Monday, January 5, 2015

Building An Adobe Wall: #6 Plastering And Creating The Designs

In this post of our series I want to take a look at how we plastered the wall 
and Allison will explain how she and her sisters made the designs, such as you see above,
 out of adobe mud and mineral pigments.

 In the photo above Cynthia used caliche, a clay slip, and oxides on her burrowing owl 
with earring eyes hiding under the Mexican Hat flowers Allison created earlier.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Building An Adobe Wall: #2 Getting Started

After the first post in this series
where we looked at how to build the stone foundation for our adobe wall
we will now take a look at making the "gringo blocks",
 and setting up our mud mixing area for making the adobe mortar that will be used with our bricks
as we go through all the steps for building the wall you see in the photo above.

All of the posts to date are:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Reusing Glass Bottles For Landscaping

For as long as I can remember I have tried to creatively reuse materials,
especially recycled lumber.
In this post let's look at four ideas for reusing glass bottles.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tips On Building A Dry Stack Stone Wall #6: Steps

In this post I want to go into how I build stone steps in the landscape
 as part of the dry stack stone walls that I have already shown.
We will look at how I selected and installed the three steps you see above.

For safety one should never attempt building steps, inside or out,
without a firm basis of the terms, theory, and practice of this craft.
There are many books which provide more detail
 or a search of the internet will yield many results.

The posts to date in this continuing series for the owner builder are:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Tips On Building A Dry Stack Stone Wall #4: Why They Work

In the last post I did for this series on tips for building a dry stack stone wall 
I showed how I go about building a dry stack wall.
This time I want to drive home a few of the principles that I think explain 
why these walls work the way they do and are fundamental to the success of a wall.

The posts to date in this continuing series geared for the owner builder are:

Monday, February 24, 2014

Tips On Building A Dry Stack Stone Wall #2: Getting Stone

In the previous post we took a look at the need for erosion control in our project area
 and the tools that we would use in building our dry stack stone walls.

The posts to date in this continuing series are:
This series is directed to the owner builder rather than the professional stone mason.

Let's look now at the stone we are using, where it came from, 
and how we determined where to have it dumped,
so that it would be readily accessible but not in our way.

In the photo above we are well into our project
 and we have just gotten the last of our three 14.5 ton loads of stone.
I have created a pathway where I can easily use the hand trucks to carry stone
or roll it down the hill if they are too large for the hand truck.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Tips On Building Dry Stack Stone Walls #1: Project, Tools

This is the first in a series of tips on building dry stack stone retaining walls for landscaping,
gained from my personal experience and particularly aimed at the owner builder.

In future posts I will be discussing topics such as how to build durable walls and steps,
how to design the layout for a project, theory on dry stack walls, 
 stone as a material and what stone works best in each part of the project, site management,

 The photo above shows the finished project which gives you a feel for the scope of this work.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Installing Large Size Sun Room Windows

After having built and lived in quite a few passive solar sun rooms over the last 40 years 
I have come up with a good way to set the large double glazed glass units
 that are commonly used for such rooms.

About a year and a half ago we purchased a passive solar heated adobe fixer upper
 with a very long 80' sunroom, built in the mid 1980's.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Update On Our Rainwater Catchment System

We have now had our rain water collection system for a year and a half 
and it is time to give an update on how we are using it.

This is a continuation of the post I did over a year ago that you can access at
Designing And Installing A Rainwater Catchment System.

The first year was a bit frustrating as we were in what the National Weather Service 
describes as an "exceptional drought" which is their highest category.
It is hard to store water when there is no rain.
This relates to the topic of how to best size a rain water collection system.
When it is possible to go for more than six months with less than an inch of rain,
 a larger system may be necessary.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Another Look At Porfilio Bustillo, #3 - Cement Trim As Faux Stone

This is the 3rd post in a row on the work of mason Porfirio Bustillo.

Please refer to the 2 previous posts to more easily follow along:
Now I want to show how he gives his decorative cement work 
a finish that resembles carved cantera stone.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Another Look At Porfirio Bustillo - Master Mason In Alamos, Sonora

I had the pleasure to meet Senior Porfirio Bustillo,
  a mason in Alamo, Sonora who specializes in fireplaces.

These next couple posts will concentrate on the work he is doing 
on his house which is under construction.