ProVillage


Ecological – logging and sawing wood – Part III

Ecological – Part III (of VI)

Let us look at the different processes: Woodworking – Logging and sawing

The harvester cuts and debrances logs and the forwarder collects them according to thickness and lenght. Both have programmable computer programs.

The harvester, on the left. It cuts the tree, debranches it, sprays some urea on the stump, and paint-stripes on the end of the log.

The different colors on the ends of the logs, the paint-stripes, tell the forwarder-operator the length and sort of each tree.
The forwarder-operator can thus sort the logs by picking up one sort at a time.
The wagon of the forwarder can load about ten or more cbm [cubic meters] per time. The logs are taken to the nearest place where the log-trucks can be loaded.

In this video, the harvester cuts, debranches and debarks the logs:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYlBbLDL5dE

The debarking of the log has many positive aspects when logging in the warm season; the log is not so easily attacked by insects and fungi, the bark that remains in the forest will stay there as nutrients, the mass of the load is reduced by 7 – 8 %, the weight even more as the log dries much faster without bark.

Here you can see how a forwarder works:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EnO7f4Vxb8&feature=related

Both the harvester and the forwarder are computerized.

The univesity of Tampere (Finland) and a Finnish company developed a "Walking Harvester". The sawmill, the windmill, worked for 161 years, up to 1954, as a sawmill.

To the left is a “Walking Harvester
http://firrs.blogspot.com/2007/10/finnish-subsidiary-of-john-deere-has.html

The university of Tampere (Finland) and a Finnish company developed a “Walking Harvester” before John Deere bought the company. This harvester is meant for steep hillsides, where safety is very essential when logging in such an environment, and also the environment itself needs to be taken care of. If the earth is very scarred at steep hillsides, the heavy rain and fast melting snow can endanger the soil before nature has taken care of the “scars”. If the soil that keeps the trees growing runs down together with the water, it takes thousands of years to recover the forest – if ever.

The best known example of this are the former dense cedar-forests of Lebanon. First the Foinikians logged the main forests and after that, the Romans logged the rest. After the hills where barred, there was nothing that kept the soil in place.

There are different methods to keep the forests growing for centuries to come. The methods of logging, depends on if the forest is at a big lake or on steep hill. As a rule, forest are logged in zig-zag-corridors, so that the wind can’t get too strong, but blow mainly above the forest.

A roman sawmill that has been found in Asia minor, got its power from a water-stream. The band-saw to the right has the advantage, as all bandsaws has, that the kerf is smallest possible.

On the left, a Roman saw-mill found in Asia Minor.
On the right, a commercially made band-saw, Serra. The kerf (the gap that becomes saw-dust) is about 2 mm when you saw with a bandsaw.
A typical kerf for circular log-saws and frame-saws is 5 – 6 mm. It might seem to be a small difference, but the fact is that from one medium-size log, you can get one extra board. That makes a big difference at the end of the day – especially if the logs are of the highest quality such as knotless logs. The knotless boards, for example which the carpenters make boats from, do not come cheap.
The downside with a band-saw is that it is slower, but one thing which compensates this fact is that it uses much less electrical power.

A framesaw is typically operated with 7 or 9 blades. A circular saw can saw al og which but-end can be up to 60 cm in diameter.

The framesaw, to the left, has a set of fixed saw-blades, 5 – 11 blades. The framesaw through-saws the whole log into unsquared boards simultaneously.
The circular logsaw, saws fast, but only one board at time.

Laser techniques are used in many different types of processing units in a modern saw-mill.

Laser technology is used in many different types of processing units in a modern saw-mill.
Usually the saw-mill needs a big yard in order to keep the logistics in good order.

To be continued…

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ECO-BUILDING – PART 12 – Electrics in a Straw Bale House

When having electrics in a straw bale home, one will need to know how to install it, as it might might be so that electricians will not necessarily have earlier experience with straw bale structures.

All of the wiring is to be hidden behind the plastered wall, or made to run in required places behind a special panel, so it is better to get it done right the first time. The panel solution also makes it easier to fix faulty wiring, if the need arises.

The wiring can also be placed to run in a tube which makes the installation easier.
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The idea in a nutshell

village layout sample

A description of the project in a nutshell can be downloaded from the following address:
https://provillage.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/concept-description-eng.pdf
The material has also been presented to some local decision-makers, and is pending for a decision.
We are naturally also interested in having cooperation with people and instances interested in similar ventures and ideas.
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Projektin kuvaus pähkinäkuoressa löytyy allaolevasta linkistä:
https://provillage.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/konseptin-kuvaus-20100112.pdf
Materiaali on myös lähetetty joillekin kunnallisille päättäjille, odotellessamme päätöksiä.
Olemme luonnollisesti myös kiinnostuneita yhteistyöstä eri ihmisten ja osapuolten kanssa, jotka ovat kiinnostuneita samanlaisista hankkeista ja ideoista.

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ECO-BUILDING – PART 11 – Preparations for Plastering a Straw Bale House

A job well planned and prepared is a job half done. A quality plaster job starts before the plaster is brought to the site. The condition of the substrate, or the base surface to be worked with, is very important – as the plaster can only be as strong as the substrate it is attached to. Straw generally makes a great substrate for a plaster, as so does a mesh – if any mesh is to be used.

The transition points of bale to wood must also be detailed, because they have their own rate of expansion. Because these two materials expand and contract at a varying rate, many cracks will appear if the transition points are not properly detailed with a plaster lath.
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plaster and wood transition points

One method is to cover all wood with roofing felt to isolate the wood from the plaster. One can also use a plaster lath to give the plaster something to hang on to. The plaster should always have some surface to hang onto, and hang on its own without any structural support. This is even more important around doors and windows as well as at the intersections with the ceiling.

burlapOn exterior surfaces, all wood needs to be covered as described above and any large gaps need to be filled.
Materials used for doing the filling are cob, light straw clay, burlap, spray foam (PU-foam) or other suitable materials.

When the plaster is to be applied, the walls should be tight and solid. All wooden parts should be covered and the mesh should be attached firmly to the wood structures and/or sewn through the straw bale walls.

All holes and gaps should be filled firmly so that no deflation occurs. It is also good to keep the site clean of straw and other debris, so one can walk safely around the structure.

The floors should also be covered so that dropped plaster will not have the possibility to mar it.

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A Stone Age Sauna

Frame of a sauna

The pictures are of a reconstruction of a stone-age sauna, re-built according to archeological findings.

The method of bathing in a sauna, such as pictured here, was presumably the following:

– A wooden frame was made to a size of taking in a couple of people.

– The frame was then covered with animal hides to keep in the hot steam.

– Stones were then heated up gleaming hot in a fire outside this ‘sauna’, after which they were placed inside this tent and only then could the bathing have begun.

Frame of the sauna covered with animal hides

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ECO-BUILDING – PART 10 – Working the Bales into Shape (continued…)

As an addition to the previous post: The nooks and niches in the walls can be made into various forms and for various purposes.

Nooks and niches are possibilities to remember, when you build straw bale houses

In this case too, only the imagination sets the limit.

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ECO-BUILDING – PART 10 – Working the Bales into Shape

Cats loves to live in straw bale houses with smooth and beautifully curved windows and elements

A straw bale house is commonly equipped with soft curves. The advantage of having softer curves around the windows is that they allow more direct light to filter into the rooms while also acting as reflectors for indirect light. These curves are easy to make and have an additional effect on the aesthetics of the house.

Mesh

When a mesh is used for the engineering of a building, the creation of curves becomes quite easy. The mesh provides a form for the straw. The desired shape is created when the loose straw is placed behind the mesh, which is then nailed to the framing. For some shapes, such as curve around a window or door, additional plaster may be needed.

When using a metal mesh however, there is always the risk of creating a Faraday’s cage.

Niches and nooks

The characteristic of the walls being relatively thick makes it possible to create niches and/or nooks, if one desires. The spaces can be carved into the walls after the bales of straw have been stacked. They act as a decorative addition to on the walls, and can also be used to highlight an item in your home. These nooks can also be made into an ideal feature if a light fixture is attached to them.

These are a number of different options available as for the mesh – welded wire mesh, plastic mesh, chicken wire. It is worthwhile to experiment with various methods regarding to various usages.

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