Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another great weekend

And another wall with a first coat of plaster to show for it! This time the northernmost portion of the east-facing wall, which is the northern part of the entryway (laundry room and half-bath on the inside).

We got a late start Saturday morning, as Adam spent his weekday evenings studying instead of prepping the remaining ground-floor walls (he takes his Professional Engineering exam on Friday, October 24 in Phoenix).

But help from Dahna C. and Christian and Alister, as well as John D. (again) and Ron D. meant we got as much done as we possibly could.

We didn't take a "pre" picture, or pictures during, but here's the finished product, taken in the rays of the rising sun on Sunday AM.

With the remainer of Sunday, we put the eating area window in place, and Adam stacked bales leading from the entry way to the kitchen, and got a long ways toward finishing it.

After Adam returns from Phoenix on Saturday, we'll finish this wall and hopefully be ready by Sunday for more mudding with friends!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Three more walls plastered!

We made great progress this weekend, with a lot of help from friends!

This is how we started, with the north wall with Adam's prep from the weekday evenings.

The Webelos II from Sechrist, along with good friend, Dahna C., came out and helped on Saturday...

Several of Adam's friends, John D., Aaron and Max B., Tobin and Dwight came out as well.

The finished north wall (kids' bedrooms)...first coat!

On Sunday we had friends from Pine Forest, Jan and Fuller B. and kids, as well as Chuck G. and son, come out and we got the second west-facing first story done, as well as the other north-facing first story...we tried chicken wire on these walls, as opposed to putting the plaster straight on the straw. We'll see if this method ends up with less cracking.

This is the wall we started with on Sunday, the first wall with chicken wire on top of the straw (though it's hard to see here).

We left the scaffold-climbing to the adults, and Chuck and Fuller rose to the occasion!
We are thrilled by the progress, and surprised by how much fun we can have when we have a little help from our friends!

A great time was had by all on both days. We couldn't have made this much progress without all the help, as well as the great weather!

Hopefully we've got a few more weekends of helpers and weather to last us for the four additional exterior walls!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Status Report - First Full Wall Mudded!

Okay, so I may have neglected to mention that Adam had knee surgery on Sept. 8 (or thereabouts) and that, combined with his trips to Phoenix for PE review, have slowed down progress on the house somewhat (read A LOT).

However, we did manage to get a volunteer crew of about 15 folks out here this past weekend to help us put mud (clay plaster) on our first official wall.
Thanks to friends from Southwest Windpower: Rob V., George T., Chris and Kathie R., Donaig and Steve, and Pine Forest friends Terry S., and Kristi B.!!

Before: the straw was pre-treated with a thin mixture of water and clay (shot out of a drywall texturing gun); and the wood posts and wood around each window were papered and covered with expanded metal so the clay plaster would adhere.

We made a first batch of about 1 part powdered clay to 2 parts sand to enough water to make it a good consistency.

As the day wore on, we lost a few volunteers but we made GREAT progress!

The next day, Adam and Therese touched up a few bare spots and repaired some cracks that had formed, experimenting with a little lime in the plaster mixture, for extra stickiness and stability.

We also put some more windows in on Sunday, in preparation for doing some more mudding throughout the month of October.

One finished wall (first coat)...two more coats to follow.

Here's hoping for good fall weather and still-genereous friends!