Monday, October 31, 2011
We've made progress the last few days, but now I'm leaving for South Africa for almost 6 weeks, so the project will have to continue in the spring. This is the front view of the cabin before I covered it all up with tarps and blankets to protect the bags from the sun through the winter. My sister Gaylene helped me fill bags, and my sister Valerie built the five 'support ladders' that go above the doors and windows. The spray paint job is just for a bit of camouflage for areas that sometimes are visible from the road. That will all be covered eventually with 'northern adobe'.
A close-up shot of the front door and small window. Notice the buttresses go clear to the top of the walls, in order to stabilize them.
This is when the support ladder for the big picture window first went on. The window and door frames themselves cannot be weight-bearing so these very sturdy support ladders are placed over the top of each of them, resting on the bags of the walls themselves, and not weighing on the frames.
This is the end of a support ladder. About 6 to 8 inches of 2x4 rests on the bags and another 6 to 8 inches of the underside plywood extends further out over the bags. The plywood is secured to the bag below with long nails (they really do hold!) and then I put several nails in part way so they can grab the bag that is tamped on top of the plywood.
Here you can see a bag on top of the plywood. The support ladder can now no longer move.
Looking through the small window in the completed front wall, with the support ladder clearly shown. I will use styrofoam insulation sheets to fill in the empty space between the ladders and the frames. The ladders themselves are stuffed with insulation.
The finished northwest corner from the top. On the left is the long support ladder. It is 8 feet long and each side consists of two 2x4's with crossbars every 12 inches. The diagonal 2x8 is a stabilizer connecting the front wall with the north wall. It just adds a little extra stability.
The southwest corner with south picture window and small front window and stabilizer.
The view from the back of the cabin. The front wall, and the front of both sides is roof-ready. The back wall is only 6 feet high and needs another six rows of bags next spring before I can put the roof trusses on. We have filled in dirt all along the back wall and the south side.
This is what it looks like all put to bed for the winter!