This data is a little bit strange because it is mainly observational and the data spans over 4 different class periods. I will break it up by day.
Wednesday Week 9:
The goal: collect 36-40 wattle poles, about an inch in diameter and 4-6′ long.
- It was pretty easy to find smaller trees
- Once you know what to look for, they are easy to spot
- The clipper works a lot faster than the saw at cutting them down
- finding the stakes that will be used to hold the wattle poles was the hardest part – these had to be about 2 inches in diameter and 3-4′ tall (needed 7).
- We found a lot of our stakes under the bigger growth — aka fallen branches/trees
- At 12:15 (supposed to head back at 12:25) we only had 26 wattle poles and 4 stakes.
- We attempted to cut quicker but it was hard since the saw did not work very well
- We started by clearing a lot of the thicker, straighter, taller ones (the better ones…), by the end we were focused on getting as many as we could quickly so we took more thinner and shorter ones
- There were so many wattle poles we were unsure if we would be able to carry them all back
- In the end, we had about 35 wattle poles, 4 stakes, and one very long, thick pole that we hoped to cut into 3 stakes.
Thursday Week 9:
Lab cancelled. The weather Gods hate us.
Friday Week 9:
Wattle wall construction
Goal: trim branches and leaves from poles, hammer in stakes, begin to weave the wattle
- At 11:10 we started to trim the branches off of the wattle poles. The best tool for this was the bill hook. The saw did not work very well and the clippers required two people (one holding the clippers, the other holding the branch)
- By 11:40 we had finished trimming all of our poles, we moved on to help other groups.
- Helen already formed + popped a blister from all the hard work
- teamwork definitely makes the dream work – it goes much faster when one person holds the branch and rotates it while the other clips
- Bill hook is bad for sawing stakes – the axe is much better for this
- Our group was tasked with making a long wall which meant it had to be 5′ x 6”
- We used seven stakes.
- We attempted to hammer the stakes 6 inches into the ground and were wildly unsuccessful – we were able to get them about 3 inches but they were very unstable – we used the huge mallet and were able to get them in further.
- We were able to get about a foot of our wattle wall constructed during class time.
Monday Week 10:
Finish Wattle Walls and Construct Structure
- When we arrived back to finish our walls on Monday, our wattle had dried out a lot and was much more brittle and hard to weave.
- We had to send some people back out into the arb to collect more wattle that was easier to work with
- Once we ran out of longer poles, we started using the shorter pieces and doing a bit of patchwork.
- Once we had built our wall up, we measured it again to make sure it would fit on our structure, and it had bowed out a bit during wattle weaving making it longer than it was supposed to be. To fix this, John and I pushed really hard on either side of the wall and were able to straighten it back out to the correct dimensions.
- After we had finished constructing the 3 feet of wattle wall, we clipped the poles that were poking out on the sides
- We then lifted it out of the ground successfully (nothing fell apart, there were 6 inches of pole on the bottom)
- We stuck it onto the side of the structure and hammered the poles into the ditch so that we knew it was secure.
- We then trimmed off a couple inches of the stakes so that they would fit better under the roofing
Wednesday Week 10:
Daub the walls
- We got our daub from the bank of the creek.
- We first tried a mixture of the sandy mud and then the really dark wet mud
- This mixture was a bit too wet even after adding 4 handfuls of hay.
- For the next bucket, we got more dark clay but we mixed in some dry dirt from the turf roofing which worked a lot better and was easier to glob onto the wattle walls
- For the third bucket, we got even drier clay from higher on the bank. This was the best consistency because it was not visibly wet, just dark and damp. This was the best when applied to the wall, so we got a fourth bucket.
- The thicker/drier clay consistency was the best for packing onto the wattle.
- The house looked great with all the sides covered in daub and the roof thatched.