Thursday, 13 February 2014

Information for Volunteers wanting to help with this building project

This post contains information for anyone who wishes to help out with this project on a voluntary basis. It's intended to be supplementary information for "POOSHers"  - sustainable builders and others interested in the subject who are registered with POOSH at If you haven't come across POOSH before, you should check it out right now. It's just like WWOOF, but for sustainable building, and puts volunteer helpers in touch with host projects.

I intend to restart work on this project on March 15th and I'm posting a timetable below of the types of work that will be going on this year. I will try and keep the timetable up-to-date with changes that arise from the building progress or for any other reasons.

Dates: ( working on most days during the period)
Type of work
Number of POOSHers needed,
March 15  - March 29
Carpentry:  cutting and part-assembling baseplate, wallplate, window boxes temporary roof .
Put cover on bale shelter
1 - 2
April 7 – May 8
Bricklaying: Constructing stem wall with recycled brick, flint and lime mortar.
Carpentry: completing temporary propped roof
Straw delivery
Prepare hazel pins
1 - 4
May 26 – June 8
Wall-raising (bales)
Wallplate assembled
Wall compression
4 - 8
June 9 – June 23
Get the roof on!
1 - 4
July 1 – 20
Overrun period
July 29 – Aug 12
Lime Plastering
1 – 8
Aug 26 – Sep 30
Lime & Clay plastering
1 - 8

Calendar View:

The normal pattern of work will be to do some building on 4 weekdays and Saturdays during the highlighted periods above, and to have Sunday and one weekday off. Maybe.

If you would like to come and lend a hand over the summer, please get in touch now via the POOSH network. My project is listed there at, and it is currently the only project in North Norfolk listed on the POOSH project map. (Please do NOT contact me via this blog; I may not see your message.)

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Hazel Cutting and Recycled Window Frames

I had an offer to go and cut some hazel not very far away, so Chris and I took the trailer and some tools over. Not the straightest hazel I've ever seen, but I hope it will be OK once trimmed and sorted

Got a trailer load......................................

Stacked it up till I get a chance to cut it.

This is the hazel cutting list, with lengths and diameters

Hazel is needed in a variety of lengths and thicknesses to pin through the bales, hold them securely in place on the stem wall and base plate and to prevent any lateral movement of the bales. More later!


Also going on this month is my attempt to make some window frames. I have some lengths of wood from door frames removed from the house which I am using. It's good-quality wood, an exterior joinery grade.

Four sections for frame: 

Dovetails on both ends of uprights, cut with a jigsaw:

Not shown: glue, screws, mallet, a few chips to fill the gaps.