A much over-due update! Right around Thanksgiving time, I finished putting up the fiber blanket insulation and laying down some insulating concrete over that (sakrete + vermiculite). I wanted to add this brief post to share some of the nice photos of the festivities at 706 county 11, especially those shared with me by Michael and Juan. Look at the little figurines inside the dome!
Finally we have a reliable starter going, thanks to Cara, so we’re going to start experimenting this week.
On another note, the whole casting process for the foundation and hearth has got me pretty excited about working with concrete. And maybe with the idea of casting in general. My first experiment kicked of this weekend. I built some forms out of plywood and cast some lightweight concrete (thanks to Greg for a circular saw, and the Kendalls for a warm barn!). Sometime this week I’m going to pull them apart and see how it all turned out. I think they’ll look pretty rough and messy but that’s OK for a first attempt. The first lesson is BUY A MIXER. Using a shovel and shallow wheelbarrow took forever. I think I was mixing for eight hours. Also, the concrete is really quite chunky and leaves a rough finish. I think I need to look into options other than vermiculite to lighten my mix. Maybe structural changes to the forms to make my pieces stronger?
Updates to come soon…