20070930

Steel Cutting Princess


Steel Cutting Princess
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Wendy and I cut two panels for the front gate today. We use a framing
saw with carbide blade to get clean straight cuts.

20070929

New Pump


New Pump
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
This morning I picked up a new sump pump from the local hardware
store. Flux and I hooked it up and had some pretty good results. It is
clunky, but it can really move the fuel.

Happy Flux


Happy Flux
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
As you can see Flux is quite happy to have his veggie oil tank filling
with restaurant grease after two days of tinkering. I tell him after
the photo that the flow has slowed. We decide to change put the filter
more frequently which helps a great deal.

20070928

Problems at the Pump


Problems at the Pump
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Flux managed to dismantle and briefly revive his $50 harbor freight
pump. We wrangled a few gallons of fuel and talked with the cook at
the local New Mexican restaurant.

Dirty Grease


Dirty Grease
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Flux tells me that this grease (which smells terrible) is not good.

Grease Pit


Grease Pit
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
We found a local mexican restaurant that was happy to share their
used veggie oil with the school bus. Unfortunately, the trucks pump
for pulling the used oil from the restaurant tanks into the school
bus tank jammed up.

20070927

Skinner


Skinner
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Some how I managed to do virtually nothing today. Smoke however did a
great job of getting the inner remesh started.

In the Bus


In the Bus
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Flux is traveling back to the northeast and he is loving the bus life.

Flux Bus


Flux Bus
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
There is a veg oil bus on at green acre today. Flux Rostrom is driving
through TorC with his greasy bus. We are going to try and get some
fuel tomorrow from a local restaurant dumpster.

Herb Pusher


Herb Pusher
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Our friend Brett has a nice strawbale home in a nearby farming
community. He is seen in his home here handing out herbal remmedies. I
think the ladies are chewing on dried licorice. Not to be confused
with fennel.

Prepare to be Skinned


Prepare to be Skinned
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
The rebar portion of the battery room is complete. We are ready to
begin skinning the dome with remesh and lath. It took about 80 man
hours to build and assemble. We have $170 worth of rebar in the
structure.

Dome Climber


Dome Climber
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Smoke is becoming quite confident in domes strength. You can see him
squating on top of the apex for the final welds.

Fire Spinnin' Neighbor


Fire Spinnin' Neighbor
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
This is Jaimie. A new neighbor of ours spinning fire at a full moon
gathering.

20070925

Climbing Dome


Climbing Dome
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Today was the first day we had enough steel welded together that we
could start climbing on the dome. This was kind of fun and lead to a
realization. We probably will not need ladders or other climbing
devices to get our welded wire mesh and lath on the structure. We can
just climbing right up on the hoops and work out way down the base.

Bender


Bender
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Wendy and I spent plenty of time on our hands and knees bending rebar
hoops today. We finally started to get a good tight fit after a few
tries. Calculating the circumference of the circle ahead of time made
a big difference. Smoke is welding the horizontal bands in place in
the background.

Final Coat


Final Coat
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Today Wendy and I sprayed the final coat on the gate wings. Tomorrow
she is picking up some sheet metal ending any access to the very
curious public.

20070924

Hoop Toss Welding


Hoop Toss Welding
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Smoke is welding two pieces of 3/8" rebar to make the base support
hoops for our battery room dome. The jig just has a six foot diameter
circle drawn on it. We pin the rebar in place with 1 1/4" dry wall
screws.

Hoop Toss Jig


Hoop Toss Jig
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Our little some battery room needs some horizontal support rings. We
built a little jig out of 2x4's and plywood to make the rings.

Suitcase Toolbox


Suitcase Toolbox
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Thank you samsonite for the uber tuff luggage that makes excellent
tool holders pictures here you can see that my angle grinder and drill
have excellent homes.

20070923

Dome Infrastructure is Up


Dome Infrastructure is Up
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
It is really amazing how we were able to get the dome infrastructure raised in a four hour window this afternoon. There are a total of 15 curved arches of which we managed to get 13 up before the rain got the best of us.

Raising the Battery Room


Raising the Battery Room
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
With three people we were able to easily raise a tripod of the initial battery room structure.

Oculus


Oculus
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Smoke worked on installing a piece of wood in the center piece of the dome structure to help us get the initial structure up. Tomorrow we will be using the piece of wood to mount our plumb line.

Concrete Drilling


Concrete Drilling
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I drilled a bunch of holes in a concrete slab this afternoon. We were installing 3.5" expansion bolts to attach our battery room structure too.

20070922

More Sprayin'


More Sprayin'
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
We sprayed a good amount of paper today. This is a wet gate wing that
Wendy is applying some paper putty to the top.

MixUp


MixUp
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
We changed our paper based stucco mix a bit today to get a thicker
consistency. Now the mix is:

Half a bucket stained paper /
1 gallon prickly pear slime
4 cups lime
2 cups Portland
2 cups micro silica sand

20070921

Today's Mix


Today's Mix
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
1/2 bucket strained paper /
1 gallon prickly pear slime /
4 scoops slacked lime /
2 scoops fastwall stucco

Spraying the Gate Wings


Spraying the Gate Wings
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Wendy shooting our front gate with the prickly paper mix.

Stucco Mix


Stucco Mix
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
After shredding our paper we add lime, Portland, sand, PVA, and
prickly pear cactus juice. Wendy is mixing this all up in a 5 gallon
bucket with a paddle mixer on a drill.

Compressor Drag


Compressor Drag
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
We occasionally have to move a 300 pound air compressor around our
property. It moves pretty well by just dragging the whole unit with
our truck.

20070920

Dinner


Dinner
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Colorful - right? This is our buffalo nachos with pico de gallo and
guacomole. Delicious.

Neighbors Fence


Neighbors Fence
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I have some neighbors that recently poured a slip form papercrete
fence. I don't see their mixer anymore so I suspect they are moving
onto stucco and tile.

more rain


more rain
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I looked up the average rainfall for the month of Septembers in Truth
or Consequences today. Do you know how much we get? 1.6" is average
for September. That is quite a bit considering our August is the
biggest month of the year at 2.1" of rainfall on average. This rain
post poned the battery room progress by at least one day.

Gore's


Gore's
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Here are 16 hand bent and welded rebar gores that will be making up
the main structure of our battery room.

20070919

Back Breaker


Back Breaker
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Have you ever tried to move 3,000 pounds of batteries? You are not
missing much. It totally sucks. We did so today to make room for our
new fully approved dome.

Tape Tool


Tape Tool
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Nice tool for drawing circles with a tape measurer.

Discovery


Discovery
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Refridgerated grapes can rapidly bring down your body temperature.
Especially when placed in ear, nose, and throat.

20070918

Slime Bucket


Slime Bucket
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Tomorrow this cactus slime shall get sprayed.

Slime Filtering


Slime Filtering
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Since we are spraying the cactus slime with about hopper our
filtering is minimal. Wendy is pouring the slime through a piece of
lath that I had screwed some wood frames around.

Post Mix Slime


Post Mix Slime
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
After driving for over a mile we have converted our catus to slime.

Loaded Mixer


Loaded Mixer
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Birds eye view of our papercrete mixer doing double duty about to
grind up cactus.

Prickly Paint Redux


Prickly Paint Redux
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Wendy and I harvested nearly 300 paddles of prickly pear catus this
morning. I ground ground up 200 paddles in our papercrete mixer this
afternoon. We then screened out all the chunks and were left with 60
gallons of green cactus goo for our front gate stucco.

20070916

3D battery room


3D battery room
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Now in color. This version I find much clearer than the wireframe.

3D hemispherical


3D hemispherical
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I put together this 3D hemispherical dome model today which will be
out battery room. I think I will give this model another try with
some additional colors to see if that makes it easier to read.

20070915

Hot Ride


Hot Ride
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Even though I have many "normal" inner tubes to travel down the river these small slime filled tubes are my ride of choice. They are cheap, fast and you stay really cool. The rapids are a problem, but I have found others to ride with to clear those.

stucco - day 2


stucco - day 2
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
I love the way this prickly pear papercrete stucco'd ferrocement gate
is coming out. This shot is about 18 hours I first sprayed it. The
stucco is still a little soft, but should be pretty dry by this
evening. Which is a good thing since the forcast says rain is coming
on Monday.

New Chairs


New Chairs
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
We scored some great chairs from a nearby church today. My friends
from Fort Davis, Texas were in town so we managed to get these in the
truck and into the shade without too much trouble.

20070914

Prickly Pear Papercrete Stucco

I made some tasty looking stucco today and sprayed it all over my front gate. Unfortunately I am running out of prickly pear and have a good amount of work ahead of me to finish this gate. Here is the recipe I used: Half 5gal bucket shredded wet paper 4lb lime 4lb fastwall stucco w/fiber 1 gal prickly juice 1 cup old house paint Mix with hand drill until smooth I posted a Flickr photo set which shows how I mixed the materials and sprayed them.

Spray Day


Spray Day
Originally uploaded by mikeysklar
Last night I put the final ties in the gate lath. Today I will be
mixing up a paper, lime, and prickly pear plaster.