Slip Straw Bath House

Pallet Framed Slip Straw Bathhouse – Part 1

Got started a bit late with documenting the build, but these shots will give the basic idea. Pictured below is the stone and stacked urbanite foundation with underlayment of old pieces of stone countertop from a nearby dump site. Several sections of the pallet wall have already been measured and attached in between 4×4″ posts. The gap in the foundation wall at the lower left where the hose is indicates where the future gravel shower drain will be.

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The same day, but looking east. The cob bond beam set beneath the first pallet wall segment has just been set.

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View from the west side.

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Looking west from inside the future shower well.

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More framing complete! Bond beam completed, the first level of the pallet and post walls are in, doorway framed and ready.

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View of the future site of the tub (to left of the wood beam), cob bench (stones with tools on them) and edge of the shower well (stacked concrete to the left). First course of 6″ of 3/4″ gravel was laid on top of the stone underlayment.

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The shower well with 3/4″ gravel underlaid. A cob bond beam will be laid on top of the urbanite pieces, into which 4×4″ posts will be set to form the shape of the shower.

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Shot of the pond liner the underlays the future gravel shower drain.

Another shot looking “downhill” out the drain towards the gray water pit.  I bent a piece of rebar and wired some scrap lathe to it and hammered it into place beneath the suspended pallet wall. This will serve to keep the gravel in place in the basin until there is counterweight on the outside to prevent the gravel from sliding out.

Roof almost complete by Thanksgiving weekend 2016! All of the pallet walls have been filled with slip straw. This was done by mixing up a wheelbarrow load of clay slip, covering a pile of straw in the slip, then packing the clay covered straw into the pallets and tamping them down from above with a 2×4. The slip straw was held in place by screwing scrap plywood onto the pallets while they were packed, then waiting for 3-7 days (depending on the weather) for the slip straw to dry enough to remove them. If I waited too long the straw could begin to mold, so we kept them boarded up for a minimum amount of time.

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East wall and entrance of the bathhouse with most of the roof completed. Weeds and organic waste being accumulated in front for future stone-lined raised bed.

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Here’s a pano of the interior of the bath house at the end of 2016. I have the floor half completed – just scavenged stone leveled into pea gravel. The shower cell has been completed and the gravel drain is working great! It feels so good on the feet. We are now hanging a solar shower bag inside at the end of the day for our showers until I can begin work on the plumbing.

Slip Straw Bath House

Here’s a 6 minute walk through of the bath house up to this point in the build.

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