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Sepp Holzer root cellar  RSS feed

 
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"Grandma". Old steel wheelchair wheels adapted for log moving. Rolls thru tight spots, weighs about 20lb, was free, and is as smooth as a pallet jack.
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steward
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Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
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Lucio, what are you using for an axle and how did you attach that log holster? Some shots of the underside would be awesome. I just happen to have some wheels from a wheelchair that have been begging me for a use.
 
Lucio Lamborgio
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The axles for each wheel are independent and welded to the upright frame member that serves as the handle. This one uses 3/4" plywood scraps to that upright with a croch shape to cradle the log.
The weld to the upright is the (eventual) fail point. We used it to yard the honkin' 17' top plates out and the welds bent a bit. This thing is so useful that i'll rebuild the axle connections and upright when it fails. The wheels are skookum.
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Lucio Lamborgio
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With the load settled into Granny's crotch you don't need to strap it or connect it, it just rests with friction. Getting it set so the log is rather balanced and using a 1" rope to pull and steer allows you a nice grip and decent posture. The loose-ish log is nice for manuvering and the wheelchair handles are pretty nice for steering. Can be a one person move.
 
Lucio Lamborgio
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Fastening top plate.
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Lucio Lamborgio
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Beveling outside corners to ease membrane stress.
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Lucio Lamborgio
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Seismic/torsional structural elements. We live in the Cascadian Subduction Zone. It's hard to determine what kind of forces to design for. When is enough enough? If we get a 9.5, it'll probably twist. Then I'd regret not spending another $100 or 2 on more straps. If all skyscrapers were designed to take a hit from a 737, there wouldn't be any..
The friction between logs, the 12" spikes in the top plates and ceiling joists, the concrete/steel foundation with 6 4" tiedowns straps and the diagonal and corner straps, we'll face what may come. Insects and fungi will probably destroy it before tectonic plates do but who knows? Turns out there is no IBC code for this...
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Lucio Lamborgio
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We folded and nailed in old hole filled tarps around the corners and across the roof in another effort to minimize membrane stress and puncture dangers. Always looking for a way to incorporate items slated for a trash pile.

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Lucio Lamborgio
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Membrane protection.
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Lucio Lamborgio
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The pressure relief from the site excavation and a few saturating rainstorms have sprung 3 springs on the back side of the cave. Overnight the sidewalls sluffed out about 2 cf of soil into the ditch. It's a nice confluence of events and timing as the 2nd layer of geotextile-wrapped drain rock had just been added. No evidence of significant flow is noted around the foundation walls and about .5 gpm is flowing from the pipe drain terminus. Looks pretty clean. Time will tell how long it works.
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Spring emits from back wall prior to backfilling!
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2 sections of geotextile-wrapped wrapped drain rock embed the 4" perforated, corrugated drain pipe.
 
Lucio Lamborgio
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Effluent.
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Lucio Lamborgio
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Membrane details.
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Folded wall membrane ready for top sheet
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Bonding top sheet to wall sheet
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All wrapped! Adding a bit of stra to protect membrane from soil
 
Lucio Lamborgio
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Drain at front and fine grading to help with dryness.
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Lucio Lamborgio
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This front drain is connected to the perimeter foundation drain on the downhill side. It doubles as the low side vent. I understand that making an earthened vent is something Sepp does to pre-cool the air before it enters the cave in hotter seasons but I haven't totally got my head wrapped around how this will function passively. Seems like the cold cave air will drain out and suck warm air in through to ceiling vent, i.e. heating the cave. This vent is shallow and adaptable so its not a big commitment. We'll see. Any explanation from the wise/experienced or commentary would be appreciated.
 
Lucio Lamborgio
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Move in ready!
Still gotta: dry out logs (2 years?), bury it (by hand), build exterior wall, and set the side buttresses for a full bury (gonna wait till summer/excavator to stack rock).

It's cold and dry in there!
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Lucio Lamborgio
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This thing has been "done" for almost a year.
We have a big wood stove in there and burn it frequently to help the logs dry. Works pretty well as a sauna. Up to 130 degrees in there sometimes.
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