Saturday, 27 August 2016

Screen Doors

I was away at a conference so it was just Tom out here with all the animals. We had been talking about installing screen doors on the trailer and rabbitry to keep flies out. He checked a bunch of stores and unless you're willing to pay hundreds of dollars, your only options are absolute garbage. So, he made and installed two doors himself while I was gone. I just got back and together we Maghda-proofed them with some chicken wire. She absolutely destroyed the screen on the screen door at our house in Brandon trying to paw at the doorknob to open the door. She's relentless, and she can open doors as long as they open inwards.
Trailer door. The "T" is to prevent the screen from sagging.

Rabbitry door

Bonus pic: Maghda + puppies!! Under the spare camper.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

More packout

Finishing up the initial packout. We filled in the scallops/valleys between each pair of tires a few weeks ago. Now we've connected them with more concrete mix. I like to think of the filled scallops as O's that we just connected by a bunch of X's. We still have just shy of 50 tires to pound along the front (south facing wall to support the windows). Once the tires are done we'll be continuing packout with adobe, making the walls one relatively smooth surface with no lumps.

Bonus pic: Maghda had puppies!!!

Monday, 15 August 2016

South tire rows

We need to do two rows of tires along the south wall to hold up the windows. We've decided to use 215's for the first row and 205's for the second row. This wall is not load-bearing; it just has to hold the weight of the windows. The smaller sized tires should be fine for this, and will make it nice & quick. We've lined up the 215's and it will take 38 tires for the first row. We had four enthusiastic volunteers come out Saturday and we pounded 13 tires! We've now finished tire #16 so 22 more to go for the first course.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Tire count

We are done the main tire wall! The only tires left to pound are the ones to support the south-facing windows, which will be maybe 70-80 tires. We've got clay piled up in a line right beside where those tires need to go, so it should be super quick filling them up.

The back wall consists of 444 tires total
First course (size: 265): 54 tires 
Second course (size: 265): 52 tires (less tires because of the culverts and a few blocks to fix spacing issues caused by the culverts)
Third course (size:245): 56 tires
Fourth course (size:235): 57 tires 
Fifth course (size:235): 57 tires
Sixth course (size:235): 56 tires 
Seventh course (size:225): 56 tires
Eighth course (size:225): 56 tires 

Our back wall is supposed to be 8 feet from finished floor level, including the bond beam. Each course is about 10-11 inches, so our bond beam may need to be about 18 inches tall. The bond beam needs to be a minimum 8 inches, so it really would have been cutting it close doing a 9th row, plus we are getting sick of pounding tires anyway.

Initial Packout

We've finished the main tire wall (more on that later!---the only tire pounding left to do is two rows along the front to support the south facing windows) and have begun packout. The initial packout is done by filling in between the tires with a cement mixture to prevent any compacted earth from the tire above from falling through. We used an entire pallet of cement and a decent amount of sand, clay, rocks, and beer bottles to fill all the gaps. Tom and I got 70% done in a single day (and that includes taking the evening off to put our feet up and watch a movie). We had lots of practice with cement over the last few summers while building the rabbitry, so the initial packout went super fast!

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

More earth being moved

Tom (left, white hat & blue shirt) and volunteer Scottie (right, red shirt) holding the 4" rigid foam insulation in place as clay is dropped on either side of it to keep it upright.

Our pond is getting bigger and bigger.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

West wing wall is done!

The west end will be our back entrance. The two concrete strips on the ground mark our mudroom. The tires extend 3 tires past that so our roof will overhang the width of 3 tires outside of the entrance, which will be nice getting in/out when it rains.
Pretty soon I've have to mow our floor!

Hard at work on the 8th row. The back wall is lower than the front, because of the sloped roof, so the back wall will be a total of 8 feet high from the finished floor level.