Hey guys. I am always thinking about natural and alternative building techniques and wanted to pick y'all's brains about an idea that popped into my head today. What's your thoughts on foundation for a timber frame structure that was half of a plastic barrel with a rock in the bottom then the beam is set vertically on the rock with some screws in it going out in all directions then you pack gravel around it. The frame would then be tied into some heavy weight to guard against tornadoes. There could be drainage holes in the bottom of the barrel to allow any water that may condensate to leave. My thought would be that the barrel could be inset into the ground if it had to be for the frost line, etc. I thought this solution could make it so the log would last a really long time because it doesn't have direct moisture contacting the log and there's space for it to dry out easily. Thoughts? Do you think the log would rot out easily?
I have done this myself, on a small scale.
Taking a cue from posters who described putting posts in the ground, where the post were held in place with and sitting on top of jagged stone, I do the same in 5 gallon buckets.
Rather than sinking the buckets into the earth I drive metal posts along side or inside them.
No gravel is used.
The 4 supports along the front of my greenhouse use this kind of base, an they are as strong as I could want.
Buckets do need to be protected from sun damage, so I bank earth against them in the outsides.
I have consider up scaling this system in much the way you describe.
I would go with half barrels, each about 16" high, no gravel, and sitting in grade.
You can build up the soil around them for a dirt floor, use the top of the barrels to support floor beams, or some combination of the two.
Alternatively, we could enhance this system into a stacked barrel pillar.
Two stacked barrels tied together by embedding wooden posts or rebar in the stone that fills them.
Two stacked barrels would be roughly 66" tall, three would clear 8 feet.
Essentially this could be a "mechanical concrete" pillar.