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Jason Taylor

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since Jan 04, 2013
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Recent posts by Jason Taylor

Pm me if you want to meet up. I am starting a homestead now, and am looking to build a rocket mass heater. I know people that use a lot of off grid tech near richmond, and could possibly introduce you.
3 years ago
Bless you, and curse you for sharing this. My eyes are happy, but my productivity is not.
I own a 107 year old printing press that is treadle powered, which is put to use for making labels, tags, and handouts. I also have a roughly 70 year old paper cutter.


If you look long and hard enough, you could build an entire wood shop out of people powered tools that are like their modern electric equivalents. Lathes, table saws, drill presses, etc.. I have a hand brace, which works nearly as well as a modern electric drill, unless you are drilling large quantities of holes.

I also own a reel mower and a grass whip for lawn care.

Not as easy to use as a modern computer, but how about putting typewriters on this list?

7 years ago
For your plastic and glass bottles, brew more and refill!

With the cardboard, if you raise chickens, you could chop the cardboard and any other paper scraps and make a slurry. Then make a wire mesh mold for an egg carton and use the slurry to make them. Essentially you would be recycling your own paper. Or, just make paper out of it and send really nice letters to some friends. Another option if you have any kids in your life would be to use it for paper mache. Pinatas? Just google paper making or paper mache for ideas.
7 years ago
I am considering making my own ceramic roofing tiles from the abundant clay in my area. My sister makes her living as a ceramic sculptor, so I have access to several options for large kilns, as well as a pile of fire brick large enough to make a custom wood burning kiln for this project. We are trying to keep our build around 1000 square feet, so we would need about 12 square (1200 sf) of tiles. This would equal out to about 1200 Spanish style "S" shaped tiles, or about 2000 mission barrel style tiles. Making an average of 30 tiles a week in my spare time, I could complete this project in a year, although I expect that I could do these in 100-200 piece batches and finish much faster. I am a letterpress printer by trade, so I am used to slow repetitive production, and wouldn't mind putting in 4-5 hours at a time to make these. The guys in the videos below make a tile in about a minute and a half. If I can manage 3 minutes per tile I would yield 80-100 pieces in a 4-5 hour workday. Honestly, I think that I could manage a Spanish tile in 2 minutes, which would mean 40 hours of labor for 1200 tiles. I anticipate spending 20 hours harvesting clay, 20 hours firing, and 20 hours experimenting, or 100 hours total. If I pay myself $15 an hour, this is only $1,500 of labor, and since I have no materials cost, the costs of this process should come in around the same as buying asphalt shingles from Lowes.

I am in the process of designing and developing my molds, and once I have them made I will begin testing tiles. I plan to harvest clay from several local sources and make a handful of tiles from each. With these I will do my best to conduct stress tests, impact tests, and permeability tests. I also want to play with some additives to help insulation values and decrease weight. As my experiments come to fruition I will try my best to keep you posted. I would appreciate any input, insight or ideas that you have to offer in the meantime.

For this house, I will undoubtedly be using a mix of hand harvested / handmade and store bought products, but it is my dream to one day make a home out of nothing but what I can harvest and build from the land that my home is on. Sadly, building codes in my area wouldn't let me live in such a house, but that is a rant for another post.

This is a video of a fellow demonstrating a machine that he built to help make spanish style tiles.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Em7UQ1nykck

This is a video of a guy making barrel tiles by hand.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQAbwFvWOtk

And another video of a guy making barrel tiles by hand.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=1wFmHP_dR58&feature=endscreen

7 years ago
My wife and I are looking for some rural land within an hour of Richmond to set up our homestead. We are strongly considering cob, but I am a bit nervous about the potential code battles. We would love to get out from under our current mortgage, and build our own house out of the resources that we have available to us. I would love to hear of any other Virginians that have been able to get a cob house built legally, or any loopholes that you have found.

Jason
7 years ago
cob
First post here at Permies, and very excited to have found this resource. My wife and I are looking to get out of the city, buy a piece of rural property with 10+ acres, build our own house and start a small scale farm. Right now I am debating cob vs earth bag, and structural vs infill.

Has anyone had experience using canvas bags? I have access to a couple thousand of the bags that they would put smoked hams in from a local bag factory that shut down. If this would work, it may go a long way towards me choosing earth bag construction. I hate the thought of using synthetic fibers to hold my house together, but I also don't want the worry of my canvas exoskeleton rotting and my house crumbling to the ground.

Thanks,

Jason
7 years ago