Friday, June 30, 2017

Foneless Friday (Updated)

       Yup, I left my phone at home. I was half way to the dome when I realized I had no phone. And today was supposed to be awesome because I was gonna do two rows of dome, with a short entrance, setting up for the leaning arch. But literally as I completed my first row, my tamper snapped in twine! The place where the tamper meets the post snapped off. I guess all the build days throwing it down to the ground took its toll. But I wish I had my camera because it was nuts to see a bit of rust and the tamper sheared off as if the metal was ripped. 
      I had some left over mix, so I covered part of the exposed pond liner around the dome. I have been exposing about half of the pond liner row edge so I can seal cement around it, then put the sand back to the correct level. I feel this protects the liner a bit because who knows what might happen in the future.

     *** See bottom for actual pics taken before work the following workday.

This drawing represents what I did today. Actually I think the row I did was closer to the top of the door. ;)
I think it's gonna go down something like this.
This is not a photo, just a drawing of what happened to the tamper.

I know this was the best blog entry ever! 
Next week is wonky because of the holiday. I hope to at least build 3 days. 

   *** UPDATE Pics here:

How far I got on Friday. 
The spirit was willing but the tamper had already gone.
                                       Yup looks JUST LIKE THE DRAWINGS! 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

minor revelations

      Thursday, and even though the rows get slightly shorter as I approach the top of the dome, building everyday is physically tiring. I have been needing 3 or 4 protein smoothies a day in addition to two meals, one before building and one after. I need 10 hours of sleep and my arms and hands are sore, skin is sandpaper dry and full of calluses, cuts, punctures and blisters. I am not complaining, just trying to describe the experience. Even as I type this now, my hand are still so dry from the cement and sand. 
      I had a minor revelation today about how to achieve the leaning arch entrance. I did it on the last dome, of course, but this dome is only about as high as the doorway so having the height to create the leaning arch and when to stop the entrance rows was not clear. But I see that the next row and the following 2 or 3 rows will establish a 45 degree angle around the doorframe and the leaning arch may just meet at the top of the dome and form a spine from that point along the entrance way.

Up on the row.
If you knock on a row with your knuckle, it's hard as stone. 
That one imperfect row makes for an fantastic step! Happy Accident. 
Still 4 rows to the top of the door. Is it groundhog day?
From this angle you can see the left curve of the dome and the right side as it straightens to meet the entrance, and make room for the door in swing. 
From this angle it looks like only 2 rows to the top of the door. Lies!
The next row will only go to the barbed wire. The next row will be a foot shorter and the row after that also a foot shorter (approx) to form a 45 degree angle that starts outside the door frame.
Does this make it clearer or more confusing?

Thanks for reading this blog. Superadobe is a solution to many housing issues that face people all over the world. I hope this blog somehow encourages and informs those interested in the process. You can do it, it is not that difficult. The book, Sandbag Sheleter is meant to be ALL you need to actually build. It is a forgiving medium, very strong and using geometric principles utilized in architecture from antiquity to today.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

He who walks behind the rows

Wednesday was tough. As it cools down I have been catching up on sleep and not wanting to get out of bed. Yesterday I smashed my ankle with a brick while tamping a bag closed.  :(   boooo hue hue hoooo. But surprisingly by the end of the day my wolverine healing powers had kicked in and I felt good and wasn't limping. Sand gets in your shoes and scrunches your toes and it makes everything harder. Today I had enough and took my shoes off and emptied the sand at least 3 times before I finished for the day.
      The pictures may not show it clearly, but I sawed off the doorway supports today and covered the stumps with cement for safety. The permanent floor will cover all that stuff anyway. I also screwed one more set of door fastening wood ready to be sandwiched in between this and the next row.

It's been four rows to the top for the past four rows, what is going on?
If you try to explain it to someone, who has never seen it,
I am fairly certain they will think you're insane!
Then they see it, and it is CONFIRMED. You ARE INSANE.

Admit it, you finally see how these rows are SEXY!
(btw the camera is crooked not the wall !!!!!!!!!!!)
You know all about this by now. You don't even need to go to Cal-Earth
Supports gone! Stumps covered! Safety first!
It will be quite a BAÑO!
Don't be so critical! Lime Stucco will make it awesome!
See I told you, crooked camera, the dome is fine.
Around row 14 everybody loses it. 
Hand made sand house: 90% Mojave Desert Sand, 10% Evil Empire.
Music, thats how. I have a portable speaker with usb for playing off a flash drive.
Finally the heat wave is subsiding  ;)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Wide Angle Tuesday!

I've been trying to figure out how many more rows I'll need to make and it's pretty tough to guess. Also visualizing how the dome and leaning arch doorway actually connect is something I'll just have to wait and see. I know the rules and the rest is improvisation on this dome.

It doesn't seem like I am getting any closer to the top! 
I still admire those balls!
Tres Hermanas
Ultra WIDE 
Hellooooooo down there!

If you sit inside the structure, its starting to feel like you're inside.

I was cleaning up for the day and I heard a flockin' commotion. 5 birds were in an argument and I ran over. Several birds flew off and these two stayed behind. I couldn't tell if they were hurt or what was wrong, if anything. They look young.

One of the two birds flew from one branch to another,
so I don't think there is a wing injury.
Its one of those things, during construction, I worry about the equipment working and all the variables. I want to complete the project, reach my goal. But then it gets close and I realize how special it is to build superadobe in the desert. The Mojave  is an amazing place, difficult and harsh, but everyday she kisses you with beauty and pleasantry. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Back at it in the heat and sun

    It wasn't much above 107 today but the UV index was topped, meaning you burn easily, and even with my hat and shades and long sleeves and gloves and 70 SPF, I still turned red and feel a bit tired and worn out, like you only get when you burn. The yellow butterfly was back and some other fuzzy buzzies too, but I could't play with them, I had to work and get OUT of the SUN.

End of day progress. It was too hot and burnie to be out there snapping away. 
Another window 
Barbed wire on bag is an art.

You simply do not get a proper sense of scale here. 
Soon, I'll take pics with the wide angle so you can get a sense of the interior. It is bigger inside than it looks, big enough for a toilet seat, sink and bench. 
Sweet angle

Friday, June 23, 2017

Heat Wave Friday

Another scorcher today in the desert. My car said 114 f. I couldn't get to sleep early enough last night and I paid for it today. Even just 3 hours outside is very taxing when you are working in this heat. I need my arms covered completely and I slather on the sunscreen. The sweat makes it run and it stings, it stings! The sand and cement make wiping the sweat off your brow exfoliating and I need to mist the worksite and me, every 15 minutes. 

A new present from an old friend.
Horseshoes point up to catch all the luck!
Soft serve ice cream anyone?
Okay, yeah, from this angle it does look like the dome is in the middle of nowhere. Oh no, wait, is that a barn?
This may be the first time I've noticed the walking path in the photos. This is the path that goes from the car to the dome, about 200 feet.
Damn near 2/3s of the way to the to of the door.
What will be taller, door or dome? Wait and see.
She's lookin' purdy darn level.
Extra mix affords more pond liner sealing. Eventually the cement floor will be flush with the top of row 01. (not counting foundation rows)
A different view.
No danger today, just a casual observer.
I am not a shrimp, I am a Mojave King Prawn!