Monday, December 15, 2008

Building the Vardo: Updates on insulation/door/reality of cold and MCS COMMUNITY Building

"Baby, it's cold outside." So this Hawaiian is mostly inside with toes curled in woolen socks and legs covered in wool long johns.

Pete's been outside cutting pieces for the brackets or molding over the steel plates holding the roof ribs together for VARDFORTWO. The temperature's dropped below 30 degrees so some work just has to wait until things aren't freezing ... like until we're not freezing. Paint won't work at this temperature, so we wait on that.

There is progress to document, and a growing community of MCS safe builders is part of that progress and process. So here it is:

The ceiling is painted with the first coat of milk-paint. The smell of oak seems to be neutralizing. After the temperature warms up, I'll do a sniff test.

  • The inside trim for the windows is taking much more GARDEN SEED than Pete anticipated. Some pigment doesn't cover as well as others, and even though GARDEN SEED is supposed to be a darker pigment that covers better this is probably the fourth coat and still counting.

  • Ceiling trim pieces are cut and ready to be painted and nailed.

  • We've taken inventory on the remaining milk paint, and are preparing for a final order of HOMESTEAD HOUSE Milk paint for the inside walls, door and ceiling.
  • Slim's working on the door. Pete checked with our door-maker to ask about the glue he's using the put the door together. It's a water-based glue that dries hard...I'm crossing my fingers and turning that one other to the goddess.

LATEST UPDATE ON INSULATION ... this decision has been a biggie. We posted at least twice before the difficulties we have had finding safe insulation. Leslie who has a terrrific blog THE OKO BOX Blog did a great post about 4 Types of safer insulation. I read her post, thanked her for the great research and commented on her discoveries and then I talked with another Leslie last night. Leslie Lawrence is building an MCS safe movable home in Bend, Oregon. Our conversation was community building and support in real-life. We talked about issues beyond the building of our tiny homes, and yet every thing connects to living in a safe home. A link on Leslie's Website stirred me to re-look at wool as an insulator. Here's a summary of what I've learned about insulation through the process of building a community of MCS support on-line:

  1. From Leslie at The Oko Box, I learned that Fiberglass Insulation COULD be manufactured without chemicals. But, my intuitive sense about fiberglass is that it wouldn't 'work' for me because of the fine spun glass ... makes me itch to think of it. Through the 'COMMENTS' section of Leslie's post we explored FELTING WOOL as an option, like my ancestors the MONGOLIANS do to cover their yurts. I left feeling "okay, maybe I'd be crazy enough to try it, too."

  2. From Leslie Lawrence I learned that eco-wool batting from The Shepard's Dream MIGHT work, except it would be pricey even though VARDOFORTWO is approx 80 square feet.

  • Wool Felting is available through this Northern California resource, and I might order a bed size length of felt to use on our bed or as a rug (the felts are very versatile, and in general I am good with wool).

  • MOTHS love wool. So Leslie L. cautioned me about the moths' love of wool, and said I'd have to wash the batting or felt with borax to make it distasteful to the winged ones.

  • Leslie L. has found a wool-blended insulation originating in New Zealand and sold in Bend that is probably going to work for her. She is mailing a sample of it to me wrapped in aluminum foil so it doesn't collect any 'stuff' during transport.

I know it seems like such a long read. A good story takes time ... Last, and with such joy, we received a wonderful comment from Francesca in Italy this morning telling us that VARDOFORTWO is inspiring her as she builds her safe space in an old stable in the Italian hills.

FANTASTICO, Francesca!


Anonymous said...

I love all this networking and sharing of knowledge. Together we are stronger!

Mokihana Calizar said...

Yes, Susie this is the way we get through that eye of the needle. I appreciate, appreciate, appreciate it all.