Straw Bale Construction/Tools
Some tools are either seldom used in construction or very specific to straw bale construction. Here's a list of the most common ones.
Splitting bales: the straw bale needle[edit | edit source]
When building with straw bales, you will often need to split bales. Pushing twine through the middle of the bale requires a bale needle.
A bale needle is a steel pin of about 80 cm long and 10 to 12 mm wide. It has two holes or hooks near the top, and a handle perpendicular to other end of the pin.
Drawknife and shaving horse[edit | edit source]
Straw bale structures, especially load bearing structures, are often reinforced with hazel pins. It's important for these pins to be pointed and free of bark. That's where a drawknife and a shaving horse come in handy.
Moisture meter[edit | edit source]
You want to know if your bales are sufficiently dry. A hay moisture meter can help you with that. Example: http://www.delmhorst.com/Moisture-Meters/Agriculture/Hay/FX-2000 .
Big wooden hammer[edit | edit source]
A big wooden hammer is really handy for putting the bales in place.
Plastic strapping tensioner[edit | edit source]
A plastic strapping tensioner is needed in load bearing wall construction to compress the bales between base and top plate into a more stable structure. plastic strap tensioner
Stucco sprayer[edit | edit source]
Bales need to be protected from the elements as soon as possible. This can be done by hand, but a stucco sprayer is _so_ much faster to work with. Any hints on particular features you're looking for in a sprayer? Please add them here! Here's an image: http://imgur.com/C0AJNwp .
(optional) Straw (re)baler[edit | edit source]
Sometimes, you can't find sufficiently compressed bales. Or you need a different size or shape. That is when a straw baler can come in handy. Have a look at these plans: straw baler plans straw baler instructions