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GSBN: Digest for 5/25/07



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-> Re: GSBN:Re Thermal Properties of Straw Bale Walls
     by "Andre_de_Bouter" forum@...
-> Re: GSBN:RE:  dipped Bale Walls
     by Rene Dalmeijer rene.dalmeijer@...
-> RE: GSBN:Re Thermal Properties of (french dipped) Straw Bale Walls
     by "Rikki  Nitzkin" rikkinitzkin@...
-> "squaring" round corners
     by "Rikki  Nitzkin" rikkinitzkin@...
-> Re: GSBN:RE:  dipped Bale Walls
     by Joyce Coppinger jc10508@...
-> Greywater in Cold Climate
     by Joyce Coppinger jc10508@...
-> iced Bale Walls
     by lotan-build@...
-> Re: GSBN:RE: dipped Bale Walls
     by jswearingen@...
-> Re: GSBN:"squaring" round corners
     by Rene Dalmeijer rene.dalmeijer@...
-> Re: GSBN:RE: dipped Bale Walls
     by "Andre_de_Bouter" forum@...
-> RE: GSBN:Greywater in Cold Climate
     by stoneandstraw@...
-> Re: GSBN:"squaring" & Thermal dipping
     by markschu@...
-> Re: GSBN: dipped Bale Walls and something else
     by Martin Hammer mfhammer@...


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 25 May 2007 00:30:19 -0500
From: "Andre_de_Bouter" forum@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:Re Thermal Properties of Straw Bale Walls

During a BWB workshop Ari Gore shared yet another little improvement for
getting rid of the holes between the bales layed flat as the bales tend
to have rounded corners on the up- and bottom side. Simply lay a handful
of straw on the joints between the bales before you place the next row.

 ______ * _____ * _____ * _____  * _____
|______ ||______ ||______ ||______ ||______ |


Also place a handful next to the bale before placing the next one.

|______ |
               *

A lot easier than pushing the straw (or straw-clay) in once the wall is up.

And you'll notice that bales on edge (or on end for that matter)  match
much better (the rounded corners are now on the surface and easily
plastered.

Bye,
Andr#233#




billc a #233#crit :
> At 8:08 AM +1000 5/25/07, John Glassford wrote:
>>
>> We prefer to build them in the raw and do a solid pre-compression and
>> then fill any gaps with a cob mix.
>
> Since it can be difficult to do gap-filling in the first place, would
> it make better sense to stuff and *then* compress, allowing the straw
> to mold into the cob?
>
>
> --
> Bill Christensen
> billc@...
>
> Green Building Professionals Directory:
> <<a  target="_blank" href="http://directory.sustainablesources.com";>http://directory.sustainablesources.com</a>>
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> Green Real Estate: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/";>http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/</a>>
> Straw Bale Registry: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/";>http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/</a>>
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>


John Glassford a #233#crit :
> Good idea Bill and in effect that what happens but with good
> preparation of each bale and good bales in the first place this is not
> such a problem gaps that is.  Also the pre-compression using all
> thread as per Steens or the hybrid method seen here is the way to go:
>
> <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.glassford.com.au/Custom_meredith.htm";>http://www.glassford.com.au/Custom_meredith.htm</a>
>
> The rods on each side of the wall every 1.8 metres work a treat and
> are much easer and stronger than any other method that I have used
> including fencing wire, gripples and straps of all types.
>
> Just my two bobs worth mate.
>
> Kind regards
> El Lupo
> Huff 'n' Puff Constructions
> <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.glassford.com.au/";>http://www.glassford.com.au/</a>
> Mount Kilimanjaro Climb 28/8/07
> <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/";>http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/</a>
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----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 25 May 2007 04:08:50 -0500
From: Rene Dalmeijer rene.dalmeijer@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:RE:  dipped Bale Walls

Andy,

Would you care to write an article on your "french dip" method for the 
The last straw. Based on your mail you are probably besides Tom Rijven 
the most experienced user of this system. I have taken careful notice 
of your cob like approach making really solid walls.

I only used French dip on a few small projects until so far one of 
which was load bearing. The main gain for load bearing is the vastly 
increased stability of the wall whilst working on it. I am a keen 
convert to this method. Another bonus is that it allows you to use sub 
standard, not so dense/tight bales and still have quite a stable wall 
while building.

Rene
On May 24, 2007, at 19:35, Andy Horn wrote:

> Hi all
> Just to add my support of the dipping method.
>
> Pre-dipping is for me by far my favourite way of pre-plastering Straw 
> bale,
> and have found it helps shave hours and hours off the plastering 
> process,
> resulting in a really sturdy solid impregnation of the plaster as well 
> as
> helping with the pre-compression/settlement. Furthermore any risk of 
> fire
> and weather is hugely reduced as the time that the walls 
> (un-plastered) are
> at risk is a matter of an hour or 2 vs. days or weeks! I like it so 
> much
> that I have been doing it will all my projects for the last 3 years.
>
> I first raise the wall for a good fit (allowing for shrinkage in the 
> top
> course) and then sequentially take down the walls course by course. I 
> then
> dip the bales in a bath of an adobe type clay/sand mix thinned down to 
> a
> yogurt like consistency, taking care to only dip the surfaces that are 
> to be
> exposed...helping with the weight and in maintaining the insulation. 
> We use
> a non load-bearing on-edge system dipping panel by panel. We place the 
> bales
> in a bath of "slip" and then turning the bale over, use our hands and a
> cobbing stick to really work the slip into the straw, usually 
> achieving at
> least 50mm of penetration. We then allow the bales to partially dry 
> out,
> until they become more firm and tacky (but not hard)....more like the
> consistency of cob. I sometimes call it "cob-bale" building because it 
> is
> more like building with giant cob bricks. One sometimes needs to 
> retard the
> drying out of the first course/s of bales if there is a lot of wind or
> strong sun so as to give oneself enough time to get all the bales 
> dipped. As
> the walls go up, we immediately start to work the bales with a 
> cob-stick to
> knit the bales together and help compact the coating. As straw falls 
> off in
> the bath and makes the bottom too straw rich to dip with, we scoop out 
> this
> mix and spread it out to partially dry to a cob like consistency and 
> then
> use this as our cob to help fill in any gaps around the base, eaves,
> openings etc. I also use a small plank to whack the sides of the bales,
> which also helps straighten and compact the coating. Plastering 
> trowels are
> also useful for this task. The result is a wall that is really solid, 
> that
> when tapped is closer to the feeling of a cob wall, avoiding having 
> that
> partly disturbing hollow sound. From there on the subsequent plaster 
> layers
> are really easy to do.
>
> If any of you want to see pictures of the process there are some on our
> web-site.
>
> Besides the above advantages mentioned my conviction in the dipping 
> method
> has recently hugely re-enforced having this year helped a friend with 
> the
> building of 2 load-bearing structures. The builder on site had 
> neglected to
> cover up and a huge storm blew in soaking one of the only half roofed
> structures. We then had to prop up the roof structure and insert a pole
> support system to convert the structure to a non load-bearing 
> building. It
> was no fun having to rip out all the mouldy walls that had quickly 
> started
> composting.
>
> In such regard, I would be interested to know if any of you have tried 
> the
> pre-dipping method with load bearing systems???
>
> Cheers
> Andy Horn
>
> ECO DESIGN
> Architects &amp; Consultants
> A. R. HORN - B.A.S. (UCT), B.Arch (UCT), Pr.Arch (SACAP),  MIA, CIA
> Telephone: 021 462 1614, Fax: 021 461 3198
> Cel: 082 67 62110
> 4th Flr, The Armoury
> 160 Sir Lowry Rd
> CAPE TOWN
> 7925
> www.ecodesignarchitects.co.za
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Rene 
> Dalmeijer
> Sent: 24 May 2007 08:04 AM
> To: GSBN
> Subject: Re: GSBN:Re Thermal Properties of (french dipped) Straw Bale 
> Walls
>
> Chris,
>
> I fully support you in this it is essential that the dipped bales are
> used quite rapidly after dipping. This is a messy business but working
> with two people to lift and place the bales makes a big difference. The
> bales tend to fit in much better the need for stuffing joints is almost
> diminished to zero.
>
> Another tip once the bales are in place a tamping of the still tacky
> bale surfaces with a plank and a hammer will align and flatten the bale
> surface to a great extent. The best technique is to lay the plank
> across the bale joints and then tamp. To work effectively the clay rich
> slip should still be quite moist.
>
> Rene
> On May 24, 2007, at 03:50, cmagwood@...:
>
>> I'd like to kick in on the "French dipped" method, as I
>> believe they do a great job of helping to provide a really
>> good "seal" across the entire face of the wall. It would
>> make sense that if dipped bales are left to dry before
>> being stacked that they wouldn't work as well, but they
>> shouldn't go in when dried, but when slightly tacky. Then
>> the straw/clay that goes in the gaps bonds very well to
>> the bales and makes, for me, the best wall surface going.
>>
>> Chris
>>
>>>
>>> Marty suggested that the 'French dipped' bales might give
>>> a good tight
>>> fit between the bales. My experience is the opposite. If
>>> the bales are
>>> dried after being dipped the diped sides get rock hard and
>>> do not
>>> compress. If the bales are placed before they are dried
>>> there is more
>>> chance for settling but this is a messier way of going
>>> about.
>>>
>>> As for the test Nehemiah mentioned where the top was
>>> stuffed. A
>>> suggestions (if such a test is ever to be repeated) is to
>>> compress and
>>> stuff the wall from below with car jacks between the
>>> 'foundation' and
>>> botom plate'.
>>>
>>> Bye,
>>>
>>> Andre "drop that bale" de Bouter
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> John Swearingen a ecrit :
>>>>> Straw-clay seems the best material for this purpose,
>>>>> although too
>>>>> much clay
>>>> might increase conductive heat loss in the stuffed area.
>>>> <
>>>>
>>>> ...for several other reasons, too.  When straw is
>>>> stuffed in joints it's
>>>> relatively loose and so provides a ready channel for
>>>> moisture into the
>>>> depths of the wall.  Straw-clay will form a seal against
>>>> moisture
>>>> entering
>>>> the joints between the bales.  In addition, it stops air
>>>> infiltration and
>>>> can be screeded off to make a flat plain for plaster,
>>>> thereby reducing
>>>> the
>>>> occurance of cracks that result from abrupt changes in
>>>> the thickess of
>>>> the
>>>> plaster.  Also, it's fun to get dirty....
>>>>
>>>> "Hurlen" John Swearingen
>>>>
>>>> On 5/19/07, Martin Hammer mfhammer@... wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> Nehemiah -
>>>>>
>>>>> Good explanations.
>>>>>
>>>>> You talked about the straw-stuffed gaps at the top and
>>>>> sides of a
>>>>> wall as
>>>>> being places where convective losses could occur.  So
>>>>> I'll add the
>>>>> thermal
>>>>> importance of stuffing vertical joints/gaps between
>>>>> bales for the same
>>>>> reason of limiting convective losses.  (This would also
>>>>> be important
>>>>> between
>>>>> bales and "posts" that go mostly or all the way through
>>>>> the thickness of
>>>>> the
>>>>> wall.  I've seen I-joists or steel trusses used this
>>>>> way.)
>>>>>
>>>>> Straw-clay seems the best material for this purpose,
>>>>> although too much
>>>>> clay
>>>>> might increase conductive heat loss in the stuffed
>>>>> area.  Horizontal
>>>>> joints
>>>>> between bales don't seem to be an issue because the
>>>>> weight of the bales
>>>>> appear to cause the surfaces to lock in well enough to
>>>>> limit air
>>>>> movement
>>>>> between them (although the French dipped bales might
>>>>> seal that joint
>>>>> even
>>>>> better, and bales on-edge probably nestle together
>>>>> better than
>>>>> laid-flat).
>>>>>
>>>>> Then there's always the question of what material is
>>>>> between the
>>>>> bottom of
>>>>> the plates, and what the insulative qualities of the
>>>>> roof bearing
>>>>> assembly
>>>>> are.  And then there's the ceiling/roof, and the
>>>>> windows/doors, and the
>>>>> amount of infiltration throughout, and . . . . .
>>>>>
>>>>> Martin Hammer
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> John,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I did not see a response from Andrew.  Was that off
>>>>> list?  I am always
>>>>>> interested in what new or other information people
>>>>> have on the thermal
>>>>>> properties of straw bale construction.  Care to share
>>>>> his input?
>>>>>> Also, your Q about how compaction affects R-value is
>>>>> a potent
>>>>> question.  If
>>>>>> hot box testing wasn't so expensive and time
>>>>> consuming, or if there
>>>>> were
>>>>>> funders lined up to pay for it, I'd already have an
>>>>> answer for
>>>>> you.  There
>>>>>> are a number of confounding factors, so until someone
>>>>> has done the
>>>>> actual
>>>>>> research, we can throw around lots of theories.
>>>>>> For example, it is air that creates the insulation
>>>>> value of almost
>>>>>> everything used for wall insulation.  ,,,not the spun
>>>>> glass, not the
>>>>> solid
>>>>>> portions of the foam, not the cellulose, not the
>>>>> straw.
>>>>> Therefore, if
>>>>>> bales are compacted too much, one would expect the
>>>>> insulation value to
>>>>> go
>>>>>> down.  But, what is "too much?"  If bales are too
>>>>> loose, then the air
>>>>> can
>>>>>> circulate in the air pockets and research HAS shown
>>>>> that this can lead
>>>>> to
>>>>>> convective currents that lead in turn, to a dramatic
>>>>> drop in
>>>>> R-value.  That
>>>>>> was one of the causes (we think) for the relatively
>>>>> low R-values in
>>>>> the
>>>>> ATI
>>>>>> lab tests in Fresno, CA.  Once we stacked the bales
>>>>> in the hot box
>>>>> wall
>>>>>> opening, and compressed them as they'd be in a
>>>>> building wall, we had a
>>>>> six
>>>>>> inch gap at the top.  We filled it with straw as
>>>>> tightly as we could,
>>>>> but
>>>>>> we are not match for either a baler or truckers'
>>>>> strap tightening
>>>>> levers,
>>>>>> so we KNOW that the top (where the greatest amount of
>>>>> heat exchange
>>>>> would
>>>>>> naturally occur anyway) was much looser than the rest
>>>>> of the
>>>>> wall.  Ditto
>>>>>> the sides, though those gaps were significantly
>>>>> smaller (so perhaps,
>>>>> harder
>>>>>> to compact straw into).
>>>>>> Further, though in theory greater compaction - after
>>>>> the optimal
>>>>> point -
>>>>>> will lead to a decreasing R-value, no tests have yet
>>>>> shown that to be
>>>>> the
>>>>>> case.  Perhaps we just haven't found the optimal
>>>>> compression force
>>>>> yet.
>>>>>> Perhaps the theory is wrong.
>>>>>> Lastly, I would question your assertion that jumbo
>>>>> bales are
>>>>> "naturally
>>>>>> compacted a lot more than the smaller bales."  It is
>>>>> mechanically more
>>>>>> difficult to compact a larger bale to the same
>>>>> density as a smaller
>>>>> one.  I
>>>>>> am not saying that the machinery isn't designed to do
>>>>> so - perhaps it
>>>>> is.
>>>>>> But, from a pure physics point of view, it is not
>>>>> "natural" as you
>>>>> said.
>>>>>> One way to verify whether the compaction is greater
>>>>> or not is to
>>>>> measure
>>>>>> the water content and density.  Rice straw bales in
>>>>> California (the
>>>>> ones
>>>>> we
>>>>>> tested) are typically at least 8 pounds per cubic
>>>>> foot at a moisture
>>>>>> content of about 6%.  Do you have similar data on the
>>>>> Aussie jumbo
>>>>> bales?
>>>>>> If you want to get an accurate reading of the
>>>>> moisture content (more
>>>>>> accurate than a moisture meter stuck a random depth
>>>>> into the
>>>>> bales), let
>>>>> me
>>>>>> know and I will send you (offline) a description of
>>>>> how we did it.
>>>>> The
>>>>>> density (#/cf or kG/cM) is pretty easy, assuming you
>>>>> can weigh a
>>>>>> representative sample of the bales.
>>>>>> Hope this helps.
>>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Nehemiah Stone
>>>>>> stoneandstraw@...
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> ----
>>>>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise
>>>>> using the GSBN list,
>>>>> send email to GSBN@...HELP in
>>>>> the SUBJECT line.
>>>>> ----
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> John Swearingen
>>>> Skillful Means, Inc.
>>>> Design and Construction
>>>> www.skillful-means.com
>>>>
>>>>
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----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 25 May 2007 05:09:13 -0500
From: "Rikki  Nitzkin" rikkinitzkin@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Re Thermal Properties of (french dipped) Straw Bale Walls

I am in agreement.  If you prepare the bales the day before (and leave them
covered with a plastic if the weather is really hot) they are still
workable, but less messy.  They do weigh a lot, so its harder work, but the
advantages are many and well worth the extra effort.

I suppose that since we are talking about clay, you could always let them
dry completely, and re-wet them before/after placing them in the walls to
make the clay soft again...although I have never done it this way.

Rikki Nitzkin
Aulas, Lleida, Espana
rikkinitzkin@...
(0034)657 33 51 62 
www.casasdepaja.com (Red de Construccion con Balas de Paja)
 

> -----Mensaje original-----
> De: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] En nombre de Rene Dalmeijer
> Enviado el: jueves, 24 de mayo de 2007 10:04
> Para: GSBN
> Asunto: Re: GSBN:Re Thermal Properties of (french dipped) Straw Bale Walls
> 
> Chris,
> 
> I fully support you in this it is essential that the dipped bales are
> used quite rapidly after dipping. This is a messy business but working
> with two people to lift and place the bales makes a big difference. The
> bales tend to fit in much better the need for stuffing joints is almost
> diminished to zero.
> 
> Another tip once the bales are in place a tamping of the still tacky
> bale surfaces with a plank and a hammer will align and flatten the bale
> surface to a great extent. The best technique is to lay the plank
> across the bale joints and then tamp. To work effectively the clay rich
> slip should still be quite moist.
> 
> Rene
> On May 24, 2007, at 03:50, cmagwood@...:
> 
> > I'd like to kick in on the "French dipped" method, as I
> > believe they do a great job of helping to provide a really
> > good "seal" across the entire face of the wall. It would
> > make sense that if dipped bales are left to dry before
> > being stacked that they wouldn't work as well, but they
> > shouldn't go in when dried, but when slightly tacky. Then
> > the straw/clay that goes in the gaps bonds very well to
> > the bales and makes, for me, the best wall surface going.
> >
> > Chris
> >
> >>
> >> Marty suggested that the 'French dipped' bales might give
> >> a good tight
> >> fit between the bales. My experience is the opposite. If
> >> the bales are
> >> dried after being dipped the diped sides get rock hard and
> >> do not
> >> compress. If the bales are placed before they are dried
> >> there is more
> >> chance for settling but this is a messier way of going
> >> about.
> >>
> >> As for the test Nehemiah mentioned where the top was
> >> stuffed. A
> >> suggestions (if such a test is ever to be repeated) is to
> >> compress and
> >> stuff the wall from below with car jacks between the
> >> 'foundation' and
> >> botom plate'.
> >>
> >> Bye,
> >>
> >> Andre "drop that bale" de Bouter
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> John Swearingen a ecrit :
> >>>> Straw-clay seems the best material for this purpose,
> >>>> although too
> >>>> much clay
> >>> might increase conductive heat loss in the stuffed area.
> >>> <
> >>>
> >>> ...for several other reasons, too.  When straw is
> >>> stuffed in joints it's
> >>> relatively loose and so provides a ready channel for
> >>> moisture into the
> >>> depths of the wall.  Straw-clay will form a seal against
> >>> moisture
> >>> entering
> >>> the joints between the bales.  In addition, it stops air
> >>> infiltration and
> >>> can be screeded off to make a flat plain for plaster,
> >>> thereby reducing
> >>> the
> >>> occurance of cracks that result from abrupt changes in
> >>> the thickess of
> >>> the
> >>> plaster.  Also, it's fun to get dirty....
> >>>
> >>> "Hurlen" John Swearingen
> >>>
> >>> On 5/19/07, Martin Hammer mfhammer@... wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> Nehemiah -
> >>>>
> >>>> Good explanations.
> >>>>
> >>>> You talked about the straw-stuffed gaps at the top and
> >>>> sides of a
> >>>> wall as
> >>>> being places where convective losses could occur.  So
> >>>> I'll add the
> >>>> thermal
> >>>> importance of stuffing vertical joints/gaps between
> >>>> bales for the same
> >>>> reason of limiting convective losses.  (This would also
> >>>> be important
> >>>> between
> >>>> bales and "posts" that go mostly or all the way through
> >>>> the thickness of
> >>>> the
> >>>> wall.  I've seen I-joists or steel trusses used this
> >>>> way.)
> >>>>
> >>>> Straw-clay seems the best material for this purpose,
> >>>> although too much
> >>>> clay
> >>>> might increase conductive heat loss in the stuffed
> >>>> area.  Horizontal
> >>>> joints
> >>>> between bales don't seem to be an issue because the
> >>>> weight of the bales
> >>>> appear to cause the surfaces to lock in well enough to
> >>>> limit air
> >>>> movement
> >>>> between them (although the French dipped bales might
> >>>> seal that joint
> >>>> even
> >>>> better, and bales on-edge probably nestle together
> >>>> better than
> >>>> laid-flat).
> >>>>
> >>>> Then there's always the question of what material is
> >>>> between the
> >>>> bottom of
> >>>> the plates, and what the insulative qualities of the
> >>>> roof bearing
> >>>> assembly
> >>>> are.  And then there's the ceiling/roof, and the
> >>>> windows/doors, and the
> >>>> amount of infiltration throughout, and . . . . .
> >>>>
> >>>> Martin Hammer
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> John,
> >>>>>
> >>>>> I did not see a response from Andrew.  Was that off
> >>>> list?  I am always
> >>>>> interested in what new or other information people
> >>>> have on the thermal
> >>>>> properties of straw bale construction.  Care to share
> >>>> his input?
> >>>>> Also, your Q about how compaction affects R-value is
> >>>> a potent
> >>>> question.  If
> >>>>> hot box testing wasn't so expensive and time
> >>>> consuming, or if there
> >>>> were
> >>>>> funders lined up to pay for it, I'd already have an
> >>>> answer for
> >>>> you.  There
> >>>>> are a number of confounding factors, so until someone
> >>>> has done the
> >>>> actual
> >>>>> research, we can throw around lots of theories.
> >>>>> For example, it is air that creates the insulation
> >>>> value of almost
> >>>>> everything used for wall insulation.  ,,,not the spun
> >>>> glass, not the
> >>>> solid
> >>>>> portions of the foam, not the cellulose, not the
> >>>> straw.
> >>>> Therefore, if
> >>>>> bales are compacted too much, one would expect the
> >>>> insulation value to
> >>>> go
> >>>>> down.  But, what is "too much?"  If bales are too
> >>>> loose, then the air
> >>>> can
> >>>>> circulate in the air pockets and research HAS shown
> >>>> that this can lead
> >>>> to
> >>>>> convective currents that lead in turn, to a dramatic
> >>>> drop in
> >>>> R-value.  That
> >>>>> was one of the causes (we think) for the relatively
> >>>> low R-values in
> >>>> the
> >>>> ATI
> >>>>> lab tests in Fresno, CA.  Once we stacked the bales
> >>>> in the hot box
> >>>> wall
> >>>>> opening, and compressed them as they'd be in a
> >>>> building wall, we had a
> >>>> six
> >>>>> inch gap at the top.  We filled it with straw as
> >>>> tightly as we could,
> >>>> but
> >>>>> we are not match for either a baler or truckers'
> >>>> strap tightening
> >>>> levers,
> >>>>> so we KNOW that the top (where the greatest amount of
> >>>> heat exchange
> >>>> would
> >>>>> naturally occur anyway) was much looser than the rest
> >>>> of the
> >>>> wall.  Ditto
> >>>>> the sides, though those gaps were significantly
> >>>> smaller (so perhaps,
> >>>> harder
> >>>>> to compact straw into).
> >>>>> Further, though in theory greater compaction - after
> >>>> the optimal
> >>>> point -
> >>>>> will lead to a decreasing R-value, no tests have yet
> >>>> shown that to be
> >>>> the
> >>>>> case.  Perhaps we just haven't found the optimal
> >>>> compression force
> >>>> yet.
> >>>>> Perhaps the theory is wrong.
> >>>>> Lastly, I would question your assertion that jumbo
> >>>> bales are
> >>>> "naturally
> >>>>> compacted a lot more than the smaller bales."  It is
> >>>> mechanically more
> >>>>> difficult to compact a larger bale to the same
> >>>> density as a smaller
> >>>> one.  I
> >>>>> am not saying that the machinery isn't designed to do
> >>>> so - perhaps it
> >>>> is.
> >>>>> But, from a pure physics point of view, it is not
> >>>> "natural" as you
> >>>> said.
> >>>>> One way to verify whether the compaction is greater
> >>>> or not is to
> >>>> measure
> >>>>> the water content and density.  Rice straw bales in
> >>>> California (the
> >>>> ones
> >>>> we
> >>>>> tested) are typically at least 8 pounds per cubic
> >>>> foot at a moisture
> >>>>> content of about 6%.  Do you have similar data on the
> >>>> Aussie jumbo
> >>>> bales?
> >>>>> If you want to get an accurate reading of the
> >>>> moisture content (more
> >>>>> accurate than a moisture meter stuck a random depth
> >>>> into the
> >>>> bales), let
> >>>> me
> >>>>> know and I will send you (offline) a description of
> >>>> how we did it.
> >>>> The
> >>>>> density (#/cf or kG/cM) is pretty easy, assuming you
> >>>> can weigh a
> >>>>> representative sample of the bales.
> >>>>> Hope this helps.
> >>>>> Thanks,
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Nehemiah Stone
> >>>>> stoneandstraw@...
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> ----
> >>>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise
> >>>> using the GSBN list,
> >>>> send email to GSBN@...HELP in
> >>>> the SUBJECT line.
> >>>> ----
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> John Swearingen
> >>> Skillful Means, Inc.
> >>> Design and Construction
> >>> www.skillful-means.com
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> --- StripMime Report -- processed MIME parts ---
> >>> multipart/alternative
> >>>  text/plain (text body -- kept)
> >>>  text/html
> >>> ---
> >>> ----
> >>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using
> >>> the GSBN
> >>> list, send email to GSBN@...
> >>> HELP in the
> >>> SUBJECT line.  ----
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >> ----
> >> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using
> >> the GSBN list, send email to GSBN@...
> >> with HELP in the SUBJECT line.
> >> ----
> >>
> >>
> >
> > ----
> > For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN
> > list, send email to GSBN@...HELP in the
> > SUBJECT line.
> > ----
> >
> 




----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 25 May 2007 05:21:39 -0500
From: "Rikki  Nitzkin" rikkinitzkin@...
Subject: "squaring" round corners

Barbara Jones taught me a method which makes a huge difference in getting a
tight fit between bales:

Before placing the bale, you take the "belly" part at the end and with a
pulling/twisting/pushing motion re-distribute the straw up and down the end
of the bale.  This gives you a relatively flat surface which makes a tighter
fit and a lot less stuffing.  

Rikki Nitzkin
Aulas, Lleida, Espana
rikkinitzkin@...
(0034)657 33 51 62 
www.casasdepaja.com (Red de Construccion con Balas de Paja)
 

> -----Mensaje original-----
> De: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] En nombre de Andre de Bouter
> Enviado el: viernes, 25 de mayo de 2007 8:17
> Para: GSBN
> Asunto: Re: GSBN:Re Thermal Properties of Straw Bale Walls
> 
> During a BWB workshop Ari Gore shared yet another little improvement for
> getting rid of the holes between the bales layed flat as the bales tend
> to have rounded corners on the up- and bottom side. Simply lay a handful
> of straw on the joints between the bales before you place the next row.
> 
>  ______ * _____ * _____ * _____  * _____
> |______ ||______ ||______ ||______ ||______ |
> 
> 
> Also place a handful next to the bale before placing the next one.
> 
> |______ |
>                *
> 
> A lot easier than pushing the straw (or straw-clay) in once the wall is
> up.
> 
> And you'll notice that bales on edge (or on end for that matter)  match
> much better (the rounded corners are now on the surface and easily
> plastered.
> 
> Bye,
> Andre
> 
> 
> 
> 
> billc a ecrit :
> > At 8:08 AM +1000 5/25/07, John Glassford wrote:
> >>
> >> We prefer to build them in the raw and do a solid pre-compression and
> >> then fill any gaps with a cob mix.
> >
> > Since it can be difficult to do gap-filling in the first place, would
> > it make better sense to stuff and *then* compress, allowing the straw
> > to mold into the cob?
> >
> >
> > --
> > Bill Christensen
> > billc@...
> >
> > Green Building Professionals Directory:
> > <<a  target="_blank" href="http://directory.sustainablesources.com";>http://directory.sustainablesources.com</a>>
> > Sustainable Building Calendar: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/";>http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/</a>>
> > Green Real Estate: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/";>http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/</a>>
> > Straw Bale Registry: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/";>http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/</a>>
> > Books/videos/software: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/";>http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/</a>>
> > ----
> > For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN
> > list, send email to GSBN@...HELP in the
> > SUBJECT line.  ----
> >
> >
> >
> 
> 
> John Glassford a ecrit :
> > Good idea Bill and in effect that what happens but with good
> > preparation of each bale and good bales in the first place this is not
> > such a problem gaps that is.  Also the pre-compression using all
> > thread as per Steens or the hybrid method seen here is the way to go:
> >
> > <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.glassford.com.au/Custom_meredith.htm";>http://www.glassford.com.au/Custom_meredith.htm</a>
> >
> > The rods on each side of the wall every 1.8 metres work a treat and
> > are much easer and stronger than any other method that I have used
> > including fencing wire, gripples and straps of all types.
> >
> > Just my two bobs worth mate.
> >
> > Kind regards
> > El Lupo
> > Huff 'n' Puff Constructions
> > <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.glassford.com.au/";>http://www.glassford.com.au/</a>
> > Mount Kilimanjaro Climb 28/8/07
> > <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/";>http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/</a>
> > 61 2 6927 6027
> > ----
> > For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN
> > list, send email to GSBN@...HELP in the
> > SUBJECT line.  ----
> >
> >
> >




----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 25 May 2007 05:45:17 -0500
From: Joyce Coppinger jc10508@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:RE:  dipped Bale Walls

Andy,

An article and photographs for The Last Straw on your French dip method
would be most welcome. And for everyone on this list, I'm always glad to
hear from you about your methods, techniques, or projects. Always need more
technical information for TLS issues - and you're the best source for these
articles. Thanks!

Joyce
- -------
Joyce Coppinger, Managing Editor
The Last Straw journal
GPFS/TLS, PO Box 22706, Lincoln NE 68542-2706 USA
402.483.5135, fax 402.483.5161
thelaststraw@...
www.thelaststraw.org


on 5.25.2007 3:55 AM, Rene Dalmeijer at rene.dalmeijer@...:

> Andy,
> 
> Would you care to write an article on your "french dip" method for the
> The last straw. Based on your mail you are probably besides Tom Rijven
> the most experienced user of this system. I have taken careful notice
> of your cob like approach making really solid walls.
> 
> I only used French dip on a few small projects until so far one of
> which was load bearing. The main gain for load bearing is the vastly
> increased stability of the wall whilst working on it. I am a keen
> convert to this method. Another bonus is that it allows you to use sub
> standard, not so dense/tight bales and still have quite a stable wall
> while building.
> 
> Rene
> On May 24, 2007, at 19:35, Andy Horn wrote:
> 
>> Hi all
>> Just to add my support of the dipping method.
>> 
>> Pre-dipping is for me by far my favourite way of pre-plastering Straw
>> bale,
>> and have found it helps shave hours and hours off the plastering
>> process,
>> resulting in a really sturdy solid impregnation of the plaster as well
>> as
>> helping with the pre-compression/settlement. Furthermore any risk of
>> fire
>> and weather is hugely reduced as the time that the walls
>> (un-plastered) are
>> at risk is a matter of an hour or 2 vs. days or weeks! I like it so
>> much
>> that I have been doing it will all my projects for the last 3 years.
>> 
>> I first raise the wall for a good fit (allowing for shrinkage in the
>> top
>> course) and then sequentially take down the walls course by course. I
>> then
>> dip the bales in a bath of an adobe type clay/sand mix thinned down to
>> a
>> yogurt like consistency, taking care to only dip the surfaces that are
>> to be
>> exposed...helping with the weight and in maintaining the insulation.
>> We use
>> a non load-bearing on-edge system dipping panel by panel. We place the
>> bales
>> in a bath of "slip" and then turning the bale over, use our hands and a
>> cobbing stick to really work the slip into the straw, usually
>> achieving at
>> least 50mm of penetration. We then allow the bales to partially dry
>> out,
>> until they become more firm and tacky (but not hard)....more like the
>> consistency of cob. I sometimes call it "cob-bale" building because it
>> is
>> more like building with giant cob bricks. One sometimes needs to
>> retard the
>> drying out of the first course/s of bales if there is a lot of wind or
>> strong sun so as to give oneself enough time to get all the bales
>> dipped. As
>> the walls go up, we immediately start to work the bales with a
>> cob-stick to
>> knit the bales together and help compact the coating. As straw falls
>> off in
>> the bath and makes the bottom too straw rich to dip with, we scoop out
>> this
>> mix and spread it out to partially dry to a cob like consistency and
>> then
>> use this as our cob to help fill in any gaps around the base, eaves,
>> openings etc. I also use a small plank to whack the sides of the bales,
>> which also helps straighten and compact the coating. Plastering
>> trowels are
>> also useful for this task. The result is a wall that is really solid,
>> that
>> when tapped is closer to the feeling of a cob wall, avoiding having
>> that
>> partly disturbing hollow sound. From there on the subsequent plaster
>> layers
>> are really easy to do.
>> 
>> If any of you want to see pictures of the process there are some on our
>> web-site.
>> 
>> Besides the above advantages mentioned my conviction in the dipping
>> method
>> has recently hugely re-enforced having this year helped a friend with
>> the
>> building of 2 load-bearing structures. The builder on site had
>> neglected to
>> cover up and a huge storm blew in soaking one of the only half roofed
>> structures. We then had to prop up the roof structure and insert a pole
>> support system to convert the structure to a non load-bearing
>> building. It
>> was no fun having to rip out all the mouldy walls that had quickly
>> started
>> composting.
>> 
>> In such regard, I would be interested to know if any of you have tried
>> the
>> pre-dipping method with load bearing systems???
>> 
>> Cheers
>> Andy Horn
>> 
>> ECO DESIGN
>> Architects &amp; Consultants
>> A. R. HORN - B.A.S. (UCT), B.Arch (UCT), Pr.Arch (SACAP),  MIA, CIA
>> Telephone: 021 462 1614, Fax: 021 461 3198
>> Cel: 082 67 62110
>> 4th Flr, The Armoury
>> 160 Sir Lowry Rd
>> CAPE TOWN
>> 7925
>> www.ecodesignarchitects.co.za
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Rene
>> Dalmeijer
>> Sent: 24 May 2007 08:04 AM
>> To: GSBN
>> Subject: Re: GSBN:Re Thermal Properties of (french dipped) Straw Bale
>> Walls
>> 
>> Chris,
>> 
>> I fully support you in this it is essential that the dipped bales are
>> used quite rapidly after dipping. This is a messy business but working
>> with two people to lift and place the bales makes a big difference. The
>> bales tend to fit in much better the need for stuffing joints is almost
>> diminished to zero.
>> 
>> Another tip once the bales are in place a tamping of the still tacky
>> bale surfaces with a plank and a hammer will align and flatten the bale
>> surface to a great extent. The best technique is to lay the plank
>> across the bale joints and then tamp. To work effectively the clay rich
>> slip should still be quite moist.
>> 
>> Rene
>> On May 24, 2007, at 03:50, cmagwood@...:
>> 
>>> I'd like to kick in on the "French dipped" method, as I
>>> believe they do a great job of helping to provide a really
>>> good "seal" across the entire face of the wall. It would
>>> make sense that if dipped bales are left to dry before
>>> being stacked that they wouldn't work as well, but they
>>> shouldn't go in when dried, but when slightly tacky. Then
>>> the straw/clay that goes in the gaps bonds very well to
>>> the bales and makes, for me, the best wall surface going.
>>> 
>>> Chris
>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Marty suggested that the 'French dipped' bales might give
>>>> a good tight
>>>> fit between the bales. My experience is the opposite. If
>>>> the bales are
>>>> dried after being dipped the diped sides get rock hard and
>>>> do not
>>>> compress. If the bales are placed before they are dried
>>>> there is more
>>>> chance for settling but this is a messier way of going
>>>> about.
>>>> 
>>>> As for the test Nehemiah mentioned where the top was
>>>> stuffed. A
>>>> suggestions (if such a test is ever to be repeated) is to
>>>> compress and
>>>> stuff the wall from below with car jacks between the
>>>> 'foundation' and
>>>> botom plate'.
>>>> 
>>>> Bye,
>>>> 
>>>> Andre "drop that bale" de Bouter
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> John Swearingen a ecrit :
>>>>>> Straw-clay seems the best material for this purpose,
>>>>>> although too
>>>>>> much clay
>>>>> might increase conductive heat loss in the stuffed area.
>>>>> <
>>>>> 
>>>>> ...for several other reasons, too.  When straw is
>>>>> stuffed in joints it's
>>>>> relatively loose and so provides a ready channel for
>>>>> moisture into the
>>>>> depths of the wall.  Straw-clay will form a seal against
>>>>> moisture
>>>>> entering
>>>>> the joints between the bales.  In addition, it stops air
>>>>> infiltration and
>>>>> can be screeded off to make a flat plain for plaster,
>>>>> thereby reducing
>>>>> the
>>>>> occurance of cracks that result from abrupt changes in
>>>>> the thickess of
>>>>> the
>>>>> plaster.  Also, it's fun to get dirty....
>>>>> 
>>>>> "Hurlen" John Swearingen
>>>>> 
>>>>> On 5/19/07, Martin Hammer mfhammer@... wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Nehemiah -
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Good explanations.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> You talked about the straw-stuffed gaps at the top and
>>>>>> sides of a
>>>>>> wall as
>>>>>> being places where convective losses could occur.  So
>>>>>> I'll add the
>>>>>> thermal
>>>>>> importance of stuffing vertical joints/gaps between
>>>>>> bales for the same
>>>>>> reason of limiting convective losses.  (This would also
>>>>>> be important
>>>>>> between
>>>>>> bales and "posts" that go mostly or all the way through
>>>>>> the thickness of
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> wall.  I've seen I-joists or steel trusses used this
>>>>>> way.)
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Straw-clay seems the best material for this purpose,
>>>>>> although too much
>>>>>> clay
>>>>>> might increase conductive heat loss in the stuffed
>>>>>> area.  Horizontal
>>>>>> joints
>>>>>> between bales don't seem to be an issue because the
>>>>>> weight of the bales
>>>>>> appear to cause the surfaces to lock in well enough to
>>>>>> limit air
>>>>>> movement
>>>>>> between them (although the French dipped bales might
>>>>>> seal that joint
>>>>>> even
>>>>>> better, and bales on-edge probably nestle together
>>>>>> better than
>>>>>> laid-flat).
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Then there's always the question of what material is
>>>>>> between the
>>>>>> bottom of
>>>>>> the plates, and what the insulative qualities of the
>>>>>> roof bearing
>>>>>> assembly
>>>>>> are.  And then there's the ceiling/roof, and the
>>>>>> windows/doors, and the
>>>>>> amount of infiltration throughout, and . . . . .
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Martin Hammer
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> John,
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> I did not see a response from Andrew.  Was that off
>>>>>> list?  I am always
>>>>>>> interested in what new or other information people
>>>>>> have on the thermal
>>>>>>> properties of straw bale construction.  Care to share
>>>>>> his input?
>>>>>>> Also, your Q about how compaction affects R-value is
>>>>>> a potent
>>>>>> question.  If
>>>>>>> hot box testing wasn't so expensive and time
>>>>>> consuming, or if there
>>>>>> were
>>>>>>> funders lined up to pay for it, I'd already have an
>>>>>> answer for
>>>>>> you.  There
>>>>>>> are a number of confounding factors, so until someone
>>>>>> has done the
>>>>>> actual
>>>>>>> research, we can throw around lots of theories.
>>>>>>> For example, it is air that creates the insulation
>>>>>> value of almost
>>>>>>> everything used for wall insulation.  ,,,not the spun
>>>>>> glass, not the
>>>>>> solid
>>>>>>> portions of the foam, not the cellulose, not the
>>>>>> straw.
>>>>>> Therefore, if
>>>>>>> bales are compacted too much, one would expect the
>>>>>> insulation value to
>>>>>> go
>>>>>>> down.  But, what is "too much?"  If bales are too
>>>>>> loose, then the air
>>>>>> can
>>>>>>> circulate in the air pockets and research HAS shown
>>>>>> that this can lead
>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> convective currents that lead in turn, to a dramatic
>>>>>> drop in
>>>>>> R-value.  That
>>>>>>> was one of the causes (we think) for the relatively
>>>>>> low R-values in
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> ATI
>>>>>>> lab tests in Fresno, CA.  Once we stacked the bales
>>>>>> in the hot box
>>>>>> wall
>>>>>>> opening, and compressed them as they'd be in a
>>>>>> building wall, we had a
>>>>>> six
>>>>>>> inch gap at the top.  We filled it with straw as
>>>>>> tightly as we could,
>>>>>> but
>>>>>>> we are not match for either a baler or truckers'
>>>>>> strap tightening
>>>>>> levers,
>>>>>>> so we KNOW that the top (where the greatest amount of
>>>>>> heat exchange
>>>>>> would
>>>>>>> naturally occur anyway) was much looser than the rest
>>>>>> of the
>>>>>> wall.  Ditto
>>>>>>> the sides, though those gaps were significantly
>>>>>> smaller (so perhaps,
>>>>>> harder
>>>>>>> to compact straw into).
>>>>>>> Further, though in theory greater compaction - after
>>>>>> the optimal
>>>>>> point -
>>>>>>> will lead to a decreasing R-value, no tests have yet
>>>>>> shown that to be
>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> case.  Perhaps we just haven't found the optimal
>>>>>> compression force
>>>>>> yet.
>>>>>>> Perhaps the theory is wrong.
>>>>>>> Lastly, I would question your assertion that jumbo
>>>>>> bales are
>>>>>> "naturally
>>>>>>> compacted a lot more than the smaller bales."  It is
>>>>>> mechanically more
>>>>>>> difficult to compact a larger bale to the same
>>>>>> density as a smaller
>>>>>> one.  I
>>>>>>> am not saying that the machinery isn't designed to do
>>>>>> so - perhaps it
>>>>>> is.
>>>>>>> But, from a pure physics point of view, it is not
>>>>>> "natural" as you
>>>>>> said.
>>>>>>> One way to verify whether the compaction is greater
>>>>>> or not is to
>>>>>> measure
>>>>>>> the water content and density.  Rice straw bales in
>>>>>> California (the
>>>>>> ones
>>>>>> we
>>>>>>> tested) are typically at least 8 pounds per cubic
>>>>>> foot at a moisture
>>>>>>> content of about 6%.  Do you have similar data on the
>>>>>> Aussie jumbo
>>>>>> bales?
>>>>>>> If you want to get an accurate reading of the
>>>>>> moisture content (more
>>>>>>> accurate than a moisture meter stuck a random depth
>>>>>> into the
>>>>>> bales), let
>>>>>> me
>>>>>>> know and I will send you (offline) a description of
>>>>>> how we did it.
>>>>>> The
>>>>>>> density (#/cf or kG/cM) is pretty easy, assuming you
>>>>>> can weigh a
>>>>>>> representative sample of the bales.
>>>>>>> Hope this helps.
>>>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Nehemiah Stone
>>>>>>> stoneandstraw@...
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> ----
>>>>>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise
>>>>>> using the GSBN list,
>>>>>> send email to GSBN@...HELP in
>>>>>> the SUBJECT line.
>>>>>> ----
>>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> --
>>>>> John Swearingen
>>>>> Skillful Means, Inc.
>>>>> Design and Construction
>>>>> www.skillful-means.com
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> --- StripMime Report -- processed MIME parts ---
>>>>> multipart/alternative
>>>>> text/plain (text body -- kept)
>>>>> text/html
>>>>> ---
>>>>> ----
>>>>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using
>>>>> the GSBN
>>>>> list, send email to GSBN@...
>>>>> HELP in the
>>>>> SUBJECT line.  ----
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>> ----
>>>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using
>>>> the GSBN list, send email to GSBN@...
>>>> with HELP in the SUBJECT line.
>>>> ----
>>>> 
>>>> 





----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 25 May 2007 05:49:28 -0500
From: Joyce Coppinger jc10508@...
Subject: Greywater in Cold Climate

Hi all,

I'm working on TLS#58/Water Conservation &amp; Management and would like to
include an article on greywater for cold climates. Anyone want to contribute
this article or point me in the direction of someone or some source?

Thanks

Joyce
- -------
Joyce Coppinger, Managing Editor
The Last Straw journal
GPFS/TLS, PO Box 22706, Lincoln NE 68542-2706 USA
402.483.5135, fax 402.483.5161
thelaststraw@...
www.thelaststraw.org



----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 25 May 2007 06:29:03 -0500
From: lotan-build@...
Subject: iced Bale Walls

Andy, Velvel et al,

With all this talk about French Dip, aka earth fondue, I would like to share
with you our technique: bale icing. 
 
In order to avoid the Sisyphusian task of putting the 1st layer of cob
slather onto the arched (over the head) ceiling of sb's, we've been
pre-plastering, aka icing, the bales for the GA-domes (Green Apprenticeship
neighborhood, earth plastered strawbale, geodesic framed domes).  We're
really lazy and old and can't handle the weight of the French dipped
flavored bales.  A thin layer of plaster is slathered onto 2 faces (interior
and exterior) of the bales and left to dry.

Nevertheless, because of this string on dipping (stringy fondue?) we are
going to try again to do a 2 sided dip with a thin clay slurry to see if it
saves us some time and mud.

You can view some very unprofessional photos of the icing and some
construction details at www.photos.yahoo.com/ciclotan and select GA Domes
2-3. 

Dome 4 and upward will be using a new engineered hybrid geodome frame (with
ready made openings) viewable in album 17 GA Dome 4.  The struts are home
cut, pressed and drilled 1 1/2" pipe, wall thickness 3.25mm, galvanized.

Alex

Alex Cicelsky
Education, Design and Construction
Center for Creative Ecology
Kibbutz Lotan
D.N. Eilot 88855 Israel
Tel: +972-(0)54-979-9009
Websites: www.kibbutzlotan.com
www.birdingisrael.com
 


- -----Original Message-----
From: Rene Dalmeijer [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:rene.dalmeijer@hetnet.nl";>mailto:rene.dalmeijer@...] 
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2007 12:56 PM
To: GSBN
Subject: Re: GSBN:RE: dipped Bale Walls

Andy,

Would you care to write an article on your "french dip" method for the 
The last straw. Based on your mail you are probably besides Tom Rijven 
the most experienced user of this system. I have taken careful notice 
of your cob like approach making really solid walls.

I only used French dip on a few small projects until so far one of 
which was load bearing. The main gain for load bearing is the vastly 
increased stability of the wall whilst working on it. I am a keen 
convert to this method. Another bonus is that it allows you to use sub 
standard, not so dense/tight bales and still have quite a stable wall 
while building.

Rene
On May 24, 2007, at 19:35, Andy Horn wrote:

> Hi all
> Just to add my support of the dipping method.
>
> Pre-dipping is for me by far my favourite way of pre-plastering Straw 
> bale,
> and have found it helps shave hours and hours off the plastering 
> process,
> resulting in a really sturdy solid impregnation of the plaster as well 
> as
> helping with the pre-compression/settlement. Furthermore any risk of 
> fire
> and weather is hugely reduced as the time that the walls 
> (un-plastered) are
> at risk is a matter of an hour or 2 vs. days or weeks! I like it so 
> much
> that I have been doing it will all my projects for the last 3 years.
>
> I first raise the wall for a good fit (allowing for shrinkage in the 
> top
> course) and then sequentially take down the walls course by course. I 
> then
> dip the bales in a bath of an adobe type clay/sand mix thinned down to 
> a
> yogurt like consistency, taking care to only dip the surfaces that are 
> to be
> exposed...helping with the weight and in maintaining the insulation. 
> We use
> a non load-bearing on-edge system dipping panel by panel. We place the 
> bales
> in a bath of "slip" and then turning the bale over, use our hands and a
> cobbing stick to really work the slip into the straw, usually 
> achieving at
> least 50mm of penetration. We then allow the bales to partially dry 
> out,
> until they become more firm and tacky (but not hard)....more like the
> consistency of cob. I sometimes call it "cob-bale" building because it 
> is
> more like building with giant cob bricks. One sometimes needs to 
> retard the
> drying out of the first course/s of bales if there is a lot of wind or
> strong sun so as to give oneself enough time to get all the bales 
> dipped. As
> the walls go up, we immediately start to work the bales with a 
> cob-stick to
> knit the bales together and help compact the coating. As straw falls 
> off in
> the bath and makes the bottom too straw rich to dip with, we scoop out 
> this
> mix and spread it out to partially dry to a cob like consistency and 
> then
> use this as our cob to help fill in any gaps around the base, eaves,
> openings etc. I also use a small plank to whack the sides of the bales,
> which also helps straighten and compact the coating. Plastering 
> trowels are
> also useful for this task. The result is a wall that is really solid, 
> that
> when tapped is closer to the feeling of a cob wall, avoiding having 
> that
> partly disturbing hollow sound. From there on the subsequent plaster 
> layers
> are really easy to do.
>
> If any of you want to see pictures of the process there are some on our
> web-site.
>
> Besides the above advantages mentioned my conviction in the dipping 
> method
> has recently hugely re-enforced having this year helped a friend with 
> the
> building of 2 load-bearing structures. The builder on site had 
> neglected to
> cover up and a huge storm blew in soaking one of the only half roofed
> structures. We then had to prop up the roof structure and insert a pole
> support system to convert the structure to a non load-bearing 
> building. It
> was no fun having to rip out all the mouldy walls that had quickly 
> started
> composting.
>
> In such regard, I would be interested to know if any of you have tried 
> the
> pre-dipping method with load bearing systems???
>
> Cheers
> Andy Horn
>
> ECO DESIGN
> Architects &amp; Consultants
> A. R. HORN - B.A.S. (UCT), B.Arch (UCT), Pr.Arch (SACAP),  MIA, CIA
> Telephone: 021 462 1614, Fax: 021 461 3198
> Cel: 082 67 62110
> 4th Flr, The Armoury
> 160 Sir Lowry Rd
> CAPE TOWN
> 7925
> www.ecodesignarchitects.co.za
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Rene 
> Dalmeijer
> Sent: 24 May 2007 08:04 AM
> To: GSBN
> Subject: Re: GSBN:Re Thermal Properties of (french dipped) Straw Bale 
> Walls
>
> Chris,
>
> I fully support you in this it is essential that the dipped bales are
> used quite rapidly after dipping. This is a messy business but working
> with two people to lift and place the bales makes a big difference. The
> bales tend to fit in much better the need for stuffing joints is almost
> diminished to zero.
>
> Another tip once the bales are in place a tamping of the still tacky
> bale surfaces with a plank and a hammer will align and flatten the bale
> surface to a great extent. The best technique is to lay the plank
> across the bale joints and then tamp. To work effectively the clay rich
> slip should still be quite moist.
>
> Rene
> On May 24, 2007, at 03:50, cmagwood@...:
>
>> I'd like to kick in on the "French dipped" method, as I
>> believe they do a great job of helping to provide a really
>> good "seal" across the entire face of the wall. It would
>> make sense that if dipped bales are left to dry before
>> being stacked that they wouldn't work as well, but they
>> shouldn't go in when dried, but when slightly tacky. Then
>> the straw/clay that goes in the gaps bonds very well to
>> the bales and makes, for me, the best wall surface going.
>>
>> Chris
>>
>>>
>>> Marty suggested that the 'French dipped' bales might give
>>> a good tight
>>> fit between the bales. My experience is the opposite. If
>>> the bales are
>>> dried after being dipped the diped sides get rock hard and
>>> do not
>>> compress. If the bales are placed before they are dried
>>> there is more
>>> chance for settling but this is a messier way of going
>>> about.
>>>
>>> As for the test Nehemiah mentioned where the top was
>>> stuffed. A
>>> suggestions (if such a test is ever to be repeated) is to
>>> compress and
>>> stuff the wall from below with car jacks between the
>>> 'foundation' and
>>> botom plate'.
>>>
>>> Bye,
>>>
>>> Andre "drop that bale" de Bouter
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> John Swearingen a ecrit :
>>>>> Straw-clay seems the best material for this purpose,
>>>>> although too
>>>>> much clay
>>>> might increase conductive heat loss in the stuffed area.
>>>> <
>>>>
>>>> ...for several other reasons, too.  When straw is
>>>> stuffed in joints it's
>>>> relatively loose and so provides a ready channel for
>>>> moisture into the
>>>> depths of the wall.  Straw-clay will form a seal against
>>>> moisture
>>>> entering
>>>> the joints between the bales.  In addition, it stops air
>>>> infiltration and
>>>> can be screeded off to make a flat plain for plaster,
>>>> thereby reducing
>>>> the
>>>> occurance of cracks that result from abrupt changes in
>>>> the thickess of
>>>> the
>>>> plaster.  Also, it's fun to get dirty....
>>>>
>>>> "Hurlen" John Swearingen
>>>>
>>>> On 5/19/07, Martin Hammer mfhammer@... wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> Nehemiah -
>>>>>
>>>>> Good explanations.
>>>>>
>>>>> You talked about the straw-stuffed gaps at the top and
>>>>> sides of a
>>>>> wall as
>>>>> being places where convective losses could occur.  So
>>>>> I'll add the
>>>>> thermal
>>>>> importance of stuffing vertical joints/gaps between
>>>>> bales for the same
>>>>> reason of limiting convective losses.  (This would also
>>>>> be important
>>>>> between
>>>>> bales and "posts" that go mostly or all the way through
>>>>> the thickness of
>>>>> the
>>>>> wall.  I've seen I-joists or steel trusses used this
>>>>> way.)
>>>>>
>>>>> Straw-clay seems the best material for this purpose,
>>>>> although too much
>>>>> clay
>>>>> might increase conductive heat loss in the stuffed
>>>>> area.  Horizontal
>>>>> joints
>>>>> between bales don't seem to be an issue because the
>>>>> weight of the bales
>>>>> appear to cause the surfaces to lock in well enough to
>>>>> limit air
>>>>> movement
>>>>> between them (although the French dipped bales might
>>>>> seal that joint
>>>>> even
>>>>> better, and bales on-edge probably nestle together
>>>>> better than
>>>>> laid-flat).
>>>>>
>>>>> Then there's always the question of what material is
>>>>> between the
>>>>> bottom of
>>>>> the plates, and what the insulative qualities of the
>>>>> roof bearing
>>>>> assembly
>>>>> are.  And then there's the ceiling/roof, and the
>>>>> windows/doors, and the
>>>>> amount of infiltration throughout, and . . . . .
>>>>>
>>>>> Martin Hammer
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> John,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I did not see a response from Andrew.  Was that off
>>>>> list?  I am always
>>>>>> interested in what new or other information people
>>>>> have on the thermal
>>>>>> properties of straw bale construction.  Care to share
>>>>> his input?
>>>>>> Also, your Q about how compaction affects R-value is
>>>>> a potent
>>>>> question.  If
>>>>>> hot box testing wasn't so expensive and time
>>>>> consuming, or if there
>>>>> were
>>>>>> funders lined up to pay for it, I'd already have an
>>>>> answer for
>>>>> you.  There
>>>>>> are a number of confounding factors, so until someone
>>>>> has done the
>>>>> actual
>>>>>> research, we can throw around lots of theories.
>>>>>> For example, it is air that creates the insulation
>>>>> value of almost
>>>>>> everything used for wall insulation.  ,,,not the spun
>>>>> glass, not the
>>>>> solid
>>>>>> portions of the foam, not the cellulose, not the
>>>>> straw.
>>>>> Therefore, if
>>>>>> bales are compacted too much, one would expect the
>>>>> insulation value to
>>>>> go
>>>>>> down.  But, what is "too much?"  If bales are too
>>>>> loose, then the air
>>>>> can
>>>>>> circulate in the air pockets and research HAS shown
>>>>> that this can lead
>>>>> to
>>>>>> convective currents that lead in turn, to a dramatic
>>>>> drop in
>>>>> R-value.  That
>>>>>> was one of the causes (we think) for the relatively
>>>>> low R-values in
>>>>> the
>>>>> ATI
>>>>>> lab tests in Fresno, CA.  Once we stacked the bales
>>>>> in the hot box
>>>>> wall
>>>>>> opening, and compressed them as they'd be in a
>>>>> building wall, we had a
>>>>> six
>>>>>> inch gap at the top.  We filled it with straw as
>>>>> tightly as we could,
>>>>> but
>>>>>> we are not match for either a baler or truckers'
>>>>> strap tightening
>>>>> levers,
>>>>>> so we KNOW that the top (where the greatest amount of
>>>>> heat exchange
>>>>> would
>>>>>> naturally occur anyway) was much looser than the rest
>>>>> of the
>>>>> wall.  Ditto
>>>>>> the sides, though those gaps were significantly
>>>>> smaller (so perhaps,
>>>>> harder
>>>>>> to compact straw into).
>>>>>> Further, though in theory greater compaction - after
>>>>> the optimal
>>>>> point -
>>>>>> will lead to a decreasing R-value, no tests have yet
>>>>> shown that to be
>>>>> the
>>>>>> case.  Perhaps we just haven't found the optimal
>>>>> compression force
>>>>> yet.
>>>>>> Perhaps the theory is wrong.
>>>>>> Lastly, I would question your assertion that jumbo
>>>>> bales are
>>>>> "naturally
>>>>>> compacted a lot more than the smaller bales."  It is
>>>>> mechanically more
>>>>>> difficult to compact a larger bale to the same
>>>>> density as a smaller
>>>>> one.  I
>>>>>> am not saying that the machinery isn't designed to do
>>>>> so - perhaps it
>>>>> is.
>>>>>> But, from a pure physics point of view, it is not
>>>>> "natural" as you
>>>>> said.
>>>>>> One way to verify whether the compaction is greater
>>>>> or not is to
>>>>> measure
>>>>>> the water content and density.  Rice straw bales in
>>>>> California (the
>>>>> ones
>>>>> we
>>>>>> tested) are typically at least 8 pounds per cubic
>>>>> foot at a moisture
>>>>>> content of about 6%.  Do you have similar data on the
>>>>> Aussie jumbo
>>>>> bales?
>>>>>> If you want to get an accurate reading of the
>>>>> moisture content (more
>>>>>> accurate than a moisture meter stuck a random depth
>>>>> into the
>>>>> bales), let
>>>>> me
>>>>>> know and I will send you (offline) a description of
>>>>> how we did it.
>>>>> The
>>>>>> density (#/cf or kG/cM) is pretty easy, assuming you
>>>>> can weigh a
>>>>>> representative sample of the bales.
>>>>>> Hope this helps.
>>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Nehemiah Stone
>>>>>> stoneandstraw@...
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> ----
>>>>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise
>>>>> using the GSBN list,
>>>>> send email to GSBN@...HELP in
>>>>> the SUBJECT line.
>>>>> ----
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> --
>>>> John Swearingen
>>>> Skillful Means, Inc.
>>>> Design and Construction
>>>> www.skillful-means.com
>>>>
>>>>
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>>> with HELP in the SUBJECT line.
>>> ----
>>>
>>>
>>
>> ----
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> email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line.
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----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 25 May 2007 09:04:28 -0500
From: jswearingen@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:RE: dipped Bale Walls

With all the enthusiasm for the French Dip method, we'll have to try it.
Our main concern is the bales mushing together well, and this seems to be
handled with less work by buttering (icing) the top of the bale, in place,
before the next one is put on top.  Not so much lifting of bales, and the
mud can be wheeled around in a wheelbarrow.  But we'll try it...it might be
a little faster or better in some way.  We'd need to rename it "Freedom
Dip", though....

John "Butter Me Up, Scotty" Swearingen

On 5/24/07, Andy Horn andy@... wrote:
>
> Hi all
> Just to add my support of the dipping method.
>
> Pre-dipping is for me by far my favourite way of pre-plastering Straw
> bale,
> and have found it helps shave hours and hours off the plastering process,
> resulting in a really sturdy solid impregnation of the plaster as well as
> helping with the pre-compression/settlement. Furthermore any risk of fire
> and weather is hugely reduced as the time that the walls (un-plastered)
> are
> at risk is a matter of an hour or 2 vs. days or weeks! I like it so much
> that I have been doing it will all my projects for the last 3 years.
>
> I first raise the wall for a good fit (allowing for shrinkage in the top
> course) and then sequentially take down the walls course by course. I then
> dip the bales in a bath of an adobe type clay/sand mix thinned down to a
> yogurt like consistency, taking care to only dip the surfaces that are to
> be
> exposed...helping with the weight and in maintaining the insulation. We
> use
> a non load-bearing on-edge system dipping panel by panel. We place the
> bales
> in a bath of "slip" and then turning the bale over, use our hands and a
> cobbing stick to really work the slip into the straw, usually achieving at
> least 50mm of penetration. We then allow the bales to partially dry out,
> until they become more firm and tacky (but not hard)....more like the
> consistency of cob. I sometimes call it "cob-bale" building because it is
> more like building with giant cob bricks. One sometimes needs to retard
> the
> drying out of the first course/s of bales if there is a lot of wind or
> strong sun so as to give oneself enough time to get all the bales dipped.
> As
> the walls go up, we immediately start to work the bales with a cob-stick
> to
> knit the bales together and help compact the coating. As straw falls off
> in
> the bath and makes the bottom too straw rich to dip with, we scoop out
> this
> mix and spread it out to partially dry to a cob like consistency and then
> use this as our cob to help fill in any gaps around the base, eaves,
> openings etc. I also use a small plank to whack the sides of the bales,
> which also helps straighten and compact the coating. Plastering trowels
> are
> also useful for this task. The result is a wall that is really solid, that
> when tapped is closer to the feeling of a cob wall, avoiding having that
> partly disturbing hollow sound. From there on the subsequent plaster
> layers
> are really easy to do.
>
> If any of you want to see pictures of the process there are some on our
> web-site.
>
> Besides the above advantages mentioned my conviction in the dipping method
> has recently hugely re-enforced having this year helped a friend with the
> building of 2 load-bearing structures. The builder on site had neglected
> to
> cover up and a huge storm blew in soaking one of the only half roofed
> structures. We then had to prop up the roof structure and insert a pole
> support system to convert the structure to a non load-bearing building. It
> was no fun having to rip out all the mouldy walls that had quickly started
> composting.
>
> In such regard, I would be interested to know if any of you have tried the
> pre-dipping method with load bearing systems???
>
> Cheers
> Andy Horn
>
> ECO DESIGN
> Architects &amp; Consultants
> A. R. HORN - B.A.S. (UCT), B.Arch (UCT), Pr.Arch (SACAP),  MIA, CIA
> Telephone: 021 462 1614, Fax: 021 461 3198
> Cel: 082 67 62110
> 4th Flr, The Armoury
> 160 Sir Lowry Rd
> CAPE TOWN
> 7925
> www.ecodesignarchitects.co.za
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Rene
> Dalmeijer
> Sent: 24 May 2007 08:04 AM
> To: GSBN
> Subject: Re: GSBN:Re Thermal Properties of (french dipped) Straw Bale
> Walls
>
> Chris,
>
> I fully support you in this it is essential that the dipped bales are
> used quite rapidly after dipping. This is a messy business but working
> with two people to lift and place the bales makes a big difference. The
> bales tend to fit in much better the need for stuffing joints is almost
> diminished to zero.
>
> Another tip once the bales are in place a tamping of the still tacky
> bale surfaces with a plank and a hammer will align and flatten the bale
> surface to a great extent. The best technique is to lay the plank
> across the bale joints and then tamp. To work effectively the clay rich
> slip should still be quite moist.
>
> Rene
> On May 24, 2007, at 03:50, cmagwood@...:
>
> > I'd like to kick in on the "French dipped" method, as I
> > believe they do a great job of helping to provide a really
> > good "seal" across the entire face of the wall. It would
> > make sense that if dipped bales are left to dry before
> > being stacked that they wouldn't work as well, but they
> > shouldn't go in when dried, but when slightly tacky. Then
> > the straw/clay that goes in the gaps bonds very well to
> > the bales and makes, for me, the best wall surface going.
> >
> > Chris
> >
> >>
> >> Marty suggested that the 'French dipped' bales might give
> >> a good tight
> >> fit between the bales. My experience is the opposite. If
> >> the bales are
> >> dried after being dipped the diped sides get rock hard and
> >> do not
> >> compress. If the bales are placed before they are dried
> >> there is more
> >> chance for settling but this is a messier way of going
> >> about.
> >>
> >> As for the test Nehemiah mentioned where the top was
> >> stuffed. A
> >> suggestions (if such a test is ever to be repeated) is to
> >> compress and
> >> stuff the wall from below with car jacks between the
> >> 'foundation' and
> >> botom plate'.
> >>
> >> Bye,
> >>
> >> Andre "drop that bale" de Bouter
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> John Swearingen a ecrit :
> >>>> Straw-clay seems the best material for this purpose,
> >>>> although too
> >>>> much clay
> >>> might increase conductive heat loss in the stuffed area.
> >>> <
> >>>
> >>> ...for several other reasons, too.  When straw is
> >>> stuffed in joints it's
> >>> relatively loose and so provides a ready channel for
> >>> moisture into the
> >>> depths of the wall.  Straw-clay will form a seal against
> >>> moisture
> >>> entering
> >>> the joints between the bales.  In addition, it stops air
> >>> infiltration and
> >>> can be screeded off to make a flat plain for plaster,
> >>> thereby reducing
> >>> the
> >>> occurance of cracks that result from abrupt changes in
> >>> the thickess of
> >>> the
> >>> plaster.  Also, it's fun to get dirty....
> >>>
> >>> "Hurlen" John Swearingen
> >>>
> >>> On 5/19/07, Martin Hammer mfhammer@... wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> Nehemiah -
> >>>>
> >>>> Good explanations.
> >>>>
> >>>> You talked about the straw-stuffed gaps at the top and
> >>>> sides of a
> >>>> wall as
> >>>> being places where convective losses could occur.  So
> >>>> I'll add the
> >>>> thermal
> >>>> importance of stuffing vertical joints/gaps between
> >>>> bales for the same
> >>>> reason of limiting convective losses.  (This would also
> >>>> be important
> >>>> between
> >>>> bales and "posts" that go mostly or all the way through
> >>>> the thickness of
> >>>> the
> >>>> wall.  I've seen I-joists or steel trusses used this
> >>>> way.)
> >>>>
> >>>> Straw-clay seems the best material for this purpose,
> >>>> although too much
> >>>> clay
> >>>> might increase conductive heat loss in the stuffed
> >>>> area.  Horizontal
> >>>> joints
> >>>> between bales don't seem to be an issue because the
> >>>> weight of the bales
> >>>> appear to cause the surfaces to lock in well enough to
> >>>> limit air
> >>>> movement
> >>>> between them (although the French dipped bales might
> >>>> seal that joint
> >>>> even
> >>>> better, and bales on-edge probably nestle together
> >>>> better than
> >>>> laid-flat).
> >>>>
> >>>> Then there's always the question of what material is
> >>>> between the
> >>>> bottom of
> >>>> the plates, and what the insulative qualities of the
> >>>> roof bearing
> >>>> assembly
> >>>> are.  And then there's the ceiling/roof, and the
> >>>> windows/doors, and the
> >>>> amount of infiltration throughout, and . . . . .
> >>>>
> >>>> Martin Hammer
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> John,
> >>>>>
> >>>>> I did not see a response from Andrew.  Was that off
> >>>> list?  I am always
> >>>>> interested in what new or other information people
> >>>> have on the thermal
> >>>>> properties of straw bale construction.  Care to share
> >>>> his input?
> >>>>> Also, your Q about how compaction affects R-value is
> >>>> a potent
> >>>> question.  If
> >>>>> hot box testing wasn't so expensive and time
> >>>> consuming, or if there
> >>>> were
> >>>>> funders lined up to pay for it, I'd already have an
> >>>> answer for
> >>>> you.  There
> >>>>> are a number of confounding factors, so until someone
> >>>> has done the
> >>>> actual
> >>>>> research, we can throw around lots of theories.
> >>>>> For example, it is air that creates the insulation
> >>>> value of almost
> >>>>> everything used for wall insulation.  ,,,not the spun
> >>>> glass, not the
> >>>> solid
> >>>>> portions of the foam, not the cellulose, not the
> >>>> straw.
> >>>> Therefore, if
> >>>>> bales are compacted too much, one would expect the
> >>>> insulation value to
> >>>> go
> >>>>> down.  But, what is "too much?"  If bales are too
> >>>> loose, then the air
> >>>> can
> >>>>> circulate in the air pockets and research HAS shown
> >>>> that this can lead
> >>>> to
> >>>>> convective currents that lead in turn, to a dramatic
> >>>> drop in
> >>>> R-value.  That
> >>>>> was one of the causes (we think) for the relatively
> >>>> low R-values in
> >>>> the
> >>>> ATI
> >>>>> lab tests in Fresno, CA.  Once we stacked the bales
> >>>> in the hot box
> >>>> wall
> >>>>> opening, and compressed them as they'd be in a
> >>>> building wall, we had a
> >>>> six
> >>>>> inch gap at the top.  We filled it with straw as
> >>>> tightly as we could,
> >>>> but
> >>>>> we are not match for either a baler or truckers'
> >>>> strap tightening
> >>>> levers,
> >>>>> so we KNOW that the top (where the greatest amount of
> >>>> heat exchange
> >>>> would
> >>>>> naturally occur anyway) was much looser than the rest
> >>>> of the
> >>>> wall.  Ditto
> >>>>> the sides, though those gaps were significantly
> >>>> smaller (so perhaps,
> >>>> harder
> >>>>> to compact straw into).
> >>>>> Further, though in theory greater compaction - after
> >>>> the optimal
> >>>> point -
> >>>>> will lead to a decreasing R-value, no tests have yet
> >>>> shown that to be
> >>>> the
> >>>>> case.  Perhaps we just haven't found the optimal
> >>>> compression force
> >>>> yet.
> >>>>> Perhaps the theory is wrong.
> >>>>> Lastly, I would question your assertion that jumbo
> >>>> bales are
> >>>> "naturally
> >>>>> compacted a lot more than the smaller bales."  It is
> >>>> mechanically more
> >>>>> difficult to compact a larger bale to the same
> >>>> density as a smaller
> >>>> one.  I
> >>>>> am not saying that the machinery isn't designed to do
> >>>> so - perhaps it
> >>>> is.
> >>>>> But, from a pure physics point of view, it is not
> >>>> "natural" as you
> >>>> said.
> >>>>> One way to verify whether the compaction is greater
> >>>> or not is to
> >>>> measure
> >>>>> the water content and density.  Rice straw bales in
> >>>> California (the
> >>>> ones
> >>>> we
> >>>>> tested) are typically at least 8 pounds per cubic
> >>>> foot at a moisture
> >>>>> content of about 6%.  Do you have similar data on the
> >>>> Aussie jumbo
> >>>> bales?
> >>>>> If you want to get an accurate reading of the
> >>>> moisture content (more
> >>>>> accurate than a moisture meter stuck a random depth
> >>>> into the
> >>>> bales), let
> >>>> me
> >>>>> know and I will send you (offline) a description of
> >>>> how we did it.
> >>>> The
> >>>>> density (#/cf or kG/cM) is pretty easy, assuming you
> >>>> can weigh a
> >>>>> representative sample of the bales.
> >>>>> Hope this helps.
> >>>>> Thanks,
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Nehemiah Stone
> >>>>> stoneandstraw@...
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> ----
> >>>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise
> >>>> using the GSBN list,
> >>>> send email to GSBN@...HELP in
> >>>> the SUBJECT line.
> >>>> ----
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> John Swearingen
> >>> Skillful Means, Inc.
> >>> Design and Construction
> >>> www.skillful-means.com
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> --- StripMime Report -- processed MIME parts ---
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> >>> SUBJECT line.  ----
> >>>
> >>>
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> >> ----
> >> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using
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> >> ----
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Design and Construction
www.skillful-means.com


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----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 25 May 2007 10:49:34 -0500
From: Rene Dalmeijer rene.dalmeijer@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:"squaring" round corners

Rikki,

I first saw redistribution of the rounded bale end doen bij Lars Keller 
at the ISBBC in Australie. I can't remember his exact technique based 
on his method though I developed a technique for really tight bales 
using a claw hammer. You ram the claw of the hammer in the "belly" thus 
yanking a wad of straw downwards roll the bale over to the other side 
and repeat the procedure this works really fast and is very effective 
in getting a square bale. It does not work for floppy bales.

Rene
On May 25, 2007, at 13:07, Rikki Nitzkin wrote:

> Barbara Jones taught me a method which makes a huge difference in 
> getting a
> tight fit between bales:
>
> Before placing the bale, you take the "belly" part at the end and with 
> a
> pulling/twisting/pushing motion re-distribute the straw up and down 
> the end
> of the bale.  This gives you a relatively flat surface which makes a 
> tighter
> fit and a lot less stuffing.
>
> Rikki Nitzkin
> Aulas, Lleida, Espana
> rikkinitzkin@...
> (0034)657 33 51 62
> www.casasdepaja.com (Red de Construccion con Balas de Paja)
>
>
>> -----Mensaje original-----
>> De: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] En nombre de Andre de 
>> Bouter
>> Enviado el: viernes, 25 de mayo de 2007 8:17
>> Para: GSBN
>> Asunto: Re: GSBN:Re Thermal Properties of Straw Bale Walls
>>
>> During a BWB workshop Ari Gore shared yet another little improvement 
>> for
>> getting rid of the holes between the bales layed flat as the bales 
>> tend
>> to have rounded corners on the up- and bottom side. Simply lay a 
>> handful
>> of straw on the joints between the bales before you place the next 
>> row.
>>
>>  ______ * _____ * _____ * _____  * _____
>> |______ ||______ ||______ ||______ ||______ |
>>
>>
>> Also place a handful next to the bale before placing the next one.
>>
>> |______ |
>>                *
>>
>> A lot easier than pushing the straw (or straw-clay) in once the wall 
>> is
>> up.
>>
>> And you'll notice that bales on edge (or on end for that matter)  
>> match
>> much better (the rounded corners are now on the surface and easily
>> plastered.
>>
>> Bye,
>> Andre
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> billc a ecrit :
>>> At 8:08 AM +1000 5/25/07, John Glassford wrote:
>>>>
>>>> We prefer to build them in the raw and do a solid pre-compression 
>>>> and
>>>> then fill any gaps with a cob mix.
>>>
>>> Since it can be difficult to do gap-filling in the first place, would
>>> it make better sense to stuff and *then* compress, allowing the straw
>>> to mold into the cob?
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Bill Christensen
>>> billc@...
>>>
>>> Green Building Professionals Directory:
>>> <<a  target="_blank" href="http://directory.sustainablesources.com";>http://directory.sustainablesources.com</a>>
>>> Sustainable Building Calendar: 
>>> <<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/";>http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/</a>>
>>> Green Real Estate: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/";>http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/</a>>
>>> Straw Bale Registry: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/";>http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/</a>>
>>> Books/videos/software: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/";>http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/</a>>
>>> ----
>>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN
>>> list, send email to GSBN@...HELP in the
>>> SUBJECT line.  ----
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> John Glassford a ecrit :
>>> Good idea Bill and in effect that what happens but with good
>>> preparation of each bale and good bales in the first place this is 
>>> not
>>> such a problem gaps that is.  Also the pre-compression using all
>>> thread as per Steens or the hybrid method seen here is the way to go:
>>>
>>> <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.glassford.com.au/Custom_meredith.htm";>http://www.glassford.com.au/Custom_meredith.htm</a>
>>>
>>> The rods on each side of the wall every 1.8 metres work a treat and
>>> are much easer and stronger than any other method that I have used
>>> including fencing wire, gripples and straps of all types.
>>>
>>> Just my two bobs worth mate.
>>>
>>> Kind regards
>>> El Lupo
>>> Huff 'n' Puff Constructions
>>> <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.glassford.com.au/";>http://www.glassford.com.au/</a>
>>> Mount Kilimanjaro Climb 28/8/07
>>> <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/";>http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/</a>
>>> 61 2 6927 6027
>>> ----
>>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN
>>> list, send email to GSBN@...HELP in the
>>> SUBJECT line.  ----
>>>
>>>
>>>
>> ----
>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN 
>> list,
>> send email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT 
>> line.
>> ----
>
> ----
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> list, send email to GSBN@...HELP in the 
> SUBJECT line.
> ----
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----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 25 May 2007 12:25:26 -0500
From: "Andre_de_Bouter" forum@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:RE: dipped Bale Walls

Jokingly  I wrote it would be hard to dip jumbo bales. But... while
plastering today it came to me that if the jumbo bales are lifted into
place by a crane (or other heavy machinery)  anyway, why not dip them
(with that crane) while on your way to the wall. Might not be so hard
after all... and does give a very good grip for the next coat. (and for
your information, dipping also works fine with lime).

Andre (not so sure about 'Freedom' dip ;-) de Bouter
By the way, we now have a president (Sarkozy) compared to whom Bush
might be a nice guy.



John Swearingen a ecrit :
> With all the enthusiasm for the French Dip method, we'll have to try it.
> Our main concern is the bales mushing together well, and this seems to be
> handled with less work by buttering (icing) the top of the bale, in
> place,
> before the next one is put on top.  Not so much lifting of bales, and the
> mud can be wheeled around in a wheelbarrow.  But we'll try it...it
> might be
> a little faster or better in some way.  We'd need to rename it "Freedom
> Dip", though....
>
> John "Butter Me Up, Scotty" Swearingen
>
> On 5/24/07, Andy Horn andy@... wrote:
>>
>> Hi all
>> Just to add my support of the dipping method.
>>
>> Pre-dipping is for me by far my favourite way of pre-plastering Straw
>> bale,
>> and have found it helps shave hours and hours off the plastering
>> process,
>> resulting in a really sturdy solid impregnation of the plaster as
>> well as
>> helping with the pre-compression/settlement. Furthermore any risk of
>> fire
>> and weather is hugely reduced as the time that the walls (un-plastered)
>> are
>> at risk is a matter of an hour or 2 vs. days or weeks! I like it so much
>> that I have been doing it will all my projects for the last 3 years.
>>
>> I first raise the wall for a good fit (allowing for shrinkage in the top
>> course) and then sequentially take down the walls course by course. I
>> then
>> dip the bales in a bath of an adobe type clay/sand mix thinned down to a
>> yogurt like consistency, taking care to only dip the surfaces that
>> are to
>> be
>> exposed...helping with the weight and in maintaining the insulation. We
>> use
>> a non load-bearing on-edge system dipping panel by panel. We place the
>> bales
>> in a bath of "slip" and then turning the bale over, use our hands and a
>> cobbing stick to really work the slip into the straw, usually
>> achieving at
>> least 50mm of penetration. We then allow the bales to partially dry out,
>> until they become more firm and tacky (but not hard)....more like the
>> consistency of cob. I sometimes call it "cob-bale" building because
>> it is
>> more like building with giant cob bricks. One sometimes needs to retard
>> the
>> drying out of the first course/s of bales if there is a lot of wind or
>> strong sun so as to give oneself enough time to get all the bales
>> dipped.
>> As
>> the walls go up, we immediately start to work the bales with a cob-stick
>> to
>> knit the bales together and help compact the coating. As straw falls off
>> in
>> the bath and makes the bottom too straw rich to dip with, we scoop out
>> this
>> mix and spread it out to partially dry to a cob like consistency and
>> then
>> use this as our cob to help fill in any gaps around the base, eaves,
>> openings etc. I also use a small plank to whack the sides of the bales,
>> which also helps straighten and compact the coating. Plastering trowels
>> are
>> also useful for this task. The result is a wall that is really solid,
>> that
>> when tapped is closer to the feeling of a cob wall, avoiding having that
>> partly disturbing hollow sound. From there on the subsequent plaster
>> layers
>> are really easy to do.
>>
>> If any of you want to see pictures of the process there are some on our
>> web-site.
>>
>> Besides the above advantages mentioned my conviction in the dipping
>> method
>> has recently hugely re-enforced having this year helped a friend with
>> the
>> building of 2 load-bearing structures. The builder on site had neglected
>> to
>> cover up and a huge storm blew in soaking one of the only half roofed
>> structures. We then had to prop up the roof structure and insert a pole
>> support system to convert the structure to a non load-bearing
>> building. It
>> was no fun having to rip out all the mouldy walls that had quickly
>> started
>> composting.
>>
>> In such regard, I would be interested to know if any of you have
>> tried the
>> pre-dipping method with load bearing systems???
>>
>> Cheers
>> Andy Horn
>>
>> ECO DESIGN
>> Architects &amp; Consultants
>> A. R. HORN - B.A.S. (UCT), B.Arch (UCT), Pr.Arch (SACAP),  MIA, CIA
>> Telephone: 021 462 1614, Fax: 021 461 3198
>> Cel: 082 67 62110
>> 4th Flr, The Armoury
>> 160 Sir Lowry Rd
>> CAPE TOWN
>> 7925
>> www.ecodesignarchitects.co.za
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] On Behalf Of Rene
>> Dalmeijer
>> Sent: 24 May 2007 08:04 AM
>> To: GSBN
>> Subject: Re: GSBN:Re Thermal Properties of (french dipped) Straw Bale
>> Walls
>>
>> Chris,
>>
>> I fully support you in this it is essential that the dipped bales are
>> used quite rapidly after dipping. This is a messy business but working
>> with two people to lift and place the bales makes a big difference. The
>> bales tend to fit in much better the need for stuffing joints is almost
>> diminished to zero.
>>
>> Another tip once the bales are in place a tamping of the still tacky
>> bale surfaces with a plank and a hammer will align and flatten the bale
>> surface to a great extent. The best technique is to lay the plank
>> across the bale joints and then tamp. To work effectively the clay rich
>> slip should still be quite moist.
>>
>> Rene
>> On May 24, 2007, at 03:50, cmagwood@...:
>>
>> > I'd like to kick in on the "French dipped" method, as I
>> > believe they do a great job of helping to provide a really
>> > good "seal" across the entire face of the wall. It would
>> > make sense that if dipped bales are left to dry before
>> > being stacked that they wouldn't work as well, but they
>> > shouldn't go in when dried, but when slightly tacky. Then
>> > the straw/clay that goes in the gaps bonds very well to
>> > the bales and makes, for me, the best wall surface going.
>> >
>> > Chris
>> >
>> >>
>> >> Marty suggested that the 'French dipped' bales might give
>> >> a good tight
>> >> fit between the bales. My experience is the opposite. If
>> >> the bales are
>> >> dried after being dipped the diped sides get rock hard and
>> >> do not
>> >> compress. If the bales are placed before they are dried
>> >> there is more
>> >> chance for settling but this is a messier way of going
>> >> about.
>> >>
>> >> As for the test Nehemiah mentioned where the top was
>> >> stuffed. A
>> >> suggestions (if such a test is ever to be repeated) is to
>> >> compress and
>> >> stuff the wall from below with car jacks between the
>> >> 'foundation' and
>> >> botom plate'.
>> >>
>> >> Bye,
>> >>
>> >> Andre "drop that bale" de Bouter
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> John Swearingen a ecrit :
>> >>>> Straw-clay seems the best material for this purpose,
>> >>>> although too
>> >>>> much clay
>> >>> might increase conductive heat loss in the stuffed area.
>> >>> <
>> >>>
>> >>> ...for several other reasons, too.  When straw is
>> >>> stuffed in joints it's
>> >>> relatively loose and so provides a ready channel for
>> >>> moisture into the
>> >>> depths of the wall.  Straw-clay will form a seal against
>> >>> moisture
>> >>> entering
>> >>> the joints between the bales.  In addition, it stops air
>> >>> infiltration and
>> >>> can be screeded off to make a flat plain for plaster,
>> >>> thereby reducing
>> >>> the
>> >>> occurance of cracks that result from abrupt changes in
>> >>> the thickess of
>> >>> the
>> >>> plaster.  Also, it's fun to get dirty....
>> >>>
>> >>> "Hurlen" John Swearingen
>> >>>
>> >>> On 5/19/07, Martin Hammer mfhammer@... wrote:
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Nehemiah -
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Good explanations.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> You talked about the straw-stuffed gaps at the top and
>> >>>> sides of a
>> >>>> wall as
>> >>>> being places where convective losses could occur.  So
>> >>>> I'll add the
>> >>>> thermal
>> >>>> importance of stuffing vertical joints/gaps between
>> >>>> bales for the same
>> >>>> reason of limiting convective losses.  (This would also
>> >>>> be important
>> >>>> between
>> >>>> bales and "posts" that go mostly or all the way through
>> >>>> the thickness of
>> >>>> the
>> >>>> wall.  I've seen I-joists or steel trusses used this
>> >>>> way.)
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Straw-clay seems the best material for this purpose,
>> >>>> although too much
>> >>>> clay
>> >>>> might increase conductive heat loss in the stuffed
>> >>>> area.  Horizontal
>> >>>> joints
>> >>>> between bales don't seem to be an issue because the
>> >>>> weight of the bales
>> >>>> appear to cause the surfaces to lock in well enough to
>> >>>> limit air
>> >>>> movement
>> >>>> between them (although the French dipped bales might
>> >>>> seal that joint
>> >>>> even
>> >>>> better, and bales on-edge probably nestle together
>> >>>> better than
>> >>>> laid-flat).
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Then there's always the question of what material is
>> >>>> between the
>> >>>> bottom of
>> >>>> the plates, and what the insulative qualities of the
>> >>>> roof bearing
>> >>>> assembly
>> >>>> are.  And then there's the ceiling/roof, and the
>> >>>> windows/doors, and the
>> >>>> amount of infiltration throughout, and . . . . .
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Martin Hammer
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>>> John,
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> I did not see a response from Andrew.  Was that off
>> >>>> list?  I am always
>> >>>>> interested in what new or other information people
>> >>>> have on the thermal
>> >>>>> properties of straw bale construction.  Care to share
>> >>>> his input?
>> >>>>> Also, your Q about how compaction affects R-value is
>> >>>> a potent
>> >>>> question.  If
>> >>>>> hot box testing wasn't so expensive and time
>> >>>> consuming, or if there
>> >>>> were
>> >>>>> funders lined up to pay for it, I'd already have an
>> >>>> answer for
>> >>>> you.  There
>> >>>>> are a number of confounding factors, so until someone
>> >>>> has done the
>> >>>> actual
>> >>>>> research, we can throw around lots of theories.
>> >>>>> For example, it is air that creates the insulation
>> >>>> value of almost
>> >>>>> everything used for wall insulation.  ,,,not the spun
>> >>>> glass, not the
>> >>>> solid
>> >>>>> portions of the foam, not the cellulose, not the
>> >>>> straw.
>> >>>> Therefore, if
>> >>>>> bales are compacted too much, one would expect the
>> >>>> insulation value to
>> >>>> go
>> >>>>> down.  But, what is "too much?"  If bales are too
>> >>>> loose, then the air
>> >>>> can
>> >>>>> circulate in the air pockets and research HAS shown
>> >>>> that this can lead
>> >>>> to
>> >>>>> convective currents that lead in turn, to a dramatic
>> >>>> drop in
>> >>>> R-value.  That
>> >>>>> was one of the causes (we think) for the relatively
>> >>>> low R-values in
>> >>>> the
>> >>>> ATI
>> >>>>> lab tests in Fresno, CA.  Once we stacked the bales
>> >>>> in the hot box
>> >>>> wall
>> >>>>> opening, and compressed them as they'd be in a
>> >>>> building wall, we had a
>> >>>> six
>> >>>>> inch gap at the top.  We filled it with straw as
>> >>>> tightly as we could,
>> >>>> but
>> >>>>> we are not match for either a baler or truckers'
>> >>>> strap tightening
>> >>>> levers,
>> >>>>> so we KNOW that the top (where the greatest amount of
>> >>>> heat exchange
>> >>>> would
>> >>>>> naturally occur anyway) was much looser than the rest
>> >>>> of the
>> >>>> wall.  Ditto
>> >>>>> the sides, though those gaps were significantly
>> >>>> smaller (so perhaps,
>> >>>> harder
>> >>>>> to compact straw into).
>> >>>>> Further, though in theory greater compaction - after
>> >>>> the optimal
>> >>>> point -
>> >>>>> will lead to a decreasing R-value, no tests have yet
>> >>>> shown that to be
>> >>>> the
>> >>>>> case.  Perhaps we just haven't found the optimal
>> >>>> compression force
>> >>>> yet.
>> >>>>> Perhaps the theory is wrong.
>> >>>>> Lastly, I would question your assertion that jumbo
>> >>>> bales are
>> >>>> "naturally
>> >>>>> compacted a lot more than the smaller bales."  It is
>> >>>> mechanically more
>> >>>>> difficult to compact a larger bale to the same
>> >>>> density as a smaller
>> >>>> one.  I
>> >>>>> am not saying that the machinery isn't designed to do
>> >>>> so - perhaps it
>> >>>> is.
>> >>>>> But, from a pure physics point of view, it is not
>> >>>> "natural" as you
>> >>>> said.
>> >>>>> One way to verify whether the compaction is greater
>> >>>> or not is to
>> >>>> measure
>> >>>>> the water content and density.  Rice straw bales in
>> >>>> California (the
>> >>>> ones
>> >>>> we
>> >>>>> tested) are typically at least 8 pounds per cubic
>> >>>> foot at a moisture
>> >>>>> content of about 6%.  Do you have similar data on the
>> >>>> Aussie jumbo
>> >>>> bales?
>> >>>>> If you want to get an accurate reading of the
>> >>>> moisture content (more
>> >>>>> accurate than a moisture meter stuck a random depth
>> >>>> into the
>> >>>> bales), let
>> >>>> me
>> >>>>> know and I will send you (offline) a description of
>> >>>> how we did it.
>> >>>> The
>> >>>>> density (#/cf or kG/cM) is pretty easy, assuming you
>> >>>> can weigh a
>> >>>>> representative sample of the bales.
>> >>>>> Hope this helps.
>> >>>>> Thanks,
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> Nehemiah Stone
>> >>>>> stoneandstraw@...
>> >>>>
>> >>>>
>> >>>> ----
>> >>>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise
>> >>>> using the GSBN list,
>> >>>> send email to GSBN@...HELP in
>> >>>> the SUBJECT line.
>> >>>> ----
>> >>>>
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> --
>> >>> John Swearingen
>> >>> Skillful Means, Inc.
>> >>> Design and Construction
>> >>> www.skillful-means.com
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> --- StripMime Report -- processed MIME parts ---
>> >>> multipart/alternative
>> >>>  text/plain (text body -- kept)
>> >>>  text/html
>> >>> ---
>> >>> ----
>> >>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using
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>> >>> list, send email to GSBN@...
>> >>> HELP in the
>> >>> SUBJECT line.  ----
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >> ----
>> >> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using
>> >> the GSBN list, send email to GSBN@...
>> >> with HELP in the SUBJECT line.
>> >> ----
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>> > ----
>> > For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN
>> > list, send email to GSBN@...HELP in the
>> > SUBJECT line.
>> > ----
>> >
>>
>> ----
>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN list,
>> send
>> email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line.
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>>
>> This message was checked by NOD32 antivirus system.
>> <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.eset.com";>http://www.eset.com</a>
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>> ----
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>> send email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT line.
>> ----
>>
>
>
>


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 25 May 2007 13:00:01 -0500
From: stoneandstraw@...
Subject: RE: GSBN:Greywater in Cold Climate

Joyce,

Are you around this afternoon?  I have an idea for an article for the
edition of TLS that you are working on, and want to run it by you.  If you
are available, I'd like to call you around 1:00 or 1:30 PDT today (Friday).
Does that work for you?

Nehemiah Stone
stoneandstraw@...



> [Original Message]
> From: Joyce Coppinger jc10508@...
> To: GSBN GSBN@...
> Date: 5/25/2007 4:39:55 AM
> Subject: GSBN:Greywater in Cold Climate
>
> Hi all,
>
> I'm working on TLS#58/Water Conservation &amp; Management and would like to
> include an article on greywater for cold climates. Anyone want to
contribute
> this article or point me in the direction of someone or some source?
>
> Thanks
>
> Joyce
> -------
> Joyce Coppinger, Managing Editor
> The Last Straw journal
> GPFS/TLS, PO Box 22706, Lincoln NE 68542-2706 USA
> 402.483.5135, fax 402.483.5161
> thelaststraw@...
> www.thelaststraw.org
>

>




----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 25 May 2007 18:44:17 -0500
From: markschu@...
Subject: Re: GSBN:"squaring" &amp; Thermal dipping

Yet a couple more methods of squaring ends for a flat fit;

Curtis Scheib, who lives here in Colorado, showed me his method; he cuts
about a 9 inch long 2x6 and wraps it with expanded metal lath and uses it
as a sander on both ends...squares them up rather well in short order.
Works on beer bellies too, a bit more messy. I showed this to some folks at
a work party and the next weekend when I returned they had several
variations on this system; they fashioned expanded metal lath to the bottom
of a Darby (3-4 foot long wood float with double handles) and rubbed the
ends or just wrap any dimension of lumber that comfortably fits the users
hand with the lath and fasten with staples. I would say that 15 seconds or
less of some vigorous rub-a-dub on each end is all it takes.

I've seen others here just use a chainsaw to cut along the end twine for
square ends. This scares me that you could, and sometimes do, cut the twine
and lose the bale. Those who use this method on a regular basis have gotten
quite good, cut no twine and have bale ends that fit together like bales
stacked on edge, almost.

On the dipping issue...has anyone ever used one of the small hand held
sprayers, we call them tirolessa sprayers. I've never 'dipped' but the
results sound similar to this sprayer and saves lifting the heavy bales
(important for anyone over a certain age). You simply mix your clay rich
slip mix, pour some into a wheelbarrow or bucket, dip some mix into the
small hopper of the hand held sprayer and blast it onto the bales. With two
worker types mixing and feeding the one operator of the sprayer you can
cover a lot of wall in a day. One thing I've never done though is the
'whacking the plank' method after spraying for straightening and compacting
Andy Horn speaks of. We generally let the pressure of the air blasting the
slip onto the bales dry as is, which gives the scratch coat a good bonding
surface. This method seems to work rather well/simply but I will try the
plank whack and trowel.

The tirolessa sprayer (weapon of mass construction) can be found at
<a  target="_blank" href="http://www.northcoast.com/~tms/tiro.htm";>http://www.northcoast.com/~tms/tiro.htm</a> for $215 US. Or, throw in your
handy TLS CD and see how to make your own small sprayer, instructions in
TLS 39, pages. 17 &amp; 18.

Mark 'been quiet until today' Schueneman
Colorado Straw Bale Association
303-444-6027 hm./of.
303-591-9841 cell



> [Original Message]
> From: Rene Dalmeijer rene.dalmeijer@...
> To: GSBN GSBN@...
> Date: 5/25/2007 10:40:26 AM
> Subject: Re: GSBN:"squaring" round corners
>
> Rikki,
>
> I first saw redistribution of the rounded bale end doen bij Lars Keller
> at the ISBBC in Australie. I can't remember his exact technique based
> on his method though I developed a technique for really tight bales
> using a claw hammer. You ram the claw of the hammer in the "belly" thus
> yanking a wad of straw downwards roll the bale over to the other side
> and repeat the procedure this works really fast and is very effective
> in getting a square bale. It does not work for floppy bales.
>
> Rene
> On May 25, 2007, at 13:07, Rikki Nitzkin wrote:
>
> > Barbara Jones taught me a method which makes a huge difference in
> > getting a
> > tight fit between bales:
> >
> > Before placing the bale, you take the "belly" part at the end and with
> > a
> > pulling/twisting/pushing motion re-distribute the straw up and down
> > the end
> > of the bale.  This gives you a relatively flat surface which makes a
> > tighter
> > fit and a lot less stuffing.
> >
> > Rikki Nitzkin
> > Aul&aacute;s, Lleida, Espa#241#a
> > rikkinitzkin@...
> > (0034)657 33 51 62
> > www.casasdepaja.com (Red de Construcci&oacute;n con Balas de Paja)
> >
> >
> >> -----Mensaje original-----
> >> De: GSBN [<a  target="_blank" href="mailto:GSBN@...";>mailto:GSBN@...] En nombre de Andr#233# de
> >> Bouter
> >> Enviado el: viernes, 25 de mayo de 2007 8:17
> >> Para: GSBN
> >> Asunto: Re: GSBN:Re Thermal Properties of Straw Bale Walls
> >>
> >> During a BWB workshop Ari Gore shared yet another little improvement
> >> for
> >> getting rid of the holes between the bales layed flat as the bales
> >> tend
> >> to have rounded corners on the up- and bottom side. Simply lay a
> >> handful
> >> of straw on the joints between the bales before you place the next
> >> row.
> >>
> >>  ______ * _____ * _____ * _____  * _____
> >> |______ ||______ ||______ ||______ ||______ |
> >>
> >>
> >> Also place a handful next to the bale before placing the next one.
> >>
> >> |______ |
> >>                *
> >>
> >> A lot easier than pushing the straw (or straw-clay) in once the wall
> >> is
> >> up.
> >>
> >> And you'll notice that bales on edge (or on end for that matter)
> >> match
> >> much better (the rounded corners are now on the surface and easily
> >> plastered.
> >>
> >> Bye,
> >> Andr#233#
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> billc a #233#crit :
> >>> At 8:08 AM +1000 5/25/07, John Glassford wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> We prefer to build them in the raw and do a solid pre-compression
> >>>> and
> >>>> then fill any gaps with a cob mix.
> >>>
> >>> Since it can be difficult to do gap-filling in the first place, would
> >>> it make better sense to stuff and *then* compress, allowing the straw
> >>> to mold into the cob?
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Bill Christensen
> >>> billc@...
> >>>
> >>> Green Building Professionals Directory:
> >>> <<a  target="_blank" href="http://directory.sustainablesources.com";>http://directory.sustainablesources.com</a>>
> >>> Sustainable Building Calendar:
> >>> <<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/";>http://SustainableSources.com/calendar/</a>>
> >>> Green Real Estate: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/";>http://SustainableSources.com/realestate/</a>>
> >>> Straw Bale Registry: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/";>http://sbregistry.sustainablesources.com/</a>>
> >>> Books/videos/software: <<a  target="_blank" href="http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/";>http://bookstore.sustainablesources.com/</a>>
> >>> ----
> >>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN
> >>> list, send email to GSBN@...HELP in the
> >>> SUBJECT line.  ----
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >> John Glassford a #233#crit :
> >>> Good idea Bill and in effect that what happens but with good
> >>> preparation of each bale and good bales in the first place this is
> >>> not
> >>> such a problem gaps that is.  Also the pre-compression using all
> >>> thread as per Steens or the hybrid method seen here is the way to go:
> >>>
> >>> <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.glassford.com.au/Custom_meredith.htm";>http://www.glassford.com.au/Custom_meredith.htm</a>
> >>>
> >>> The rods on each side of the wall every 1.8 metres work a treat and
> >>> are much easer and stronger than any other method that I have used
> >>> including fencing wire, gripples and straps of all types.
> >>>
> >>> Just my two bobs worth mate.
> >>>
> >>> Kind regards
> >>> El Lupo
> >>> Huff 'n' Puff Constructions
> >>> <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.glassford.com.au/";>http://www.glassford.com.au/</a>
> >>> Mount Kilimanjaro Climb 28/8/07
> >>> <a  target="_blank" href="http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/";>http://www.coolamonrotary.com/kili/</a>
> >>> 61 2 6927 6027
> >>> ----
> >>> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN
> >>> list, send email to GSBN@...HELP in the
> >>> SUBJECT line.  ----
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >> ----
> >> For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN
> >> list,
> >> send email to GSBN@...HELP in the SUBJECT
> >> line.
> >> ----
> >
> > ----
> > For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the GSBN
> > list, send email to GSBN@...HELP in the
> > SUBJECT line.
> > ----
> >
>

>




----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 25 May 2007 20:55:28 -0500
From: Martin Hammer mfhammer@...
Subject: Re: GSBN: dipped Bale Walls and something else


> Andre (not so sure about 'Freedom' dip ;-) de Bouter
> By the way, we now have a president (Sarkozy) compared to whom Bush
> might be a nice guy.

Andre, I can't imagine this is possible, but my condolences if it is true.

So, off the topic of straw bales, but far more important, I apologize to the
rest of the GSBN world on the day after our spineless Congress gave money
for our insane president to perpetuate his murderous debacle in Iraq.

I'm sure there's some agreement to keep political comments off this list, so
someone tell me to never do this again if you like.  But I'm furious about
this, and I want the non-US GSBNers to know that this American is disgusted
by what our government is doing to Iraq and many other parts of the world.

On a lighter, more positive note, straw bales are still a really good thing.

Martin Hammer





----------------------------------------------------------------------

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