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apatite
Dec 2, 2006


brb

apatite fucked around with this message at Feb 11, 2014 around 20:26

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apatite
Dec 2, 2006


The winter of 2009 spilled over into the spring of 2010, and we found ourselves still cutting firewood in an attempt to clean up from the 2008 storm, but also enjoying the stream, the woods, and the free food. (leeks/ramps for those that don't know. They are a stinky stinky delicious wild onion)











That summer we made our largest purchase for the property yet, a 34' mobile home from the 50s or 60s or whatever, that had been re-finished on the inside to be barely liveable as a hunting camp for a disgusting old man. It only cost a few hundred bucks and we borrowed a big pickup truck to move it. The interior was at one time nice with tongue and groove knotty pine on the ceilings and new insulation board in the walls to keep it warmer, but was coated with a disgusting patina of fryer grease, cigarette smoke, and old dude, and needed a lot of work to be "liveable" by any stretch.



I hooked up some PV panels and a couple of batteries to power the lights, and we ran with the propane heater that came in it for the fall/winter of 2010 while staying there occasionally.

Then that winter/spring we dove into maple syrup production. I had a small cast iron wood stove laying around, and we put it in the unfinished and unused outhouse to do our first year of boiling.





The outhouse was built out of recycled materials only. It sure is ugly, but given the intended purpose, who cares.



2011: We figured out where we want to build, and have decided that a smart way to go about this so that it actually happens, is to move the trailer close to the building site and put on an addition to live in while we build the actual house.

Borrowed a backhoe and got to work on the road.












Remember that clay mixed with mud soil composition? Well this road building business went down the drain quick. It rained for like... every drat day of 2011, and the backhoe (4wheel drive with differential locks) kept getting stuck. There was no way to build a road through this poo poo with the equipment I had and fill from on site. I had to get it ditched so it could drain, and see what would happen.

Not only does the soil just plain old not drain, there are ridges everywhere that redirect massive amounts of runoff, and under 4-6" of soil it is usually rock that the water can't penetrate.









Then the water pump on the borrowed backhoe died. This is where I almost threw in the towel, rented an apartment and called it a wash. I had been struggling to build the driveway all spring/summer and it was getting nowhere. I could get a little bit of work done digging a ditch, then would spend the rest of the day getting the backhoe unstuck. It was becoming literal fuel for my nightmares. The never ending quagmire that was trying to build a loving quarter mile driveway through the untamed wilderness, in a spot that clearly nobody else in history had ever been dumb enough to attempt to settle.



Well I rebuilt the water pump and got back at that poo poo, anyway. Some stupid mud and a broken John Deere isn't going to keep us from our dreams.

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


Well being a bit stubborn, I kept at it still. It was actually starting to go pretty well, even. Got some ditches dug, the first culvert in, and started using geo-textile fabric on the road with a layer of purchased gravel over top.











It was still really, really wet though. More wet than it had been since 2007 when we first came here. This is shown by the stream running like never before:





This meant that everything was still insane mud, the backhoe was getting stuck all the time, and my progress was stupidly slow.

Then disaster struck again of course, in the form of the backhoe attachment almost breaking off of the tractor... Possibly because of me using it to get unstuck, possibly because it was missing the bottom retainer for the bottom pin, possibly a bit of both.





Those two pins, top and bottom, are the only thing connecting the hoe to the tractor. Great.

Refusing to admit defeat, I started the process of disassembly, which was the most daunting task undertaken so far. This is a giant piece of machinery and I've never worked on anything bigger than a truck.













After that I brought the giant cast iron "cradle" that goes between the tractor and the hoe to my machinist/fabricator friend, and he pressed the crack back together and welded it with some special rod that must be coated in gold given the cost. He also made me some new plates and pins. There was never a retainer plate for the bottom of the bottom pin when I got the tractor. Then we rented a gas powered arc welder, and stitched that son of a bitch back together in the mud.

apatite fucked around with this message at Nov 19, 2012 around 21:11

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


After getting the backhoe back together, I used it for a little bit and it developed some type of horrible engine/hydraulic system issues, and it has not been used since.

Here are some pics of the trailer's condition at that point, to get my mind off the stupid backhoe. This is after a quick setup of a free woodstove my friend's dad gave me (had two legs broken off) and a free kitchen counter that my brother ripped out of his kitchen to replace with something nicer.









The bed was a double-length pallet I got on the side of the road, on top of some mud tires. Wish I could say the wife loved it, but she thought it was crude and stupid. It really did work fine though and was a huge improvement over the tiny metal bunk bed frame that was there before.


<edit> That's all for tonight, will continue tomorrow. Let me know if you have questions about what had happened to this point or want to call me stupid or something

apatite fucked around with this message at Nov 19, 2012 around 21:21

Elston Gunn
Apr 15, 2005



Some friends of mine as well as my parents have gone through similar projects as you are now. All I can say is good luck and I look forward to updates. What kind of structure are you planning on building?

Icesler
Jul 7, 2005


I have always fantasized about doing what you are doing but the sheer amount of work has always been too intimidating. Keep on living the dream man, the sense of accomplishment once you are finished is going to be astronomical.

Do you have any floor plans drawn out for the house yet or any aerial photos of the land?

razz
Dec 26, 2005

Queen of Maceration


Oh man, looks like you guys are off to a crazy start! Good luck and keep us updated. I love stuff like this. My fiance and I are sometime in the future going to build a home on his family's ranch. It's about 8,000 acres and there are a total of four people living on the property. So it's... pretty rural haha.

I wanna take down some of the old stone fences on the property and build a stone house. Maybe in 10 years or so

Discomedusae
Jul 13, 2009



I love these threads, they always bring me back to this subforum. I'll be following yours for sure, it looks like a great spot.

EgillSkallagrimsson
May 6, 2007


Love the thread so far but I've got to ask, why not rent an actual bulldozer with tracks instead of a wheeled backhoe?

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


Elston Gunn posted:

Some friends of mine as well as my parents have gone through similar projects as you are now. All I can say is good luck and I look forward to updates. What kind of structure are you planning on building?

Thanks for the well wishes! Do you have any depressing or hilarious stories to share about the other projects?

Currently we are building a stick-frame addition onto the trailer so that we have a rent free place to live, and no power bill. That will hopefully give enough savings to get started on the "real house" in about 2years. Said "real house" will be some insane mixture of traditional concrete/steel, with elements of cordwood construction and timberframing. It will be built into a south facing hill and will rely as much on passive solar heating as possible in our climate (which is lovely for solar anything, really).


Icesler posted:

I have always fantasized about doing what you are doing but the sheer amount of work has always been too intimidating. Keep on living the dream man, the sense of accomplishment once you are finished is going to be astronomical.

Do you have any floor plans drawn out for the house yet or any aerial photos of the land?

Thanks! I can't wait to be able to relax for a little while.. Have been going over before and after work every day, and every weekend for months.

I have floor plans of the "real house" but they are not digital. Will work on digitizing those soon. No floor plans of the "temp house" because it is pretty simple really. 8'w x 3?'l trailer, with a 10'w x 28'l addition on the southern side. The addition is "staggered" with the trailer, creating 10'w x ~10' "porch" area at the south-eastern corner, and a similar sized "shed" on the north-western corner. The "porch" will be enclosed, and will house our propane fridge, 350gal water cistern, and our battery box for the PV system (vented outside of course).

Do have some aerial photos, will try to get them up in the next few days as it will certainly help visualize what is happening.

razz posted:


Oh man, looks like you guys are off to a crazy start! Good luck and keep us updated. I love stuff like this. My fiance and I are sometime in the future going to build a home on his family's ranch. It's about 8,000 acres and there are a total of four people living on the property. So it's... pretty rural haha.

I wanna take down some of the old stone fences on the property and build a stone house. Maybe in 10 years or so

Crazy start, indeed. Nothing like a test of fortitude to get a project started off right

We thought about building a stone house, but most of our rocks are so gigantic we would have to pay someone to do it, which pretty much rules it out right off the bat. If we had stone fences though, I'd probably do it!



Discomedusae: Thank you very much. I was pretty vocal about getting the DIY subforum started, so might as well give back in whatever ways possible. We have a great collection of minds here and sharing information is just so drat cool.

EgillSkallagrimsson posted:

Love the thread so far but I've got to ask, why not rent an actual bulldozer with tracks instead of a wheeled backhoe?

A bulldozer really wouldn't have done me any good. I had to dig ditches and then elevate the road bed by moving material from a pit on the other part of the land, and then eventually spread gravel over geotextile fabric on top. The dozer would have only been able to spread material once it was there, so still would have needed the backhoe for digging out fill and moving it.

Really what would have been best would be to pay someone with a "trackhoe" excavator thing on tracks with a blade on the front, and a dump truck. They probably could have had the ditches dug in a day and gravel spread in another day. Instead I spent almost literally two years of my life just building a .25mile driveway... The real reason I didn't just farm out the work was due to cost. At that time we had some personal things going on, and the funds just weren't available. The backhoe belongs to a family member and was "free" (excluding thousands of dollars in repairs and downtime, of course). In other words, it was DIY or not at all

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


So a bunch of time went by and nothing much happened really on the property. Mostly just major emotional turmoil due to life events and such. Then comes this current year.

Sometime early this summer I popped a valve in my brain or something and got extremely motivated to be living on the property. It is such a pain in the rear end to drive there every time a 30min project needs to be completed, and our rental housing situations are always lovely. Was not looking forward to another winter in a house that could barely be kept 62*F.

With the backhoe out of commission, I started working on the road by hand. Just me, my shovel, and a rake. This included leveling and filling holes where the 5ft tall backhoe tires had been stuck, cutting in another culvert, and adding a shitload of fill. Thankfully we had the driest year in forever.


Once it was good enough to drive my motorcycles and 4wd truck on the road, I started clearing out a spot for the trailer+addition.

This was all dense forest in the beginning, so another monumental amount of work was put in cutting down trees and moving brush.


Please excuse the picture quality here, I was using a junky cellphone.


Miraculously, a friend of mine sent me a message one day asking if I would like a free deck from a coworker's house. This sounded pretty interesting, so we went to check it out.



Then I promptly got some friends together and we tore it down and turned it into a pile of free pressure treated lumber in about 3hrs. Like a good friend should do, they were provided with cold beers to drink. Always pay your help in beer, but make sure you know whether or not they can drink and work at the same time (thankfully not an issue with this crew)


With the deck all torn down, I spent a few days after work moving it to the property on a trailer that was whipped up in a few days from a falling in rotten small camper trailer at our rental house. The landlord wasn't happy when he found out, but it was literally rotting into the ground in the woods.





This pile of free materials was to become the subfloor for our addition. 10'x28' and free, free freeeeeeeeeeeeee!

apatite fucked around with this message at Feb 11, 2014 around 20:32

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


The road was coming along, but it was almost the end of August and progress was not fast enough to be done by winter.





The clearing was also coming along, but still not quickly enough either.



After telling my dad what I had been up to, he declared me insane for trying to build a road with a shovel by myself, and brought his kubota tractor over to finish the ditches and spread gravel. What a guy!





Going to take a break here, for a Public Service Announcement regarding the American Beech tree. These things are nasty bastards and we consider them an invasive species, even though they are native. If one dies, 50 grow from its corpse. Saplings will sprout from the roots of mature trees, and if you cut one down, this is the disgusting world-taking over zombie action that happens in less than a month:



Our forest was logged 20-30years ago, and everywhere a big tree was cut down, 75,000,000 beech trees have sprung up. They grow into thickets so thick you can hardly see through them when they have no leaves. They spread through the understory of the forest and destroy every view that might be nice.

Between rocks, mud, the porcupines that eat our hemlocks, the coyotes that eat our rabbits/grouse, and beech trees, we have made a lot of enemies already in the woods

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


This is awesome. I'd love to do something similar someday for a cabin/getaway. Where are you generally in the NE? I live in PA and our area is under a gas boom so land is even more expensive than before.

I'm hoping once all the drilling is done I'll be able to find a pretty decent chunk in 20-30 years within 30 or so minutes of my house.

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


dreesemonkey posted:

This is awesome. I'd love to do something similar someday for a cabin/getaway. Where are you generally in the NE? I live in PA and our area is under a gas boom so land is even more expensive than before.

I'm hoping once all the drilling is done I'll be able to find a pretty decent chunk in 20-30 years within 30 or so minutes of my house.

Rural NY. The land was $1k/acre which seems to be pretty much standard. Can get it for less, can get it for more, but it usually averages out to about the same.


---


So this is where Dad comes into the story. He's a seasoned pro, built many houses and additions and outbuildings and camps, tamed the woods and eats pancakes the size of Paul Bunyan. Plus I bet he can beat up your dad.

With his help/tractor, the road building went a lot quicker. He also helped me cut down some of the big giant trees that I was too much of a wimp to tackle alone. You can see a York Rake here dangling from the tractor bucket, we almost killed everyone in a 2.4 mile radius unloading the stupid thing. It sure does make a nice road, though.

Cue time-lapse montage to show progress:


























<imgur is down as of this posting, hopefully it comes back up?>

apatite fucked around with this message at Feb 11, 2014 around 20:33

Slung Blade
Jul 10, 2002

You are so bewitched by its beauty, you are not sure if you can wield it.


This is insanely cool and I love it all.

Cpt.Wacky
Apr 17, 2005


Yeah, this is great. I bought my first house 2 years ago on a 0.16 acre lot and I really wish I had more land to work with, even just 5 acres.

How far are you from anything else, like your workplace?

Are you concerned about all the rock when it comes time to drill a well?

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


Thanks guys! And thanks again to everyone else. It is so nice to get some positive response to this. So far with the exception of my dad and a few of our friends, the feedback has ranged from "Why???" to "this will never get done" to muttered ramblings about how we are shirking our societal and cultural duties.

My maternal grandparents are pretty cool with it all, but they grew up in the 40s and basically did the same thing, got a chunk of land and turned it into a home, living dirt poor subsistence lives up until the 80s or something. They even lived in a trailer similar to my "Redneck Palace of Immeasurable Brown" with three kids! Now that must have been seriously cramped. With just the two of us and some dogs and cats we didn't even consider living in just the trailer.


Cpt.Wacky posted:

Yeah, this is great. I bought my first house 2 years ago on a 0.16 acre lot and I really wish I had more land to work with, even just 5 acres.

How far are you from anything else, like your workplace?

Are you concerned about all the rock when it comes time to drill a well?

If you want more land you better buy some, you know what they say: they aren't making any more of it!

Living here will actually make my commute about 7 miles shorter than it is currently, and the actual commute is nicer as well. Another bonus on the tally sheet, that's for sure.

With regards to the rock, yes we are concerned. The deepest hole I've been able to dig before hitting solid rock anywhere near the building is 3.5ft. For now we can't afford to have a well drilled and the road probably wouldn't handle a well drilling rig anyway. The cost would be more than we have into the entire trailer+addition and we are about ready to move into it.

For now we have a 350gal water tank and will be pumping water from the stream to fill it. This will be filtered and used for the shower, sink, and water for the dogs/cats. We will be bringing in fresh drinking water for this winter at least. A friend has a nice particulate+UV water filtration system at his seasonal camp and the water tests out to be better than treated village water, so might go that route next year.

The tank will sit on the "porch" area in the southeast corner of the building. To keep it from freezing I've got a solar air heater to warm the enclosed porch up when it is sunny, and have devised a circulation loop using a snap-disc thermostat and a small fountain pump. When the tank gets to 35*F the pump will kick on, circulating the water through a loop of copper on the stovepipe from the woodstove. Once the water gets back to 45*F the pump will shut off.

Plus_Infinity
Apr 12, 2011



This is awesome and I'm so stoked to read about what you've been up to. I'd love to be able to do something like Thais some day , though maybe not starting quite as much from scratch as you are!

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


Plus_Infinity posted:

This is awesome and I'm so stoked to read about what you've been up to. I'd love to be able to do something like Thais some day , though maybe not starting quite as much from scratch as you are!

Thanks! Starting from scratch is fun, but also terrifying, stressful, tiring, and so on. Just have to try to keep a positive attitude throughout. The "ups" will far outweigh the "downs" and on those days it sure does feel awesome to be alive and doing what we love. Taking a break from working hard to construct your own dwelling, and being amongst the trees and animals with the stream gurgling away is, well surreal in this day and age I think.

It is all so much work though and really needs to be broken up into at least semi-possible goals if you are going at it yourself. For us this started with getting the road built, then clearing the site, moving the trailer, framing the addition and "finally" putting a roof over the whole deal. As each one of these goals were completed our spirits were lifted ever higher and our motivation increased that much more as well.

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


Back to continue my tales after many days of gluttonous turkey feasting. Thanks for waiting patiently.


With the site mostly cleared and the road mostly built, we were able to use Dad's tractor to pull the trailer the 1/4mile to its new home.





One thing is for certain, hacking a living space out of a dense forest is a great way to get a lot of firewood in a hurry. Poor dumb dead trees, they didn't even see it coming.









There was a problem though, because I had nowhere to take a poo poo again. No man should be forced to squat in the woods to take a poo poo. We're not barbarians here people!

Thankfully this problem was easily remedied, just nailed some braces on and pushed the shitter over onto my trailer, pulled it to where it needed to go, dug a hole, and tipped it back off the trailer. A one man shithouse transport job with no casualties. The shitter only gets used in the summer, composting toilet for the winter time... Hence me being lazy and still not installing a door Nothing like crapping with a view of the sun coming up...



apatite fucked around with this message at Feb 11, 2014 around 20:35

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


With that important work completed, the trailer was jacked up off the ground and leveled with concrete blocks. To do this we excavated the top soil down to undisturbed firm soil, or more often than not just plain old solid rock. No frost heave problems here

Also started figuring out where the addition would go and brought a bunch of stuff over like the water tank, etc. then removed the old electric fridge from the trailer because we can't use it. To store some of the stuff we set up a tent in the trees, which was nice for some shade during the summer heat waves













Then in a weekend we got the floor of the addition framed.



My plan was to set this big water cistern in an insulated box in the ground underneath the floor of the addition. This would keep it from freezing and get it out of my way. The digging was going well, then I remembered that you can't dig holes here, it's just rock. Only got about 2.5ft in the deepest spot, hole needed to be 5ft deep.





So then came the bright idea of driving a steel rod down into the ground in a grid pattern the size that the hole needed to be. This worked great, I found what seemed to be a sandy spot and started digging, using what came out to fill in the previous hole. Managed to get about 3.5ft deep this time and hit a rock.



So then I filled the stupid loving hole in and finished framing the floor.



apatite
Dec 2, 2006


Now let's switch gears for a moment to spend some time inside the palace of immeasurable brown...

First off was to put in some type of table-ish thing. For this I used a giant solid wood door that was liberated from a dumpster during renovations of some old buildings in our town



Then it was time to replace the kitchen window that is over the sink. Originally this was a single-pane window, and I'd stupidly broken it while removing a junk cupboard that was mounted up above. So it was held together with duct tape...

The replacement window is double pane, and a bit wider and taller so we can get a better view to the clearing to the north. This of course though, required me to cut a bigger hole in the trailer wall. Battery powered reciprocating saw to the rescue!











It turns out the trailer was over the years many different colors. Some samples include baby poo poo/snow plow yellow, hideous shiny moss green, fire truck red, and my favorite and the current keeper: the brownest brown around.



Can't just cut a hole in a trailer and stick a window in though, so I had to frame it in with 2x4s











Apparently there are no pics, but the outside was cleaned up and the whole thing was sealed weather tight. It's not real pretty outside, but if you're caught behind my house ridiculing my windows you'll have larger problems! The inside though is quite nice after it was finished up.


In order to finish insulating I had to go around and remove a bunch of light switches and outlets that the old guy had installed or where there already or whatever. This one threw me for a loop...








Well that's all for right now, will return soon with more tales of being drunk in the woods with a saw and hammer.

ming-the-mazdaless
Nov 30, 2005

Whore funded horsepower

Your shitter image reminded me of the latest Kevin McCloud television show, Man Made Home. It's on youtube for UK residents, so find a way around that and you'll love it. He builds an off grid weekend getaway "shed" from garbage and reclaimed scrap. Including a hot tub from a 737 engine cowling and a biogas collector from his outdoor toilet.

I like your project OP. Best of luck.

Slung Blade
Jul 10, 2002

You are so bewitched by its beauty, you are not sure if you can wield it.


Love it, give no fucks and live like a modern viking.


Seriously though with all that rock, it's time to invest in a good stone drill and some explosives. Teach that poo poo who's boss.

Either that or get a pickaxe and get swole as gently caress as you dig out the spaces you need for your cistern and such.


Have you found any really red earth on your land? Or any iron ore bodies nearby?

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


ming-the-mazdaless posted:

Your shitter image reminded me of the latest Kevin McCloud television show, Man Made Home. It's on youtube for UK residents, so find a way around that and you'll love it. He builds an off grid weekend getaway "shed" from garbage and reclaimed scrap. Including a hot tub from a 737 engine cowling and a biogas collector from his outdoor toilet.

I like your project OP. Best of luck.

Sounds awesome, will take a look around to see if it can be located. Biogas collecting shitter? I'll take two! how was he utilizing the biogas?


Slung Blade posted:

Love it, give no fucks and live like a modern viking.


Seriously though with all that rock, it's time to invest in a good stone drill and some explosives. Teach that poo poo who's boss.

Either that or get a pickaxe and get swole as gently caress as you dig out the spaces you need for your cistern and such.


Have you found any really red earth on your land? Or any iron ore bodies nearby?

We have used a hammer drill to put some anchors into a rock for our pole mounted photovoltaic setup, and I was amazed at how well it worked. It was quicker than drilling through mild steel which seemed odd but what do I know?

Not getting into the explosives stuff, probably already on enough government lists as it is The pickaxe sucks to use but it does work OK. Going to put the cistern on the porch for now, sucks to lose the space but winter is here and we still aren't ready... There is some redish earth, but not "really red" although there is a giant abandoned iron mine about 20miles away. What kind of awesome project are you proposing here??

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004

Congratulations on not getting fit in 2011!

And for shitting up the Shadowrun 5E thread in 2014!


apatite posted:

Sounds awesome, will take a look around to see if it can be located. Biogas collecting shitter? I'll take two! how was he utilizing the biogas?


We have used a hammer drill to put some anchors into a rock for our pole mounted photovoltaic setup, and I was amazed at how well it worked. It was quicker than drilling through mild steel which seemed odd but what do I know?

Mild steel doesn't shatter, most of the rocks you'll find that near the surface do. Makes life a lot easier!

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


Moving back from inside to outside, with the foundation set and the floor constructed it was time to frame some walls. The framing is all 2x6 rough cut lumber from an Amish sawmill we've made friends with and are lucky to have. How many of you would let your 13 year old son take over all aspects of running and operating a hilariously dangerous sawmill? Well don't answer that maybe, we've got child labor laws and poo poo to worry about...


Here is how you do this without loving about forever:

First you lay out a wall on the floor



Then nail that bitch together and with the help of just one other guy, start lifting a 10' tall x 16' long wall made of rough cut 2x6s into place.



Then realize with just two people this thing is an awesome homage to Darwin and we're gonna fuckin die if we can't lift it and it falls on us

Just cram some boards under there, grab a beer and stand back for a minute and see if it falls



OK the beers are gone and it hasn't fallen, let's try to be a bit smarter about this and just lift it up with a tractor alright?



Ahhhhhhh sweet sweet success. Getting your first wall stood up is a real great feeling. Make sure to brace it so it doesn't fall on you...



Then we did the remaingin 12' section of the 10' high wall, and then the 8' tall x 10' wide end wall, what a joke compared to the big guy. It is always nice to start with the hardest part and work your way to easier stuff. There isn't the feeling of dread that comes with knowing you have a lovely part of the project left to complete.



Here's a pic of the scene, with my dangerous rear end old Servel propane fridge front and center.



And a bonus "poo poo, fall is here and we've only go two walls framed" shot

apatite fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2012 around 18:28

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


At this point it was really time to kick it into high gear, and I forgot to take some pics. So it goes.

The rest of the walls were framed, and the curious "ridge board" setup put into place. It is on top of the 2x6 top plate of the 10' high wall and will have rafters going to both sides, so that the trailer has a real roof over it as well.







A friend came over and helped to get the 4x4 pressure treated posts set that will support the "porch" roof. Another witness to the fact that digging holes here is a worthless plan. Lots of concrete was used to make me feel better about it.



Sometimes a break needs to happen to let the mind recuperate. On one occasion my creative outlet was the beginning of a natural stone walkway with stones exclusively from the site. Apparently a Dr. Pepper was imbibed during this process, please forgive me.




During this time some more work had continued on the road, and it had been decent enough to drive my wife's car on for quite some time








With the walls framed on the addition it was time for sheathing (7/16" OSB) and rafters (2x6 kiln dried graded lumber, no rough lumber for rafters in heavy snow load areas please!)















apatite fucked around with this message at Feb 11, 2014 around 20:38

ming-the-mazdaless
Nov 30, 2005

Whore funded horsepower

apatite posted:

Sounds awesome, will take a look around to see if it can be located. Biogas collecting shitter? I'll take two! how was he utilizing the biogas?



Cooking!
Seriously, find a way to watch it. You won't be sorry. It's on youtube, just find an open UK proxy.
http://www.youtube.com/show/kevinmccloudsmanmadehome
Highlights.
Turning a early 20th century safe into a woodburning stove.
Making his own glass window panes on site from silica sand.
Splitting the timber cut down on site with gunpowder.
Building a porch chair with scrap dredged from london canals with magnets.
Making glue from rabbit skins.

It was a great series. Find a way to watch it.

Slung Blade
Jul 10, 2002

You are so bewitched by its beauty, you are not sure if you can wield it.


apatite posted:

We have used a hammer drill to put some anchors into a rock for our pole mounted photovoltaic setup, and I was amazed at how well it worked. It was quicker than drilling through mild steel which seemed odd but what do I know?

Not getting into the explosives stuff, probably already on enough government lists as it is The pickaxe sucks to use but it does work OK. Going to put the cistern on the porch for now, sucks to lose the space but winter is here and we still aren't ready... There is some redish earth, but not "really red" although there is a giant abandoned iron mine about 20miles away. What kind of awesome project are you proposing here??



Iron mine you say? Excellent.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomery

You have an awful lot of wood on your property just begging to be made into charcoal.



E: seriously, look how loving cool this is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWxs7ZV5Ly8

Slung Blade fucked around with this message at Nov 28, 2012 around 06:08

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


Slung Blade posted:

Iron mine you say? Excellent.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomery

You have an awful lot of wood on your property just begging to be made into charcoal.



E: seriously, look how loving cool this is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWxs7ZV5Ly8

Holy poo poo! Talk about living like a modern viking...

I want to make a wood gasifier to power an old toyota 22r and then hook a generator head to it to give us large amounts of AC power. Should be a great source for an overwhelming amount of charcoal. That wiki article has a great idea about using a waterwheel to power a bellows to scale it up, too. Would be a perfect compliment to the native clay bread oven the wife wants me to build her

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004

Congratulations on not getting fit in 2011!

And for shitting up the Shadowrun 5E thread in 2014!


Check this out :

http://otherpower.com/steamengine.html

Otherpower's got a ton of interesting things, but I -really- want to build one of these up myself at some point just to have one.

ASSTASTIC
Apr 26, 2003

Hey Gusy!

I love these types of threads. Nice job man!

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


Thanks again everybody! If this thread had gotten little or no response it probably would have been closed already but since you seem to like it I'll keep going

Imgur is being a pain in the rear end right now, really wish waffleimages lived on. Will post some more throughout the day though, we're almost caught up to "current"

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


Given our geographic location and the fact that winter was starting to close in, I started going to the land for a few hours before work and a few hours after work, at least trying to get the addition "dried in" so that we could work inside once the snow flew. The stack of firewood was getting quite large but that doesn't matter if the place isn't ready to live in.

So the poles were set to support the roof over the trailer, and rafters started going up





The road was still getting muddy in some places though due to our completely poo poo drainage, and that had to be fixed up, meaning more geotextile fabric and another load of gravel. Thankfully there is a crazy redneck guy nearby with a gravel pit and a huge dump truck, and he likes to come bullshit and doesn't charge too much. Even better, Dad left his tractor for me to use for a while









Here's a nice pic of the stream, we got so much rain this fall that it has been running full bore. Quite the change after a rainless summer.









And a bonus sun rising over the rock ridge to the south pic

apatite fucked around with this message at Feb 11, 2014 around 20:39

dreesemonkey
May 14, 2008


Just wanted to post that I love the progress we've seen so far, the building stage is always my favorite. Something about framing is inherently entertaining to me for some reason. I hope to build a cabin like this someday!

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004

Congratulations on not getting fit in 2011!

And for shitting up the Shadowrun 5E thread in 2014!


dreesemonkey posted:

Just wanted to post that I love the progress we've seen so far, the building stage is always my favorite. Something about framing is inherently entertaining to me for some reason. I hope to build a cabin like this someday!

Framing is a metric poo poo-ton of work, but there isn't much that gives a better feeling of accomplishment than going from floorboards to a building.

VelociBacon
Dec 8, 2009

Hey, hey, you better get back out there. There's a few places on that 'bot that weren't ripped to shreds.

I started reading this thread kinda wondering why you'd do this to yourself, how expensive it is compared to just buying a property with a house on it already, etc. I have to say I'm almost jealous at this point after seeing all the work and the good times you've clearly had getting this up and running. I wish I had a big remote property I could just spend time at.

I used to work in construction for many years and I hope you take no offence at my suggestion that you should source some coarse aggregate for your road as a long-term solution to the erosion you're dealing with. I'm not sure if I'm just not appreciating it in the photos but the stuff you're putting on your geotextile looks too fine and sand-like to me.

Here is a page I found about gravel road building.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

apatite
Dec 2, 2006


dreesemonkey posted:

Just wanted to post that I love the progress we've seen so far, the building stage is always my favorite. Something about framing is inherently entertaining to me for some reason. I hope to build a cabin like this someday!

Thanks! You build that cabin, and build it real good. Don't let the dreams die!

Liquid Communism posted:

Framing is a metric poo poo-ton of work, but there isn't much that gives a better feeling of accomplishment than going from floorboards to a building.

True that. The only thing that felt better than getting the walls and rafters put up, was getting the roof put on


VelociBacon posted:

I started reading this thread kinda wondering why you'd do this to yourself, how expensive it is compared to just buying a property with a house on it already, etc. I have to say I'm almost jealous at this point after seeing all the work and the good times you've clearly had getting this up and running. I wish I had a big remote property I could just spend time at.

I used to work in construction for many years and I hope you take no offence at my suggestion that you should source some coarse aggregate for your road as a long-term solution to the erosion you're dealing with. I'm not sure if I'm just not appreciating it in the photos but the stuff you're putting on your geotextile looks too fine and sand-like to me.

Here is a page I found about gravel road building.



You are 100% correct about the road. This stuff is coming from a crazy redneck guy that has a gravel pit and a dump truck. He doesn't have crushed stone or anything like that. Next year the whole road will get a good layer of crushed stone like you have pictured there, it just wasn't in the budget for this year unfortunately.

apatite fucked around with this message at Feb 11, 2014 around 20:41

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apatite
Dec 2, 2006


Here's the place from the base of the ridge across the stream to the West



And here it is from 3/4 of the way up the ridge to the East



Sky to the West from the top of that ridge while the sun was setting






Had to build a porch floor that would support 300gal of water and our huge heavy old propane fridge. Settled on scrap 4x4s for the frame and rough lumber to cover it.








And here are pics of the roof going on! This metal roofing came from a place in the middle of nowhere that sells roofing and farm supplies. It's stuff that was leftover after big orders or the first and last sheets to come off a roll when they are making it. Cost about half what it would have cost anywhere else and we only found a couple scratches on two sheets.











The roof was done over two days. The first day we sheathed, tar papered, and roofed the portion over the addition, and then we did the same for the portion over the trailer and put on the ridge cap. Many thanks to my friends for coming and helping bang this out so quick!

And here is the sun setting over the road as I was showing up to get some stuff done after work one day.

apatite fucked around with this message at Feb 11, 2014 around 20:42

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