Hi Nolan –

Just a quick update. I’ve played with the Tirolessa sprayer a few more times now.

I got a good little air compressor, largest one I could find that still ran on 110, it’s a Hitachi ‘wheelbarrow’ style unit and it runs one sprayer full time just perfectly. It was a bit more expensive then some of the 220 units available, but I wanted the portability and the ability to plug it in to a standard plug (as well as a trusted brand) so I paid the extra for it.

On to the spraying, my second attempt was not quite as productive as the first. I was working on the outside, where I have a 50-50 portland/lime mix in the stucco. That seemed to not be working with the sprayer for me until I realized I had the mix far too dry to work with the sprayer. After hand mixing in some water, and then some more several times, I finally got the right mix and it went very well.

I’ve since finished up the outside, but it too me probably three or four mixes before I had the right consistency down. Much more critical then it is when you are hand applying, but once you figure it out, fairly easy to duplicate (I hope).

Today, I started work on the inside (100% lime mix), and that is much easier to apply. Also, works better when your doing it alone then it does with cement based plasters/stuccos.

I was working up at the top of the wall for my first batch. I had some scaffolding setup, but after having to climb up and down several times for the top of the outside walls, I changed my configuration.

This time I took the bucket off an old broken down wheelbarrow and put it up on the scaffolding, then as I mixed up batches, I scooped them with a one gallon bucket into the ‘tank’ on my scaffolding, and then went back to mixing up the next batch. I put two loads in the tank as that would be enough to cover all that my scaffolding would reach anyway, then I cleaned up the mixer and went to work on spraying the plaster onto the walls.

Worked perfectly. Lime plaster is much easier to work with then Portland based plasters. It doesn’t setup as fast so you don’t have to be rushing quite as much as I did when I was working with the Portland based stucco.

I’m still working alone with the sprayer. From my calculations I’m about 4x as efficient as I was when I was hand troweling on the stucco.

That’s the good news, the bad news is now that the actual application process is so efficient, I’m spending about 70% of my time doing setup, cleanup, etc and only 30% of my time applying the stucco.

I think with a team, I could make that much more efficient and when I start a big project again, I’ll probably do just that, hire a few folks to work with me.

I’m getting ready to apply the stucco to the underside of the eaves, so I’ll be needing a sprayer designed for spraying upward. I think you have one that is designed for just that, no? Are they in stock? >>Yes, its the” Tirolessa Ceiling sprayer “, and is designed for “above your head” application.

Thanks again!

— Brian Zimbelman

More information on Straw Bale.

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