Sunday, June 18, 2017

buidling with Bamboo: Bamboo gate

I have used bamboo for curtain rods, replacement of rebar in ring beams, and garden stakes, and decorative stuff.

This was my first attempt for something more difficult (but not very difficult).  After the putting the first joints i decided to go as much with pure bamboo as possible.


Frame. cross pieces pass through and then a bamboo dowel secures it
 Before the last dowel
Making bamboo dowels/ nails

 Bamboo dowels

Splitting the bamboo for filling in the frame.
 Each rails is attached with a tight fitting dowel

 Want the fit to be tight but not too tight.  if too tight it can split the bamboo.  hose clamp to keep it from splitting more

the top hinge
 the bottom hinge.  will straighten when i cement it in.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

natural roofs

The pizza oven is roofed by catalan vault.   It is then plastered with a lime-soil-sand plaster, then pressed, then lime wash.

The last two nights we have had hard rain, 8cm each time and there is no leaking except one cornor over the wall where i put plain wet mortar.

This roof i struggled with personally.  kind of long story but in the end it is 7cm tiles on end, then another 3 layers of tiles with mud mortar.  work on  the groins on the first layer and the other layers it doesnt matter so much.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Finished enough

The pizza oven is done enough.

Sometimes i would work on the roof in the dark under lights making the masonry roof.  I  struggled with the timbrel roof (another blog post).

I rounded the peel before work.

The roof is arches from each cornor done by formwork, then 5cm facing bricks on side, then 3 flat layers on top of that. Then 3-4 cm of clay-lime-sand plaster, then 6 coats of lime wash.

Nice roof, but it took 3 times!  Not the bottles in the dome just visible.  That was the insulation

5cm thick wood door.  can't put it on when it is roaring as it burns.

And someone's first pizza.  People tend to put too much stuff on homemade pizza.

In action

pulling out a small pizza

Monday, February 27, 2017

Protecting Rammed earth walls from water running down wall, and adding beauty

My buddy John Mollel found this idea on line and came to do a test earlier this month.  The idea is water runs down to the row of brick tiles sticking out and then drips off from the wall.

The other idea is it adds decorative effect.

on the back side we tried some soil from East Usambara.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Rain Test on Rammed earth walls.

It rained 8 cm (3inches) last night.  the first big rain on some rammed earth garden walls.

This wall has no overhang, but a cap of rammed earth with 8% lime and lime wash.  Although the wall got wet it is still hard
 Wall with a brick over hang, painted bricks.  there was seepage but wall is hard.

Mayge this one had better coat on top of overhanging bricks.

wall sits on lime stabilizied rammed earth foundation.  plastic on top of foundation.  no or little water sucked up into wall.

small room along wall with lime stabilizied rammed earth plaster.  some seepage

Another wall.  the dark is seepage.  Wall is hard.  lime stabilizied rammed earth in upper section.
 another view  .  lime/clay wash
 lime washed wall


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Reclaimed wood use.

(disclaimer - Like most people I have too big of a carbon footprint, and I am a consumer.  I do strive to consume less and have a smaller foot print.)

At work we buy fiber cables on spools.  the spools are made of wood.  Other heavy items are shipped on wood pallets.  Before someone uses them as firewood I try to claim them for rough useage.

Geoffrey taking a pallet apart.  part of a spool set aside for some use.

Pallet was used for paneling on the metal door frame.

Later it was painted with (ahem) oil paint.  Since then I have some experience with lime and clay paints.  Next time.

Pizza Oven

A wood fired pizza oven has been on the 'agenda' for some years.  I don't know what I am doing (what's new) so I was hoping to know more first but time is running out (daughter last year at home).

I hope to try a few features:

  • insulation with old olive oil bottles, Amarula bottles, etc
  • Some insulation with sawdust in clay
  • heated up with rocket stove 
  • oven sitting on a groined brick vault
  • possible a timbrel groined vault over the oven.
  • Later i will also use for baking pottery.
The base is 160 x 180 cm.  I plan diameter of the dome oven to be 100cm.  the rest is 12cm dome, 10cm insulation , 7 cm protective dome.  Some space on the hearth side.

Dickson has trained half dozen masons doing the primary school project in Dar.

 The cross vault completed.  Note re bar coming up in corners for the pillars

Columns completed.

Used under fired bricks for vault, and over fired elsewhere.  both are not normally sell able.

Family thought the lower part is the oven.

re bar around the outside in the joint.

re bar extends out of pillars.

Now to level the top of vault.  draw the base circle .  build insulation layer in circle, layer of smooth bricks,  and so on.

Brick Kiln earth plaster roof

The kiln went through a firing with the earth plaster roof and there was no additional cracking.

The lime wash has held up but no big rain yet.

The wood doors doesnt work.  So you have to brick up the doors on the ends.