Hank Rearden

I'm going to be building my shed on the southern exposed side of a hill. I'm using limestone I've gathered from construction sites for my buried north wall and for the forge pit and chimney. The dirt floor will be covered with sand and stone dust topped with flag stone I'll cut to fit.

My first thought was to use cord wood to build side walls. I have two windows and a door picked up from homes that where remodeling and I have a lot of locust tree available for the cord wood construction.

I would like to here from anyone who ahs built with this method before and could give me some advice on the does and don'ts.

  • Is locust a good wood to use?
  • Is the mortar have any additives to help with flexing or is it better to build it stiff for strength?
  • Is there a special binder to lay in the mortar to add strength?
  • How best to frame the door and widows?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

I plan to use a tin roof.
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2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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Hank Rearden

As for my shop I have many ideas to consider. I've gathered a lot of supplies from area rehabs as far as doors and windows. Roads construction in our area has provided plenty of lime stone and I have a lot of fallen locust trees ready to get picked up in the woods.

If I can keep the structure under 100 sq.ft. when closed up the tax man will not tax it. So, I though of going with 10 foot high walls. This would be the stone wall (north) would be built into the hill with the chimney and forge. Cord wood for the side walls (east and west). The southern wall would be tin and lift on hinges like old garage doors creating a roof with a fold down wall for the end wall and expanding the shop. I thought I could do walls that rolled back inside as well to extend to east and west wall. These would be tin. It would be a pop-up shop.

The reality is I'll just do what ever size I'll actually need and build it and pay the tax. I got to admit the idea of beating the tax man is interesting enough to consider.

How many square feet do you use? Do you do outdoor forging?

code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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Kiwi tussock
Please excuse my query if its a well known term used over there, but what do you mean by,
".... using Cord Wood"?
Im a tad puzzled 'cause over here, (in New Zealand)  the word "Cord" is either a string/or small diameter rope, or a measurement of an amount of firewood (approx 3.6 cubic metres).

The use of Locust wood/timber would be hard and heavy but WHOW!
What a wood to have your building made with! ! ! !
If you check out this site, you might decide to grab it quick, while its available. :-)
https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1990/V1-278.html

Looking forward to seeing the progress of your workshop/Smity as you progress.
Probably hear some colourful language while you are working that beautiful Locust wood also.  :-)

Cheers.


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Hank Rearden
Thanks Kiwi, cord wood Construction is exactly that, firewood so to speak. The length of the log is short. For me I plan 8 or 10" lengths. Mortar is used the same as you would lay a brick wall.

Locusts trees are abundant behind the house. They are very rot and insect resistant.
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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Kiwi tussock
WHOW! Now thats a nice idea!
I like it lots.

Tis a shame that I couldn't do something similar here. I like the imagined concept but our forests here in NZ are generally now all locked up for conversation. whoops "conservation"!
& I don't fancy tanilized pine logs Pinus Radiata) as a alternative. Aussie Gum might be one to consider though (for me)

Thanks for the idea. Looking forward to seeing how it works out for you.
Best wishes to ya!
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Hank Rearden
I've been picking up limestone rocks from construction sites to make the foundation. I'll lay the cordwood on that and since I tend to overbuild I might thread rebar through out as well. Ols wine bottles will be mixed in to add charcter and light.

A second floor will go on top with storage accessable from the back yard. This will be something of a bank barn.

I hope to excavate this summer.
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
2020 ABANA Conference in Sarasota New York. June 3rd. through June 6th. Plan now!
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