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Author Topic: Cave living and growing in the desert.  (Read 8923 times)

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The Silver Surfer

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Re: Cave living and growing in the desert.
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2013, 15:44 »
Right, I'm going to start with an ambitious multi-photo post, I hope it works!

This is my latest project staying with the chicken house theme.  We want more than the 5 chooks we have, so a major house upgrade is on its way for them.

We're utilising a cave room that many years ago was used as a pig pen.  A year or so ago we had a digger in to remove a section of hill, which you'll see in some of the pics.  Then by hand we lowered the floor inside, leaving shelves to the left and right, but excavating enough so we could get a barrow in.

The posts are reclaimed tree trunks, the door is pallet wood and the black stuff on the ends of the trunks is a bit of old engine oil and paraffin.





















Aunt Sally

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Re: Cave living and growing in the desert.
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2013, 16:03 »
That is splendid.

I love the fact that you are using recycled wood.
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GrannieAnnie

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Re: Cave living and growing in the desert.
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2013, 16:05 »
Not posted anything on here yet, but keep the pics and info coming SS.  Looking forward to seeing more of what you have done there, and what's still to come!  :)

The Silver Surfer

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Re: Cave living and growing in the desert.
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2013, 16:17 »
One of our dog's Bear, supervising the second row of posts going in.



A quick break to make a bird house from an off-cut of one of the posts.  I cut this piece in half, bored out the middles, dowled and glued it back together, 2pac fillered it, made a front door hole, primed, undercoated and glossed it. Now hanging waiting for new residents.



On to the roof.  50mm galvanised tubing in 6m lengths from front to rear, noggins between the straights.  Welding tip;  NEVER weld galvanised metal indoors, only in very well ventilated areas.  If doing it outside stand up-wind.  The Zinc fumes are dangerous.




The Silver Surfer

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Re: Cave living and growing in the desert.
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2013, 16:34 »
Once the roof frame was done we tied chicken wire across the top of it.  Once wired we laid clear plastic sheeting, about 800 grade, and then rolls of bamboo sheeting/fencing.  This is all wired to the frame and has already survived 80kmh winds without casualty.





This is about as far as we've got as the weather hasn't been too great recently.  But I have had the external entrance door made ready for fitting and one side now also has it wire panel.  The weather is supposed to be warming up next week so we'll crack on and get it finished asap.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 16:37 by The Silver Surfer »

The Silver Surfer

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Re: Cave living and growing in the desert.
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2013, 16:43 »
That is splendid.

I love the fact that you are using recycled wood.

I have a free supply of pallets from a local farm supplies shop, it's the dismantling that takes a lot of time.  I even came across 2 quadruple length pallets the other day, so I had to rush back home to get my trailer before someone else grabbed them.  I've got so many projects to make with pallets it's crazy.

The Silver Surfer

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Re: Cave living and growing in the desert.
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2013, 18:22 »
Here was my first ever attempt at growing melons and sweet potatoes last year (tin of something included for sizing!!!)




John

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Re: Cave living and growing in the desert.
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2013, 19:29 »
Fabulous! Can I ask though, mm, how to put this.. what do you do for a bathroom in the cave?
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The Silver Surfer

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Re: Cave living and growing in the desert.
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2013, 20:32 »
LOL.  Yes, first dig a hole.  A large one in the side of a hill is a good start.  Chicken wire the walls/ceiling, lay water & waste pipes and power conduit, lay concrete floor, hand throw cement to walls and sponge off before it dries, build vanity unit exactly how you want it, insert ceramics, tile, job done!









We have a basin, WC and a shower in the bathroom, everything you'd expect in a UK one, just underground!

John

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Re: Cave living and growing in the desert.
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2013, 20:40 »
Wow!!!

Much more appealing than the bucket :)

The Silver Surfer

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Re: Cave living and growing in the desert.
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2013, 20:42 »
On the Welcome page of posts I put a pic of the interior just as the floors were going down, here's a pic after the floors and walls were finished.  The area to the left is where the skylight is.



And here is our skylight.  It has glass blocks on the East, South and West faces as well as the skyward face (roof).  The North face is cement blocks with two ventilation panels and the exit for the stove flue pipe.


yaxley

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Re: Cave living and growing in the desert.
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2013, 21:13 »
Wow must just say that your house is fantastic you are very clever with the things you have built looks great and i was going to ask about the toilet arrangements but john beat me too it keep up the great work and the photos as well ....
Grow organic as nature intended

Agatha

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Re: Cave living and growing in the desert.
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2013, 13:33 »
Wow!  I am very envious of your chickens!  And the bathroom is amazing.
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The Silver Surfer

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Re: Cave living and growing in the desert.
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2013, 22:18 »
And here's the finished vanity unit, painted and tiled.  The whole thing is made from terracotta bricks or panels (ladrillos & machembrados). Then smoothed  over and to final desired shape with a product called Yeso, which is more or less Plaster of Paris.


Elvira

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Re: Cave living and growing in the desert.
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2013, 12:34 »
Hi SS! This is fascinating! Are you doing all the work yourself?
It makes the work we are doing on our house look very tame!!  :D  Although I am not sure the OH would thank me for saying that given we spent 9 months without a kitchen (tap in garden and a bucket for washing up) or central heating (a wee bit chilly when it snowed and we had no windows or doors in much of the house!)
Please keep posting photos as it is great to see what you are doing  :)



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