Progress, of a sort

Terry scored about a 100 gallons of latex paint yesterday. Last week he found me a rear end to use for building my mixer. He says he thinks it weighs about 500 lbs. Must be heavy duty At the same place he found a wonderful old cast iron innard from a piano and brought it home to use as yard art. It’s awesome! Also last week we scored a pallet of used billboard vinyl for waterproofing our PAHS envelope (thanks Castleman). I’ll need at least that much more again before I’m done, but it’s a healthy start. I can use the vinyl to protect my pours until the roof is on, then retask them for the PAHS envelope.

I still don’t have an axle and frame for my mixer, but that will come. I have a small toyota PU trailer, but I use it a lot as it is, so don’t want to break it up. I have an older single axle travel trailer whose axle and frame I could use, but Mindy wants to convert it into a concession trailer, so I have to keep looking.

I still need parts for hooking the tractor’s pto to the rear end. Next time I’m south I’ll swing by the tractor graveyard and parts house in Albany. I can cruise their lot for what I need. Terry has to get parts for the tractor’s brakes, so we’ll combine the trip.

I’d really like to have the mixer trailer hook to the tractor’s three point hitch and have the drive line connect to the pto so it could be moved or mixed or mixed and moved. The three point hitch would provide enough tilt to help in cleaning out the tank. If I manage it correctly I can include a platform for the trash pump right on the trailer so it’s a unit, but making the outflow connection removable so I can pour the papercrete out if I need to. With an integrated pump I can place the trailer where I need it and pump away. I can make a tarp cover for the pump to protect it from the water and paper and cement and sand and . . .

If I make my slipforms 1′ x 8′ I will have to move them a minimum of 8 times for each pod. I don’t think expanded rolled steel is the answer . . . for the form walls at least. I have to have something strong, light, porous . . . I can line the form with shade cloth to retain the papercrete, but the form has to have a frame that will retain its shape and configuration when the slurry is added and will not impede the release of the water from the mix. Balancing between something that will do what I need and still be movable by two people is key. I also have to have a way to hold the forms in place atop the previously poured papercrete. I think I have an answer for that . . . And I want to be able to collapse the forms for storage. I need to keep them as the same forms will be used for each pod. I think I have an answer for that as well. The welding will have to be done in a jig so everything’s interchangable.

I’ve switched from an 8 sided pod (11′ long walls) to a 12 sided pod (8′ long walls). Adding the additional flat surfaces was a very interesting exercise. It entirely changed the floor plan. You would think breaking the walls up wouldn’t have that much difference, but it did. The difference in nesting the pods is also interesting. I’ll try and get a page up soon with the differences.

I’ve been working on roofs and roof structures and have learned some interesting things. I did some research on compression rings and found two companies which make not square houses, one in NC and one in Manitoba. VERY interesting stuff. One uses a big compression ring held in place by roof beams with a domed skylight for the center, the other uses a small compression ring and trusses. If anyone’s interested in the links for anything their working on, let me know and I’ll refind them.

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