Filed under: DIY, ecology, energy saving, environment, In English, wood engineering | Tags: chip-board, DIY, ecology, energy, furniture, hard-wood board, kiln, saw-mill, stack, sustainable
‘Ecological’ – the sustainability approach – Part II (of VI)
Well, there is no certain answer, but it all depends on many factors as told in Part I;
A chipboard factory
1) The chip-boards, or particleboards, are usually made from chips of some waste from some saw-mill or such. The glue is a combination of chemicals and the process of making chip-boards uses a lot of energy. The laminate is plastic. You maybe need to replace this kind of table-top every 25 years.
The release of formaldehyde from the particleboards is also a great concern.
2) To saw a stone into measure and to make the final product smooth and the edges round = a lot of energy needed. The durability of the stone can be hundreds of years, if the house does not burn or somebody smash it down with a hammer.
3) To make it from hardwood by yourself:
a) To buy a ready-glued sheet of hardwood, sawn into the dimensions needed. Then just sand the edges and such and coat it with something, or maybe just oil it. The coating has to be such that it will not give the food, or what ever you make on that table-top, any toxins. All sorts of lacquers or paint do not fit a kitchen. [To paint hardwood is a crime against humanity.]
The logs should not lay directly on the ground.
If the logs are lying unbarked during summer, there is
a great risk of mold, blue-stain and insect attacks.
b) You buy hardwood boards. The boards are sawn with some amount of energy. The planks are put into a kiln and dried in a chamber specially built for that purpose.
You can use different hardwoods, in order to get different colour-patterns, to suit your thoughts of architecture and design. You need water-resistant glue, but considerably less than is used in chip-boards. You need quite many tools in order to press the boards together, plain and sand them. Then you need to coat it. After 25 years, you might to need to sand your table-top and coat it again.
A table-top of birch for a desk, size 100 cm by 200 cm
c) You buy fresh hardwood boards directly from the saw-mill. Or as we aim to do; make the logging, then saw the logs with a DIY-band-sawmill. The logs are through-sawn – still not squared. [You can also square them before drying. They dry faster but tend to be curved sideways. We will write later about "How to square hardwood"]
You stack the non-squared boards on sticks in a shady place. Depending on the thickness and what time of the year you have sawn the logs, the drying process takes 6 – 12 months when dried out-doors.
After that you have to square the boards and re-stack the boards inside a place which is constantly warm and dry. There the wood should dry for months, depending on the temperature. A minimum is about 4 – 9 months.
A stack of birch is opened and the first furniture components are selected for gluing the steps of the stairs that are under construction.
This can sound like a very time-consuming way to proceed, but after the first time, and when keeping the process continuous, you always have dry wood at your disposal. It is the cheapest and most energy efficient way to make any furniture.
The downside is that you need to buy a lot of tools and equipment to produce everything needed from scratch – from unsquared boards, that is. But to manage making different things from wood is a great hobby and very useful to learn and teach the kids.
Also teach your spouse, so that when you hear nagging about “we should buy this or that”, you can show where the tools are. Believe me; DIY makes wonders in a person’s personality. A silent spouse is something to have.
To be continued…
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Filed under: DIY, ecology, energy saving, In English, wood engineering | Tags: disassemble, DIY, ecological, non-renewable, product, raw-material, recycled, self-made, sustainable, usabilty
1) A product that uses less energy than the other is not necessarily ecological. How’s that?
2) A table top of stone is not necessarily ecological. How’s that?
3) A wooden table is not necessarily ecological. How’s that?
Now for some provocative questions: You need to have a new table-top near your kitchen sink.
What is the best solution?
1) To buy a laminated chip-board.
2) To buy a table-top of stone.
3) To DIY.
An ecological product has to be seen as a whole process.
We have to consider:
- How much (non-renewable) energy has been used when it is produced?
- How much energy is needed when the product is used?
- The usability of the product – and is it really needed? Or is it just standing and taking space in the garage?
- Can it be self-made? Can it be made of recycled materials?
- How long is the life-time of the product?
- Can it be easily disassembled to usable raw-materials when it has ‘served out’?
- What can it, or parts of it, be used to when it can’t be used anymore in its original function?
Ecological – chip-board, stone or self-made?
To be continued…
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Filed under: In English | Tags: bearing house, DIY, gear reducer, kerf, salvage, shaft, sprocket, steel-rods, thread, wagon-frame
The ecological band-saw for logs
Comparing the ecological benefits of a self-made band-saw with a circular- or gang-saw.
- The band-saw needs a smaller electrical motor => less energy, even if it is not sawing as fast as the other types of saws.
- The thickness is more accurate for a band-saw, in realistic field conditions => the saw-worker does not need to add extra tolerances on each board.
- The kerf (the gap that the saw ‘eats’ making to saw-dust) is only 2 – 2,5 mm in a band-saw, and the other types of saws has a kerf of 5 – 6 mm. That means “an extra board of each log”.
- To saw big logs for some days, having a pile of big logs on one side of the mill, is not logistically difficult to do. And then having the small logs on the opposite side of the saw-mill, sawing them another day, means that you can easily change and plug a smaller saw-mill motor for those days.
- To obtain, store and change spare-parts is not a problem as long as you have been thinking about, and planned for, different situations from the beginning.
- The maintenance and sharping of band-saw-blades is easy.
What you need:
- Normal hand-tools + welding equipment
- to find the local Junkyard-Johnny
The rails (salvaged) and the foundation for them are very important.
The wagon-frame, (salvaged metal from Junkyard Johnny), has to be stabile. The wheels and ball bearings can be salvaged from any vehicle.
The elevator system has 2 steel-rods with threads, preferably durable against corrosion. [This is the only equipment you need to buy as new.]
Also a suitable chain and sprockets.
One or two used electrical motors 13 – 20 kW + bearing houses. Usually Junkyard-Johnny has a lot of these.
Used tyres + axels
A band-saw blade. (purchased)
If you want your saw-mill to be a deluxe model, you can also build a feed-motor to it. Any motor with a gear reducer of some sort, making the rotation slow, will do: from automated garage doors, old washing machines and similar stuff.
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Filed under: In English | Tags: cob building, DIY, drawing, eco, ecology, ideas, plans, vernacular architecture, woodworking, ympäristö
The following picture was submitted to us by an avid fan, who understands our rabbit minds very well.
Filed under: In English | Tags: 3D-modelling, cob building, DIY, drawing, ecology, Google, ideas, plans, vernacular architecture, woodworking
This is only the beginning. I will try to upload one picture per week mainly on the topics which we have covered and will be covering in our blog in the future. Things have been progressing at such a pace that we have to collect our marbles and put them into some reasonable order again.
Filed under: Russian | Tags: DIY, Окна, архитектура, балка, время, должны быть, пропускать, расположены, самодельная, свет, oконные стёкла
Окна должны быть так расположены, чтобы пропускать максимум света извне.
В зимнее время будут дополнительные горизонтальные окна, лежащие на деревянных балках.
Оконные стёкла берутся из окон, ставших более никому не нужными.
Пожалуйста, присылайте нам свои комментарии.
Мы также заинтересованы в людях, которые имеют такие же интересы как у нас.
Filed under: Russian | Tags: DIY, бревно, брус, видео, лазер, ленточная пила, лесопилка, пилить, пиломатериалы, рамы, самодельная
Самодельная лесопилка и столярка.
Типичная cамодельная ленточная пила для брёвен.
Ленточные пилы могут пилить чрезвычайно толстый брус и брёвна.
Простой подъёмник для рамы.
Лесопилка может даже иметь два лазера.
Человек, управляющий пилой, может легко видеть
при помощи этих лазеров, лежат ли брёвна прямо.
Видео о том, как работает лесопилка:
Filed under: Chinese, In English, suomeksi | Tags: adventure, architecture, cob building, crafts, culture, DIY, eco, low technology, nature, woodworking
The video posted here is one of our sources of inspiration:
- created through ones own labor, a truly cost-effective and decent form of housing.
- learning through labor to create satisfactory solutions, even under very hard conditions.
This video is really worthwhile to see!
Clip: Dick Proenneke, building his house in arctic conditions, in Alaska.
Klippi: Dick Proenneke, rakentaa taloaan arktisissa olosuhteissa Alaskassa.
短影片: 低棵普揉呢可 (Dick Proenneke) ，在北极区条件中搞他的一坐木头房子。
Oheinen video on eräs inspiraatiomme lähde:
- omalla työllä luotu, erittäin edullinen ja asianmukainen asumus.
- oppiminen työn kautta luomaan tyydyttäviä ratkaisuja, kovissakin olosuhteissa.
Video on todellakin katsomisen arvoinen!
- 通过工作学习建成适当的解决方式, 包括在猛烈的气候情况中。
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Filed under: In English, strawbale building | Tags: carbon footprint, DIY, eco-tourism, energy saving, Finland, low technology, low-impact, strawbale, sustainable development
Post and beam systems
Straw bale building are not the same as conventional buildings. This is an advantage and precisely the reason why some people incline to building straw bale houses. The best thing to do is to use framing systems which are adaptable to the bales found for your build. For most non-bearing systems, the framing is a post and beam or a modified post and beam frame.
In a non load-bearing construction the whole strength of the home is in the construction itself. This provides a load path for the roof and floor systems. It also acts with the shear strength for the building. This system holds the house up.
A similar value can also be given to the bales and the sorts, even though the frame is often regarded as the actual structural system.
Usually a conventional frame is to be changed for straw bale purposes in a number of ways. First, there needs to be enough room for the adequate nailing of the lateral shear mesh around the doors and windows. For making this, an additional trimmer may be required depending of the inclusion of the exterior trim. There also has to be enough nailing surfaces along the base of the wall system for a possible mesh to be used.
Unlike conventional construction, the framing does not land on four foot centres and in four foot modules to accommodate plywood sheets. Instead, the layout of framing is designed to fit the size of the bales and support the calculated loads. The more accurate you are with framing to the bales sizes, the less you will have to do during the baling stage. It is also important to pay attention to the header and plate height around the house. The goal is to fit the bales tightly under the top plates to help squeeze the bales and strengthen the wall. The windows and door header heights should be lined up so that numerous layers of stuffing are not required to continue the running bond of the bales.
Roof designs do not change that much to the conventional roof. When making a gable roof, more custom made bales have to be used, and some designs require more work to be adapted to a straw bale home. As an example: In a gable roof design, more custom-made bales have to be made, as one builds more towards the roof line.
A roof design can also help diminish the darkness sometimes created by the thick straw bale wall. By making an open roof design or dormers, more natural light can reach the room, thus brightening a room that may otherwise seem dark due to window size and orientation. The roof overhangs are should be quite remarkable in order to protect the construction from rain and/or snow.
The creation of toe ups is a part of the framing process. In a straw bale construction, toe ups are a necessary part of the straw bale construction. They provide adequate nailing surface for the possible wire mesh and separate the bales from the concrete and create a so-called moisture break. Should there occur a water break, the toe ups keep the bales dry and protected. The toe ups can be constructed using pressure treated 4×4 material, gravel and tar paper. They also provide a foundation or base for the bale anchors, which are required by code in various countries. The bales are attached to the toe ups, and the toe ups are attached to the concrete. In this way, the entire system is anchored to the foundation.
Some code books require the use of re-bar impalers for the system, but some nails applied to the toe ups have also been accepted in certain areas. The nails create a much stronger connection for the bales and do not interrupt the separation of the bales from concrete the way a rebar sections buried in the concrete does. Many building departments have easily accepted this kind of change in the construction.
Straw bales stacked on toe ups in a construction
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Filed under: In English, strawbale building | Tags: architecture, cob building, DIY, ecology, energy saving, environmental studies, low-impact, strawbale building, technology, woodworking
Once you have gathered some knowledge of the land and a design which you have found appropriate, the origin of the bales is to be found out.
It would be helpful to know exactly how big the bales are, and which kind you are going to supplied with – and at least their approximate dimensions. This is crucial during the design and engineering of the framing.
There are many farmers with available bales, so there is also a lot to choose from. Do meticulous research on the quality aspects of the bales. The difference in price does not vary that much, and this little extra effort is worth its while it in the end.
The colour of the bales tell a lot of the history of the bales: If they have seen weather or not? Have they been stored properly? If there is a lot of white powder coming from the bales when they are agitated, it can be considered as interior mold. This can also be judged by smell; in the case of mold, the smell is unmistakably musty.
If the the visual inspection reveals that the bales damaged by water, moldy or otherwise not in good condition, it is advisable not to use the bales in the construction because then the whole construction would be placed into jeopardy.
One important factor when choosing the bales is the density of the bales. Most building codes which recognize straw bale construction commonly require a specific density for the bales.
Calculating the density in some regions is usually calculated by the dry density of pounds per cubic foot (1.10 kN/m³).
It is essential to know the density of the bales in order to guarantee the building inspector of the quality of the bales.
A field test can be conducted in order to make sure of the density of the bales.
This might be most important factor when choosing bales. If the moisture content reaches over 20% , this level is enough to give a habitat for mold and decay. It is difficult to reverse the process of mold and the process produces two things the bales need to rot: moisture and warmth.
When measuring the moisture of the bales, keep in mind that the bales take and lose moisture in relation to the ambient moisture. When reading the moisture content, the reading should come from the bales and not the atmosphere.
It is not recommended to measure the moisture content in the early morning, when the dew may affect the reading.
Questions such as what science do the local codes require in making the decision also have to be answered. And furthermore, it is much more desirable to have the straw bales from the local area for the building to have a lower impact towards the environment.
After you have found a suitable supplier concerning the bales you can move on to the next phase of designing and construction.
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