Author Topic: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update  (Read 2219261 times)

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Offline Amanda_931

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #300 on: June 20, 2006, 04:46:12 PM »
Interesting.

Of course the cops could have a warrant for the place across the street, and just come in.

Some things, like the restaurant inspector--which this might have been--are part of how you do business, though.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2006, 04:47:40 PM by Amanda_931 »

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #301 on: June 20, 2006, 07:51:03 PM »
The thing that I think is important about this is that it gives a bit of legal support for owner - builder  private property rights and gives us case references.
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #302 on: August 09, 2006, 11:39:15 PM »
Interesting article here offers a bit of insight into why we do it.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1839404,00.html



"William Lyttle, known locally as the Mole Man, outside his house in Hackney, London. Photograph: Sarah Lee/Guardian"
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #303 on: August 10, 2006, 11:36:38 AM »
Found this link today

http://www.backwoodshome.com/forum/yabb/forum.pl?board=building;action=display;num=1153963833  Honorable mention

http://www.axwoodfarm.com/PAHS/UmbrellaHouse.html  Slightly different concept - used by Bruce -Lodestar, I think.
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Offline desdawg

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #304 on: August 10, 2006, 02:38:10 PM »
Hey Glenn, that link at Backwoods Home is what led me here. I guess I have come full circle. I finally finished reading all of this thread and looking at your pictures. It took me a long time. Wow, is that ever a lot of information. My hat is off to you for all you have done with your underground cabin. I am still toying with the idea of doing something underground but I haven't decided just what yet. A lot of what you have done looks to be pretty labor intensive and I never seem to get to spend enough time at that mountain property to get too involved. That is going to change soon but the logistics are tough. I have an excavating business to run here in the desert and I want to live my dream 250 miles away. But if I am not here the wheels don't turn. I'll get it figured out.
Meanwhile, you have sure provided a lot of thought provoking material for my little pea brain to digest. Thank you.
I have done so much with so little for so long that today I can do almost anything with absolutely nothing.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #305 on: August 10, 2006, 02:52:29 PM »
My pleasure, desdawg.  Glad you made it here.

Actually the labor is not that hard if you have a machine to help with the lifting and digging-- look at it this way -- a basic 8x8 module only requires 4 posts, 2 girders and 5 beams -- cover it with boards, plastic and dirt and you have a home --- OK - so I oversimplified it a bit --- then it gets bigger and I'm still not done, but it's fun. :)
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline desdawg

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #306 on: August 10, 2006, 03:13:39 PM »
I have most of the ingredients including the lifters and diggers. The main item I seem to be lacking is the calendar days. That and I don't know diddly squat about cob, ferro cement and earth plaster. But that I can learn pretty quickly I bet. In fact let me ask, do you have some good reference material to recommend?
I have done so much with so little for so long that today I can do almost anything with absolutely nothing.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #307 on: August 10, 2006, 03:41:04 PM »
All pretty simple, desdawg.  That's the whole idea.  For the cabin,  The $50 and Up Underground House" by Mike Oehler.  His videos also.  Check out the umbrella link above for a bit of possibly better or different similar information.  Combine them with Mikes design ideas for what I think will be best results.

Cob -- not required but a nice addition.  Becky Bee's Cob Builders Handbook - most of it is online.  Ferrocement is basicly stucco with a stronger cement mix - maybe 4 to 1 cement or stronger over stucco netting or even burlap or jute.  More wire can be added for strength.

Dirtcheapbuilders has much alternative info.  Most earth building is ideally 30% clay - 70% sand and aggregate - from there add straw for cob -- or 4 to 7% cement or asphalt emulsion to stabilize it - cement or AE or waterproof --AE.  There are a million variations but these are the basics.  

Here are a few links

http://www.undergroundhousing.com/
$50 and Up Underground House Book – Underground Housing and Shelter

http://store.yahoo.com/dirtcheapbuilderbooks/index.html
dirt cheap builderHome

http://www.deatech.com/natural/
DeaTech Research, Inc. Local Natural Building Links

http://www.papercrete.com/
papercrete.com

http://www.cpros.com/~sequoia/
Cob Building with Groundworks

http://www.weblife.org/cob/index.html
WebLife: Cob Builders Handbook: Contents

http://www.concretenetwork.com/index.html
Concrete Network

http://ferrocement.net/
Ferrocement Network

http://www.daycreek.com/
Daycreek Home Page
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Offline desdawg

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #308 on: August 11, 2006, 05:23:42 AM »
Thanks Glenn. That list will really help. I am trying to take a mental inventory of native materials that are available in the area. Lots of stone, nice flat topped reddish colored stone. Beautiful material. Stone has great potential.
Soil has a high clay content. Greasy, sticky stuff when wet. Sand, alas is almost non existent in that area. Rammed earth?
Trees, mostly Juniper and scrub pine. It would be very difficult to get any number of logs of any diameter and length. This makes cordwood construction the best option for utilizing the logs that are available. Or using Mike Oehlers methods, zipping the small logs in half with the Alaskan mill to produce one flat side and use more closely spaced poles. Quite a few dead trees still standing in the area.
Not So Native Materials:
I have a quantity of used power poles and occassionally am afforded the opportunity to get more here and there. I never seem to have my trailer along when opportunity knocks. :-/
Steel trusses: I was recently awarded custody of seven 40' steel trusses, some a little beat up. I had to cut them in half to get them home so I have fourteen 20' m/l steel bar joist type of trusses. Some need a little body & fender work but that is why God created torches and welders, both of which I happen to own. In a normal above ground building I would put them on 4' centers and add purlins. Underground, I don't know about the wisdom of that idea.
Beams: I have been packing around a 16" deep 20' gluelam for a while now knowing I would use it eventually. I also have several 4 X 6's X 20 footers looking for a home.
Given these resources my thought is running to a 20' deep X 40' wide excavation into the hillside + the uphill patio. I will probably hit bedrock at about 4' depth based on installing a water line down the hill a while back so if I can't get deep enough I may have to use the spoils to extend a pad. Won't know for sure until I dig. Use closely spaced poles at the perimeter with the 4" X 6"s above, use the gluelam down the center with wider spaced poles to create more open space. Install the steel bar joists and build a subfloor on top of them. Build one of my gambrell roof buildings above that, using 2 X 6 this time around. Might even hav to go to 2X8's. The majority of the load would be transfered to the two 20' long sidewalls. I would need another beam to support the loft. Infill could be accomplished using Becky Bees stone foundation topped with either stone or cordwood. All of this is of course subject to change at the slightest whim, fancy or as conditions dictate. My hillside faces north by the way. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I am just kicking this around.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2006, 05:32:30 AM by desdawg »
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #309 on: August 13, 2006, 09:23:21 PM »
Good resources, desdawg.

One of the main reasons for a stone foundation is to keep moisture from moving up through the cob.  Same with rammed earth although the Chew Kee store eliminated the stone - rammed earth to the bottom and is still standing with a repair job a few years back.

Mike Oehler mentions using any of and all of the materials you mentioned including steel and rock if that is what you have to build with -- the only sure thing about that is his engineered tables for the logs or poles -- you are on your own for the steel.  Power poles could be used but the creosote ones would be best in a shop - stink a bit for a cabin.

Clay without sand can be used if you add quite a bit more straw - without sand or aggregate, shrinkage is greater - that's why they make bricks of it too but cob can still be done.

On another note -- I was visited by bandits tonight -- mamma and 3 babies --- bunch of rascally little trouble makers in the uphill patio.


                                                                    

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Offline Amanda_931

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #310 on: August 14, 2006, 04:16:13 PM »
One of the few times those guys visited in Nashville, I was convinced that the pair of fairly young guys who came had been somebod's "pets" from the way that they were totally unafraid of me, just walked right up and said "feed me, feed me."  I was more than a little concerned about them, and not remotely friendly back.  Fortunately they never came back again.

But they're so cute, especially when they're young like that.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #311 on: August 14, 2006, 04:56:52 PM »
We were both within about 6 feet of these guys-- the mama always growls at us.  There is not much fear there.  She raised these babies on top the straw bale wall of the greenhouse we think.
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Offline desdawg

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #312 on: August 14, 2006, 06:07:08 PM »
That is about as neat as it gets Glenn. I see they even have their masks on so you won't recognize them.
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #313 on: August 14, 2006, 06:13:55 PM »
They are cute little guys -- like to come in the cat door I left open for my cat who couldn't use a real cat door, and help themselves to cat food or candy once in a while.  I think my little one eyed vagrant cat got ate by coyotes so I guess I can close the opening now.

Chased 2 or 3 coyotes away from the chicken pen this morning but they just love a nice feline dinner.
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Offline Amanda_931

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #314 on: August 15, 2006, 07:23:17 PM »
I've worried about coyotes and feral dogs and even owls taking the outside cats.

Miss Cherty Pie Barker, fortunately, just loves to chase off every creature she doesn't think belongs here.  Sometimes we disagree about this, but she stays outside so she gets the last word.  She's indifferent to squirrels, but absolutely loathes snakes and armadillos.

Offline Sassy

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #315 on: August 15, 2006, 07:40:12 PM »
Just talked to our neighbor - he said he saw Tobey a couple days ago by his garage... hopefully it was him & he'll come back home.  
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Offline Amanda_931

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #316 on: August 15, 2006, 07:42:33 PM »
Oh, good.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #317 on: August 17, 2006, 06:51:48 PM »
Besides missing cats we have been losing chickens, and a couple days ago I chased a couple coyotes away from the pen.

This morning I heard the chickens making un-egg laying like noises and it woke me up -- I jumped up out of bed -- put on my boots and grabbed the 30.06 and headed quietly toward the chicken pen.  I could see the coyote chasing the chickens so I went to the top side of the pen to try to get a shot.  We have trees and it's on a steep slope so is a bit of a challenge.

I got my shot - he fell to the ground - the chicken was already dead.  He layed there for a few seconds then all of the sudden he got up, looked at me and started wandering around the pen trying to get out- I went for another shot but the second bullet jambed in the rifle, so by the time I got that straightened out he found his way out of the pen, under the fence and down the hill.  I decided to go in the house, get my .380 pistol and go after him -- he was leaving a few spots of blood to follow and there was no way I was going to go off down through the poison oak wearing only a pair of cowboy boots and packing a rifle.

I got dressed - got the pistol and made sure it was on safety so I didn't make a booboo with it in my pocket.  About 300 feet down the hill - around the trees and brush and across the lower road he came to his final resting place.

I told Fred, "Maybe that's why you shot me with the nail gun-- Pay back from the Coyote."  Fred said, "Did you really shoot him or did you scare him to death running around in just a pair of cowboy boots with a rifle."

I don't know --- maybe he laughed himself to death.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2006, 06:56:07 PM by glenn-k »
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #318 on: August 24, 2006, 05:46:15 AM »
Poor chickens didn't stand much of a chance - the same night after I got rid of the coyote, I caught a giant raccoon running from the pen after killing a chicken.  With their climbing abilities they are near impossible to keep out.  I blocked access to the chicken house and kept the last 2 chickens locked inside.  Down from 10 a year ago.

Maybe this is what is happening to our cats too.  They attacked Kathy's cat when she chased them.

http://www.theolympian.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060821/NEWS/608210327
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Offline PEG688

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #319 on: August 24, 2006, 01:32:52 PM »
 Poor coyote , just tryin ta make a livin . And you go a shoot at um  :( :o Jessh your the invader here , the coon and coyote's is natural . You should be feed um , oh well,  you are! CHICKENS AND CATS!!!  ;D  ;D

 Was it just the 30 06 and [highlight]ONLY[/highlight] cowboy boots  :o :o Yikes that would be ugly :o ;D Little heavy on the lead fer coyotes EH :o
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #320 on: August 24, 2006, 04:49:55 PM »
You are supposed to say "Poor chicken--- laying there doing the worm on the bottom of the pen. I feel so sorry for you I'll go get that bad coyote."

Yep -- boots and a gun--  Scary enough to kill nearly anything.  If I took time to get dressed he would have been gone.  Betcha never seen that kinda hunter before. ::)

I have smaller guns (the rifle), but I know my 30.06 is dead on and it makes nice large holes.  If you are out there trying to get an animal in your chicken pen --and he gets away and you may have to run past the neighbors chasing it in your cowboy boots you don't want to mess around with a gun that may do the job.  Note that we have lots of poison oak.

Oh -- just a minute -- had my ring on too. :-/ :)
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Offline PEG688

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #321 on: August 24, 2006, 05:01:13 PM »
Quote

Oh -- just a minute -- had my ring on too. :-/ :)

  Ok.  I thought you might have been naked ::) ;D
When in doubt , build it stout with something you know about .

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #322 on: August 24, 2006, 05:04:35 PM »
Not me, PEG.  I wasn't going motorcycle riding. :-/
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Offline PEG688

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #323 on: August 24, 2006, 05:07:21 PM »
 I don't want to know  :o, do I  ;D   edited to add , TMI , TMI !
« Last Edit: August 24, 2006, 05:07:59 PM by peg_688 »
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Glenn's Underground Cabin Update
« Reply #324 on: August 24, 2006, 05:12:58 PM »
I was baiting you up --- maybe you should ask Sassy --- but then again --- she's at work so won't have much time to tell the story.

Just think --- two people on a Honda 70 riding off into the desert. :-/
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