Straw Bale Construction/Tools

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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]

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]

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]

You want to know if your bales are sufficiently dry. A hay moisture meter can help you with that. Example: .

Big wooden hammer[edit]

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

Plastic strapping tensioner[edit]

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]

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: .

(optional) Straw (re)baler[edit]

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