• Date JoinedJun 5, 2009
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kmckown3 years ago
I have really enjoyed read about what you have done in PR. I do have a question about your round roof project. Here in Mexico they put up a wooden base then put down concrete with a rebar support.grid. (Then drop the wooden supports leaving a very ugly ceiling.)
On your round roof you said you used 3 layers of chicken wire. How does that work without a base to keep it from pouring through? Am I missing something? I hate the flat roofs used here and if/when we ever do build I am hoping we can use some green techniques such as the filled pet bottles or straw bale.
Thinkenstein (author)  kmckown3 years ago
The more traditional technique, ferro cement, uses a rebar structure to support three layers of chicken wire. That is then plastered by hand. The three layers are to provide enough mesh so that the cement doesn't fall through the holes. I prefer one layer of nylon fishnet instead of chicken wire, if the fishnet has a fine enough mesh.

The rebar supports the weight until the cement hardens. The mesh gives you a surface that holds the plaster. The cement can support itself in dome shapes, once hard, since all the forces are in compression, but the mesh holds pieces together if the cement cracks, as it always seems to do.
Here they leave out the chicken wire and just pour it like a floor with the rebar in the middle but using plywood and scraps propped up from below as a base. As I said, it makes a very ugly ceiling. The ceilings are sometimes finished afterward but are subject to falling off it not done correctly.
shakeval3 years ago
i took a quick look through your instructables before asking this so please forgive me if i did in fact miss it, but have you done anything with solar panels or windmill generators? do you have mainline power?
Thinkenstein (author)  shakeval3 years ago
Yes, I have mainline power. I consume little, about $30 per month, and haven't been real motivated to invest in solar. I do hope to make more progress in alternative energy sources someday.
was looking at some of what you've been doing and it should be fairly easy to construct a pvc windmill to power some stuff around your property, if you get much of any air movement where you are
Thinkenstein (author)  shakeval3 years ago
I would say that we don't have much wind here most of the time, but there is some, so maybe a windmill might work. I would rather not see a windmill, though, nor hear one all the time.

Electricity is such a handy thing to have, especially once you get used to it. I suppose one could always go back to camping in the dark and surviving somehow.

It is interesting, all the creativity in the energy field these days. Bedini type motor-generators interest me, too. An over-unity generator quietly tucked away in a basement would be ideal, if it worked.
Asa J4 years ago
I am going to go check out that interview, but are you accepting disciples at this time?
Just kidding, though sort of not. I have always dreamed of buying a couple of tropical acres and homesteading for awhile. Love to see what you're up to, keep those instructables coming!
Thinkenstein (author)  Asa J4 years ago
I have a guest house for visitors, if you ever pass through. I hope to get some workshops going, but the heavy construction is probably over, along with the opportunity for hands-on learning. I may spend more time on painting, sculpture, and music in the future.
freeza364 years ago
I also just wanted to say that after reading your interview with instructables, just wow.
hey, just wanted to say that im truly inspired by ur life story. im a young teen from NJ. like u, im a multi-intrumentalist, specializing in saxophone and bass. But i also do a lot of creating, fixing, diy, electrical work, etc. I have always loved the concept of being self-sufficient and living off the land.

btw how do u get internet from where u r?
Thinkenstein (author)  AudioMaximus4 years ago
I use wifi. If you ever wander down this way, drop in. I'm always looking for musicians to play with.
If i find myself there, i will gladly drop in. Just wondering, what kind of music do you listen to? im a massive jazz fan for the most part.
Thinkenstein (author)  AudioMaximus4 years ago
I don't normally listen to music any more. I have bits and pieces from a lifetime floating around in my head and mostly just improvise around it. I like jazz a lot. Much of what I play has a classical leaning, but I want to get jazzier, and sometimes I'm successful. Although I would be happy with any musicians to play with, jazz players would be especially welcome!
you should try and get back into listening to music. music has always inspired and intrigued me in many ways. I can even give you some recommendations of what you may like if your into the jazz improve type stuff. i know plenty of it.

btw, i can read music, since i also compose and arrange pieces, but i mainly play by ear as well.