Logged in as: Anonymous Search | Active Topics |

3 Pages <123>
Building with rocks Options
andydufresne
#21 Posted : Saturday, June 28, 2003 3:40:17 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
Pate:

Glad we got that figured out.

SO that I understand...it appeared that on the website they were making the forms about 2 feet thick and lining the rocks up atainst the forms on each side...so that the concrete was in the middle. That would leave the rocks facing to the inside and outside of the wall. Does that sound like what you were talking about? Also it appeared that they were doing about two feet high at a time...does that make sense or do you do it all at once?

Here''s the website I was looking at. On it they refer to an aricle in TMEN. http://www.hollowtop.com...urself/stone_masonry.htm

They say that it is called SLIPFORM Masonry because once the first level is dry the form is slipped up on level and the next is poured.

I think this could be fun.

Thanks for being patient.
pate20135
#22 Posted : Saturday, June 28, 2003 10:23:47 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
Steve,

Yes, we have a jack press, but too small for that. Expecially the large block I am contemplating. Thee has triggered a better thought. There is an Amana master over on the interstate, who does ''18 wheeler'' work. And he has one of those presses with a guage. I don''t know why. Pressing the the equivalent of ball joints? I will have to do some research, shattering strength of various masonry, I have that information in here somewhere. Then I will go from there. Thank thee again.

Yes, I tried the vacuum idea. The plastic gasses and then gums up the pump.

---

Andy,

That is one method, the solid concrete core slipstone. And it would lend well to rebar is such is required by thy codes. And sheet insulation insertion prior to pour. Etc. Actually, depending on the codes, it may be required. I realize I am sounding like a broken record, but please check the codes.

My preferred method, if wall is not to be ''visible'', is to set the rebar and square 6" grid metal ''cloth'', apply the forms, and to pour in a round mixed aggregate, and then pour in the mud. I rap the form with my old wooden deadblow mallet to help disperse. This way, I get more ''milage'' from the materials at hand, less concrete, more stone. But then again, I actually like the ''pebble walls''. Another benefit, I do not have to do two foot thick. With just the wire cloth, and appropriately sized aggrigate, I have done four inch thick walls. A water tank in this case, over seven foot tall from the base, thirty foot square. Yes, the four inch holds very nicely against that water weight.

For a visible wall, then, of course, thee wants wider. I usually do one foot thick. And then thee can place the ''pretty stones''. Suggestion, take the significant other, (trying to be PC) if thee has one, out rock hunting. The female seems to have an ''eye'' the male does not. The ''eye'' can be learned, but why, when she has it already?

And we do forms one foot high, not two. Again for smaller pours. Again, we walk the forms, rather than doing scaffolding. Also, at too foot, it is sometimes difficult to get the ''saturation''. This way one can sit on the form, and still reach the bottom without having to lay down. And that cement is bulky. We normally work out of a five gal ''sack'' or bucket for ease of transport.

That is actually a surprisingly good site. A shame they did not cover ''three''. Wish I had more money in the budget.

Ummm.. to describe ''three''. !form!filled void!form!void!form!filled void!form!
The four forms are held with spikes, usually old treaded rod, in alignment. Threaded rod as one can spin on nuts to hold forms together. The outer filled voids are where the aggregate and cement go. The central form can be dead air space or filled with insulation or with a lime stop leak compound, etc. And the wire cloth, with the six inch grid supports the form very well. This ''three'' is also a good way to conserve materials. I have also seen ''three'' with the center space vented, for passive solar applications.

Oh, a normal ''three'' wall here is about fourteen inches thick.

Another tip... I normally use a rapping technique, but others use ''plungers''. Simply a piece of wood with a cross member on the bottom. Think of a ''float'' to get the idea. It can help getting the concrete to disperse down.

Another tip, the forms can be other materials, not just the board or pallet wood. Some of those ''particle'' boards or plywoods would work nicely too.

Oh, yes, I was aware of that article. The problem with it is that the ''board'' he proposed as an ''inside'' form, as a ''seal it in'' form. It was really not strong enough to hold the weight of the wet cement. I also dislike the idea of using such man made materials. And one had to punch holes in it when slipping up, defeating to a large degree the insulation value.

Something else might appeal. Look up ''cob''. It is not unusual to see the inside of such a wall done that way. Not a square as tradtional inside framing, but very comfortable, warm, and easy to keep.

And yes, it is fun.

Take care,

Pate
andydufresne
#23 Posted : Sunday, June 29, 2003 4:51:46 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
Keeping in mind that my intent is to dig a hole witha back hoe into the side of a hill here and then "berm" the root cellar once it is finished.... should I use a plastic on the side of the form that will be the part of the wall eventually in contact with earth? Hardware stores here sell a paint that is supposed to be water proof..but I wonder if the plastic sheeting would work just as well or maybe better. There is a good deal of run off from the hill so I will need to do something.

Thanks again for all the help. AND I still like the "service" comment to the Bishop.
skruzich
#24 Posted : Sunday, June 29, 2003 3:58:05 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
Andy,
What I would do if it were me, is this:
1. dig your area out biggerthan what you plan on building.
2. mark off the area where you want to put it, and make sure you leave about 2feet clearance
between where the outside of the wall will be and the bank of dirt. Make sureyou run the trench about 5 - 10 feet out in front of the buildings front. Try to find a area that will open up in a natural drain field.
3. dig approximately 18" below where your going to put the wall in that 2'' space you have
reserved.
4. fill bottom of trench with gravel, then lay a french drain pipe,(Black 4" pipe with holes in it like they use in septic systems.
5. cover the pipe in gravel, up level with the ground.
lay your plastic down over the area where you are going to build, including the 2'' reserved area.
6. Build your wall. Once you have built the wall up around 2- 3'', take some tar and coat the wall and while it is tacky, press plastic against the tar.
7. build up wall to desired height.
8. coat wall that will be underground with more tar and make sure to cover the outside of plastic with tar all the way down to the ground.
9. once you put roof on, and door in, start backfilling the dirt against the wall. Now don''t just put it all in there, make sure to only back fill 2'' at a time, letting the earth settle for a couple days before adding more earth. This will give the wall time to adjust and settle a little at a time compensating for the earth''s weight.

Now this is important. You need to make sure that the outside of the walls that will be covered in dirt, are not straight up and down, you need to angle them outwards a bit, like around 10 -15 degrees.
What will happen is that as you add dirt against the walls, the weight of the dirt will press against the wall and over time will move the walls inward to a true 0 degree state. I know this is how i have built retaining walls with blocks, you have to build them tilted so to speak.

Ok, Now pate correct me if i am wrong as I am not a expert on this subject, but just use common sense in things like this.
The drain pipes will keep your room dry and keep water from building up under the floor.
I would however if it were me, put in a drain in the center of the floor and trench out to in front of the building using Drain pipe without holes. That will allow you to make sure no water will stand in the room. Make sure to grade floor so that it directs any water to the drain pipe.
steve
andydufresne
#25 Posted : Sunday, June 29, 2003 6:44:47 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
CONTINUATION of my thoughts from the COOKING topic:

The root cellar we are discussing in another here is, I HOPE, going to be a dry run of a smaller verion of my house to be built in a woode area I can now see from my window. Gawd, isn''t it wonderful living in the country?

THERE I am going to start with grid power but little by little eliminate it as I can afford to change things and I will have to go with gas for cooking there.

My power bill HERE is around $40 when I am not using a furnace or A/C. I waited until last weekend to use the A/C this year. WIth an underground house my power bill IF I STAYED ON THE GRID would likely be about that all year long.

I could feel good about staying on THE GRID at that low useage BUT I want to get off for some other reasons.

I think that by getting an emergency diesel generator and a bank of batteries I can switch to solar pretty quick. I''m reading the ROB ROY book on underground houses. VERY informative. He talks about a self sealing roll out water-proof membrane...haven''t gotten to that yet but I''ll share what is is when I do. The more I deal with those who have cranial rectal inversion the more I like the idea of clear cutting my acreage and putting in a 5 acre melon farm and selling from the back of an old pick up truck. Unless the General Ass. changed the law recently....produce sold from a roadside stand or pick up etc is not subject to sales tax. Nor can you be required to have a selling permit. The South needed to change some things but there is still some advantage to living in a farm state. :-)
pate20135
#26 Posted : Monday, June 30, 2003 1:47:59 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
Steve, I can not throw stones at what thee wrote.

Andy

I had the misfortune today to see one of my first block walls. It was a ''stuccoed dry lay''. That was over a dozen years ago. The wall is intact. But the stucco, well, lets just say it was not pretty. I suggest thee also invest in a concrete ph kit, if thee is going to do anything other than slipstone. They are only about 40 dollers. Litmus strips. And every one I have seen tells you full instructions.

I can give thee some tips on self produced power, not solar, but hydro, with generator backup. Yes, we produce our own power. Not grid. All hydro.

First, we simply dispenced with the batteries. They only have about a ten year life. But for a solar system, they are required. Any chance of hydro?

Second, the generator should be a low rpm diesel. A ''china'' diesel is one such, 800 rpm or so. LOW RPM Diesel as you want to convert to biodiesel at first opportunity, in our case raw filtered soybean oil. High rpms have to have the biodiesel ''fortified''. Biodlesel as the building codes require hassles like ''tanking'' the generator, etc. Major hassles, especially if gasoline. This is one reason you are seeing more of these ''natural gas'' ''emergency backup generators'', the manufacturers simply can''t get past all the code restrictions with gasoline. Stay with diesel.

Third, PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. When thee thinks thee has a perfect setup, plan again. Be flexible. Or thee will fail. And plan redundency. Else be sorry.

Fourth, there is a wealth of information on the internet. But take manufacturers claims with a big block of salt. Especially the ratings. Figure a 20-25 percent fudge factor, downwards from their figures, and plan accordingly.

Fifth. There are panels, everywhere. There is no need to buy new, if thee is handy with a soldering iron, and glazing. Much cheaper than buying new.

Sixth. The ''steambuggy'' type solar collectors are coming on strong. The days of the ''panels'' may be soon at end. Not good enough yet, but leave an option for adding in later. A ''steambuggy'' is a dish unit, which heats a fluid at the boom. The steam drives a turbine, and there is the electricity. The fluid system is totally enclosed. And yes the dish tracks the sun. The one I was looking at was 110vac, 4kw. Not shabby.

Take care.

Pate
andydufresne
#27 Posted : Monday, June 30, 2003 5:02:24 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
110vac, 4kw???

I''d SAY not shabby! I figured on diesel, I should have mentioned that.

AS for turbo I have what my last grandfather called a fall creek It''s dry till there is rain fall. A good one day rain will give me a creek for a week to 10 days. Currently I plan make a pond of it and grow fish as some point. My best guess is I could place a turbine at the spill on the dyke. Even so, I would need to have a bank of batteries. Where I plan to put the house the creek would be in front of it and behind it up the hill would likely be a good place to put a wind turbine. Not certain I have enough wind to make it worth while but I will check on that.

On this root cellar I think I will build the walls as if I am building the house. The book on underground houses talks of a waterproofing membrane that seems to be just the ticket. AS I READ IT, the wall would be like this( if I slip stone it) from the inside out you would see my native stone and concrete then mostly concrete toward the back and at the very outside of the wall would be a foam board. Once the wall is completed you apply the waterproof membrane to the foam board. It is 36" and overlaps going down. DRAINAGE is a big part of the pre building preperations in this book. Looks like he''s re-enforcing the things you gys are saying.

It appears we have made what I thought was a simple question into a hot topic. [:D] I just hope that others will learn from this. I will soon be setting up a website for an Internet business and when I build the root cellar I''ll post pictures of the project as it progresses if anyone is interested. I''m thinking that it will be handy for storing my personal vegetables and also fruit as the trees start producing until I can ship them out as well as being a storm shelter.


pate20135
#28 Posted : Monday, June 30, 2003 7:09:56 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
Yes, 4kw 110AC. But don''t ask the $.

If water creek is not full time, general rule is to forget it. One tip, knowing where thee is, have a water witch come out and walk the ravine. In our hydro, 4" pipe, 57 foot drop.

If thee is putting the foam on the outside, I certainly hope the membrane is water tight. Most people do not realize that stuff does hold water. Don''t forget that french drain.

BTW, I assume the roof is ''above ground'', or is thee considering putting a ''slab over''?

Pate

mikeg
#29 Posted : Monday, June 30, 2003 8:42:50 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
Steve, I have an observation about the angled walls. What effect does this movement have on the perpindicular walls that tie into the corners. Sounds to me like if you have a square building and all four basement balls are at a 10 deg tilt out in an expected correction when you back fill two things can happen.
1. walls don''t move
2. two or more walls give way no place to go.
skruzich
#30 Posted : Tuesday, July 01, 2003 12:45:46 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
Hmmmm Well if you have three walls covered by soil, it would provide a constant pressure on all three walls and that would push them all together. Now the corners might need to be rethought.

steve
andydufresne
#31 Posted : Tuesday, July 01, 2003 4:25:38 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
Pate:

I will cover the roof with earth also. I live on a ridge. Parts of my land are in a valley of the ridge other parts are hills in the ridge. I will dig into one of those hills and build the root cellar there then cover it up. The membrane is absolutely water proof. It is called Bituthene. THAT is a brand name. It has a removable paper backing that exposes an adhesive. The book by Rob Roy has complete instructions SO, I plan to build this root cellar the way I would build a house. ONLY smaller. I will keep you up with it. It may be a little while before I start....I am anxious to get started but MAKING A LIVING has caused me to shift some priorities. I really want to get it finished before next summer no matter what.

Thanks again for all the help to all of you.
skruzich
#32 Posted : Tuesday, July 01, 2003 5:24:56 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
Andy, You have thrown a new wrench in the monkey. If your going to cover the roof with earth, then You had better get out your calculator and search for stress points on the walls. I am afraid you will find you will be building a rather thick wall just to handle the weight. I don''t know what you are going to make the roof out of to hold the earth, but do not consider wood. It will rot and you will have to use no less than 4" thick lumber. Heck i don''t even know how thick the lumber would have to be. That involves some engineering.
If you use concrete slab to lay over the top, You will need no less than 4" and more than likely 6" and you will need a center column to support this slabs center.
You will also need to wrap all covered sides in that waterproof covering too in order to keep it dry. Make sure though, you make vents to the surface. I would also consider putting in a small franklin stove in there in case of severe weather. You could stay in there for several hours during severe weather and that room will be cold. Might keep some wood in there so that it is dry. That will help you in case of storms and tornados.

But the ventilation is probably necessary since the waterproofing will essentially make it air tight and you want some airflow to go through this underground root cellar.
Steve
mikeg
#33 Posted : Tuesday, July 01, 2003 5:41:19 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
I would say there would not be any moisture problems with the sliprock wall if it is coated properly with waterproofing on the exterior, and the perforated drain tile is installed around the perimeter with good drainage and the excivated area is filled with rock all the way to the surface. Water will follow the wall down no matter what you do but if it is allowed to go down fast and has a good easy way to get out that is the way it will go. I would also put a drain tile under the floor to dispose of moisture in that space as well and do not tie any of the drains together till well below the floor elevation. Roof drains on a house are a must with a basement and again they should never be tied into the other drains. er
pate20135
#34 Posted : Thursday, July 03, 2003 3:41:43 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
Andy,

Steve is right, thee has thrown a ''monkey''.

Hmmm... I do wish I had a reference to give thee that was written in english. Ah! "Build It Better Yourself" By the editors of Organic Gardening and Farming. 1977. 0-87857-133-7. Several examples of ''underground Storage'' to include a root cellar simular to what thee is thinking of, and other options, such as a ''cold box''.

Actually, that is one of the better english how-to references for a homesteader. Shame no longer in print.

MikeG is also correct. But ''to the surface'' is not required, and will actually affect the temperature. Sod layer on top.

With the ''slab over'' thee is also going to have some ventelation problems. A drain with a ''metal vent block'' over the door will work nicely, as the air would be pulled via the drain. Which is why it is not conected to any other drain.

Take care,

Pate
andydufresne
#35 Posted : Thursday, July 03, 2003 4:30:44 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
''metal vent block''

Is this like a "register" for central heating systems? And if I put a vent in the wall doesn''t that take away some of the cold I am trying to preserve for food storeage?
skruzich
#36 Posted : Thursday, July 03, 2003 1:45:55 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
Actually andy, it will cause the heat to go out the vent. Heat rises. and the cold will come up from the drain. You need circulation in this room. If you dont have it, it will get stale and dead in there. By sealing up the room it will maintain a 50 degree temperature. Moving air will chill the room and drop the temperature lower. Remember I am no expert on this, just remembering some of my highschool science classes ;) hehe and that was many many moons ago.
mikeg
#37 Posted : Thursday, July 03, 2003 6:08:27 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
Works like a cave that way, I think they put up a wall at the opening of Maringo Cave in Indiana and the temperature went up in the cave. At Mamoth Cave in Kentucky they have Bars at the entrance not a problem.
pate20135
#38 Posted : Thursday, July 03, 2003 7:22:56 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
Andy, Ummm... yes and no...

Block sized metal ''cages'' mortared in just like a brick would be. Has louver on one side, open on back. Sometimes a slide to control the openings, sometimes a screw latch, sometimes a door, sometimes a flap. Think of a draft control on a stove. I have even seen them at Home Depot. And there are also ''pipe'' types. This way you can control the air coming out of the ''cave''.

Here let me slip little Heidi out of my lap, she fell asleap. From the very same reference I aluded to above, "This ventilating block is common to most lumberyards and generally is used to ventilate crawl spaces in houses. It is normally about 8 inches high and 12 inches long. It has open slots in it that can be closed or opened to allow air in the from the outside by means of a sliding shutter..."

Now is thee going to try to find a copy? (grin)

---

Steve, from my references, the best temp desired is 36 degrees F. Quite obtainable.

---

Take care,

Pate.


skruzich
#39 Posted : Thursday, July 03, 2003 7:49:14 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
it will take movement of the air to attain that low a temp right?
steve
pate20135
#40 Posted : Thursday, July 03, 2003 8:15:55 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
Steve,

Yes and no. The contained area will already be cool due to the temp of the earth. The air coming in via the ''drain'', is also already earth cooled. With that combination, then the air movement does help drop the temp more. But thee has to have both the ''bank'' cooling and the cooled ''ventalation'', to get a greater temp drop.

BTW. This book, the one I mentioned above, may also become a project. Apparently, the publisher is no longer in existance. Our DC legal Gnostic is researching it for us now. The assets are held in escrow. And we may be getting the reprint rights dirt cheap. Again, apologies for not having the Dicks indexes done, Heidi is keeping me busy.

Take care,

Pate
Users browsing this topic
Anonymous
3 Pages <123>
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.





Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.