Primitive Technology: Lime

  • Published on Mar 6, 2018
  • At the old hut site (the new one being temporarily cut off by flooding) I made lime mortar from the shells of rainforest snails by firing them in a kiln, slaking them in water, mixing them into lime putty. Limestone is basically calcium carbonate (CaCO3). The general source of lime is limestone and various other calcareous minerals, though shells, egg shells and coral are other sources of lime (for more information see video on Corporals Corner channel: or Skillcults channel: When heated above 840 degrees Celsius, the lime decomposes into calcium oxide (CaO) or Quicklime and releases carbon dioxide (CO2). When water is added to the quicklime it becomes calcium hydroxide Ca (OH)2 or lime putty. From here the calcium hydroxide can then be shaped into a form and allowed to set. Carbon dioxide enters the lime putty as it dries causing it to turn back into calcium carbonate. The new calcium carbonate has then set, remaining solid and water resistant.
    In my local geography, calcareous rocks such as limestone are absent leading to a difficulty in acquiring the feed stock for lime making. However, I was still able to make lime by collecting the shells of large terrestrial snails that are native to the rainforest here. The unoccupied shells of these snails were gathered up and stored at the hut. Fire wood was gathered and packed neatly into the kiln. Importantly, the firewood was stacked on top of the grate rather than underneath it in the firebox as is the normal procedure for firing pottery. Using an ordinary updraft pottery kiln in this configuration allows it to reach much higher temperatures than would be possible during normal use. The wood was lit from above and the fire burned down towards the grate. Alternate layers of shells and wood were added on to this burning fuel bed. After adding the last layer of wood to act as a “lid” to prevent heat loss from above I left the kiln to finish on its own, unsupervised. The whole process took about an hour and a half.
    When the kiln had cooled down a few hours later, I took out the calcined shells. Not shown in the video was the fact that some shells got so hot, the dirt stuck to them turned into slag and fused to them, possibly with the lime acting a flux lowering its melting point. This extreme heat (+1200 c) should be avoided as the over burnt lime becomes “dead lime”, unable to slake in water. Most shells were still useable though. They were taken out of the kiln and had water added to them. An exothermic reaction then ensued. Heat was produced as the lime quicklime turned into slaked lime. The water heated up creating steam and the shells decomposed into a white paste. The paste was stirred and crushed pottery was added to it as an aggregate (sand is normally used for this, I just had a lot of old pot sherds lying about to dispose of). This lime mortar mixture was then formed into a block shape and left to dry. It took about a week and a half to set as we have had extremely humid, wet weather. The block was observed to have set demonstrating its properties.
    What I created is actually lime mortar, typically used for mortaring bricks and tiles together. It’s basically the ‘Glue’ that holds together the building blocks of masonry structures. From my research 20 kg of lime mortar is used on a 1 m square section of brick wall. 5 kg of lime to 15 kg of aggregate (sand, grog etc.) per a 1 m square section of bricks. The shells, though large, are not terribly abundant. A method for finding shells efficiently needs to be made before considering making lime mortar in this fashion. From my experience sand bars in a creek sometimes accumulate snail shells from higher up in the mountains. In these spots, water velocity decreases and shells in the water tend to drop out of the water column. Additionally lime may be partially replaced with ordinary wood ash in mortar without a corresponding decrease in strength. To conclude, making lime in a land without limestone is possible but can be problematic when trying to do so on a large scale.
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Comments • 13 478

  • Corporals Corner
    Corporals Corner Year ago +3955

    Great Video. Check out Mine on Roman Concrete

  • Andrei Mazilu
    Andrei Mazilu Day ago

    Hey! Why don't you make videos that portray the human evolution in terms of technology? Show each step as a new discovery and also reusing stuff that you made in previous videos.

  • Andrew Small
    Andrew Small Day ago

    Could you don the same thing with sea shells?

  • Sam Woods
    Sam Woods Day ago

    I wonder if it dried to lightweight or dif it have some solid weight to it?

  • Blake Andrews
    Blake Andrews Day ago +1

    Use closed captions
    Thank me later.

  • Rwy801998
    Rwy801998 Day ago

    This man just made fucking concrete!

  • Mr. Idiot
    Mr. Idiot Day ago

    Am I crazy or could this be an amazing ASMR channel?

  • 鮪鮫
    鮪鮫 Day ago


  • 金克劳斯
    金克劳斯 2 days ago


  • Literally Just The Color Blue

    What if the reason he never talks is because he doesn't know that he's being filmed?

  • Lily Stellmacher
    Lily Stellmacher 2 days ago

    hoW aM I suPpoSed tO fiNd aNotHer GaY sNaIl

  • Mauro Baiardi
    Mauro Baiardi 2 days ago

    Whats the difference between snails shells and wood ashes? the result is similar.


    عنجد انتو مبدعين وانا ستغربت انو مترجم للعربي مع انو قناه احنبية

  • Patrick Poe
    Patrick Poe 3 days ago +1

    5:12 - headphones warning!

  • DaZeD4eXeCuTi0N
    DaZeD4eXeCuTi0N 3 days ago

    So this is limestone...who woulda thnk the pyramids were made of a $^%* ton of snail shells XD

  • Teyanera 59
    Teyanera 59 3 days ago

    Super intéressant ! 🤗

  • Thomas Gaertig
    Thomas Gaertig 3 days ago +1

    Seems like you'd have to gather a heck of a lot of shells before it became useful for mortar. Any idea of any other uses?

  • Lucas Mesquita
    Lucas Mesquita 4 days ago

    Cadê os Brasileiros

  • Mey Mey
    Mey Mey 5 days ago

    Wow good

  • mary sunshine
    mary sunshine 9 days ago

    cool. I was wondering if the massive amounts of coral rock and snails would make quick lime if burnt? Interesting project.

  • Sarch Lalaith
    Sarch Lalaith 10 days ago

    If you use wood ash in the mix in addition to your aggregate the lime should be flexible, victorians used to use this mix to sound dampen floors in a house. The additional ash also allows the mix to set under water.
    Additionally you should add way less water to your lime and hammer it where you need it, with larger and smaller crushed up tile, dry as possible, and compact it by repeatedly bashing it into where you want it. This is what the Romans did and this is why their cement is incredibly strong.

  • у у
    у у 11 days ago

    Brilliant idea for one person!

  • Sum Guy
    Sum Guy 14 days ago +6

    Your videos are basically ASMR. Add the tags #ASMR and #sleepaid to your videos and I bet they get more viewers 😇👍🏼

  • BeaGamer
    BeaGamer 14 days ago

    I guess you would need to extinguish snails from this forest to produce lime enough to build a hut, if you were near a beach, would any kind of shell work?

  • wquon2007
    wquon2007 15 days ago

    could this lime be used in nixtamalazation?

  • yzra gold
    yzra gold 15 days ago

    Will sea shells still work?

  • Руслан Хисамеев

    ты сука уебан блять ты убийца ты убиваешь животных

  • JOHNNYwxw
    JOHNNYwxw 18 days ago

    I prefer lemon

  • Black Chang
    Black Chang 20 days ago

    hey this is anice a relaxing vid

  • Incognito Dorito
    Incognito Dorito 21 day ago +1

    Are you English or Australian?

    • Incognito Dorito
      Incognito Dorito 19 days ago +1

      Kai Leslie that’s what I thought, a man this manly could never be American, that’s why I never put it in my question

    • Kai Leslie
      Kai Leslie 20 days ago +1

      Hes a fuckin aussie mate

  • Maksim Kopachev
    Maksim Kopachev 24 days ago


  • Michael Bartel
    Michael Bartel 24 days ago

    You should build a house out of that, over time.

  • Javen
    Javen 24 days ago +1

    What is it for tho

  • Robberu
    Robberu 26 days ago

    Or just go to Florida we have a ton of that crap over here

  • KlawOfChicken
    KlawOfChicken Month ago +2

    just in case no one knows, if you turn on closed captions, he tells you what's going on... for some reason it changes my experience.

  • Nguyễn Phùng Tâm

    Việt Nam!

  • Extro
    Extro Month ago

    Im curious, if this lime and limestone are the same thing, I dont know much about resources and crap, but if my hypotosis is correct, would it not be more efficent to mine limestone from the ground? Instead of scavenging an insane amount of shells to create a few bricks of lime, it could be more efficent to find some wood (or hardwood for it to laster longer, but making the job harder) and turn it into a long handle, burn out a hole near the end and wedge a robust sharp rock into the hole (a pickaxe doesnt need to be two-sided, in this example im just going to be telling the part where it needs to get the job done.) Then, if possible, find a supply of limestone (may be hard to do and will take plenty of time but with superior rewards) and extracting the limestone? Then for plenty of weeks or even a year, tou would have an obnoxious supply of lime at any given moment.

  • MonsterSponge
    MonsterSponge Month ago

    anyone else wondering why this is in TSMC's playlist lol

  • TheOneAndOnly
    TheOneAndOnly Month ago

    He gonna land on Mars faster than anyone

  • TrollDragomir
    TrollDragomir Month ago

    Are you ever planning on covering your shelters with it? As close as 100 years ago my ancestors (my great grandfather too actually) would use the very same material to cover their wattle and daub huts, so that they're more resilient to moisture, pests and fungi.

  • Astera Haag
    Astera Haag Month ago

    Alchemy is my shitttt

  • 가을수남 TV
    가을수남 TV Month ago

    Lime???? OMG

  • 1000 Subs Without Video ???

    When We Make Brick From Snail !!! Remind Me Of Shrek With No Shell

  • ELDORADO Television

    Turn on the captions, TADAAA!!! Classic

  • João Vítor Souza
    João Vítor Souza Month ago

    Now put it in the coconut

  • Star Core
    Star Core Month ago

    Great, 500000000 more snail shells plus the same amount if jours of work and you can build the first wall of a house.

  • Sarcalogos Tortolero

    It’s sad you had to make your own logo and everything to avoid the copycats

  • _Chilexican_
    _Chilexican_ Month ago

    So what is this for???

  • lil_ paganini
    lil_ paganini Month ago

    Can you make AirPods next?

  • not_a_russian
    not_a_russian Month ago +1

    To this day, i still cant find any feminist lime.

  • brandon dave viernes

    Amazing skill

  • Tornad !
    Tornad ! Month ago

    Can it be shells from sea?

  • mancing ijen
    mancing ijen Month ago


    ICEMANinHD Month ago

    you, sir, are a science god!

    IULIAN ŞTEFIA Month ago

    This lime can be make with seashells too?

  • Samantha Hinson
    Samantha Hinson Month ago

    To be sure oyster shells could be used instead, right? I sure hope so. I know where I can get a TON of those!

  • Water Dragon
    Water Dragon Month ago

    Man your good at this stuff

  • yi lu
    yi lu Month ago


  • Melody Hynes
    Melody Hynes Month ago

    You can do this to make a Pestle and mortar right?

  • Meme_War_Pepe
    Meme_War_Pepe Month ago

    Combine this with the mud bricks and you'll have yourself a brick house

  • alto
    alto Month ago

    Is the smoke because the reaction is exothermic?

  • 박성진
    박성진 Month ago

    그래서 뭐한건데?? 설명좀

  • Nguyễn Đức Thọ

    Việt Nam điểm danh !


    but what can lime do?

  • AzazelGaming
    AzazelGaming Month ago

    For what can we use lime cause i dont know

  • Death Joke
    Death Joke Month ago

    Used the white things to pain your house. That how whe đo in VietNam. Making a bricks like that will needs alot time and shells

  • Timothy Bushnell
    Timothy Bushnell Month ago

    🐌 farm?

  • Langlyz B
    Langlyz B Month ago

    Lemon lime and bitters 🥃

  • Erse Aykalaycı
    Erse Aykalaycı 2 months ago

    Yaka yaka ormani bitirdin amk.

  • Cade A.
    Cade A. 2 months ago

    Does this work for crustacean shells too?

    • Primitive Technology
      Primitive Technology  2 months ago

      No, their shells are made of chitin and don't contain calcium. If you burn that material it will turn to ash. Any mollusk shell is fine though. Thanks.

  • jweldon 28
    jweldon 28 2 months ago

    You should make a bridge out of this

  • Sasha Sasha
    Sasha Sasha 2 months ago

    Есть русские

  • TNTexe
    TNTexe 2 months ago

    can you tell us how you shit and pee

  • Jithu Sai
    Jithu Sai 2 months ago

    But I need some information regarding seashell. Now am working one project like the durability of pervious concrete by using crushed seashells.
    Please prepare one video for me.

  • Doug Alexander
    Doug Alexander 2 months ago

    Good to know...

  • Sabori sauce
    Sabori sauce 2 months ago

    Head up if your on acid and you watch this you will definitely get some weird vibes

  • salvadorenoify
    salvadorenoify 2 months ago +1

    This channel is the prequel of Dr. Stone

  • Ah McCain you’ve done it again

    Lowkey want this guy to find diamond lol

  • Panicky Khan
    Panicky Khan 2 months ago

    You're telling me that you reached 1400°c in that Kiln Furnace?

  • // ANT //
    // ANT // 2 months ago

    Make an abacus next!

  • nesenur eb
    nesenur eb 2 months ago

    What is this?

  • Александр Стадник

    Where this place?

  • LuX.Up
    LuX.Up 2 months ago

    You should test which is tough er; she’ll line brick, wood ash bricks, or your terra-cotta.

  • TheOneAndOnly
    TheOneAndOnly 2 months ago

    Did he burn it or let it dry??

  • Pamela Corona
    Pamela Corona 2 months ago

    Amazing, now we know what the Romans and others did putting bridges in the water 👏🐌⚱️

  • Kaysler
    Kaysler 2 months ago

    Lye/soap would be a cool primitive project to see

  • dgjkhhjj fh
    dgjkhhjj fh 2 months ago


  • I.D.E.K games
    I.D.E.K games 2 months ago

    What's that orange stuff that he crushes in most of his videos?

    • MrChillerNo1
      MrChillerNo1 2 months ago

      the orange gooie stuff is iron bacteria (see subtitles)

  • Pablñw F. Pissoni
    Pablñw F. Pissoni 2 months ago

    Me gustan mucho tus videos. Pero no sé qué hiciste aquí.
    Por favor, podrías poner la descripción en castellano?

  • Levenson George
    Levenson George 2 months ago

    in here Sabah Borneo which is a state in malaysia,Dusun tribe mix the sea snail's shell powder to a leaf called 'sirih' and eat them. i think a tribe in myanmar,indonesia,thailand do the same.

  • Deltasword
    Deltasword 2 months ago

    That seemed pretty labor intensive to get one brick. What would he use that brick for?

    STUNT_ RBE 2 months ago

    Where they film this ?!

  • 배우영
    배우영 2 months ago

    그래서 저거 용도가 뭐지??

  • Astronaut
    Astronaut 2 months ago +1


  • ann ann
    ann ann 2 months ago

    Water filter please...dificult looking clean water in forrest

    VALHALLA YODA 2 months ago

    Well now I know he’s Australian since there’s kookaburras in the background

  • jk drawings
    jk drawings 2 months ago

    check out my drawings here

  • jk drawings
    jk drawings 2 months ago

    halos ganyan din paggawa ng apog na ginagamit sa nganga o momma

  • Imam Spsi
    Imam Spsi 2 months ago

    Mantap dah

  • Roger and Lynda Beall
    Roger and Lynda Beall 2 months ago

    I hear kookaburras