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PBC continues…..

Today was a late start again because we were lazy, the kids woke up late so we got to sleep in yay for holidays.

so today’s progress isn’t as well progressed as we would like but progress was made

We finished off the first course of bottles


so then the next step is to begin the next course of “bricks”, with this course and subsequent courses we need to keep them all tied in together, this is were the bailing twine comes into play on the inside and outside of the PBC


the bailing twine, is looped around each bottle, this helps the bottles to remain in a more stable position.


Inside the mortar mix we use lengths of barbed wire as reinforcing to keep a strong mortar bond


We had made made more progress since this photo but I forgot to take it before the light faded.


So thats it for today, we hope you like the updates and appreciate any comments or questions, we will be holding a workshop very soon to teach others how to do the same.  stay tuned for the update on the workshop.


– The Satyr

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Further in the art of PBC’s

Today’s journey was a short one as I had to pop down to the men’s shed to fix my extension tow bar.  It all went smoothly and only cost me $2.75 to fix it so we can use our trailer again…. so very thrifty.  On the return I then looked at our recycled cement mixer and it seems the motor has had it, so it will be scrounging our local reuse center to find another mixer or another electric/petrol motor to suit, I am also thinking of MacGuyver’ing it to the exercise bike we have on the property so we can get fit and mix stuff

On to todays progress, we made a 3:1 mix of sand to cement for our mortar bond and used recycled plastic sheeting for our damp course, we ran out towards the end so tomorrow we will be recycling our dog food bags to use as damp course.

Ok so to carry on from our other post, the pad is level…ish (its within reasonable standards) so our next step is to make a datum point (a datum point is a reference point to wich all other levels are based off of)


So we set up the string level and corrected its height to reflect our straight line from our datum point (now any builder knows string levels aren’t the best but I cannot find my level so this will have to do)


so our next step is to mix up some mortar for the bottles to rest on


once it is mixed to the correct consistency we lay it down on our plastic damp course and place bottles on top of the mortar, we then “bed” them in by tamping them to the correct level (from our datum point)


more plastic, mortar and bottles laid down, round and round we go


now an important factor to keep in mind as we move up in height with the PBC is to keep it all held together as weight and pressure set in, it will also give us something to bond our cement render to when we finish both the inside and outside of the bottles, so in the next 2 pics you can see the “looping” of our recycled bailing twine around the outside of the bottles, the first layer of bottles does not have any twine on it on the inside on purpose and this will be explained when we cement in the floor.

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and lastly the BIG boss has to inspect our work to make sure it conforms with Australian Standards



We hope you have enjoyed this update and will keep you all posted on the progress and any other projects on the go


– The satyr

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Tragedy strikes….. Innovation is Born

This morning was a gloomy overcast Tasmanian winters day, a cold that settles into the bones, creeps into your soul and clutches it within its frozen claw of an appendage.   Well now that the descriptors are out of the way lets continue shall we.

Our eldest DD was taking her morning ablutions when she noticed a noise out by our water tank, upon further investigation of the curious nature of children she happened to notice that our trusty second hand free rainwater tank had sprung yet another leak, the problem with this one is that this time the tank is holding approx 10K litres of water.  Which is meant to last us the Summer.  On a good note it is only the start of Winter so if we can get enough materials we may be able to finish this project before summer gets here and maybe collect some more water before the tank runs dry.  We do have to 1000L tanks as back ups, but we use the big one for drinking water, the 2 smaller ones are for veggies and the animals as well as washing water.  So we had to think of something to do to either stop the flow or come up with another idea for storing water.  So begins a project we were not going to start until we were up the hill at the new house site……. oh well.

Today was the beginnings of our Plastic Bottle Cistern or PBC for short (yes that is our coined abbreviation of the word and will use it from now on)

This is our leak, it started out as a pin hole leak first thing this morning, this pic was taken just before lunchtime


So we begin by marking out our area, the PBC we are building will have a 10K L capacity it is 2.5m in diameter and 2m in height.


the secondary ring is our “extra” for added support for the base


Mrs Nymph trying her hand at physical labor, shes a very hard worker and has to be with our 4 children


We try and utilize as much water as we can before it all runs out and digging in the dirt is thirsty work, so one of our little miss Nymphs is helping mum get some refreshments


Shes such a lovely caring helper 🙂


This was her “special” rock and just had to show us all


so we had some sand and metal on the homestead for sometime now and its finally got a use, we are using it as the foundation pad for our PBC to sit on

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More and more until its all used, there is almost a tonne of sand and metal used for the pad, that equals ALOT of wheelbarrow loads, good for the burning of the satyrs fat supplies


next along is the “tamping” process, a process in which we compact the base material to form a solid hard pad for the PBC to sit on, with the help of lots of little feet this can be accomplished in no time.

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I made a quick compaction plate out of some recycled timber I had lying around for when little feet have had enough


The Boss is on site so we have to look sharp, she is checking for level and compaction, all seems good to continue

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our next step is to lay out our “bricks” for a test run and to see how many we will need for each “course”


Ta Da, all done for the day, the courses are going to consist of 74 x 2L milk bottles, the little miss Nymphs had a blast helping count all of them and in the process learn numbers over 20.


Next on the project is to make more bottle “bricks” and then to begin tying them all in with a course of cement in between each course of “bricks”, once we have made the PBC about 1m high we will be cementing in the floor and then continuing up to a height of 2m, we will be closing it over with a domed cement roof with an access man hole for cleanouts and preventative maintenance, it will also have a pipe instaled within the first course so we can actually get the water out of the PBC


We hope you have enjoyed our post today, subscribe to be kept updated and share our page if you know anyone who can benefit from our trials and tribulations.

Also stay tuned for Mrs Nymphs first post on our wordpress site

– the Satyr