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Let's try this again.

I took Fesque seed hulls from the local processor and mixed it with clay and sand, per my light clay straw recipe, and produced a brick that was satisfyingly light, like papercrete.  I parked the truck on it and it demonstrated incredible crush strength.  I took a small torch to it and found that it was fire proof (only the little stubbs on the outside scorched.  Then I subjected the dry brick to direct water, such as would happen with our sideline winds and rain here in the tornado belt,  and, although it soaked up some water, it did not destabilize.  It totally dried out in twenty-four hours.  I also find that it requires only the finish coat of plaster.

I have worked with papercrete and strawcrete and I have to tell you, I would not trade the benevolence of clay and sand for the pain and suffering of cement ever again.  The end result is much more  pleasing and the process is much more satisfying.
 
Jami McBride
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Location: PNW Oregon
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I am curious.....

What are Fesque seed hulls, and did you gather them from your land or were they purchased?

Can you give the amounts of the ingredients you used for your mix?  And..... can you post a pic?

Your results sound wonderful, thank you for sharing 
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Location: Oakland, CA
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I agree, thanks for sharing! It's interesting partly because it could apply so widely.

Do you suppose the hulls of other grasses, like wheat and rice, would be worthwhile? Or are they too coarse?

I'm in such an urban environment that coffee chaff is easier to come by than grain chaff.
 
                              
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In terms of pleasantness of use, cob is like a friendly, shaggy dog, obedient and attentive and cement is a cyborg killing machine, quick and merciless.
 
                    
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We would love to know your recipe!

& as always I love to see pictures!
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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I think he/she meant fescue hulls.  It's a lawn and turf grass.  Where do you get the hulls?

Kathleen
 
                        
Posts: 278
Location: Iowa, border of regions 5 and 6
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
I think he/she meant fescue hulls.  It's a lawn and turf grass.  Where do you get the hulls?

Kathleen


"Fesque" is an accepted alternate spelling.  It's a grass that is suited for transition zones in the USA as well as in Canada.  Once settled, it is shade resistant and makes a good grass to plant in bare spots.
 
                                
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Cloudpiler wrote:
Let's try this again.

I took Fesque seed hulls from the local processor and mixed it with clay and sand, per my light clay straw recipe, and produced a brick that was satisfyingly light, like papercrete.  I parked the truck on it and it demonstrated incredible crush strength.  I took a small torch to it and found that it was fire proof (only the little stubbs on the outside scorched.  Then I subjected the dry brick to direct water, such as would happen with our sideline winds and rain here in the tornado belt,  and, although it soaked up some water, it did not destabilize.  It totally dried out in twenty-four hours.  I also find that it requires only the finish coat of plaster.




did you do a comparison test of a brick made of all the same ingredients minus the  seed versus the brick with the seed ?
it would be interesting to discover if the seed did more than just reduce weight -
 
                                      
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Sorry to take so long getting back to this.  Had computer problems.

In Missouri there are two hundred or more different species of fesque (fescue) grasses.  It's a great big family.  We got to using it because we couldn't get our hands on any straw.  Farmers have discovered around here that fringe element wackos like to use straw as building material and that has driven the price way up.  Go figure.  Anyway, a local seedhouse has asked us to find some good use for the hulls they take off the seed they sell to golf courses.  That makes it free, and there are literally mountains of the stuff.  We've been composting it with very good results.

Well, we were chopping our straw pretty small to get it to work well with our cimram.  We decided to use the fescue with it.  Just using the same amount as we did straw worked very well.  More than that makes the blocks unstable and they fall apart.

In pouring the adobe blocks you use clay slip, which does not work in a cimram.  We use this method in summer when it's good and hot.  Our results are fantastic.  Like papercrete but stronger, and no cement in the mix.  We use fesque hulls and fold in clay slip until it holds a stipple.  Then we spoon it into the forms.  The result is light, has better compression that conventional adobe, and even take plaster a whole lot easier.  We like.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Just wanted to bring this to the top. I've been interested in the idea of using cereal hulls, corn cob and other agricultural residue mixed with cob. Unfortunately Cloudpiler Hatfield seems to have left us.
 
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