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cob on phrag?

Posts: 32
Location: NE corner of Ohio
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here's the deal
it's cold and raining outside and don't want to get wet and muddy yet so i'm writing this

in an effort to develop one more small part of my personal economy, i'm expanding my chicken flock from 65 to somewhere around 100.
my 16x23 barn isn't big enough (aren't they all just a little too small?) so I've added a 14' metal clad shed roof off the back of the building with a 2-3/12 pitch.
the wall will sit 10 feet from the existing barn wall
over the past 25 years of building, i've grown sick of right angles and now that i'm making my own large additions and buildings, i can begin to explore rounded walls
the walls of the new coop are locust poles set to below frost line (34" in NE OH) with grid between the uprights of ash poles dowelled into the beams
i've had to bring the floor up with infill (24" at barn wall and 30" at the addition wall) as the barn sits on a hill side.

blah blah blah
i'll get pictures later of what i can

my questions for you all are about the walls.
has anyone on this list ever used phragmites bundles instead of straw bales?
i've never worked with the stuff myself (though i'm pretty sure i will)
this isn't about thatching
not really

my intention is to secure the bundles horizontally, woven through the frame/grid of the wall
i figure to use 6-8" bundles, laid up to create long "ropes" of the reeds
then covering the wall with earthen plaster
i've played with plasters a bit
our Seedhouse has native earthen plaster on the inside and a true lime plaster (mined near Toledo OH) on the outside
i will likely just be adding some of the lime to the exterior layers

i guess there are to questions that i have

1. how well does earthen plaster stick to Phrag?
i would think it would be similar to straw.
biggest difference being the direction of the reeds.
2. has anyone ever tried to bend phrag around corners?
my intention is to also wrap the doorway with the reed "ropes"?

i'm sure i will be able to learn this stuff by getting wet and muddy
in time on that
my thanks

here are pics (ALL of them) of the Seedhouse

Posts: 521
Location: Salt Lake Valley, Utah, hardiness zone 6b/7a
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Sorry for the late response. Try this site for some ideas: http://www.hiss-reet.de/?L=1

Hiss-reet makes a plaster lath reed screen, but if you are not particular about the finish, the reed wall/panel would probably hold the plaster ok. Experiment before committing to a large project. You could also use conventional expanded metal lathe. It would probably add some structural strength. Burlap has also been used.

I also believe there are some youtube videos showing how to make reed panels.
Charles Schiavone
Posts: 32
Location: NE corner of Ohio
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the web link is brilliant
it would be great to go and hang out with them.
I'm not German, living in Europe or multi-lingual so accessing their treasure trove of knowledge won't happen easily.

but again, great link
they are actually doing it
which means this all should work

the images are my coop. the walls are 2 bundles thick, one on the inside and one out. They are bound to horizontal bars with a sort of book-binding stitch that we made up.
it's mostly ready for a few layers of earthen plaster.
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