Organic Design (blog)

De Organic Design


Posted by Nad on 19 de junho de 2016 at 13h21min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
You may remember our simple gambiarra washing machine from our first year on the land,
DIY manual clothes washer.jpg
Washing with DIY manual clothes washer.jpg

This idea has worked well for us, but we were starting to wonder if it may have something to do with the slightly sub-standard washing results get regularly, such as the following example...


So Beth thought it would be a good idea to get a "tanquinho" which is a very simple kind of washing machine that's basically just a tub with a motor to shake the clothes about and a timer. You just fill it up with soapy water manually, and it only needs to run for about five minutes, so it's no problem to use with the generator. It's a lot less work and is a perfect compliment for the spinner dryer we got last year.


Back to the land from NZ

Posted by Nad on 14 de junho de 2016 at 13h19min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
We finally arrived back at the land after our three month holiday in New Zealand! We stayed at Mum and Dad's place in Devonport and just spent time there to catch up with friends, family and spinach pies! We left a few days ago and after three planes, a bus and a hire car we've finally made it back!

We're always very nervous coming back to the land after a long while away as we never know what will be in store for us out here in the wilderness! Things weren't perfect when we arrived back, but not as bad as arriving back to a house burned down by lightning or sent off down the river by a flash flood!

The first thing we noticed when we got to the gate was that all the grass was still nice and short - that can only mean cows! There's no sign of any now, but there were cow pats all over the place, and when we got to the house everything was knocked over and the vege patch destroyed! They had snapped one of the corner fence posts and eaten everything except the lemon tree :-(


It probably looks worse than it actually is though since this is the first time we've arrived back in winter after a long time away, so all the bracken is dead and many other plants are without any leaves.

But anyway it's really nice to be back home again :-)

Oh and one more thing before I sign off....

Party.gif Party.gif Party.gif Happy birthday Itamar from Beth and Aran!!! Party.gif Party.gif Party.gif

Cute well lid

Posted by Nad on 5 de março de 2016 at 03h53min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
We made this cute lid for the well out of the off-cuts from the wall boards :-)


Main work on second house done

Posted by Nad on 29 de fevereiro de 2016 at 15h54min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
We've been taking it a bit easier over the last few days since we got to the most important milestone of being able to take a photo for the power company :-) In the last few days we've just slowly put all the walls on, and now all the left over wood is stored safely in the house so it will stay in good condition while we're away.

We'll probably hire a car before we leave so we can pick up a bunch of nails and bolts since we've had to ration nails a bit and couldn't put the roof over the extension without it being firmly bolted in place.

We also have to put on the "matajuntas" which cover the gaps between the wall boards, but we're going to let the wood dry out a lot first since it had gotten quite mouldy sitting out in the rain for a couple of weeks.


First wall done

Posted by Nad on 25 de fevereiro de 2016 at 15h09min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
Today we got the first wall done! This is an important milestone because it allows us to get a photo of the house looking complete as seen from the power pole. The company that will connect the power to our pole requires a house to be within forty metres of the pole and they need to see a photo of the pole and house before they'll book the job. So now using the second photo below, we can go to São Francisco de Paula and book them to come out and connect us! We'll also buy a whole bunch of nails and bolts so we can finish everything off properly. The last photo shows the power pole viewed through the window.

Roof almost done

Posted by Nad on 24 de fevereiro de 2016 at 13h01min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
Today we only worked on the house in the morning and took the afternoon off because we had a meeting online to attend. But during the morning session we got most of the roof put on - we're leaving the roofing panels off of the extensions for now because we ran out of bolts, so we don't want to put too much weight on them while they're only nailed in place.

We installed the capping after the two sides were done by having me on top of the roof in the middle and Beth passing the capping pieces up in a bag on some string. Unfortunately the capping was a bit of a disaster :-( we decided to use the only type that the store had so that it could all be delivered in their truck, but this kind is a real pain and not very effective either! It's made of the same material as the panels and corrugated to fit it, and it comes in two separate parts that join in the middle, but the join isn't very good. We'll have to put silver tape over all the joins when we get back from New Zealand - or maybe we'll just rip them all off and use aluminium capping which works really well!


Still, the main reason for getting this little place built now is so we can get our power put on, so a few leaks isn't going to be a problem for that purpose. Here's what it looks like now:


Frame completed!

Posted by Nad on 23 de fevereiro de 2016 at 15h00min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
Today is day 8, the first day of the second week. In the morning I put the second two windows in while Beth measured and cut the surrounding frame pieces. Then in the afternoon we finally got the last three perlins in place which means the frame is totally completed now and tomorrow we move on to the final phase - roofing panels and walls! As you can see by the dim light and the state of Beth collapsed in the corner, it was a long day and motivation's wearing thin - hopefully moving on to walls and roof tomorrow will get us fired up for the last little bit!

The first window!

Posted by Nad on 22 de fevereiro de 2016 at 15h54min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
Today we finished off the extensions, and finished all the not-scassors then got the first two perlins on. We then did the door frame and window frames and got one window in place! The window might be slightly premature, but we saw some bugs had started eating them and decided they would be safer getting rained on than staying with all the bugs! We'll put some termite poison on them tomorrow.

Day six on the construction site

Posted by Nad on 21 de fevereiro de 2016 at 15h09min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
Today we first got the other 3.7 metre half of the thick 12.5x5 up and joined to make the main 7.4m roof support. And then we got all the roof frame done for the main house area. The whole rest of the day was spent getting the one metre extended bit one the west end done!

It was really tricky as it's up very high and the extension frame pieces are really heavy - but they need to be really strong since we wanted to avoid having to use ugly external 45's there, we assembled the extension bits as much as possible before putting them up, you can see one of these assembled bit in the middle photo below (they'll be bolted later after we get some more nuts!). The other photos show Beth cutting the notches in the frame pieces while I hammer them up.


At the end of day six, we had finished the west extension, so have to go through all that again tomorrow morning!


Roof frame started on day five

Posted by Nad on 20 de fevereiro de 2016 at 16h28min
This post has the following tags: Our forth year on the land
Today the first thing we did was to get eight more 45's made up and positioned around the top of the frame to make it stronger for all the roof frame activity that will be the main focus for the next couple of days. Then the final part of the main frame was put into place, the big 12.5x5 across the middle which keeps the two middle verticals the right distance apart and takes a lot of the weight of the roof.

Then it was time to start the roof frame! Normally this would involve making a whole lot of so-called "scissors", but when we were staying in Pirenópolis I noticed they had used a slightly different method which I quite liked the look of, because it seemed like it would be less work and also uses the space more optimally.

The idea is to have a large solid piece all the way along the apex and then have just single pieces of 12.5x2.5 supported by this large piece. This large piece in our situation needs to be 7.4 metres long, 5.4 for the house and a metre extra at each end for the roof. Since our wood is only 5.4 metres long we decided to use two pieces of 3.7m and join them in the middle. We're also connecting the middle down to the other large piece the joins the two verticals which required a bit of dodgy "chainsaw art" :-)


This all resulted in the slightly strange looking state shown in the first photo below, three vertical pieces positioned ready to support the large apex frame pieces. We got just one of the 3.7m apex pieces in position first and then decided we better give it some strength by adding a few of the not-scissors pieces (whatever they're called), even though this large centre piece is very strong in a vertical direction, it relies on the other surrounding pieces for its strength in the other planes. These not-scissors pieces need to have bits cut out of them so they can sit nicely on the apex and sides, so we made a few getting the angle of the cuts a bit better each time, then when we had a pretty good one, we used it as a template to cut all the rest we'll be needing for that side of the house.