Author Topic: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua  (Read 69925 times)

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Offline alex trent

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Re: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua
« Reply #150 on: May 29, 2012, 06:08:43 PM »
Been raining pretty good. Had about 5 inches since May 15. Things still holding up and as the ground get saturated , the outside is draining pretty well too...we disrupted a lot of natural flow areas when we did the drive and the walk, so I worried about that. Put is a lot of drains under the walk and drive and in some places to intercept flows..as we are about 2/3 way down a pretty steep hill. The really heavy stuff is still to come but to now we look good and in a couple of places I have made some adjustments.

Mud is all around.  The deck looks pretty humble.  Did three coats of oil and then a transparent sealer.  Still tough to clean...really have to scrub the mud/footprints with some soap to get them off. Any suggestions? A bit of wax?

The floor inside is just two coats of oil and nothing else...has a nice patina and is  bait easier to deal with as we do a lot of feet wiping...I may try a bit of wax on it. Good idea?

Offline rdzone

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Re: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua
« Reply #151 on: May 30, 2012, 01:48:21 PM »
I wouldn't use wax on the floor if you plan to ever refinish it.  It really messes things up as any new finish will not adhere.  d*
Chuck

Offline alex trent

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Re: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua
« Reply #152 on: June 20, 2012, 11:48:44 AM »
Well, six months ago I could not find decent deep cell batteries. Two months ago I found some Trojan 105s, but they were old...almost two years, so waited.

Today went back and they had a bunch and different types. Decided on a AGM-31 as i know my predilection for letting maintenance things slip and theses will be indoors. will start with two..will be 200 AH, which is less than the two 105s at more money.  But this gives me some flexibility as I can add a third easier than I can add to the six volt string.

So tomorrow I will be in business....the Marine battery has about given up the ghost...dies inn 20 minutes from full charge. but it served a good life...about 100 recharges from a 60-70 discharge.  Went downhill all of a sudden.

I bought a good hygrometer, which I now do not need. Is there some other reasonably price way to test the batteries, or do i just rely on the charger to do its job automatically...

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua
« Reply #153 on: June 21, 2012, 10:32:51 AM »
Voltage readings are the only way to gauge the charge of an AGM battery, but only after it has been sitting idle for a few hours, not under load or while being charged. That's the big thing I dislike about AGM's. A charging system with the bulk, absorb and float charge rates should keep the batteries at their best. The system should "float" every day. It should be adjustable to best suit the rates recommended by the battery mnaufacturer; frequently different when compared to a flooded lead acid battery.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Jens

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Re: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua
« Reply #154 on: July 09, 2012, 05:53:09 PM »
what a beautiful build!  I'm sure it is said somewhere, though I couldn't find it, what kind of wood is it framed with?
just spent a few days building a website, and didn't know that it could be so physically taxing to sit and do nothing all day!

Offline alex trent

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Re: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua
« Reply #155 on: July 10, 2012, 03:14:40 AM »


Thanks, this site had a lot to do with making it possible and you will see on here that i did a lot of work trying to get to the right wood and ascertain the properties.

Local name is Cedro macho. Scientific name is Carapa guianensis...called most commonly crab wood. Works great, good strength and other properties....in my book pretty much the wood of choice for building, but not much wood building here in the land of blocks and concrete. Pine can be used but most is pretty poor stuff and not used in quality construction, although I am going to attempt a small building with it.

The reddish wood...rafter ties and deck for example...... is Hymenaea courbaril...locally called guapinol. Hard and durable. Turns dark red when dry.

Offline alex trent

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Re: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua
« Reply #156 on: July 28, 2012, 05:06:47 AM »
I separate my grey water from my sewerage. We are pretty frugal water users, having to collect it ourselves.  But this is the rainy season, so we dont watch it too much.

I was concerned that when we got in the heavy rains which we have and the ground got saturated i would have problems with the grey water, Over built to prevent that...have about a 600 gallon catchment, 4x4 feet lined with blocks with some spacing to drain out side and gravel on the bottom.  It is on a bit of a slope , so I was prepared to put a French drain above it to divert ground water.

Turns out that there is no water in the pit..none at all. The 300 or so gallons we have used is gone into the ground.  And nothing is coming in off the slope.

So, overbuilt it a bit, but no big deal. Am going to build another small cabin a bt away but in the same general area and this is good to know as will save work and materials.

Offline alex trent

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Re: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua
« Reply #157 on: July 29, 2012, 10:59:20 AM »
Stared today on a new smaller cabin not far away from the first one.

On pretty level ground...about 1 foot drop left to right.  Much more sheltered location. View is up the mountain in back of the original place, not across the valley.

This will be on individual cut stone footings (18 x24 x6) that are sitting on top of gravel...15 in all...3 rows of 5. 6x6 on top of them and cut to level the place. Double 2x10 beams  and then 2x8 joists at 16" spacing and on top of that 1" lumber.  All this lumber is rough cut so 1" is 1".  This is a prototype for a small ecolodge complex....maybe 6 or 8 of these scattered about with a central lodge.

Cabin is 22 x 16 including deck. Built in the lightweight style with no interior walls and rafters at 4 feet and studs the same.  Actually this will remain a deck for 4-5 months using a tent for shelter.

Sewerage is still to be determined. Water will be off the roof of the main lodge...20x30 feet or so.  In the meantime I am pumping water from my place up here...400 feet and a 40' rise to a 1500 gallon tank.

Should be a chinch compared to the first one...smaller and simpler.  But experience is the main thing.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 12:52:22 PM by alextrent »

Offline alex trent

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Re: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua
« Reply #158 on: August 04, 2012, 12:57:43 PM »
Had a 4.2 tremblor yesterday, shallow and about 20 miles away.  Shook buildings in town. Not sure about up here, but people felt it as workers talked about it today. No apparent damage.

Had several very heavy rains....real worst is yet to come. Have one leaking screw in the roof. EZ place to get to and the leak is over the kitchen counter.

There is work to be done, but I am very poorly motivated . I come up, lay in the hammock and look out over th valley to the ridge on the other side. Not stunning, but peaceful and nice...good breeze.

Offline Huge29

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Re: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua
« Reply #159 on: August 22, 2012, 08:18:13 PM »
Very fun to watch the progress, thanks for sharing!
Having lived in Mexico, Yucatan Peninsula, for a couple of years it is cool to see somewhat similar climate.  I can see how it would be difficult to find materials that are not what they normally use, mainly concrete...where are the hamacas? 

Offline duncanshannon

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Re: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua
« Reply #160 on: September 17, 2012, 05:37:42 AM »
Just checking in... everything progressing down there?
Home: Minneapolis, MN area.  Land: (no cabin yet) Spooner, WI area.  Plan: 20x34 1 1/2 Story. Experience Level: n00b. 
Build Thread: http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=10784.0

Offline lodestar

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Re: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua
« Reply #161 on: October 20, 2012, 08:01:53 AM »
I worked with UNICEF in 88/89 based out of Matiguas and into the mountains along the border with Honduras...also spent a good deal of time in Pearl Lagoon north of Bluefields...interesting. 

Know anything more recent about those areas?

Be the change you wish to see in the world...
~Gandhi

Offline BAdams

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Re: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua
« Reply #162 on: March 20, 2016, 09:33:11 AM »
This post appears to be abandoned. I remember looking at it some time ago and found it quite interesting. I am considering building off grid in the usvi and was thinking of doing something similar to this. The pictures appear to be deleted. Does anyone know if it's possible to view them somewhere else?

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua
« Reply #163 on: March 20, 2016, 09:57:56 AM »
The personal photo archive where the OP kept the images is no longer active, so no.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline BAdams

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Re: Mtn Cabin in Nicaragua
« Reply #164 on: March 20, 2016, 10:36:57 AM »
Thank you MountainDon. I'm sure I'll find something similar. Thanks for the quick reply.

 

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