Basalt & Bezier

Ring Forms Closed

Today we finished prepping for our next big pour of concrete. The sharp eyed might notice a small change in this view of the Butcher Shop compared with the past. We have closed the ring. The wall forms now are completed all the way around. This makes it decidedly more difficult to go in and out while working but means we can now pour concrete, thirty cubic-yards of concrete.

Bezier Curve Form

This is the Bezier Curve form work for the front edge of the Abattoir loft which I mentioned the other day. It turned out even easier to do than I had imagined. The 2×4 braces support the curve at the quarter points and the 1/4″ masonite follows the curve beautifully. A single sheet turned out to be very strong. I had thought I might end up layering up to four sheets to get the rigidity I wanted for the curved form. I’ve always wanted to layout a horizontally curved pour like this. Up until now all our curves have been arches overhead.

Hope Unspooling Basalt Rebar

Hope is feeding the rebar out gradually so we can cut off the pieces. It came in a 7′ diameter 150 meter long coil which was rather unwieldy to deal with until we figured out this trick. The coil is mounted on a spinning jenny, sort of like what we did for the water line, that lets even a child control it safely without the end whipping out and hurting someone. There is a lot of potential energy stored up in that coil.

Ben Cutting Basalt Rebar with Diamond Blade

As Hope feeds the rebar up from the Chiller to the Abattoir upper scaffold Ben measured it out and chopped it using the big 14″ diamond blade on the chop saw. This was the best way to do cutting of the rebar. I also found I could cut it with a small fine toothed saw by hand but for large numbers the chop saw was perfect.

Basalt rebar is made of volcanic rock that has been drawn out into fine threads and then epoxied together to form rods, the rebar. It has been used for a long time in Russia and is starting to be used in our country for corrosive intensive environments like roadways, bridges and our butcher shop. We have highly corrosive things like urine, blood, salt, acids and such that are used for sanitary cleanup so as to prevent the dreaded recall of foods. These acids eat concrete and worst, the plain steel reinforcement causing it to rust which breaks the concrete. As part of our work to prevent this sort of damage to the structure of the facility we are using the Basalt rebar in areas that will be more exposed to these caustic corrosives.

My initial impressions of the basalt are favorable. It is light weight, easy to cut and easy to work with. We tie it together using nylon zip-ties. In addition to the rebar and mesh I also got some basalt fiber and a section of the rope but won’t be using that for a while. It will be a long time before I have real results to show. We hope to use this extensively in our greenhouses and other animal structures due to the corrosion resistance. The corrosion resistance is also of prime importance in our butcher shop for areas with high urine, manure, blood, salt and acid exposure.

To see how the Bezier curved loft came out see the post Practically Perfect Pour tomorrow. There is also a photograph of the basalt mesh there.

Outdoors: 55°F/41°F Overcase, Spots of Sun
Tiny Cottage: 68°F/65°F

Daily Spark: Seven days without food makes one week. (weak)

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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4 Responses to Basalt & Bezier

  1. John Tucker says:

    (post isn’t really about the butcher shop construction but more about the why, I think)

    Ah yes, the dreaded ‘recall of foods’ – more and more critical in this day and age of meat packing plants that process 3000 head of cattle per day and supply meat for all of North America and some of Asia. It only takes several lazy employees who don’t follow the proper cleaning procedures and then the meat supply for a continent is potentially tainted.

    I applaud and support the local farms here in south-central Ontario (Canada) who are following the same script as you are and are controlling their supply chains to ensure biosecurity.

    Hopefully this latest scare with beef recalls points out the fallacy of industrial food and pushes consumers back towards the small and micro producers such as yourself. I know that I was very pleased to be talking to the farmer who actually raised the cows when I asked a local meat processor about the source of their meat.

    Ask your grocers and any restaurants you eat at where they get their meat – if they can’t answer then think twice about ordering any meat.

    Keep of the great posts, and hopefully some day I’ll travel close enough to sample some of the Sugar Mountain Farm products.


  2. David B. says:

    Wow that rebar sounds great! I’ll have to keep it in mind when I build my place someday, though I don’t expect it to be in a very corrosive environment. Is it a lot more expensive than steel rebar? I like that it is lighter, will make it easier to work with.

    • Yes, it is substantially more expensive than plain steel rebar but it is less expensive than stainless steel rebar, another alternative I have considered and will use in one special place. If you can afford it then I would recommend it over the plain steel rebar. See the link I provided above to the company I got ours from. I expect that the price of the basalt will drop as it becomes more widely used – if you’re not building for a while you could benefit from that.

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