Posted on

Unveiling the Air Crete Rocket Stove Bread Oven


Darwin from the Honey Do Carpenter takes the door for the bread oven out of it’s frame and walks us through the ins and outs of the air motion and why he used aircrete in an oven. This stove can be used on any flat surface including a regular wood stove, a propane burner or a fire pit. Even though the weather is heating up and I will be doing my off grid cooking outdoors I will still be able to use the oven on my other cooking surfaces. I can’t wait!

This aircrete oven looks like a great beginner DIY project. It can sit on top of a woodstove in winter and be used outdoors in summer. The cost of aluminum roofing flashing and aircrete is about $40. Darwin has detailed step by step PDFs and videos that show how to build this and other projects such as an aircrete rocket mass heater. His PDFs include numerous formulas for aircrete.

The Honey Do Carpenter
YouTube
Special thanks to DirtPatchHeaven for documenting these projects. I’ve been following along in fascination.

The post Unveiling the Air Crete Rocket Stove Bread Oven appeared first on Natural Building Blog.

Posted on

Dryland harvesting home hacks sun, rain, food & surroundings


When Brad Lancaster and his brother bought their home in downtown Tucson, the streetscape was a dusty place, devoid of trees or any vegetation.

In 1996 Lancaster and his neighbors started an annual tree planting project, which up until now has resulted in over 1,400 native food-bearing trees being planted (usually with water-harvesting earthworks) in the neighborhood.

Today, Lancaster’s downtown Tucson neighborhood (Dunbar/Spring) is alive with drought-tolerant, food-bearing trees and residents harvest from the barrel cactus (chutneys, hair conditioner from fruit), the prickly pear cactus (juice, syrup & natural sweeteners from fruit), the ironwood tree (peanut-flavored nuts, processed like edamame), jojoba (oil, coffee substitute), mesquite (“native carob”, flour) and sweets from the “iconic saguaro cactus”.

YouTube

The post Dryland harvesting home hacks sun, rain, food & surroundings appeared first on Natural Building Blog.

Posted on

These DIY Machines Let Anyone Recycle Plastic Into New Products


In a workshop in downtown Chang Mai, Thailand, designers turn plastic trash–mostly plastic bags they collect from the street–into marble-like coasters and tabletops. In a maker space in Lviv, Ukraine, designers use DIY equipment hacked from old industrial parts and a shopping cart to recycle plastic trash into bowls. In Seoul, designers use a mobile plastic recycling cart for education.

The majority of the 300 million tons of plastic produced every year isn’t recycled, and recycling that does happen typically happens at an industrial scale in factories using equipment that can cost tens of thousands of dollars. But a growing number of designers are using a set of open-source, easy-to-build tools to recycle plastic and manufacture new plastic products on their own.

One set of instructions explains how to build a low-cost machine that shreds plastic into flakes. Another modular machine extrudes plastic that can be used for 3D printing; an injection machine and a compression machine can form plastic into molds. A series of videos explain how to build the machines using basic materials and universal parts.

Fast Company
Precious Plastics.com
Things like this are part of the Maker Culture.

The post These DIY Machines Let Anyone Recycle Plastic Into New Products appeared first on Natural Building Blog.

Posted on

She Sleeps in a Piano!?! Tour her Victorian TINY HOUSE


Shorty Robbins built a civil war themed Tiny House to use during reenactments and loved it so much, she sold her big house and moved in! This tiny house has lots of clever, concealed features as well as Victorian period charm and antiques. Rave reviews on YouTube.

YouTube
I love working with antiques. I’ve restored quite a few pieces. Consider paying a company to strip the finish so the dirty, hard work is done and then it’s joyful work. Finding affordable antiques is easier in rural areas. Often the value can be significantly increased with a few simple improvements. There’s a good video here on our blog that shows how to make a living doing simple repairs to antiques.

The post She Sleeps in a Piano!?! Tour her Victorian TINY HOUSE appeared first on Natural Building Blog.

Posted on

Tiny cabins in VA’s woods to slow down & resync inner clock


Is the “simple cabin” the ideal vessel for disconnecting from modern life? Friends Jon Staff and Pete Davis have placed dozens of tiny houses on wheels in the woods within driving distance of Boston, New York City and Washington DC. “The cabin”, explains Staff, “reminds us of a time when we didn’t have to respond to something within an hour, let alone 24 hours, when we didn’t have to do conference calls on our vacations.”

Believing that context is everything, the Getaway founders don’t offer, and actively discourage, too much activity (there’s no kayaking, swimming, skiing). Instead, they offer a cell phone lockbox, acres of nature, tips for “forest bathing”, wildflower scouting and campfire making.

YouTube

The post Tiny cabins in VA’s woods to slow down & resync inner clock appeared first on Natural Building Blog.

Posted on

480sqft Floating Cottage For Sale on Norris Lake TN


This 480sqft Floating Cottage For Sale on Norris Lake Tennessee is equipped with a 3000 Watt Honda Generator and features a Master Bedroom with a Full Bath with Marine Head, Tiled Shower,a Loft Bedroom with 2 Twin Beds,a 2 Story Dock with Water Slide, Gazebo, Built-In Covered Boat Slip, Gas Grill, Firepit, & More!

Visit www.yournewboat.com for more info!
YouTube
This looks more livable than most tiny houses and typical house boats. I love all the outdoor living space, and of course the location is wonderful.

The post 480sqft Floating Cottage For Sale on Norris Lake TN appeared first on Natural Building Blog.

Posted on

73 Earthbag Clay Houses for Nepali Farmers

73 earthbag houses have built so far in Nepal by Ithaka Institute

73 earthbag houses have built so far in Nepal by Ithaka Institute

Thanks to the generous donations of the friends of Ithaka Institute and a building design as beautiful as it is simple, 20 farmer families that lost their homes in Nepal were able to move into new, safe earthbag houses only a few short months after the earthquake. The houses are made using 95% local, natural materials and were built without machines but with local craftsmanship and many helping hands.

Since the original 20 Ithaka houses, others have been built in the following areas:
1. Naya Gaon, Kabre (10)
2. Maina Pokhari, Dolakha(4)
3. Dhunkharka, Kabre (1)
4. Nalang, Dhading (3)
5. Lamjung (1)
6. Ratanpur, Tanahu (1)
7. Dhuseni, Dhading (57)- OHF

Ithaka Institute
http://www.ithaka-institut.org/en/ct/120-20-Earthbag-Clay-Houses-for-Nepali-Farmers
Guidelines for the construction of earthquake resistant clay buildings by Gernot Minke and Hans-Peter Schmidt
Guidelines for constructing houses using the earthbag method (not found)

Kelly: This is interesting. They seem to have grasped many of the essentials of building with earthbags, but I still have some concerns about what I saw in the document. While the bamboo nails are innovative and would certainly help stick the bags together, they would not provide tensile strength to the wall like barbed wire. This may be a factor in how robust the structure would be in an earthquake.
Owen: Wrapping strong stucco wire completely around the wall (under the gravel bags and up and over the bond beam) would be one easy way to make this design stronger. In addition, tie the stucco wire together periodically with twine ties placed between bags. No one in my network was able to inspect these houses because they’re in fairly remote areas. Recent flooding made it even more impractical. We often provide technical assistance for groups such as this, so if you work with Ithaka Institute feel free to email me any time. My email address is at the top of every page under About Us.

The post 73 Earthbag Clay Houses for Nepali Farmers appeared first on Natural Building Blog.

Posted on

Homemade Wood-Fired Pizza Oven Cost Nothing At All To Build (And Feeds Small Multitude)


An oil drum (barrel) and a bit of metal pipe is all you need to make a really simple but effective pizza oven. It may not look very fancy but it works well and it will cook a whole lot of pizza. Also, instead of waiting for days/weeks for your clay oven to dry enough to use, an earth bermed barrel oven can be made and used on the same day. Which is really handy if you have a few people coming round.

The soil/earth/stones are vital to keep the heat in – but you could use sand, clay or bricks too. (Don’t use bark mulch or anything similar as it will catch fire for sure.) On our oven the soil ended up being around 8” thick at the top – which was good but more than was really needed. (We would have built the whole thing into a bank, which would have saved a lot of work, but there wasn’t one handy.) I would suggest you aim for 6” minimum.

More details on YouTube
The most impressive thing to me was how fast they built this pizza oven and how much food they made. They fed a large group of about 20-30 people and did everything within a few hours.

The post Homemade Wood-Fired Pizza Oven Cost Nothing At All To Build (And Feeds Small Multitude) appeared first on Natural Building Blog.

Posted on

Off The Grid Cabin In New Zealand Paradise


Hidden amongst the spectacular mountain ranges of the Kahurangi National park of New Zealand, this beautiful off-the-grid cabin sits in paradise.

Affectionally titled the Honeywell Hut, after it’s builder Jack Honeywell. The off the grid cabin, although relatively new, looks as though it could have sat on the land for a hundred years.

YouTube

The post Off The Grid Cabin In New Zealand Paradise appeared first on Natural Building Blog.