To keep earthbags open during filling I recommend a bucket chute – a plastic bucket with the bottom one inch cut off. A 4-gallon bucket fits perfectly in our 18” wide bags. Simply insert the chute in the bag opening and you’re ready to add fill material.
Credit for this clever idea goes to Trevor Lytle, the master builder of the Om Dome in Thailand. (See Om Dome: Trevor Lytle Interview for more information.)
The price is right – about $1 at a discount store. It doesn’t have to be heavy duty, a regular bucket is fine. And it’s easy to make: just cut off the bottom one inch with a handsaw or saber saw. Sand the edges a little to remove burrs and you’re good to go.
Some earthbag builders prefer a metal stand. Both systems work, so try both to see which one you prefer. For me, the time and effort to build a metal stand was a deterrent. Plus, it’s one more thing to move around hundreds of time while balanced up on the wall. I’m always on the lookout for easier, better ways of doing things and the bucket chute is a good example.