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Scaleable truss and frame bamboo/fabric shelter - Space-age mud and wattle

Assemble Frame

The blue plywood work surfaces are three Meters long (10'+), they slowly become forms as the bamboo wall frames are assembled. The top and bottom wall frame pieces are spliced to make them longer, thus, the first vertical pieces are placed inward from the splice so the assembly is well supported on the parallel work surfaces or jig. Perhaps the splice is better located in the center.

When the diagonal measurements are equal, the wall frame has four right angles. This is called the Pythagorean Theorem; a2 + b2 = c2. Where a & b are two sides of a triangle and c = the measured hypotenuse, defined by the yellow rulers.

A holder for the tape measure which fits over the corner of the frame is easy to make, a brick or stone eliminates tedious frustration of attempting to keep the tape in proper position on irregular, round bamboo. The corner of the flat wood is directly above the corner of the bamboo frame.

Small pieces of wood are screwed to the work surface to hold the frame in place after it is square. These small blocks of wood begin to define the idea of a jig which allows for repetitive production of identical frame pieces.

Window and door frames are completed and then braces are placed. Additional, longer wood blocks illustrate how a jig includes a way to maintain position of top and bottom pieces parallel to the jig, or, more importantly, parallel to each other.

Second wall frame placed against the first roof test using burlap, acrylic and cement, which I now refer to as Space-age Mud and Wattle. The old roofs have survived four snow laden winters. Roof number one, the smaller, still has fair conga tone. Roof number two is collapsing around the edges, puddles gathered where the roof flattened out, approaching the long side. Neither roof has an organic fiber preservative treatment or application of protective finish: snow in winter, occasional damp thaws between freezing, humid heat in the summer.

The larger roof, two layers of burlap and rafters of 1/4" cotton clothesline (60 mm), spaced at 50 centimeters (20"). The upper area still has fair conga tone, it could be repaired. I contemplated a miniature fantasy movie prop sculpture, before it was easier, repairs would now be sculptural.

Example repair may proceed after lifting and supporting ends, use wood posts under each end peak, outside, posts canted inward. Let gravity pull hanging outer edges downward for a month or two. Repair and sculpture. Expectable repair result, positive conga tone effect, probably good enough for a new ten year test.

The chair is an old, broken wicker chair encased in well reinforced ferrocement. The water reservoir armature is approximately the size a family might use for collection of rainwater. An armature for sanitary sewage treatment may be discerned between the water tank armature and the roofs.

The first wall section with windows and door is positioned in the jig that held frame number two for precise measurement. A more elaborate jig to assemble more frames would be logical from here, if there is need for more shelter. A finished wall frame can be placed on parallel rails of wood or bamboo and a jig or many jigs could then be made to reproduce the frame section. Families and friends in a small village could then produce a meaningful quantity and have fun doing it.

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