Building a wattle-and-daub hut with your bare hands


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In the UK and Pacific Northwest we have a glut of hazelnut and filbert trees. However besides having tasty nuts the suckers or staves are perfect for wattle and daub or woven structures.

They are also prized for structural integrity of thatched roofs. And if you’ve ever wrestled with them you know why–they are long, slender, bendable, and damn strong.


Also, if you Google image search Hazelnut Stave you can see some of my former neighbors on the first page.


What you also need is some sort of drainage around your hut. Small ditches were used during stone age to the middle ages to drain water away from buildings to prevent rot or erosion.


A hut? A hut?? You kids today are so spoiled. Why, back in my day we were lucky to have a lean-to.


I am sooooooo jealous. Nothing like that here except willows, and willow withes that are still flexible tend to sprout roots about ten seconds after they touch dirt. We thatch with various canes and reeds.


I’m not an expert: what’s the matter if your willow withies sprout roots? Wouldn’t it mean that it’s alive, thus better able to withstand internal rotting? And maybe even add some structural integrity by anchoring itself to the ground?


I won’t get into the details, cause that is damn near book length, but I spent a couple days in a friends ancient Devon woodlands like this.

They harvested staves, made charcoal, one of the dudes was a professional Thatcher, and they smoked a loooot of weed. The bluebells were glorious.


Planting willows in a riparian area is sort of like putting shoggoths in the refrigerator. With a great deal of work, you might be able to control the results…

@japhroaig, MORE JEALOUS!


We should start a medieval, renaissance, $AGE, history thread some day.


Lean-to? We used to live in a shoe box in the middle of the road!


You made me do this.

ETA ha, I think we both linked to the same video :smile:


Cory wrote: "I’m really looking forward to the rest of this series – I’m betting he’s heading for a run that gets all the way up to “How to make a browser with Youtube access so that you can watch these videos if you’re lost in the jungle with nothing but your bare hands and a pair of fetching shorts.”

Oh, I think not. I’m betting he’s heading for a run that gets all the way up to “Thanks for watching my umpteenth video - each viewing has infected your computer with a boot sector virus and the Internet will stop in three… two… one…”

After the lights go out and the ammunition is spent and the canned food is no more, who appears on the scene? The guy with the fire and the stone axe and the wattle-and-daub hut. You may address him as “Your Divine Saviourship.”


Heavy insulated walls like that would be great for keeping animals out and heat in… except for the gigantic gaping doorless hole. So it wasn’t exactly a practical project. (But it does look like a fun summer hobby, if you can still go home every night to eat, brush your teeth, and charge your camera/phone.)


So basically Minecraft?


I want to see the earlier vid where he makes the stone camera with which this is recorded.


The red twig dogwood grows nice straight poles 8 feet long and they have large blue berries that the birds like just fine. I’m talking about the varieties suitable for growing in the wild…


In a colder climate, he could have made a mud platform for the bed and had a masonry stove-bed, which has been in use since ancient times.


I live in a van, down by the river…

How do I make part of my text a hyperlink, as uniqueusername has done with, “road”? I love computers, but I am so not savvy.


How come he doesn’t get eaten up by mosquitoes?


He seemed to be building something for a relatively temperate climate, maybe at higher elevations, although his clothing suggested the tropics. Most places in the tropics he’d want to build that shelter maybe 5’ off the ground, without the mud daubed on, and with a little mud fire pit for a smudge fire.