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RMH for Dummies! Please help guide me through my first build!

 
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Update: I went straight to the "big guns" and asked Erica Wisner.
She suggested trying some wet pottery clay.
I will get some tomorrow and begin processing. And then back to batch tests,  phase 2.

 
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Stacy, have you checked tadelakt?
 
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Satamax Antone wrote:Stacy, have you checked tadelakt?



I followed that link, that's a rabbit hole.
I'm thinking I may finish my heater off with a super thin lime render to seal it.
We used lime render on the building with like half a cup of portland added to each cement mixer load, just to harden it.
It worked well. There are hair line cracking in it now after 5 years but it's a very lightweight building that moves when you slam doors (or rather my 6 year old slams doors)
 
Dan Hatfield Ii
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Staci Kopcha wrote:Update: I went straight to the "big guns" and asked Erica Wisner.
She suggested trying some wet pottery clay.
I will get some tomorrow and begin processing. And then back to batch tests,  phase 2.


When I went to collect my dried bagged clay from the pottery place, they had heaps of waste clay on a trolley.
I've heard Erica mention to ask for waste clay so maybe it's a fairly commen thing at pottery supplies???
Thanks
Dan
 
Dan Hatfield Ii
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Staci Kopcha wrote:

Dan Hatfield Ii wrote:Hi Staci,

I used air separated fire clay that came from a ceramics place. I believe the stuff you may be able to get hold of is called "lincoln 60 fireclay"

I used the potter's fireclay without any issue.  
I havn't sealed it yet so it's dusty (but very hard)
I need to find something to seal with that will not change the colour.
Lindseed will darken it.



Hi Dan,
 I have been using Lincoln 60.  Not happily.
Erica Wisner (author of one of the RMH books) was speaking of Lincoln 60 and of another type of fire clay (more potters type)..maybe that is what you had?

You have dust- but does do you have sand sloughing off?

Just a tiny bit of dust comes off.
The clay I used is a local company and not lincoln 60. I did go on the lincoln 60 website and looked and the contents of the clay (silica etc. blah blah I have no clue) and the guy at my ceramics shop said they were the same thing kind of.
Mine worked fine.
Thanks
Dan

As for sealing, I have read (and planned to do it) that it can be rubbed with natural soap- glycerin type. I think you just rub the bar around on the plaster.  Wouldn't work on mine though- with the crumbles. ;)
Might be something to try...?

Staci

 
Staci Kopcha
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I got 4 blocks of scrap (wet) potter's clay yesterday. Broke up and soaked over night, then mixed by hand and then with paint stir.
Trying combos of wet clay  alone and wet clay mixed with fire clay. (with sand and horse manure).
Now it is wait and see.


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Staci Kopcha
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I am seriously being reduced to tears of frustration!!
I spent 8 hours on this damn thing yesterday and looking at it this morning it is STILL a hot mess.
I redid the plaster mix:
3 buckets sifted sand (through window screen)
1 bucked sifted horse manure (wider mesh -hardaware cloth)
1/2 bucket fire clay
1/2 bucket potters clay
8 cups wheat paste
1/3 cup dry milk powder (slurry with water)
cat tail fluff.

This morning- bits of hay are so prominently visible???
I tried to push through a finer mesh, but it all just gets gummed up and not much comes through.

QUESTIONS:  Is the hay supposed to be visible???
SHould I just go with a lime plaster (I looked up tadelakt)??
If I go with the lime plaster, do I finish with the current (horse manure) plaster on the rest of the bench first???

Thanks,
(A very very tired and frustrated) Staci
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Staci Kopcha
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Satamax Antone wrote:Stacy, have you checked tadelakt?


Satamax,
 Have you any experience making it?
Thanks!
 
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Hi Staci,   So sorry for your woes! :(   In all my experiences, the straw does show through. It reminds me of the look of basalt. If its the finish coat and you don't want to see it and have a homogeneous look, then just leave it out (which includes the horse manure) and replace it with the cattail fluff (or hair), which replaces the straw acting as the tensile strength. From my memory, the cattail fluff is fine enough so that you don't really see it unless you get up real close.
Your picture looks quite good to me. Hold in there!

I've been following Daniel Ray's building of his Balecob home. His last post was pictures of his newly finished tadelakt tub/shower surround. Perhaps he could give you some pointers on how the process is done and how it went for him:
tadelakt

Tommy's Tea Dome is a nice use of lime plaster with a very smooth and clean look:
Tea Dome

Also, there might be someone in the Natural building forum that may be more experienced with plaster.
 
Satamax Antone
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Staci Kopcha wrote:

Satamax Antone wrote:Stacy, have you checked tadelakt?


Satamax,
 Have you any experience making it?
Thanks!



Absolutely not Stacy. Sorry.

Over here they're trying mud and lime plasters, with some surprising results.
 
Dan Hatfield Ii
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You should leave the hair/straw out on the last coat for sure. If you want to remove it now, just go over it with a small propane torch and it will burn away very easy.
If you want to try lime, you need to dry it out 200% and wait for any cracking to finish.
If you use hydrated lime I have a recipe.
If you want to make lime putty, you need to soak it now and leave it as long as possible. We are talking months ideally
 
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