30 August 2011


Not alot of super stimulating stuff happening at the moment.  MOTH and Fuzzy are making slow and steady progress on the wall building front, with the help of AC on weekends.  Much of the main level is complete with all sections tensioned and wacked, and the upper level is well on the way.  We're hoping to be all done by next week ready for the next stage... filling in the gaps where bales can't go and preparing for installation of windows. Nama has been industrious with a broom and bagging all the loose straw that we'll use for stuffing those gaps.

However this week, we took delivery of metal frames that form some of the stairs.  Blood, sweat and tears went into assembling the stairs up to AC's penthouse, but we're thrilled with the result. The treads are only temporary, but we all agree they fit in beautifully and add a rustic feel to the house.

19 August 2011

The Wacker...

Continuing with the captivating tale of how straw bale walls are constructed, I'll now tell you all about "the Wacker".  Now the Wacker is an essential tool used in the process of straightening bales at the time of tensioning the straps, as mentioned in the previous post.  A fantastically unique and ingenious apparatus really this Wacker, fashioned by the one and only MOTH, especially for the purpose of wacking bales into position.

Here are some photos to help make it clearer for you...

The making of
All ready for action

see?  nice straight walls

This is how it works

MOTH and UK having to
re-work the raincoat
due to high winds.
Footnote:  Only the handle was store bought. All other pieces were hand-made using recycled resources lying around on the property.

PS: There is a possibility that MOTH might be re-named "MacGyver".

PPS: I'd really like to show you a pic of some sensational wacking that occured (involving K1), but only on request if you email in triplicate and use the password "spank"!

09 August 2011

The Boxing King...

Fuzzy, the Boxing King has been industriously building intermediate boxing that sits on top of each 4-bale high section of wall, specifically for the purpose of providing stability to the structure.  Boxing is topped with straw... ready for the next layer of bales.
Up we go

Fuzzy in action

A birds nest
All in place

Once intermediate boxing is in position, each section of wall is compressed by means of the strapping that's already in place, using a ratchet tool to tension the straps.  The tensioning process is repeated twice more after 12 hour intervals.  
Phew... they align!


4cm is significant.

A marked difference
after full compression.

03 August 2011

Splitting Bales with AC...

For those of you who are or may be interested in the nitty gritty, as promised, I'm now giving you a blow by blow description of how to split a straw bale... cos it stands to reason that the perfectly sized 950x450x400mm bale just won't fit into every space.  derr
1. Gather all necessary tools...
Note the bale is held together
by pink baling twine.

2. measure where the bale needs
to be split and insert the
double-pronged baling needle.

4. remove the needle while
pulling the twine through.

3. thread 2m lengths of
blue baling twine through
the eyes of the needle.


5. find threads from opposite
sides of bale and tie firmly.

6. cut the pink baling twine...

8. repeat process as required

7. and shazam...
the bale splits in two.

9. and put into position.
PS: goodness me,
can this be,
straw balers disease!?