Friday, May 27, 2011

Back to Building

This year I'm paying more attention to tamping. Before I sure tamped the tops hard enough until the bags were like rock. I also whacked the sides with a piece of 2x4, but didn't do that part as good as I could have. It makes a big difference when it comes time to do the plastering. A smooth, even wall is a much faster-plaster-blaster experience. Takes a lot less, which means fewer mixes need to made up just to make things even.
This years bags will have a much flatter vertical edge
By the way, tamping can be exhausting after a lot of lifting earthen mix. I can only leave it so long too, or the mix in the bags starts to dry out and then it would be too late to get good compaction. I usually tamp after laying about four bags. If you can trick some poor sucker into doing the tamping for you, it would be well worth whatever blemish you end up with on your conscience.

Shown below are pictures of how we close our bags. I fold the top like and envelope, sides first, then ends. They are pinned shut with a nail.

Shown under the bag is the slider I use most often. It was once a door on the side of a grader. It's quite sturdy and I got it for free. The place I work at has a mountain of things torn off of heavy equipment. There's enough stuff there to rebuild civilization. Granted, everything would be yellow and black and with the Caterpillar logo all over the place.

It sure is good to back working on our domes. We have such a short building season and I've been itching to get back at it. We laid about fifty bags last weekend and are off to a good start this year.

Doorway between living room and bedroom. My shop in the background.