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Thread: Simple Homestead Construction Methods

  1. #21
    USN SCPO (RET) dscrick's Avatar
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    Default Excellent post

    Really good stuff AS. Thanks for the post


  2. #22
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    Great thread Alaskan Survivalist. Is there a clean-out problem with the chimney, having a blind 90* turn......? I guess you could use a brush and a Shop Vacuum.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sourdough View Post
    Great thread Alaskan Survivalist. Is there a clean-out problem with the chimney, having a blind 90* turn......? I guess you could use a brush and a Shop Vacuum.
    I do something a bit different to clean chimney. I always build chimneys so I can stoke fire to the point the stove and pipe are glowing hot. When creosote builds up I just build a fire with thin wood to get it hot and with a 4 foot flame coming out of the top of pipe I am pretty sure it is cleaned out. Too many people burn there house down because pipe installation can't handle the heat. I make sure mine can and use that to clean out creosote. Another big advantage of concrete, it does not burn. It is also built strong enough I could run a big plumbing snake through if I had to but I never clean chimneys, just burn them out.

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    I have wanted to build a chimney out of 10" well casing.

  5. #25

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    Cool info Alaskan thanks for sharing

  6. #26
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Great post thanks.
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  7. #27

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    Back in the old days boards where made by splitting them. A tool called a “Froe” was used. It can make splits more accurately than an ax because it is set in place and then driven into wood. You want to use straight grained knot free wood (there is a knot everywhere there is a branch). You also should use some kind of soft mallet to drive froe to prevent it from burring.

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    Once the wood begins to split the split is continued by prying with handle, working froe deeper and prying again. Spilt can be guided to make board thicker or thinner depending on direction pry. Straight boards would use smaller prying back and forth. Pulling away from log would narrow and pushing towards it would thicken board. Longer boards can be made if the grain of the wood allows it.

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    A draw knife will dress up edges or smooth surface if needed.

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    A froe can be used to make wood for everything from a dog sled to the roof on your house. Your only limit is the grain of the wood you choose.
    Last edited by Alaskan Survivalist; 04-25-2011 at 01:27 PM.

  8. #28
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Another great post AS.
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  9. #29
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    nice post, i recently made a froe from a auto leaf spring, i lucked out i had a spring with a eye already formed. bout all i had to do is straighten it out and grind a bevel.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by randyt View Post
    nice post, i recently made a froe from a auto leaf spring, i lucked out i had a spring with a eye already formed. bout all i had to do is straighten it out and grind a bevel.
    +1, That's the way homesteaders need to think!

  11. #31
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Hey SJJ, Take a look at this thread. WildWomen built exactly what you're talking about.

    http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...ht=built+cabin

  12. #32

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    I've considered cordwood but the thing about concrete is you have to build it so it can move or make it so it on a foundation that won't. That means building below frost level in Alaska. I did an experiment with vertical log building that is pretty simple. Actually I combined several methods to construct a cabin to compare. It is another funky cabin I threw up about ten days and needed a place to winter. I used 6x12 timbers for a wall on the other side and also big round logs for a room on the side too. Two sided vertical logs would be fast and easy but when wall starts getting long it gets wobbly so suggest building corners with two or three sided logs and runing walls with vertical logs. Most these logs are not sided or shaped at all and most would not be chosen to build a cabin but they were all within 100 feet of where I built cabin and I did not have the time or money to fool around. Notice most of the logs are only 4 feet long. Something you wanted and if you spent more time you could make a much better looking cabin.

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    Last edited by Alaskan Survivalist; 03-25-2010 at 01:28 AM.

  13. #33

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    As far as wood I think it would all be good but would need to be dried before used to prevent cracking. Logs should be stacked a few years with the ends painted to prevent cracking while drying and then cut for cordwood walls.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by sjj View Post
    Thanks AS, understand I'll have to work out the foundation issue. Any suggestions on foundation construction and best type wood would be greatly appreciated. I know going into this project that it is not going to be time effective, but I am hopeful it will be cost effective and has my interest. My goal is to do it as solo as I can.
    The foundation is the hard part. It would have to be double stacked blocks to be wide enough to support wall meaning twice the cost and twice the work. Depending on size and ground you are building on you may be able to build monolithithic slab but risky. Probably the cheapest way to build up here would be to set large piers crossed with timbers to set walls on.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by sjj View Post
    Thanks again. Its a treat to have someone on the forum with your diversity of experience in building remote structures in this climate.
    Check out this. Examble of vertical log contruction shown on the kind of piers that may work for your foundation.

    http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ainsworth86.html

  16. #36
    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    here's a little storage shed i made from blow downs. figured i post a pict just as a example of making do. the pict is a little skewed but the building is level.




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  17. #37
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    Well done on the shed.
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  18. #38

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    randyt, Nice shed, and it demonstrates a pricipal anyone building with logs should adhere to. Build the roof with enough over hang to keep rain off logs. Well done.

  19. #39

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    In keeping with simple, cheap building methods for the homesteader there is no simpler easier way to heat your cabin than with a barrel stove. They are also large enough to heat a barn. I have one in my basement so I don’t track woods chips through my house and the heat rises to heat evenly but in a cabin I suggest putting close to the center of room. It is safer and heats more evenly than shoving it off in a corner. In my basement I use the wall as a heat sink and it stays warm long after fire has gone out.

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    The kits to convert oil drums cost about 50 bucks and have all you need except for the barrel, stove pipe and damper.

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    All you need for tools are a drill, a jigsaw with a metal cutting blade or some other way to cut barrel, a few wrenches and a screwdriver. I put the door on first, then legs, then stove pipe flange. That helps to line it all up. There are some rubber gaskets on bungs you will have to remove and then screw back in place. For a small cabin you may wish to make it smaller but you’ll need access to a welder. The barrels have two ridges bend in the middle to strengthen them and this should be where they should be cut down and will make alignment easier to weld giving an overlapping seam.

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    When assembled you still need to build a fire in them outside and burn paint off. If you are concerned with looks after that there is heat resistant paint that will make them look nice.
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    When installing stove pipe be sure to lap pipe so pipe sits inside the one below it. Creosote will accumulate in pipe and run down pipe. If pipe is installed the other way it will run outside pipe and be a fire hazard. This is not a 2000 dollar airtight, thermostatically controlled stove. Installing a damper in first section of pipe will slow burn rate as will the air gate in door but you will also need to think about the wood and how you stack it in stove. Un-split thick wood will burn slower and not as hot and type of wood will have bearing too. Save thick hardwoods to burn through the night.

    Time seems to change the meaning of words so I feel it necessary to define my definition of homesteading. Homesteading is not the farmer living in a remote location. Homesteading is building that farm or ranch from wilderness. Looking at developed homesteads is misleading. First you have to survive and overtime develop it more. This is just one more way to get there from here.
    Last edited by Alaskan Survivalist; 04-25-2011 at 01:29 PM.

  20. #40
    Hall Monitor Pal334's Avatar
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    Thanks for that. You are doing well, teaching us pilgrims
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