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
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
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.
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
A big wooden hammer is really handy for putting the bales in place.
Plastic strapping tensioner
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
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
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