Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Soft Rock

No, I am not talking about Hall and Oates or Billy Ocean.. but of actual stone, specifically the stone into which my house will be set. 

For the last two weeks there has been water/ice in the excavation to the point where I could not get in to see if the rock would yield, and yield in the right way to a pick. I finally was able to test out the new method of securing the posts to the earth today, just before the artic blast settles in for three days, dropping the temps into single digit F.. which is weather that I cannot imagine working in, though I may simply to make some progress.

Anyway, the upshot is that with the pick I was able to relatively easily (how easy is it ever when you are using a pick on solid rock?)  chip away and down into the rock base. Since I have not laid out where the posts will go exactly, I did not dig out a full keyhole for a post, rather just satisfying myself with the test hole. In under five minutes I had confirmed that any one of the three very similar methods I am considering will work. The digging was easy enough that I am considering the method which would be the most work, but would provide a good deal of peace of mind as it would have the posts setting 6 inches into the stone, and still surrounded with some concrete to ensure that the post is well keyed into the stone.

All of which is unexpected and pleasant progress.

I am also reviewing the structural loads for some of the spans in the house, to the end of removing some of the posts. In the most recent drawing, I have two-three posts which are out in the rooms, though not really in the way. Still, one of those is backed up to where the wood stove will go if I get one, or where the rocket stove will go if I build one. This one may stay if only because it really would not be in the way at all. The other two however could eventually become bothersome, so I am considering spanning the distances, from 14-16 feet, with the largest of the timbers I harvested. Being at least 18" in diameter, these should span the distance without compromising the strength of the roof and all of the soil which will be on it.

Such is the excitement here in the backwoods..

Feel free to go back to your Caribbean Queen.. :) 

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