Author Topic: Building a near free RV storage garage  (Read 128294 times)

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glenn-k

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Building a near free RV storage garage
« on: January 27, 2006, 10:27:40 PM »
Since RV storage desn't require a permit, I'm building a 2 story RV storage garage.  My 1926 Dodge needs a home.  Kathy's car gets the top then later my 1919 Dodge will get it -after I build a carport somewhere. :-/

It is my goal to do this very low cost- in fact nearly free.  Let's see how that works.

To do something like this you need to be on the lookout for things that may be useful later - I started a long time ago.  Networking - friends know what type of things I may want and they tell me - always wanting to contribute - and they somehow benefit also.  Our friend, Judy told me about free boat docks last year.   I delivered a load to her.  Another friend, Wayne told me of free timbers from the Bridge at Wawona, Yosemite National Park - he  even arranged for them to be delivered for free.  He took a pickup load -I got the rest.

From the NPS quote:   The Wawona Bridge was built in 1931 and was already slated for replacement in 1998. In January, flood waters inundated the bridge. Scouring from the flood has left the bridge vulnerable to undermining at flows similar to those experienced in January.   ----These nice creosote treated timbers are 75 years old -excellent quality an no rot.

Two 30 foot dump truck loads.  Were delivered from Wawona - the Bridge was replaced in 2005.    I had the backhoe - forklift - Bobcat - tractor so they don't count.  Another friend has antique corrugated metal he said I can have free.  Dirt excavated from the job is free. OK - so I used about $30 worth of fuel to dig the hole and move the timbers etc.

First you dig this big ol' hole
Trying Yahoo pic. host- may lose it later-  


Rocks are removed from the driveway
Grade is lowered to remove hump and provide drainage.


The mineral clay is saved.
It will be used for rammed earth or cob


Soil layers
Organic clays on top. Acids from the Oak trees leach through the ground from the rains to break down the green Andesite into mineral clay.  Water does not easily flow through the mineral clay here.


Ground so hard.
A 15000 lb backhoe barely removes it. Great earth building soil though.


OK - let me get this straight
If any officials trespass, I think I am supposed to pull the wool over their eyes.


Framing Starts
Timbers from the Historic Wawona Bridge - YNP take on another life



Modified from the Little House Plans
A treated post and pier foundation rests on gravel


Everyone needs one of these.  Three 4' x 18' boat docks are set into place with the forklift.

Costs so far.

Timbers -free -delivered
Boat docks -free - picked up 40 miles away -1/2 load - $30 fuel
Nails - 6-7" spikes - pulled from salvage timbers - re-used - like new condition
Cement - to raise strength of rammed earth - not really required but - $60  Wood timbers will be used as a bond beam - earth keyed to posts as rammed.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2006, 09:59:39 PM by glenn-k »

jraabe

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2006, 08:21:34 AM »
What a model of resourcefulness!

Very interesting to see your brain at work, Glenn.  (Well, not the actual brain  :P)

That old Dodge looks like a fun project in itself. And, it's always a good idea to keep a watch sheep around the jobsite.  8-)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2006, 08:24:37 AM by jraabe »

glenn-k

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2006, 08:43:10 AM »
Believe me (or maybe my wife), John.  My brain is a very scary place.  I don't think you want to go there. :-/

Other than that - a fun cheap little project that I better get out and work on. ;D

I'm going to try to work in a little more of the Little House Plan design - modified for post and beam with rammed earth infill - maybe other infill such as boards if I get too lazy.

The basic structure is 12 x 18 inside measure due to boat dock size- 2 story- due to space limitations on the corner of the driveway- docks slope back toward uphill a couple inches -ground floor slopes toward down hill a couple inches to provide drainage from wet cars etc in typical garage floor fasion - besides - it kept me from having to dig out more rock.  Most of the bracing will be by stabilized rammed earth between the posts.  the bottom doors at this point are to be offset 3' from one side to allow a workbench and shelves.

I've put Studley, the sheep, on notice that in case of unwelcome visitors, I want him to baaaaaaa k me up.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2006, 08:49:39 AM by glenn-k »

glenn-k

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2006, 10:51:17 PM »
OK - here we go-- Note that this is the way I did this project - it may or may not work this way for you.  My ground and soil type are ideal for doing this using these methods.


Holes are drilled through the wood.
In hard soil the auger will drill but for rock the Rotohammer is needed


Pouring grout.
Flowable non-shrink grout such as Pour Stone or Rockite is poured into the holes.  Rebars of the proper length are inserted into the grout and holes are topped off as necessary.


Excess grout can be cleaned off soon.
Rebar pins are set in the grout. -These have about 9" embedment to keep the plate and post from moving as the earth is rammed.  Some are in hard soil some are in rock.  This grout sets in under 1 hour.


A slip form is added with clamps
The earth will be rammed between the form and the excavation wall.  I put 3 3"x6"s together so they can be moved up as a unit.  Later as I get to be above ground I will add another one to the outside.  I used 8'8" as it will work on all areas  that are to be rammed.


Earth is spread and mixed with cement with the Bobcat.  Other things will work - tractor with scraper and rippers etc.  The Bobcat is the easiest tool I have for mixing and moving the soil.  It has about a 10cu.ft bucket now making 1/2 sack cement =about 5% mix.  Rocks can be put on the bottom as a foundation to be rammed in but seeing the Chew Kee store remodel by David Easton shows me that this is not necessary.  A vapor barrier is not necessary - moisture will keep the clay together- excess leakage can be handled with a French drain even dug on the inside of the walls.  The wall will glue to the earth without a plastic barrier so there are reasons for and against it.  This mountain is very dry except for winter rain runoff.  We have had cob exposed for 3 years or more with no serious problem.  This clay and natural aggregate should do better as it is slightly stabilized.


Cement is put on the soil for mixing
One bucket of soil is mixed with 1/2 sack of cement - a mix of about 5% cement. I have heard of mix ratios of 4 to 7%


Water is added to the mix
Only enough to dampen it -no mud- more can be added while ramming also.


My dancing partner
Bouncing Betty Green - a pneumatic tamper - with much the same feel as a pogo stick although a bit heavier -maybe 30 or 40 lbs.


A shot of Betty in action - she really rams it in hard. See the pieces of soil and rock fly.


Not too hard
Overzealous ramming can force the form away from the post


Betty has developed a bit of frost.  It is common for the exhaust to freeze due to expansion of the air when tamping.  If the tamper slows down let it warm up -do something else for a bit -then go at it again.  Oil the tool before use.



Betty has packed it in
Forms can be removed immediatly- note the 1"x scrap nailed to the side of the posts to key the rammed earth to the structure.  



The first 18" x 8' section is done - - wiring could be installed in the walls if desired.  Some people brush it after it is done .  We'll try that later.  While very firm now it will dry as hard as sandstone later.  USDA had rated this at 14400 lbs per square foot compressive strength without the cement added per Ken Kern.  Cement can increase that about 3 times or more - varies.

Total time of actually mixing and ramming approximately 10  cubic feet of mineral clay, rock and 1/2 sack cement was about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  I left the natural rock up to about 6" pieces in the soil and rammed them in also per a suggestion I read on another guys project.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2006, 11:57:36 AM by glenn-k »

peg_688

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2006, 04:50:24 AM »
Those are some dandy little red X's . Plate compactor's are such fun  :)
  You mean one of these as in fork lifts ?



  Yes the mind is a terrible thing to waste , I'm a little fussy on those picture's you posted Glenn :-/

  I'm sure it will all work out ,in the end. PEG

glenn-k

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2006, 07:34:53 AM »
Sorry about that PEG - I tried Yahoo again - worked for a while - all gone now- I will copy them over to photobucket.

I had to try it one more time - Kicking my self in the butt------yelling ---never never never use Yahoo for anything except a good place for albums or to transfer good sized images  to Photobucket from. >:(

I guess that'll teach me to not try to save a few minutes. :-/

That's the type forklift but mine's not as pretty.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2006, 08:08:54 AM by glenn-k »

peg_688

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2006, 09:33:09 AM »
Now that's more better  :) And your fork lift is your's, ours was a rental  ;) Handy when ya need one , fork lift that is . Good post Glenn, Thanks , PEG

glenn-k

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2006, 12:31:22 PM »
Yup- it's ugly but its mine - in fact I have twins - the other one is on a steel building job.  Handier than pockets in your underwear. :)  8000 lb capacity and 35 feet up. :o  (Provided you pay attention to your CG (center of gravity) -if you don't it could be 35' sideways up here in the hills.)

Most of the information I studied on Rammed Earth was from the Rammed Earth House by David  Easton.  Using his methods you can make a beautiful modern looking house that will meet codes.

I want the old rustic look so am not going for modern plywood forms.  My methods are closer to those used in 17th century France with the exception of the Bobcat and rammer as shown in this PDF on rammed earth methods - in fact I just got another idea from it so will use it as walls go farther up.

Earth Construction Techniques
« Last Edit: January 29, 2006, 09:11:07 PM by glenn-k »

lodestar

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2006, 01:54:35 PM »
Gives me ideas of alternative parking areas for our "RV"...volkswagen westy camper.  Dagnab it glenn...as if I don't have enough on my plate as it is.  

Thanks.

glenn-k

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2006, 02:51:00 PM »
My pleasure, Bruce.  Watch out how long you dance with Betty at one time -  she'll wear you out - I finished  12 more feet 18" deep -stability of the structure is greatly increased- according to comparitive rates I'm at least equal to the guys with hand rammers in undeveloped countries. :-/  Update - total today was 30 cu ft rammed in place - average by hand is 1 1/2 cu. ft per hour per man - I worked about 7 hours on it.

Actually I'm pretty satisfied with my progress - it's fairly hard work but if you don't stop to think about how beat you get it's real satisfying to ram a section and pull the form leaving a completed section of wall that wasn't there an hour ago.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2006, 06:48:32 PM by glenn-k »

glenn-k

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2006, 03:05:51 PM »
Just remembered, PEG -- I should have listened to you - I know you are a fanatic about a clean jobsite.

Well, I left my water hose with a spray nozzle laying on the ground as I was walking around my little project.  Stepped on it and shot myself in the crotch with a cold stream of water.  As if that wasn't enough I left it laying there and in about 5 minutes I did it again-- bulls eye- same spot. ::)

The rest of you -listen to PEG - he knows what he's talking about -- if I had listened I wouldn't be running around with wet panties right now.

Don't say --"Depends", PEG. :-/

Guess I better go move that water hose now. :)

jraabe

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2006, 09:29:47 PM »
You only get this stuff here at CountryPlans folks...

Where Glenn the Cob Cowboy gives you ALL the information  ::). Even the stuff you will need to make your own stupid mistakes.  :P

We hold nothing back!

glenn-k

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2006, 10:17:19 PM »
Quote
You only get this stuff here at CountryPlans folks...

We hold nothing back!

Does that mean I have to tell you that after I wrote all that, I went back out there - wet the earth mix - tossed the hose on the ground - the trigger locked onto a coarse spray aimed directly at me and did it again-- or should I keep that to myself?
 :P :-/

Amanda_931

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2006, 04:20:38 PM »
When I was working we used to say wistfully that we wished we learned from other people's mistakes, not just our own.

But not even to learn from your own???????

jraabe

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2006, 04:41:37 PM »
Could there really be such a thing as a resourceful owner/builder/designer without a sense of humor?

The enlightening experience of our own stupidity (and then the ability to stand back and laugh at it) has to be something every self-taught builder has experienced. If they haven't, you probably don't have anything to learn from them anyway!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2006, 04:43:04 PM by jraabe »

glenn-k

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2006, 06:47:54 PM »
Amanda, I did better today - didn't wet myself until it started raining - I had already mixed 2 Bobcat buckets of earth  with 1 bag of cement so rain or no rain -it had to be rammed.  So I did about 20 to  25 cu. ft today.  I spent more time forming - got some extra planks to have more ready at once - then got rained out before I could fill it all.  Spent time repairing equipment too hence a bit short on production.

I think a little humor helps keep things interesting, John.  I mean just think - this could be a very boring project if at least a few funny things didn't happen.  :)

Working on a rammed earth project gets you pretty dirty sometimes --- and sometimes working alone my mind wanders off to distant places - back to my childhood remembering what my dad would say to me -----

"Hey son -- you want to hear a dirty story?"

"Yeah dad, please, please." ::)
 
"OK-here's one --- White horse fell in the mud." :-/

My dad wasn't very funny sometimes.  I think I got it from my uncle. ;D
« Last Edit: January 30, 2006, 06:53:06 PM by glenn-k »

peg_688

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2006, 07:43:22 PM »
Quote
Just remembered, PEG -- I should have listened to you - I know you are a fanatic about a clean jobsite.

Well, I left my water hose with a spray nozzle laying on the ground as I was walking around my little project.  Stepped on it and shot myself in the crotch with a cold stream of water.  As if that wasn't enough I left it laying there and in about 5 minutes I did it again-- bulls eye- same spot. ::)

The rest of you -listen to PEG - he knows what he's talking about -- if I had listened I wouldn't be running around with wet panties right now.

Don't say --"Depends", PEG. :-/

  

Guess I better go move that water hose now. :)


  Ha hee A guyed "almost" pay to watch that show ;D  Now if when the hose got ya we tand ya stumbed back and stepped on a nail that wouldn't be funny.   Hoses will , Hose ya , given 1/2 a chance . You seemed  to give it more than  one  :) PEG

glenn-k

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2006, 06:40:07 AM »
Going out to get after it again now - our hero- yours truly--- was last seen with wet knickers after sitting in the Bobcat seat in the rain----- will he wet himself again today --- that remains to be seen but we're about to find out. :-/

Yesterday while going to work and daydreaming while driving down the road in my Kenworth --- oop's - sorry about that little fella' ------- wha'd he say??? -----one fingered salute------ the same to you----- now where was I------- oh yeah ---- I was driving down the road daydreaming about new and interesting things to do on this RV garage with rammed earth, antique corrugated tin ---little house plans --- porches --- planters -- benches ---balconies-- fireplaces-- arches ---     hang in there ---this could get fun --- I'm all excited and want to get it on.  Okay -I just nuked a big cup full of yesterday's coffee - drank it all including the grounds at the bottom of the glass - I'm fired up.  More pictures tonight. :)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2006, 06:58:00 AM by glenn-k »

glenn-k

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2006, 08:28:02 PM »
Well - no accidents today -and even got some stuff done.


Do the corners first.- keep them equal.  If not below ground forms would be on both sides and push wouldn't be a problem.  Per David Easton start at the corners then do the middles.  Makes sense.
The framing is leaning a little to the left, Time to ram the left corner.


February 1, 2006  The garden is about 40 feet to the left of the garage.
It is still looking pretty good -lots of food besides flowers.


This will be a window later.  Digging with the pick is more fun than using the backhoe.  Yeah - right, as Jonesy would say. I have decided to ram an archway for the window with a walkway over it.


The door area is going to be extended 3'
Since it is 8' wide it is easy to 6-8-10 it to square the wall - lines are scribed in the dirt to cross at square


Preparation for ramming the corner.  Framing is added to provide bonding for the rammed earth and door hinge mounts.  A reinforced concrete bond beam and posts can also be used.


Rocks are used as a permanent form.  Earth is rammed between the rocks and the framing to stabilize the garage.  The wood is in contact with the ground here, but it is treated with creosote, has gravel under the critical areas and the rammed earth being stabilized with concrete will be able to take the full load anyway if there ever are problem areas.  This is based on the findings from the Chew Key store renovation in Fiddletown, CA.  Also I noted untreated wood -kept dry-  in the Anasazi dwellings in Arizona and New Mexico- 400 to 800 years old if I remember right.


A piece of plywood lagged on for a form
I lapped the previous joint by about 6 inches to prevent a blowout when ramming


2x4s were lagged over the form boards
Different ways of support will work as long as it is sturdy


The left wall is complete.  In the middle is a rock I wanted to show.
The form is removed -imperfections can be left or repaired with the soil cement mix.


Another view of the rock brace wall- there is probably another name for it but I'm too lazy to look it up right now. :)  Buttress is the word - thanks to Mrs. Goanna Jonesy for getting that word to me. :)  It is part of the bracing necessary to keep the garage and my wifes car from plunging down into the valley below, if she stops too fast in the upstairs garage. :-/  I estimate that I put around 12000 lbs there today.
One half of the door will swing off of the visible post on the left at the outside face of the rock wall - a 4' balcony will go over the top.



« Last Edit: February 01, 2006, 10:01:56 PM by glenn-k »

harry51

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2006, 06:28:48 PM »
Looks good, Glenn! Will you build another rock/earth buttress on the other side? If you need rocks, I've got plenty of loose ones!

glenn-k

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2006, 06:41:23 PM »
As a matter of fact, that is next - I was in a hurry to backfill the backside and started to move it a bit on the right - so before I get carried away-- that is next.

I think I may still have a couple of rocks left.   :-/

The cement has set the clay up into a pretty hard claystone in the first areas and the later areas are very solid as well.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2006, 06:42:12 PM by glenn-k »

glenn-k

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2006, 07:22:09 PM »
Not too many pictures today.


Kathy thought we should have wood and storage at the back so we used the excavated area for shelf space. putting in timbers to bridge the area as the upstairs garage approach is over the shelf area.  About 12" earth will go over it.


The back wall and storage is complete.
The rammed earth shelf is 18" deep and open 36" high


Front right corner to get buttress.

glenn-k

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage.
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2006, 09:37:51 PM »
I started on the right buttress today -Framing was added for the right door and braced against the movement that is easily caused by ramming -  :-/

I have 2 places here that moved a little - if it was not a rustic building being built to look very old, this could be a problem.  The only way to correct it completely is to re-excavate it and remove the overtamped fill.  Believe me - without an equal amount of fill on the opposing side it is very easy to move.  Guess I should have remembered what Mike Oehler said about that.  I re-adjusted the door frame a bit and will live with it.  Once again - if built above ground - forms with walers -plumbed and braced -there should be no problem.  The desired finish quality determines how much time goes into form building and bracing.  I'm for rustic - a very forgiving style -

If someone mentions that --"Hey, that door frame is a little out of square", you just go - "Yeah, I know - it's rustic, I meant to do that."

Today's Pix


Half of the day was spent moving rocks.  The Bobcat was acting up a little so used the forklift, chains and straps to move some choice rocks.  The big one came from our property about 1/4 mile away.
The top rock is probably near 8000 lbs. That should make a good buttress.


A better view of the back wall.  Kathy told me the image I posted yesterday didn't show the shelf area well enough.  The flat rammed earth top will get a wood edge with a trowled soil cement surface.   The rest of the shelves will be wood -easily fastened to the framing.


Bottom half of the buttress is complete.  Actually this picture was a bit earlier in the day -2 more feet are currently rammed.  The treated horizontal board is to provide a larger area to brace from the building to the buttress.
The area behind the buttress rocks is filled with stabilized rammed earth and smaller rocks.  To the left is a rough line where some of the soil cement was a bit dry and worked out the crack as the rest was rammed.  It can be left for rustic or filled with soil cement for those with more exquisite tastes.   :-/ The rest is set up like bricks.
I drove the Bobcat over the approach and onto the top floor today -Seat belt was fastened of course
.  Do they make parachutes for Bobcats? :-/  Actually we had done some calcs and I wasn't too worried. :)
« Last Edit: February 03, 2006, 09:54:45 PM by glenn-k »

glenn-k

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2006, 11:42:42 PM »
More progress

Right buttress is finished


I guess it held - the calcs must have been correct


Kathy finally gets her rocks


An overall view of progress at this point



Always being the lazy guy, I don't want to spend a lot of time building forms.   That tank might work. :-/  It is tilted up in the back so that when finished and it is dropped down, it might come out. :)


It's quite a job finding rocks that will key together to make an arch that will stay up by itself.  It is much easier to find rocks that fit if you have a lot of extra rocks nearby.


The wall section is finally closed off and I can take a break.  Note that the several day old rammed earth is strong enough to hold the pile of rocks with no sign of weakness.  The area below the tank was washed off with the hose full force and no loss of or softening of material was noted.  The cement stabilization is doing it's job.   With an estimated supporting strength of 14400 to 43200 lbs per square foot it should handle the job.  All foundation areas were down to hard native clay and rock before starting.

« Last Edit: February 07, 2006, 07:55:54 PM by glenn-k »

Sassy

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Re: Building a near free RV storage garage
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2006, 09:30:00 AM »
Sweetie, you didn't post your picture next to the rocks...   :-?