Identifying Limestone

Identifying Limestone

I needed some limestone to work some cement experiments trying to replicate both the Portland cement patent, and to make slaked lime for mortar mix. This meant I had to be able to identify limestone.  Luckily since limestone is calcium…

Making Slaked Lime

Making Slaked Lime

Just like when talking to beekeepers, beer brewers, or any of a number of simple skills – the basics of what I am about to talk about are simple, but the chemistry rapidly gets complicated – but if you just…

Conduit Dome Part 5 Wire and Cement

Conduit Dome Part 5 Wire and Cement

This was the hardest part of the entire project so far – it was my first attempt at working with cement (other than using a couple bags of ready mix to set fence poles). To make matters worse, We were…

Conduit Dome Part 4 2v Door

Conduit Dome Part 4 2v Door

When figuring out the door I got the basic idea from my test build in my front yard, but when my Dad came to help me build the actual cement dome he brought a lifetime of construction experience that I…

Water Bottle Skylight

Water Bottle Skylight

I spend a lot of time looking at appropriate technologies coming from missionaries and other groups that work in third world countries. I figure – if it works in areas lacking infrastructure then it will work if we ever lose…

Conduit Dome Part 3 Assembly

Conduit Dome Part 3 Assembly

When I made my first dome I found the websites Mike’s Spacetime and Desert Domes to be the most help – Desert Domes in calculating the strut length and Mike’s Spacetime for his diagram of the struts assembled. He used…

Conduit Dome Part 2 Pipe Smashing

Conduit Dome Part 2 Pipe Smashing

There are many ways you can flatten the strut ends – hammer them, use a large shop vice (reportedly this is destructive to the vice) or use a hydraulic press. It took me so long to start this project, as…

Conduit Dome Part 1 Intro and Pipe Cutting

Conduit Dome Part 1 Intro and Pipe Cutting

First off, if you want to make a dome – go to http://www.desertdomes.com – everything you need is right on his site – however, it you are like me and into overkill you can find more complex calculators on other…

Kickstarter Ferrocement Building Book Project

Kickstarter Ferrocement Building Book Project

Ferrocement is widely used in third worlds to provide cheap housing; this book will help spread the word about sustainable building Ferrocement is used in several third world counties to allow homeowners to build their own home quickly, cheaply, and…

Spring 2013 Homestead Update

Spring 2013 Homestead Update

This is about the fourth year we have been raising some of our own food, and while each year we get a little better, this year we are cutting back a little and trying to conserve some of our time….