I think I left some of you hanging earlier, when I wrote of my pithouse plans. The house is not yet finished, but I have been working on it. I've got enough photos now to do a classic PaleoPlanet build along. Some of you posted questions in the previous thread- I haven't forgoten them. I may not have time to address them today, but I intend to, eventualy. In camp, I also have a handwritten list of insights I've drawn about pithouses, which I'll also try to post eventualy. Here are the photos:
step one, dig a realy big hole
step two, whack down four trees
step three, buck and peel those trees, and char the bottom ends
step four, dig 4' post holes, set the posts, and pack with tamped gravel, make sure they're plum!
step five, using the tops of the felled trees, construct a 'box' for the shelter's top
step six, construct a temporary scaffold, to facilitate placement of the 'box', also cut posts level
step seven, place the 'box', pin or lash it down, and cut it flush
step eight, buck and peel about a hundred dead-standing or green poles, set them two or three feet in the ground, and lean them against the 'box'
It's a lot of work! It's taken me much longer than I anticipated. Still need to:
- fill in the remaining walls with poles
-frame the vestibule
-chink the gaps in the poles with sticks
-thatch with douglas fir boughs (from the felled trees) and pine needles
-cover in earth
-probably finish with an outer layer of cedar bark shingles, to delay rot
The structure is 12'x12'. It will shelter two people, and the occasional guest, over the winter. All materials gathered on site (except for four pieces of free rebar I used to secure the 'box' to the pillars). All construction done by hand. No power tools or motors allowed. Construction hasn't cost me a dime yet. The house will eventualy incorporate a mixture a primitive and modern ammenties, probably some kind of 'rocket stove', photovoltaics, and maybe a glass window.