Scott Lawhead

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since Nov 25, 2021
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Recent posts by Scott Lawhead

Hey there permie crew,

I’m laying down my earthen floor basecoat on Sunday September 24 and wondering if anyone wants to get in on it. I have a large mixer, so really the task is just leveling the basecoat within an 1/8” of the target, which is 1” below finished floor.

Anyone want to learn how to do this?

Feel free to private message me.
1 week ago
I used 8” of perlite underneath 6” of road base, with 2” earthen floor topping that sealed with linseed. I wouldn’t worry about any wicking. It will eventually reach homeostasis and moisture won’t be an issue. You definitely want the perlite on the dry side of your vapor barrier. Keep in mind that the perlite will compact more than you think, which means more gravel than you think. It’s fluffy stuff.

I used StegoHome 10 mil vapor barrier. Would recommend. I understand the resistance to using plastic in a natural home, as I had the same feeling, but an under slab vapor barrier is not a place to cheap out as it can never be replaced. This product was extremely durable and easy to use, has a very long lifespan. We did not get a single rip during install. I am somewhat chemically sensitive and have an obnoxiously sensitive nose, and I couldn’t smell this plastic, which is rare. That should mean it’s a stable plastic and doesn’t offgas or degrade “much”.
4 weeks ago

Why do you want hydraulic lime vs hydrated lime? Hydrated lime is “should be” readily available in the states, while hydraulic lime is almost always imported. I have used some from st. Astier from France. Not cheap and not easily available.

But type S hydrated lime is available at my local Home Depot. Quick Crete makes one, as does most of the other usual suspects.
1 month ago
Great info, thanks Cristo!
1 month ago
I don’t want to hijack this thread and go off topic, but here I go…

Cristobal Cristo, I have a question about what you just said.

I’ve been plastering my house all summer, many thousands of pounds of clay plaster. It’s been a simple base-coat of 3 mason sand 1 bagged clay 1/2 straw. I did a test finish coat on a small wall, and wasn’t super happy with the results. I used 2.5 mason sand, 1 kaolin clay, and 1/4 very fine sifted straw.

The finish coat was still a bit dusty, with some aggregate falling off when brushed. I applied with a stiff steel trowel, and burnished with a stainless trowel when leather hard. My research online showed that mason sand doesn’t typically have enough fines in it to produce a super smooth creamy finish plaster, and the advice was to put limestone dust in the mix to make up for the lack of fines. I was unable to find this locally, as I do not live in a place where there is limestone. I was unaware that I could buy this at a place like tractor supply, where there are many of those in my area.

Am I correct in thinking that this is what I’m looking for? Adding “barn lime” to a clay plaster? The barn lime is simply limestone dust, and won’t set similar to a hydrated/hydraulic lime and can be mixed with clay?

Thanks for your advice.
1 month ago
I bought this book 6 months ago and built an outdoor oven and have used it a few times this summer, and it is awesome. It gets up to 800ish degrees in a couple
hours, and is still 200 degrees 24 hours later. Crazy efficient.

Would recommend.
1 month ago
This looks like such an amazing resource!

From 0-5 years, then 5-10 years, and 10+ years, what percentage (ish) of support/soil building/green mulch plants should a garden consist of?

In other words, should half of a newly established permaculture garden be plants that feed other plants? Less, more? I’m still trying to get my newly established food forest up and running and really focusing on plants that feed the soil and other plants, such as comfrey, rather than plants that feed humans. But I also am struggling with patience and want to grow plants that I can eat!

1 month ago
Nice work, I’m interested to hear more about the cooled bed. How much mass? Do you like it/use it often? If you sleep in that bed for a while then switch to a different bed, do you notice much of a difference?
1 month ago
The perlite is above the vapor barrier.

The layers are

Undisturbed earth
Drainage rock
Vapor barrier
Road base
Earthen floor

1 month ago
Thanks Aaron! I watched your video and it looks great.

Did you let the base coat fully cure and dry, then wet it before doing the finish coat? Any delamination issues between the coats, now that it has been a while since you finished it?

Super informative video, thanks for taking the time to put it together.
2 months ago