Primitive Technology: Tiled Roof Hut

author Primitive Technology   3 год. назад

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Primitive Technology: Water powered hammer (Monjolo)

I built a water powered hammer called a “Monjolo” (see also karausu (からうす) on google images). I started by making a water spout from half a hollow log to direct water from the creek. This was set up in the creek and water flowed through it. The hammer was made from a fallen tree. I cut it to size by burning it at the points I wanted it cut (to save effort chopping). Next I carved a trough in one end to catch falling water. This was done first with a stone chisel that was then hafted to an L–shaped handle and used as an adze. This adze only took about an hour to make as I already had the chisel head and cordage made of bark fibre to bind it with. To save further effort carving I used hot coals from the fire to char the wood in the trough. I put the coals in using “chopsticks” (unused arrow shafts) to transfer them from the pit. The coals were fanned or blown with a wooden blowpipe till the wood in the trough burned. Then the char was scraped out. The sides of the trough were sealed with clay to make sure the wooden sides did not burn away which would effectively decrease the volume of the trough. This was approximately 8 hours work over two days. With the trough carved I made a hole in the middle of the log as a pivot point. Using the same char and scrape method I burnt a hole right through the log using hot coals and a blow pipe. Again clay was used to prevent wood burning where it was wanted. To burn through the approximately 25 cm diameter log it took about 4 hours and 30 minutes. Another hole was burnt in the end to fit the wooden hammer head and it took a similar amount of time. A tripod lashed with loya cane was set up at the water spout. The axel of the hammer was tied to one leg, the hammer fitted onto the axel and the other end of the axel tied to another leg. The trough was positioned under the waterspout to collect water and the tripod adjusted so that the resting point of the hammer was horizontal (so water wouldn’t prematurely spill out of the trough). The trough filled with water, outweighed the hammer head and tilted the hammer up into the air. The water then emptied out of the trough (now slanting downwards) and the hammer then slammed down onto an anvil stone returning to its original position. The cycle then repeated at the approximate rate of one strike every 10 seconds. The hammer crushes small soft types of stone like sandstone or ochre. I carved a bowl into the anvil stone so that it would collect the powder. I then crushed old pottery (useful as grog for new pots) and charcoal. Practically speaking, this hammer worked ok as a proof of concept but I might adjust it or make a new one with a larger trough and bigger hammer for heavy duty work. This is the first machine I’ve built using primitive technology that produces work without human effort. Falling water replaces human calories to perform a repetitive task. A permanent set up usually has a shed protecting the hammer and materials from the weather while the trough end sits outside under the spout. This type of hammer is used to pulverise grain into flour and I thought I might use one to mill dry cassava chips into flour when the garden matures. This device has also been used to crush clay for porcelain production. A stone head might make it useful as a stamp mill for crushing ores to powder. It might pulp fibres for paper even. Wordpress: Patreon page: I have no face book page, instagram, twitter etc. Beware of fake pages.

Primitive Technology: Chimney and pots

I installed a fireplace and chimney in the tiled roof hut. This is for for lighting and cooking. Heating is already taken care of by the underfloor heating system. I knocked a hole in the back wall and made it from the same mud used to build the hut. Some left over roof tiles were used as a chimney cap. I made same pottery too. Clay was dug from the creek bank, mixed with broken crushed tiles as grog and formed into a cooking pot and 4 large water pots. I burnished them (rubbed till smooth) with a snail shell and a seed pod making them stronger and more water proof. Then I fired them in the tile kiln. The kiln fired pottery was larger and stronger than my previous pit fired pots and also had a lower breakage rate with only one of the five pots breaking. I used the water pots to carry water from the creek to irrigate a sweet potato patch behind the wattle and daub hut (over the creek from the tile hut). The cooking pot was used to boil creek water. I used two different methods to show how to boil water: 1) in the kiln using it like a stove and 2) using pot boiling stones from the fire place. Boiling the water with rocks was faster than boiling a pot over a fire. Wooden tongs were made and rocks were put in the fireplace till they glowed red hot. The rocks were then put in the cold water in the pot. It only took 4 rocks to boil the water violently. This is probably the best method for sterilizing suspect water for drinking and could be done even without a pot (even a puddle next to a creek could be boiled this way). Wordpress: Patreon page: I have no face book page. Beware of fake pages.

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I built this tiled roof hut in the bush using only primitive tools and materials. The tools I used have been made in my previous videos. It should be pointed out that I do not live in the wild and that this is just a hobby. It should be obvious to most that this is not a survival shelter but an experiment in primitive building technology.
To cut and carve wood I used the celt stone axe and stone chisel made in this video. To carry water and make fire I used pots and fire sticks made in this video. Finally, to store fire wood and dry, unfired tiles, I used the wood shed built in this video.
The wooden frame was built with a 2X2m floor plan and a 2m tall ridge line with 1m tall side walls. 6 posts were put into the ground 0.25 m deep. The 3 horizontal roof beams were attached to these using mortise and tenon joints carved with a stone chisel. The rest of the frame was lashed together with lawyer cane strips. The frame swayed a little when pushed so later triangular bracing was added to stop this. Also when the mud wall was built, it enveloped the posts and stopped them moving altogether.
A small kiln was built of mud from the ground and a perforated floor of clay from the creek bank. It was only 25 cm internal diameter and 50 cm tall. Clay was dug, broken tiles (from previous batches) were crushed and added to it as grog and it was mixed thoroughly.This clay was pressed into rectangular moulds made from strips of lawyer cane to form tiles. Wood ash prevented the clay sticking to the stone. 20 tiles were fired at a time. 450 flat tiles and 15 curved ridge tiles were made with only a few breakages. 26 firings were done in all and the average firing took about 4 hours. The fired tiles were then hooked over the horizontal roof battens.
An underfloor heating system was built into one side of the hut to act as a sitting/sleeping platform in cold weather. This was inspired by the Korean Ondol or “hot stone”. A trench was dug and covered with flat stones with a firebox at one end and a chimney at the other for draft. The flames travelled beneath the floor heating it. After firing it for a while the stones stay warm all night with heat conducted directly to the sleeping occupant and radiating into the room.
The wall was made of clayey mud and stone. A stone footing was laid down and over this a wall of mud was built. To save on mud, stones were included into later wall courses. The mud was dug from a pit in front of the hut and left a large hole with a volume of about 2.5 cubic metres.
The finished hut has a swinging door made of sticks. The inside is dark so I made a torch from tree resin. A broken tile with resin on it acts as a small lamp producing a lot of light and little smoke. The end product was a solid little hut, that should be fire and rot resistant. The whole project took 102 days but would have taken 66 days were it not for unseasonal rain. For a more in depth description see my blog (

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