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GSBN: Digest for 9/19/02

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-> Re: GSBN:His Majesty's Lime Tests
     by Athena & Bill Steen absteen@...
-> Re: GSBN:straw bale test program
     by Huff 'n' Puff Constructions huffnpuff@...


Date: 19 Sep 2002 00:10:08 -0500
From: Athena & Bill Steen absteen@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:His Majesty's Lime Tests

as they say, something seems awfully out of wack.  if you told me that 
the earth plaster out-performed by just a little bit and that the 
results were somewhat close, you might have gotten me to think about it 
and scratch my head.  but that much difference I have trouble 
swallowing.  after looking at the results, I realized that I just 
happened to have two plaster samples on hand, one that duplicated the 1 
1 6 lime, cement, sand mix and the other a clay plaster with lots of 
straw that approximates the mix used in the tests.  so as to avoid the 
next question, the lime in the sample was Chemstar. not having any 
sophisticated, nor unsophisticated lever arms hanging around the yard to 
exert pressure on the samples, I was forced to devise my own 
methadology.  in that I had ruled out any possibility of an exact 
measurement, I grabbed my trusty hammer sized sledge and went to work.  
I'll give you three guesses as to what happened.  didn't take me long to 
pulverize the clay sample, and as for the cement lime piece, it cracked 
into pieces, but it didn't do anything resembling what one might 
describe as being crushed.

I believe that clay plasters can give decent results, possibly better 
than might be expected, but if you try to tell me that they surpassed 
cement lime when it comes to compression, I would have to say that 
somebody ought to repeat them.  in fact, since I still have a few 
duplicate samples lying around, I think I'll have another go at it 

so what happened in the tests? your guess is as good as mine.  I think 
John Glassford and Bob Bolles paid off Tim Kennedy, who is running the 
tests for Bruce, to do a little sabotage.  I don't have any hard 
evidence, but with a little investigative work I would suspect we could 
dig up a little.


On Wednesday, September 18, 2002, at 08:12 AM, Rob Tom wrote:

> on Tue, 17 Sep 2002
> Bruce, King  of Sausalito ecobruce@... wrote:
> re: straw bale test program
>> an update of the straw bale test program
>> has just been put up on the website
>> www.ecobuildnetwork.org
> Your High!-ness and fellow Green Subjects;
> Thank you for filling in we non-enginoidal plebes and peasants on your 
> test results.
> I haven't fully read the entire page containing the test results yet 
> but I found the plaster test data to be (as Sergeant Schultz would say) 
> "ve-e-e-e-ry interestink" (and surprising).
> Who'da thunk that earthen plasters would out-perform the lime plaster 
> samples in all of the compression tests ? Soitenly not me.
> About the lime plaster in particular:
> I am not familiar with the proprietary lime product used (Chemstar high 
> calcium hydrated lime, presumably an Murrican product ?) but from the 
> brief description of the recipe, it *sounds* very much as though the 
> mixture was something akin to the pointing and setting mortar that a 
> brick mason might use (ie where the lime content functions primarily as 
> a plasticiser to make the Portland cement/sand mixture workable and the 
> mortar becomes a weaker material than if the lime were omitted) as 
> opposed to the reverted-back-to-limestone material that would result 
> from a lime putty (made from slaked quicklime or carbide lime (which I 
> gather to be similar ?)
> I seem to recall one or more of the lime experts (I've copied one, 
> Harry Francis, on this message in the hopes that he will offer some 
> insights) mentioning that most bagged lime concoctions begin losing 
> their carbonation potential from the moment they are manufactured and 
> it goes downhill from there.
> I'm wondering if this may have been the case for the test samples... ie 
> the recipe used may not have been the optimal one to present lime's 
> capabilities in a favourable light  (ie  similar to the ones which 
> would be used to produce those miraculous historical lime plasters that 
> we hear about the Euro-peein's having produced ?)
> Can somebody 'splain eet to me ?
> (I hope that the above won't be construed as nit-picking, but rather, 
> just as a curious nit, wondering.)
>  --- * ---
> Robert W. Tom
> Kanata, Ontario, Canada
> rw_tom@...
> please visit:  http://www.theHungerSite.com daily
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Date: 19 Sep 2002 18:56:49 -0500
From: Huff 'n' Puff Constructions huffnpuff@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:straw bale test program


What a result!!!!  Up the muddies!!!

Just had a quick squiz through the preliminary results and I am not surprised
about the lime/cement/sand.  Without the straw bale and the netting
cement and lime renders are not so strong BUT earth and chaff is.

May I offer you another idea for a render to test?  For moisture protection I
am experimenting with the following mix:  I call it MMM [Maudie's
Magical Mix after my blind dog Maudie].

3 buckets Earth (60% clay 40% sand)
3 buckets washed river sand mixed partical sizes.
1 bucket lime putty (3 months old made from hydrated plaster lime).
1 bucket chaff (12mm avg. length of straw).

What I have found is as follows:

Cures a lot quicker than pure earth but a lot slower than cement/lime renders.

Zero cracking

No mould or sprouting of grain in the chaff.

Best of all rain just runs off the wall very little absorption of any water
observed whilst it is getting wet and it drys out very quickly after
rain.  The test wall has been up for 18 months now.  I am using this mix for
all three coats in our bathroom with a pure lime putty fine sand

1st coat 25 mm MMM
2nd coat 10mm MMM
3rd coat 10mm MMM
Colour coat 5mm  Lime and fine sand.

Appears very strong.

So Old Mate have a go.  I feel that this particular mix could be made
available to rendering contractors and professional builders alike.  Premixed
and ready for spraying.  We are very close to actually marketing a Ganmain
Golden Render Mix.

I am very happy with what has happenend with the testing and with Mike Faine
(I have not got the results as yet) coupled with the results done by
CSIRO on straw bale and bush fires (wild fires) we are almost there with a
sustainable straw bale building system.  Bohdan Dorniak will have the
reults soon and you should get a copy.  Especially for California.

Great work see you soon.

The Straw Wolf


End of Digest

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