Here’s a bit of good news from Patti Stouter.

I just heard from Maurice Wilson that the raschel mesh tubing for Hyperadobe earth building has come in. He has a limited supply, but the manufacturer has sent longer rolls. These rolls up to 1400 meters long will still be offered at the price for 1000 meter rolls- $237 Canadian plus shipping.

This mesh tubing is easy to build with. It has a supple texture that rolls up on a chute and allows the earth fill to flow into place by shaking. Much easier to handle than stiff solid poly tubing. Mesh tubes sit solidly on each other and do not need barbed wire (although it can be added selectively if needed). This mesh is also easier to plaster than solid weave bags.

I used a red sample length in the gable of my shed and loved it more than the white or black bags or tubes above or below. Next building I build I’m using raschel mesh!

Contact Maurice at info@bagsupplies.ca at bagsupplies.ca to order.

[Note: We have lots of articles with thorough coverage of hyperadobe and raschel mesh. Use the search engine near the top of the page.]


Comments

Discount Raschel Mesh Tubing — 28 Comments

  1. Hi Owen,
    I have contacted a supplier in China about raschel tubing, and they can supply something called leno mesh.
    It’s also used for packing vegetables, firewood etc. Just wondered if you knew if this kind of mesh is suitable for Hyperadobe?
    As far as I can tell from the picture, it doesn’t look as stretchy as Raschel…more like poly gravel bags, but with spaces between the weave, so you can see the contents clearly. Unusually they are prepared to do a small order of 2000 metres. I have ordered samples and will do tests when they arrive. I’m planning 2 hyperadobe buildings….. I’m pretty sure I can sell on the excess if they won’t go lower than 2000 metres. If it all works out I’ll post the suppliers details.

    • There are some types of very weak mesh for vegetable bags that are not nearly strong enough for earthbag building. Test the samples thoroughly. Fill until bulging and pound for 5-10 minutes to see if they burst.

    • Does anyone know what weight of mesh is required for building purposes..have found a cheap supplier but they want to know what weight?

      • Show them the photo and then request a sample. Use the sample to make at least one test earthbag. Fill it to capacity and tamp it as hard as you can for several minutes to see if the bag ruptures. It should remain fully intact. If not, order stronger bags.

  2. Hi all. We are a supplier of the Rachel tube netting rolls from Stratford, Ontario, Canada. The name of our company is Bag Supplies Canada Ltd. We have supplied tube netting all across North America to various customers both in bulk, and retail quantities. Our spec. we carry is a 14″-16″ unfilled width and comes with 3,280 feet (or 1000 meters) of material per roll. We currently have plenty in stock and can ship out same day as ordered. Please feel free to contact us with any questions/inquiries at info@bagsupplies.ca or you can call us in the office between 8:30am-5pm (eastern standard time) at (519)-271-2040.

  3. Hi, I know this is probably covered somewhere on the website, but I am new here and have no clue where to begin searching.

    I want to build a 20 foot mesh tube structure and do not know how to calculate how many feet of tubing I should get.

    How is this done?

    Thank you
    Cyn

    • We have articles on almost every aspect of earthbag building. A quick search for Tubing Roundhouse found this link: http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/how-to-calculate-tubing-for-an-earthbag-roundhouse/

      Our FAQ page explains how to calculate the number of bags needed.

      If it’s just a rectangular structure then the math is super simple. Assume 5″ thick courses. Divide 5″ into your wall height (usually 96″). Multiply this times the total lineal footage of the walls. Ex: 20′ square would be 20 x 4 = 80.

      Remember you’ll probably want to use poly gravel bags for the foundation.

    • Thanks, Owen, for clarifying things.
      One comment, the plastic mesh tubing I have used shrinks in length a little as you fill it. The weight of the soil expands its diameter a little, and I find I need about 1.4 times as many linear feet as I calculate for all the courses. You might get by with 1.3 if you’re doing long walls, or tying off the mesh with string instead of knotting it.
      I may be willing to sell a little of what I have if someone is doing a small project. I don’t at this time know of any supplier who will sell smaller amounts than a full roll. Email me at simple_earth@yahoo.com and tell me how much you think you will need.

  4. Hi Owen,
    A quick question. I live in the California Sierra Nevada Foothills at about 2000 to 2500 feet up. Most of my soil is DG (Degenerated Granite). I did a soil test and it looked like I had some silt and maybe a 1% to 3% clay content (Probably dreaming, but hopeful). I can send a photo of the test if you would like to see it.

    My question is, would I need a stabilizer for sandbagging with DG? The DG is extremely hard when dry, but when it gets wet it crumbles and in sometimes forms a muddy goo.

    • You probably need more clay. Adding clay should be cheaper than buying stabilizers. Make some test bags and do some experiments.

  5. Jonathan, glad for your interest.
    Owen is right that any solid continuous layer of insulation is more efficient.
    Mixing pieces of insulation in an earth matrix does reduce the weight of the fill, and will reduce the thermal storage in the wall. It might increase the r-value a little, but since the heat can be transferred through all the bridges of earth around the particles of insulation.
    Mesh tubes may not be the strongest earth construction- they are cheaper and easier/ quicker than separate solid fabric bags of earth. But the traditional earthbags have stronger containment, and separate bags can possibly vibrate in earthquakes without losing wall strength.
    I hope to get clear strength testing done in the next year or two that will lead to simple guidelines for choosing the best earth/ sustainable material for your materials and local degree of hazard.
    For cool regions where insulation is needed more than thermal mass, straw wattle at r3 can be a good solution- see my website. For colder areas, foam trash in tubes or compressed into Ubuntu blox are the best.

  6. I have been studying earth construction for a long time. I am a carpenter by trade(we use wood for most construction), but I agree that this can’t go on forever or there will be few trees left. The hyperadobe method seems like the easiest, strongest method of earth construction out there. Combine that with a wire layer on both sides and a cement shell and you have a very strong structure. My question is this. Has anybody considered adding ground styrofoam to the soil,cement mix? Seems like this would add insulation value and styrofoam is found almost everywhere on the planet!

    • Usually plaster mesh (stucco netting) is not needed, especially with mesh tubes. Plaster will stick like crazy to the mesh. It’s an ideal surface for bonding with plaster.

      Ground styrofoam: People have been experimenting with all sorts of materials, including styrofoam. It’s probably more efficient to attach rigid foam board to the exterior and then cover with plaster.

  7. I have rolls of both 14″ & 18″ woven pp tubing to sell. Rolls are 6000/lf and UV stabilized for 2000hrs. I have sold hundreds of rolls all over the country to the Earthbag community nothing but thumbs up. $780 & $900 per roll FOB my facility in Southern California.
    Steve 949-338-5978

  8. I just want to make sure we get the supplier Maurice’s email right, it’s info@bagsupplies.ca.
    One can work alone building with tubes, but lighter fill would make it easier!
    I have leaned the chute against my thighs, kneeling, and dumped 2 gallon buckets of soil in. A wide mouth chute really helps.
    If your soil is moderate clay and you keep the moisture just right, it might be possible to hold the chute with one hand and scoop soil with the other, using a large scoop cut from a strong plastic bottle.
    If you build a stand for the chute, please send a photo and let us know how it works.

    • Sure, that’s one of the main advantages. The smaller size mesh actually works better than chicken wire. It provides perfect bonding. The only exception would be in seismic areas where you want continuous mesh over the entire wall surface.

  9. I have also been in contact with Bag Supplies Canada and I am ordering a roll for my upcoming project. Shipping to Pennsylvania is approx. $140. So you are looking at about $380 CD ($370 US) for 4000 – 5000 feet of material. Maurice Wilson is wonderful to deal with also.

    • Do some experiments and keep us posted. A lot of people are interested in building with mesh tubes and will appreciate your feedback. As we’ve been saying repeatedly, hyperadobe seems like the fastest, easiest, best earthbag method to emerge so far. That’s why I put a whole section in my Earthbag Building Guide on hyperadobe.

    • Hey Greg. Where are you in Pa? I live in Erie and have a strong interest and some experience with natural building.My son plans to start his earthship style project this year.Maybe we could be of help to each other.
      Jim

  10. Thank you for the find!! To your knowledge is there anyway one could work alone using this system? I would have to design some kind of chute holder that rolls and follow me on the wall to replace the helper who will be missing most of the time.

    • Working alone is far from ideal, but it can be done. Building with tons of soil all by yourself would be very difficult. If I had to go it alone, I would use lightweight fill material such as scoria. Scoria, pumice and other lightweight materials are discussed extensively on our blog. Use the search engine on the top right corner of the page for more info.

      My Earthbag Building Guide also covers the subject in detail, and includes a photo of a device that can be moved along the wall just as you describe. It can be built of low cost scraps of metal. http://www.earthbagbuilding.com/articles/ebbuildingguide.htm

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