposite of this order. I will plant food first.

Since such a person cannot live onsite to protect and nuture their plants, the animals will eat all their plants and such a person will not have enough to make a single meal at the end of each season.  

Such a person also will have no water to provide for their plants (expect water hauled from miles away), and the majority of their plants will die during the 104 to 106F temperatures of summer.  The ones that live will be very small in comparison to those provided with water and will not likely produce edible food. At most, such a person will have edible walking onions and rhubarb. A great deal of work for so little result.

One can easily choose one of the other Sacred Four in the wrong order and obtain failure to live on the Lab.

If you start with Water first, you will freeze to death in the winter and wish you'd died in the baking heat of the summer if you don't get heat stroke. Where will you put your stuff? AA? CC? Where will your clothes dry on rainy days. Where will you get dry?

If you start with fire first rather than Shelter, your fire will not be as effective as it would be inside a shelter and you will work many extra hours trying to feed this fire in the winter. Additionally, you will have all the problems as the person who stared with Water first out of order.

As one can clearly see, the order of the Sacred Four is also sacred to the ability to live.

Thank you guys again for being determined to make a functional WATER source for ALL  Shelters to use!!!

fetching AWESOME you are!


6 months ago
On ground and tree squirrel relations:
things I am not sure I needed to know....
A tree squirrel got stuck in the serpentine belt of a truck when I started it.

Two loud thumps and then my generator light came on.

Tree squirrels are tough and the serpentine belt came completely off so I wasn't sure the little critter was really dead.

Instead of skinning it, cracking its skull for brain, tanning its hide, and offering the meat to Caleb I threw the little critter in the mouth of the den of a ground squirrel.

Came back a little while later and _WTF_ a ground squirrel had torn one of the tree squirrel's lungs out and was eating it.

Now ground squirrels will come sit on my foot and the tree squirrels will yell at them when they do.

Enough gossip about neighborhood drama. This summer is the Summer of Interruptions.

So while the walls of First Light have made height progress, they are not finished.

6 months ago
Slip Straw
hillbilly style:
 dip in clay, throw into double sided forms, and tamp with boards

suspected better R value given lower clay content.
faster?  dipping seems to take less time but twice the time building double sided forms.


new style:
mix in gorrilla cart by layering with thick muddy clay on, then straw layer, then dribble more thick creamy clay infinitum or until cart is full. mix until no dry straw is visible. use one sided form with moving knee board. place and stamp with hands.

dries to much harder and denser wall;
more uniform and looks cleaner on form side;
molds around and adheres to odd shapes without gaps.

...mixing takes time on the new style. so find a faster way to mix with less clay and still use only one sided forms, this would be the fastest

6 months ago

Mike Haasl wrote:YES!  Someone finally built the bandsaw sawmill chainsaw attachment I thought up a few years ago.  Orin, could you please do a post about it, who makes it, how it worked, etc?  Yay!



Sadly the company who makes this very cool device called the RipSaw is no longer in business.

This device was created such that a specific chainsaw could attach to it. Since the Stihl model is a gasoline device, I bought a milwaukee 16" battery operated model  ( I recommend a makita with two 17 volt batteries instead).

The milwuakee can do one 1.75 twelve foot continous cuts with a 12Ah battery and only a third of a 1 twelve foot cut on a 5Ah battery.

I then took this device and the battery operated chainsaw and asked for a marriage for these two from a skilled machinist.

Any shop which makes bandsaw blades will most likely also make a blade for a RipSaw

The kerf is so small when Jeff asked me for the sawdust, I couldn't offer him any of a substantial  amount even after two logs....would've used the saw dust On Narrow Pond anyways.

..if you wanted pics of the attachment and how all the adjustments work, I could do that next time I change the blade.
7 months ago
The last of the Yawling Rock Work Crew disappeared before noon yesterday.

Now Yawling Rock activity will be put on the back burner:
‐the website will slowly come to fruition;
‐plans to pay back the week I owe to Jon, Davin, and Ben might ignite before summer's end;
-Boots in the Boot Camp might want to transition to Ant Village with winter spent in the cities;
-and the third rift is starting to grow into a melody.

I will keep this thread posted as to the weeks of pay back I owe:
Jon is the most likely as he knows exactly what he wants accomplished;
Ben has many ideas but few supplies;
Davin helped just to help but there will come a project he'll need an extra body for  -I'll be there.

Boots, remember there is the Ant Village Option.

Those stuck in cities, those stuck in no win financial traps, those exhausted by van life,
....remember there is a method to leave the wage slave market.

Yawling Rock leans into the storm while the winds use the rock's very existence for melodies of telling yawls. If you can create, if you can preserve, if determined, the rewards stand self evident.

...she's Lump, she's Lump, she's Lump   She's in my head!!!




7 months ago
...the wall slowly grows and dries...
7 months ago
Some conclusions and reactions to the first Yawling Rock Shelter Raising:

-have sheltered tasks planned to accomodate rain (did this);

-have any special item tool or equipment repairs complete before scheduling the Yawling Rock Building Crew Party (didn't do this. spent one day transporting custom bandsaw blade to newly modified bandsaw and tweaking newly modified bandsaw to work);

-stay with each crew member until you are comfortable knowing they have been tasked according to their capabilities;

-be available to answer questions or provide them with tools or materials;

-try to ensure all your party shows up within the same 24 hr period ( probably will never get this to happen perfectly). Have plans to occupy each member on a single tasks and only engage in tasks requiring more than one person after all the members arrive (saves time explaining group tasks multiple times and if not enough people show up at the right time, you still get work done);

- atleast half the crew should have the hand and measurement skills needed to do their tasks otherwise you won't have enough time or people to train the others and accomplish the tasks (I was lucky, everyone had tool eye hand coordination and could measure accurately);

-the location and placing of building materials along with respective work spaces must be planned out correctly (I had four people working on four different and separate tasks all within 10 feet of each other the majority of the time);

-Davin suggests it would've been better to have finished accomodations for people doing the work.

There was an outdoor kitchen, an outdoor luggable leu for a toilet, and everyone was reminded to bring their own tent with sleeping bag. Everyone had three hot organic meals a day.

Missing was a working shower which I had intended to take people to the river and a beautiful lake -the river was at flood stage and lake too cold for my mostly southwest crew.

I made up for this lack of a daily shower with a luxury expedition at the end of the week (which Davin missed out on) which I will not describe here in fear of angering the absent spouses of my crew. Suffice it to say everyone left with laundered clothes, a rested mind and a clean body.

I feel that a work period of 9 to 10 days is better than a week. People need a day or two to get into their tasks and a play day.
But if your crew is working a job with a 8 to 5 schedule, one week is about the limit their families will tolerate.

I feel you should have a minimum of three people show up. Not sure you could say you got more done than by yourself if only two show up...with three intelligent motivated attendees, you will definitely get more done than you could by yourself.

Davin missed out on the knowledge sharing. I recommend on the one day of play, you do knowledge sharing during the later part of the play day where in everyone gives a short class on their specialty which everyone chooses...three of us found this to be awesomely rewarding.

Yawling Rock Project Work Crews worked out great this time! Thank you Davin, Ben, and Jon!
7 months ago
26x39 = 1014 sq in = 7 sq ft  per straw bale

so one south 12x12 ft wall = 144 sq ft

=>  144sqft/7sqft/straw bale = 20 straw bales

North wall 9x12 ft = 108 sq ft

=> 108/7 = 15.4 bales

West & East walls
2[(9x10)+(.5*10*3)] = 210sq ft

210/7 =  30 straw bales

30+ 15.4 + 20 = 65.4 bales

This is an over estimate because First Light's posts and window frames take up cubic space.

a well trained person can do 16sqft/4 hrs
or 4sqft/hr

144+108+210=462sqft
462/4= 115.5 hrs

115.5/8 = 14.4 days
or about three weeks counting clay prep

by not layering clay and straw to prior mixing and instead dipping the straw, it is much faster....we cuurently feel that merely dipping has less wall strength.
7 months ago
one straw bale shred, soaked in clay and hand packed fills a space
26"x39"x6"

....and six buckets of clay

in 42 gallons of water.


7 months ago