Closing the Bedroom Dome

Friday, December 2, 2022 8:11 AM

This was a long project, as it's a big dome, using 16” bags the Dome is 176" inch (14.6 feet) diameter.  With the ‘keyhole’ door, 3 arched windows, and an interior door, it feels quite light.  The Hootenanny made the first 6’ of vertical rise possible, but then it was up to the 4/5 (Gomez was sick for a few days) of us to finish it and insert forms for ‘moon windows’ and carve out the 3 niches we built.  Here’s our highth work crew (from left: Blas, Raul, Gomez):

I paid bonus’ to keep the rhythm going fast each day, and it worked. I basically doubled thier salary every day to keep the work load intense for all of us.  Here’s us getting close to ‘closing’:

Notice the two ATV tires I picked up in Los Barrilles from a junk yard to make the ‘mon window’ forms - much easier than chiseling it out as did on the Teen Dome.  By Friday, we are all real;ly tired, and it shows durting siesta time (after we lunch together they nap in the back)

Saturday we were commited to finishing it!  But we made the same error we had made on the Teen dome - too much tamping as we closed the dome.  As we get close to closing the dome, the bags get narrower on each ledge. If you keep tamping to the same degree you had when building up (when there was a flat surface to tamp against) you will push too much material to the inside where it will 'bulge' and cause troubles.  Tamp more mellow as you begin to close.  Here is a short video of what happened when we tamped too much.

The 'bulging' was too much, it was forcing the rows to downward tilt, causing an ugly and un-safe situation.  When we decided it had to go, we opened space and let the 2 rows we over-tamped fall to the inside of the dome, as you can watch in this video. We re-used the earth material and the bags that had broken apart in the descent.

So, we wasted a couple hours but tamped ‘just right’ the next time and finsihed by lunch time :-)

getting closer...

..and closed.

We had fun taking turns knocking out the ‘key stone’ from each window and the ‘keyhole door’ and then bringing down the material into the dome, which will act as the flooring substrate.

Then we had the pleasure of knocking out the door and windows before leaving for the Sunday break day. All of us exhausted.

Without having cut ‘key stone’ openings (angled INTO the dome) we would not have been able to cut the doors or windows out.  Here is a video of the effort it took.