Glenn Ingram

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since Dec 12, 2013
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bike chicken rabbit trees wood heat woodworking
Brevard, NC
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Recent posts by Glenn Ingram

A sawbuck can help stabilize round wood; that's its job.  But if you are using a chainsaw, the teeth on the body of the saw should keep them from rolling on you.  Just cut the logs at the base of the blade if that makes sense.
9 months ago
My sawbuck works well except it does have the problems you mentioned of the upper "arms" being too long. That's a problem I have lived with and will correct on my next one. I don't use it for bucking much for the reasons people mentioned but it is ideal for bucking by hand which I do some.  It is wonderful for working a log with hand tools. I used dimensional lumber because it was what I had on hand.
9 months ago
Oh.  Another method would be to put a 2x4 between the bags 2 courses below the top.  Then attach the top plate with long timberlocks through the top plate, 2 courses of bags, and into the buried 2x4.  That would probably be the strongest as there is no reliance on the tensile strength of the bags.  That would also be much easier than trying to impale bags into threaded rods while installing.
11 months ago
You will install a wooden top plate on top of the earthbag structure.  Your birdsmouth will be cut to the wooden top plate, not the whole earthbag wall so no significant weakening.  You could use the rope method of attaching the top plate.  You could also get some 3/8 - 1/2" threaded rod and bend one end into an L and install it 2-3 courses from the top every 4 feet or so.  The two top courses will be impaled onto the threaded rod.  You will probably want to sharpen the end of the rod as well to allow easier impaling.  Then you can bolt on the top plate.  The top plate will also distribute your roof loads so you're not getting point pressure on the earthbag wall.  You will probably need to use a 4x4 or 4x6 as your top plate if you want to keep it in the middle or use a 2x and push it toward the outside so your rafter tails will clear the earthbags.  I would opt for a doubled 2x top plate as close to the center of the wall as possible so it is a little stronger and overlap the corners so the top is bound together more effectively.  I believe I also remember from the earthbag book that you can pour a cement bond beam on the top which seems way overkill for a shed.  Ask your inspector which method he would prefer.  The doubled 2x is what he is going to used to as that is the method used in stick framing.  But ask about the method of attaching it to the earthbags.  Good luck sounds but, careful with your back.
11 months ago
Another challenge here is to have the staff/blowgun be light enough to aim accurately as a blowgun without support yet strong enough to withstand contact as a staff.  Have you thought about ratan like what is used in Kali?  I know those are usually short sticks but I believe ratan has a relatively soft pith similar to elder that a drill bit could follow yet it is light and strong.  I don't know if it comes in large enough diameters though and you would obviously have to order it from overseas.  But it seems like an ideal material for your project being strong, light, and sort of hollow.
1 year ago
What is the goal?  The easiest way is certainly Phil's idea of splitting hollowing and gluing back together but that is not that easy.  Also, if you do want to actually bore it, there are long drill bits used by electricians that would be long enough.  It would take some practice and possibly some luck to not bust out of the side.  You could drill 3' from each side.
1 year ago
I've been seeing this option popping up in some homes I've been working on.  It is an inverter and allows dimming.  Basically, you run an AC wire in and then run small wires (DC) out to LED tape.  It is essentially an off-the-shelf option.  I've seen them in two homes here in North Carolina.  This or something like it may be the ticket if you are using standard AC wiring.  The examples I have seen have quite a few DC wires going out to lighting from the single AC wire in.

1 year ago
Check out Art Ludwig's book .  It shows you exactly how to build ferrocement tanks of the size you are talking about and answers your questions.  His instructions include a man hole and ladder so you can drain the tank and physically get in and clean the tank.  How often you need to clean it will likely depend on how clean the water coming in will be.  You will need a very large tank if you are getting infrequent rains.

Water Storage by Art Ludwig
1 year ago
PVC is going to be the easiest and will last fine as others said.  It makes a great hoop-style greenhouse.  One of the problems with it is it can get a little too flimsy if your greenhouse is getting large or when you have snow loads.  One solution I saw once (haven't tried it myself) is putting rebar inside the pvc.  You can get 20' lengths of both PVC and rebar so you do one continuous piece for each hoop.  In the plans I saw (Richo Cech's book on growing herbs), he just pounded some 1" metal conduit into the ground and the 3/4" PVC with rebar slides into the conduit.  That makes it easier to take down and put up.  He was just draping the plastic down and holding it down with dirt or sand bags.  It is meant to be a cheap yet stable greenhouse but is not going to be quite as nice or permanent as one with nice built endcaps.  

Also, a conduit bender is awesome.  It allows you to build all sort of things from thin-walled metal conduit.  I've built a mobile chicken coop and a garden cart that are strong, light, and really durable.  I've replaced the wood slats on my garden cart twice and the metal frame looks like I built it yesterday.
1 year ago
If you are going to put a vapor barrier, it should be on the inside of the insulation.  So if you build a frame on the inside of the current batten wall, insulate between the studs and then add a vapor barrier with drywall or whatever interior sheathing you are using.  As the article said, you don't need that vapor barrier if you use blown-in insulation.  You may, however, want a waterproof membrane on the outside the insulation against the batten wall to act as a secondary protection against water infiltration in case you have a leak in the batten wall.  Tyvek or housewrap of something is typically used there; note that those are not vapor barriers.  It is a weird situation to attach it from the inside, though, and I'm not sure it would really do you any good.  Most leaks occur at transitions which you could not cover applying it from the inside.  You would most likely be better served making sure flashing and caulking is good on the outside of the house.

I don't know if that cleared things up or made things more confusing.
1 year ago