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The ATC planning is in full force.  There are about 78 moving pieces to arrange but for starters, here's the list of potential projects.  If you have any to add or ideas to make these better, please comment.  

The event will have a series of tracks.  Attendees can bounce between tracks at will.  There will be one track for SKIP/PEP for people to get a lot of badges.  There will likely be a Homesteading Skills track for gaining experience with natural medicine, food preservation, textiles, RMHs, tree felling, etc.

The remaining tracks (maybe 3 more??) will consist of these projects.  Some may be an entire 2 week track of their own...

If you are so passionate about one of these activities that it will cause you to immediately drop coin to attend, feel free to make that known as well (no guarantees )

Potential project list:

solar glass recycler
    - now with a homemade solar tracker  

winter wofati greenhouse with a greywater system for allerton abbey
    - about 6x8 interior
    - a series of stainless tubs (no cement)
    - welded or plumbing?
    - a greenhouse that never freezes in winter - without any heat augmentation
    - a double membrane wofati mass on the north side
    - a thermal well at five feet deep with a 15 foot extension
    - a thermal heat charger in the mass
    - (we need some design info details)

create an electric tractor hayride tour
    - waterproof electronics on electric tractor
    - cutting and riveting sheet metal over sensitive areas
    - widening the footprint of the electric tractor
    - fill tires w beet juice
    - new wheels and tires
    - modify a trailer to have seat backs for “hay” seats
    - backs need to be easily storable
    - hook it all up and go for a ride!

cob sink

add a passive solar garden heater (thermal well)
    - can be used to grow a lemon tree, outdoors, in montana
    - with a passive solar cap - with a black circulation tube
    - can be used to keep an animal water dish warm all winter
    - for certain areas with a high water table, this could be a well
    - bury a 6 inch vertical pipe 20 feet deep in the ground
    - maybe two or three different techniques for sinking the pipe
    - manual basket auger
    - water injection with pointy-end well casing
    - excavator

Build a skiddable roundwood rocket sauna

rocket forge
    - heat metal for forge work
    - melt aluminum in a crucible
    - melt glass into a form

adding a sepp holzer style spring terrace
    - bringing 400 gallons of water a day to dry land, year round

add a night-time ability to the solar food dehydrator
    - add cob mass to the ramp
    - tiny j-tube rocket mass heater
    - make it 10% steeper
    - improvements lead to faster drying time, so higher quality food and more food can be processed

install a full solar system to allerton abbey
    - possibly re-purpose the solar panels from the solar volt wagon

install a heliostat - bounce sunlight into a house for all day solar gain
    - no matter where the sun is, the light is reflected to the same spot all day
    - direct light to glass to add light and heat to a dark interior
    - make sure the glass does not have any light blocking films

build a trombe wall - moving air 24 hours a day without electricity
    - improve the existing trombe wall on willowonka
    - improve the glass
    - improve the seals
    - build a trombe wall for chateau-de-poo

add a solar powered vent to a willow feeder
    - willow bank
    - vent through the roof; block rain; fly catcher

round wood timber framing pavilion
    - create a space where the rocket oven and j-tube rocket stoves can be used when raining
    - six vertical logs - about 200 square feet

repair cafe: repairing appliances/tools
    - two days

magnificent round wood gate
    - wooden hinge

cheap, all-terrain, natural, deer/chicken fencing
    - 8+ feet tall
    - $5 per 100 feet (possible to be even cheaper!)
    - using wildfire “fuel wood” for fence instead of burning it in the winter
    - 48 feet
    - build rock jacks every 12 feet

stainless steel welding for plumbing project
    - first-class overhaul of the urine diverter in willowonka

Dry stack moon gate (a rock wall with a 2 foot circular hole in the middle)
    - dry stack means a solid rock wall that has zero mortar
    - 6 foot tall wall fragment ( about 8 feet long)
    - 2 foot moon gate form already built

window quilt + window condensation harvester

Make a wooden bucket

build a low power full day cooker
    - build something resembling a crock pot that uses one tenth the power
    - a haybox cooker with a food thermostat and micro heat bump
    - scavenge materials from the easy bake coffin

Test existing rocket kiln
    -how hot can it get (pottery and glass temps?)

foot powered lathe

shaving horse

add thermometers to both rocket water heaters
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The dates for this year

PDC - June 14-27  
ATC - June 29-July 10
SKIP - July 12-25


 
paul wheaton
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The ATC will MUCH larger this year.   We will definitely being doing the jamboree format.   Further, we will announce a detailed schedule featuring SEVEN TRACKS.


JAMBOREE FORMAT:  The instructors will see a project to completion either with help or without.  Students can wander to all of the tracks and either participate or observe as much or as little as they like.   There will be some bits happening at an alternative location - so if you miss the ride, you won't go that one thing - and if you catch the ride, then that is the only thing you can do until the ride comes back.   There will also be several places for students to sit and visit with others as much as they like throughout the day.


TRACK ONE - SOLAR GLASS RECYCLING:  Will be all about solar glass recycling with the fresnel lens glass melter (FLeGM).  So a full two weeks of work to get this to be amazing.  


TRACK TWO, THREE and FOUR - ATC:  The core of the event.  Appropriate Tech, alternative tech, old tech, new tech with permaculture values ...   solar, natural building, re-use, repair, homestead skills, alternatives to glues and gunks, alternatives to cement and petroleum ...   innovations, merging old techniques with new knowledge ...  etc. etc. etc.  The schedules for these three tracks will be fleshed out in the following days.


TRACK FIVE - SKIP:  Skills to Inherit Property.   In the past, a lot of students enjoyed hands on experience with the basics of woodworking, welding, fermenting, whitewash, cobbing, tool care, etc.  We now have carefully documented skills within our SKIP/PEP curriculum.   Perform a simple task, combined with taking a before, during and after pic, and you can be certified for having completed this task.   When you have enough certified tasks, you will be PEP1 certified.   People that are PEP3 or PEP4 certified are desired for a lot of things, including being named as inheriting farms.  More details in the SKIP forums.


TRACK SIX - HOMESTEADING: Food preservation, gardening, hugelkultur, fermenting, pickling, using the haybox cooker, animal care, foraging, building community, textiles, natural medicine, water bath canning, pressure canning, etc.   A varied group of experiences.  Each experience can be documented for SKIP/PEP if the student wants to.


TRACK SEVEN - BOOTCAMP:  Here at Wheaton Labs, we have a program called "the permaculture bootcamp" where you learn permaculture through a little hard work.   At a recent event, there was interest in also doing what the bootcamp was doing at the time.  We're going to experiment with opening this up to students if this interests them.   In the morning we will announce what the boots will be working on throughout the day and students can choose if they want to join them.


 
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TRACK FIVE - SKIP:  

This is the "high octane, get-er-done" track for completing Badges and BBs.  Students on this track will have the opportunity to complete 7 or more PEP badges.  Some prework (BBs) will likely be needed to get one or two of these badges.  With a TON of prework you could get PEP1 certified after following this track.  If you like taking your time and watching the clouds, that is perfectly fine but you many not get all the BBs below completed.  The teacher/guide will help you with some instruction and hints but there will be plenty of time on your own to figure it out.     (This list is subject to change)

SKIP Track    
June 29
8am – Logistics and Orientation
10am – Make a crappy birdhouse
1pm – Make a firewood rack
3pm – Make a wood burned sign

June 30
8am – Make a Hugelkultur
10am – Make a Hugelkultur
1pm – Make a Hugelkultur
3pm – Make a Hugelkultur

July 1
8am – Plant a Hugelkultur
10am –  Chop and Drop
1pm – Mulch a Huglekultur
3pm – Bonus photo time with your Hugel

July 2
8am – Kindling cracker - design
10am – Kindling cracker - cut
1pm – Kindling cracker – sharpen/weld
3pm – Kindling cracker - weld

July 3
8am – Make a fire tool - design
10am –  Make a fire tool - cut
1pm –  Make a fire tool - fabricate
3pm –  Make a fire tool - finish

July 4 – Day off

July 5
8am – Sharpening tools – training time
10am – Sharpening tools – work time
1pm – Make a handle – training time
3pm – Make a handle – work time

July 6
8am – Make a club mallet
10am – Make a fancy mallet
1pm – Make a half log bench or stool
3pm – Make a half log bench or stool

July 7
8am – Add a big log to a berm scaffold
10am – Add a big log to a berm scaffold
1pm – Make a three log bench
3pm – Make a three log bench

July 8
8am – Learn adobe basics
10am – Make adobe bricks
1pm – Learn and apply low grade cob
3pm – Bonus time to finish projects

July 9
8am – Learn natural paint
10am – Make natural paint
1pm – Use natural paint
3pm – Bonus time to finish projects

July 10
8am – Move willow feeders to/from warehouse
10am – Plant willows (sticking cuttings?)
1pm – Plan willow feeder upgrades
3pm – Implement willow feeder upgrades
 
Mike Haasl
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TRACK SIX - HOMESTEADING:

This will be a scheduled track of experiences following the SKIP/PEP format of BBs.  These ones are generally not the same BBs as Track Five.  So if you like a PEP activity, odds are decent that it is either in track 5 or 6.  These BBs tend to focus more on things like foraging, food preservation, wood working, rocket mass heaters, textiles, natural medicine, tree felling, etc.  The pace might be a bit slower than the SKIP track and there will likely be a bit more teaching.  The goal is to make the thing or do the task and you can take photos and post for BBs or just enjoy yourself.  The focus is a bit less on cranking out badges and more on selecting cool things to learn.   (This list is subject to change)

June 29
8am – Logistics and Orientation
10am – Make a nice birdhouse
1pm – Make a mason bee house, plant hummingbird seeds
3pm – Make toad and snake habitat

June 30
8am – Learn pickling
10am – Make a vinegar and a salt brine
1pm – Water bath canning and make polydough bread or pizza
3pm – Water bath canning and make polydough bread or pizza

July 1
8am – Forage for berries, mushrooms and greens
10am – Make a foraged dish, dehydrate mushrooms
1pm – Make fire cider vinegar
3pm – Make an oil infusion and salve

July 2
8am – Forage for berries, mushrooms and greens
10am – Make seedballs
1pm – Map making
3pm – Map making

July 3
8am – Plan and begin public art project
10am –  Public art
1pm –  Brand a location
3pm –  Backing up a trailer with or without people watching

July 4 – Day off  

July 5
8am – Learn/do – Sew a patch
10am – Learn/do – Darn a sock
1pm – Learn/do –  Make a pillow
3pm – Learn/do – knit a dishcloth

July 6
8am – Basket weaving training and material foraging
10am – Weave a basket
1pm – Twine training and foraging
3pm – Make twine

July 7
8am – Learn how rocket mass heaters work
10am – Run a J tube for an hour
1pm – Make a Dakota stove
3pm – Cook in a rocket oven

July 8
8am – Learn tree felling
10am – Cut down a tree and peel it
1pm – Cut down a tree and make it into firewood
3pm – Split wood with axe and kindling cracker

July 9
8am – Dry stack retaining wall
10am – Dry stack retaining wall
1pm – Move dirt with a tractor
3pm – Do a sealed pond test

July 10
8am – Change out a light switch
10am – Change out an electrical outlet
1pm – Make a rock jack
3pm – Make a rock jack
 
paul wheaton
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About to go out on the monthly-ish

a call for appropriate technology instructors

The 2020 ATC (Appropriate Technology Course) at Wheaton Labs is growing.  This year we will offer seven tracks of projects and we hope to announce a total of ten instructors.  We already have five instructors that will be here for sure and three more saying "probably."  

And we have the list of potential projects for the ATC.  Plus we have the schedule for two of the tracks.  Solar glass recycler with a fresnel lens is at the top of the list.   Then the wofati greenhouse - needing no winter heat.  Building the electric tractor hayride.  A cob sink!  A passive solar garden heater.  A skiddable rocket sauna. A rocket forge.  And I am trying to entice Zach Weiss to come out and build a spring terrace - bringing 400 gallons of water a day to dry land, year round.  

Lots, lots more.  Check this thread for the full list and feel free to add your own ideas.   And it would be great to get two to four more instructors.



An instructor might be here for the full event, or they might be here for just two days.  

If you are thinking that you might like to be an instructor, you can post here or send me an email.  I would need to know exactly which piece you would like to teach, what your qualifications are, and what your spin on it might be.  paul at richsoil.com.




 
paul wheaton
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I forgot to mention in the email that just went out that we need to talk to people about a potential cook also.

 
paul wheaton
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And a videographer!
 
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Biogas?

Starting up a nonprofit in Texas.  Bought a set of molds that are in Washington State and I have to go get them, bring them here.

Puxin Hydraulic 6 and 10 Cubic Meter volume Anaerobic Digester.  
Made of concrete.

Estimated build time 4-5 days (split 2 & 2-3), over a week+

There are only 3 sets of these molds currently in the US.  The other 2 are on the East Coast in Pennsylvania and Florida and owned by SolarCities (Prof. Thomas H. Culhane, USF).

3 possible build levels:
Original
1st-level upgrade*
2nd-level upgrade*
      *Additive Patents Pending

2 certification levels:
Trained Startup/Operator (class participant)
Experienced Builder & Startup/Operator (hands-on)

**Additive Patents reduce total internal volume slightly, but aid ease of operation and increase overall efficacy and efficiency



Jeffrey L. Frusha
LoneStar BioGas (pending 501(c)(3))
1411 Gravel Pit Road
Seguin, Texas 78155
lonestarbiogas.org
phrogjlf@yahoo.com
 
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Oh my! So much goodness!

I wish I could stay for the whole thing! I'm starting up a market garden the summer and the ATC is smack in the middle of our hatching date.

I would drop coin to attend for the winter wofati greenhouse! I would make a serious effort to plan around attending for this project.
 
paul wheaton
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Made of concrete.



My position ...  and I suspect that there are many schools of thought in this space ...  is that "appropriate technology" will minimize cement and plastic.  

 
Jeff Frusha
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paul wheaton wrote:

Made of concrete.



My position ...  and I suspect that there are many schools of thought in this space ...  is that "appropriate technology" will minimize cement and plastic.  



I would guess that depends on how long it is intended to last.  

The HomeBiogas system is plastic and may have a boxed shelf-life total of 15 years and an in-use life expectancy of up to 15 (without mishaps).

A properly made Concrete structure is durable and not readily damaged.

Currently, there are ferrocement Oil Barge, the S.S. Peralta (1919 - WWI), and Liberty Ship hulls (WWII) in Canada being used as parts of a floating breakwater.

Part of the upgrade levels is to eliminate PVC inlet and outlet pipes, plus replace the FRP dome with a concrete cap, to increase longevity.

At current expected price equivalents, the HomeBiogas system (XL has a 6 cubic meter capacity) and regular replacements reach price parity within about 50 years, whereas a 100+ year long potential of a single Concrete Anaerobic Digester would be considered permanent.

There are several ways to keep an Anaerobic Digester warm.  Easiest would be to place it below the frost-line and to utilize grains as part of the feedstock, generating heat from within.  Next would be a greenhouse.  Beyond that, it will take a powered system that needs monitoring and maintenance.

A Class and build with, say 20 Operators and 10 Builder/Operators could cover the costs at reasonable rates.

Something to mull over, at any rate.

Jeffrey L. Frusha
 
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paul wheaton wrote:The ATC will MUCH larger this year.   We will definitely being doing the jamboree format.   Further, we will announce a detailed schedule featuring SEVEN TRACKS.
JAMBOREE FORMAT:  The instructors will see a project to completion either with help or without.  Students can wander to all of the tracks and either participate or observe as much or as little as they like.   There will be some bits happening at an alternative location - so if you miss the ride, you won't go that one thing - and if you catch the ride, then that is the only thing you can do until the ride comes back.   There will also be several places for students to sit and visit with others as much as they like throughout the day.



I like this format as an attendee!  
For the instructors and  event organizers it will seem like moving chaos BUT if the work areas, buildings, and tools that each track requires are hard scheduled with foul weather backup plan also hard scheduled, you'll have success.

If each instructor has a good didi (a person that is a gopher, negotiator, organizer, logistics planner, and class assistant), the instructors will be successful too (meaning happy students).  

Thanks for putting the dates out, that helps me plan a little in advance for time off and logistics if the cash is there to come.  

I have interests in (but cannot commit at this time):
-your core track TRACK TWO, THREE and FOUR,  
-TRACK FIVE: Make a Hugelkultur (read about it but haven't done it...might've missed something); Kindling cracker (tool needed for a good rocket stove imho therefore a velocity item on the list-welding skills are rusty and time dimmed); Sharpening tools (never sharpened a chainsaw b4); Add a big log to a berm scaffold (liked your pulley tripod setup-like to get the mechanics of moving/setting it down); Make adobe bricks Learn and apply low grade cob (I've done this but I might learn something I've overlooked); Learn natural paint (hell yes, I'm ignorant on this subject).
-TRACK SIX: Make a mason bee house (saw the vids but want all the details); Pickling, Make a vinegar and a salt brine, polydough (this'd just be fun with some new info for me); Forage for berries, mushrooms and greens, Make a foraged dish, dehydrate mushrooms Make fire cider vinegar, Make an oil infusion and salve (I'm ignorant on the last few); Make seedballs, Map making (I know a little about these but I might've missed a trick or two); the other items with the exception of the rock jack wouldn't be that new to me.

I want to see the electric tractor and its mods.

Ashley mentioned she'd like to attend a winter wofati greenhouse project/class.....specifically here's why I'm interested:
 - a thermal well at five feet deep with a 15 foot extension (I want to see how this is implemented)
   - a thermal heat charger in the mass  
these items are related/the same as:
-add a passive solar garden heater (thermal well)
- with a passive solar cap - with a black circulation tube
- bury a 6 inch vertical pipe 20 feet deep in the ground
- manual basket auger
-build a trombe wall - moving air 24 hours a day without electricity (trombe wall and a thermal well combo baby!)
-install a heliostat - bounce sunlight into a house for all day solar gain (in cloudy areas like the pacific nw on very cloudy/rainy days, this will boost my passive solar devices back up from adding only 5 to 8 degrees F to a structure to perhaps 15 to 20 degrees F or more)
...and are items I consider to be velocity items because they can be used for human body survival in both hot and cold climates (shelter: one of the basic four shelter, water fire food) .


-add a night-time ability to the solar food dehydrator (hella important and is a velocity item because humid climates will need this extra kicker during rains which come during harvest times and adds through put capacity for other climates so a harvest won't rot)

The next three are velocity items because they allow poor people to create their own glass (passive solar), metal items (list is just too long for me to put here) and clay roof tiles/short pipes for plumbing:
-rocket forge
-solar glass recycler with the tracker (did you use the motherearth news one that tracked the sun using passive solar to heat a refrigerant inside a double action hydraulic arm?)
-Test existing rocket kiln (tiles for me to collect water off a roof with, short pipes for plumbing...yep a velocity item)

window quilt + window condensation harvester (I want to see the water collector success).

cheap, all-terrain, natural, deer/chicken fencing (any option I've missed is useful against range cows, deer, and elk)

biogas is important as it is useful for cooking (it's proved successful in hot climates)...I've seen the chinese plans and Indian plans for ground dug ones with stone walls and a stone dome... at this point, without plastic and cement, other tech seems easier though.

Not mentioned, or I didn't notice it, is a class on plants which are symbiotic to each other in nutrients....I'd love to have a class which shows how a food forest from which I'd want to eat year after year could be planted with trees, bushes, shrubs, and perennial ground covers which symbiotically supply each other with needed nutrients (yes, I got the nitrogen fixing legumes go in first but I mean the more specific types of nutrient creation for each other).

Anyways, that's where my interests lie. I'd really love to attend should every thing I need to have happen aligns at once!


 
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I am excited by the potential for the ATC to gain critical mass to really work well with a lot going on. I could see doing the skiddable rocket sauna as a track all its own to create a building that could be a rocket sauna or an insulated living/sleeping pod that a future homesteader could build at some convenient time and place (like after work in the winter in a suburban garage) from readily available local materials (both industrial scrap and local) then take to their site and use while they are building their site infrastructure. Unlike a $1000 camper this structure could be comfortable, easy to heat, easily repurposed as a guest space or sauna when the "big house" is done and not waste away as a toxic eyesore. A basic skiddable sauna build would include simple round and milled wood carpentry, straw-clay or other natural insulation, cob, and a cottage sized rocket heater.  If we get a good crew we can add to the skill building by harvesting and milling at least some of our own wood, improvising latches and hooks and other accessories from found materials, building or repairing our own windows etc.. Stretch goals could include adding "life support" systems such as catchwater, outdoor shower, a basic bucket compost toilet, and a basic but expandable solar charging system for lights and phone and battery powered tools. Some of these elements could easily become their own course. The idea here is to gain experience and confidence and perspective in creating a handsome and functional and expedient portable shelter.
--Uncle Mud
 
Mike Haasl
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Orin, it looks like you'll have to clone yourself to see everything you want to see  I know the feeling though.  This is shaping up to be a lot of great stuff happening over a two week period.  Luckily, due to the jamboree format, you can just bounce between the projects and help or learn as you want.

Some activities will be happening at base camp and some up at the lab (two different properties).

Uncle Mud, I think you're right that a larger project like a sauna could be a track all to itself.  Maybe one really awesome instructor could supervise groups as they do a rocket sauna and a winter wofati greenhouse at the same time by Allerton Abbey.  Just a thought.  I'll be running around like a chicken with my head cut off just keeping the SKIP track going full steam.

If anyone knows a good potential instructor for these activities, please direct them to this thread and/or have them email Paul (per his post above).  Bring out your roundwood or cob or electronics or rocket or shop class experts!
 
Chris McClellan
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I have emailed Paul. to get the sauna done would require doing it at the shop I think (except milling, which I haven't heard if the mill is working) and an instructor focusing on the elements of the sauna.
 
paul wheaton
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Another idea for a project:   making portland cement from ash

 
Mike Haasl
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Freezer wofati
 
paul wheaton
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rocket sauna

Chris, any chance you can whip up a design to show us what you have in mind?

Also, do you think you can complete the whole structure within the ATC timeframe?  I ask because this structure would be larger than willowonka which was predicted to take five days to build and ended up taking seven weeks.  

 
paul wheaton
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Chris McClellan wrote:I have emailed Paul. to get the sauna done would require doing it at the shop I think (except milling, which I haven't heard if the mill is working) and an instructor focusing on the elements of the sauna.



The sawmill is currently running although I am not sure of how often it is running, or how much lumber we have pulled out of it.
 
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paul wheaton wrote:Another idea for a project:   making portland cement from ash



Maybe try geopolymer concretes? Many use ash, volcanic ash, slag, calcined shales and clays (except illite). I know the rural Chinese biodigestors were made from bricks. I am more inclined to use geopolymers though, long lifespan. Thousands of years. The Pantheon uses this chemistry, it is two thousand years old. Maybe you don't have the right minerals around you, but worth a look. Good luck!

Jason
 
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Jason Learned wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:Another idea for a project:   making portland cement from ash



Maybe try geopolymer concretes? Many use ash, volcanic ash, slag, calcined shales and clays (except illite). I know the rural Chinese biodigestors were made from bricks. I am more inclined to use geopolymers though, long lifespan. Thousands of years. The Pantheon uses this chemistry, it is two thousand years old. Maybe you don't have the right minerals around you, but worth a look. Good luck!

Jason



Do have a favorite recipe suggestion?
 
paul wheaton
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We are comtemplating adding an 8th track ....

 
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PDC or ATC $1650
Both PDC/ATC $2600

first half of ATC (five days):  $1000
second half of ATC (six days): $1200

SKIP:  $1250

PDC+ATC+SKIP:  $3200


There will be an earlybird price.  We will make the earlybird price available for 48 hours as we are putting the finishing touches on the web pages.  For those of you that have been here before, you know that our earlybird prices can have a sweet discount.




 
paul wheaton
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Mike and I are thinking of rebranding the ATC as "Permaculture Technology Jamboree"

Click on the thumbs up for this post if you like this idea.

 
paul wheaton
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For rebranding ... thumbs up on this post for "Permaculture Technology Event"
 
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Do have a favorite recipe suggestion?

I use a calcined shale (5 parts) with a water glass mix of sodium silicate(4 parts) that is just on the irritant side of the scale and not corrosive. This mix equals one part that I mix for 5-6 minutes before I add 3 parts sand/gravel mix. It has the consistency of taffy and I need my forms to be sealed well. I use wax or vegetable oil. I cover them for 24hours to a week and then take them out. The stuff is really hard and difficult to pry from un-oiled wood. The problem with these though is the water glass(Potassium works better btw). It has to be small molecule water glass- meaning the silica should be in short chains of one to four silicon atoms per molecule; but if the company makes water glass that is all large molecules, it won't react.

So a water glass mixed with NaOH or KOH  to a molar ratio that won't instantly burn you is a good starting point, but you will need to test it with some calcined stuff and see if it reacts. If after 24 hours it looks like stone you are probably good, the real test is to boil in water. The Pantheon was reported to be made with lime mixed with volcanic sands. Freshly dug Ignimbrite is the kind they used above water. I'm sure old volcanic ash like this could be calcined to make it reactive again. A rocket kiln on low would be the ticket there. And that was also 1:3 mix. Opus Signinum was also one part lime to three parts testa. The testa was clay tile that was under fired so calcined. It also has either analcime or phillipsite (zeolites) in the clay which helped react with the lime. This was used to waterproof the cisterns and aqueducts.

If you have access to slag from copper or iron smelters, as long as it is cooled relatively quickly, you can use that as an ingredient. The copper slag stuff makes a really nice black geopolymer.

I haven't tried this but it is supposed to be a good recipe.

by weight
20 parts calcined kaolin commonly called MK-750
20 parts blast furnace slag
24 parts potassium silicate water glass with a molar ratio of 1.25 at 50% concentration
then add 56 parts class F fly ash

supposed to reach over 9000 psi in strength

From the stuff I use to the lectures I've seen the basic premise is to take a weathered shale or a clay and heat it to 1200-1450  Fahrenheit for six hours and mix this with water glass and KOH/NaOH and maybe some alkaline minerals like slag ground fine and then mix this for a while before adding sand and gravel or other stones. You might have all the ingredients on your land.
One thing, this stuff will not stick to plastic, oils, etc; as well as cured epoxy, but if the epoxy is fresh it will bind with it. And PVA can be used as reinforcement in these concretes, because the alcohol molecule will react with the silica alumina reactions in these materials.

I hope this helps and is not to rambling and confusing. Sorry, it is late here and I am falling asleep as I type here. Oh and geopolymer.org is a great website with lots of papers and recipes.

good luck,

Jason
 
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Here is what Mike and I came up with, so far, for the beginning of the new PTJ:



June 29 to July 10 near Missoula, Montana

tabs:  schedule instructors food accomodations register

This event has multiple purposes:

  - collaboration, experimentation and innovation to move permaculture technology forward
  - experiences for people new to permaculture technology
  - experiences for people new to homesteading

Our Jamboree Format:

The instructors will see a project to completion either with help or without.  Attendees can wander to all of the tracks and either participate or observe as much or as little as they like.  


Eight tracks in 2020:

TRACK ONE - SOLAR GLASS RECYCLING:  Optimize the fresnel lens glass melter for easy duplication.    

TRACK TWO - WOFATI GREENHOUSE AND GREYWATER SYSTEM:  a greenhouse that requires zero heat in the winter, plus a greywater system that can function year round in montana.

TRACK THREE - ROCKET SAUNA:  a sauna will be built using roundwood timber framing techniques on skids.  And then a rocket heater will be added.

TRACK FOUR:

   - spring terrace:   shape dry land to be able to extract 400 gallons of water per day
   - passive garden heater:  a technique to help grow citrus, outdoors, in montana
   - dry stack moon gate:  correctly stacking rock to have a wall with a 2-foot round hole
   - rocket forge:  a metalworking forge that does not require coal, propane or electricity

TRACK FIVE:

   - roundwood timber framing pavilion
   - two styles of innovative deer/chicken fencing with a per foot price that is less than 10% of normal
   - add a night mode to the giant solar food dehydrator
   - a cob sink.   Using clay and sand from the land a sink will be formed and then made waterproof with natural materials
   - trombe wall. Move air 24 hours a day without electricity

TRACK SIX:

   - create an electric tractor hayride tour
   - install a heliostat:  A sun tracking mirror to add light and heat to a house
   - add permanent solar power to a tiny house
   - repair cafe
   - better crockpot: cook triple the food with less than 10% of the energy of a standard crockpot
   - window quilts and harvesting winter window condensation

TRACK SEVEN - SKIP:  Skills to Inherit Property

   - part of our formal SKIP/PEP1 program
   - build a 7 foot tall hugelkultur - gardening without irrigation
   - basic woodworking
   - carving tool handles
   - sharpening tools
   - everybody that wants to gets to build:
       o a kindling cracker (welding and metal work)
       o a three log bench
       o mallets
       o three legged stool
       o carve a spoon
       o large roundwood timberframing joinery
       o adobe bricks
       o make natural paint
       o work with low grade cob

TRACK EIGHT - Homesteading:

   - everyone that wants to gets to build their own
       o bird house
       o insect hotel
       o snake and toad habitat
   - hot water bath canning
   - fermenting
   - pickling
   - foraging - harvest and eat wild edibles
   - harvest and preserve natural medicine
       o comfrey poultice
       o dried mullein leaves
       o more!
   - public art and branding a location
   - textiles: sewing, darning, knitting, crotchet, basket weaving, making twine
   - using rocket ovens, rocket stoves and rocket water heaters
   - cutting down trees for use in log structures and/or firewood
   - dry stack retaining wall
   - sealing a pond without a liner
   - experiences with tractors and excavators
   - installing an electrical outlet
   - building a rock jack

TRACK NINE - BOOTCAMP:  Some people have attended our events and opted to join our ongoing permaculture bootcamp for half a day for whatever they are working on for that day.
 
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Maybe a tenth track:   innovation.   Project ideas and experiments that came up during the event to try with the tools and materials on hand.
 
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