Monday, October 13, 2008

root cellar, rock wall

the stars aligned and i got to work on my root cellar. the right side of the door is almost complete.

just ignore those beer bottles. this stone is extremely heavy. i was gifted it from my old boss they are imported from somewhere with heavier rocks--possibly another planet like jupiter with a larger gravitational field.

i wired each course to the expanded metal lath. it should be very sturdy. it will look much better when the dirt is covering the root cellar and covered in violets and mint.

this is the styrofoam and cement mixture that i used along the north wall. as time passed it has hardened with surprising strength.

i had to mix my own mortar color blend. i wanted to match the hue of the rocks yet stay a little darker to try to hide in the cracks.

my selection was very limited. i also add smelly dish soap to the mix to help the cement become more workable without using too much water--thanks walter. it doesn't have to be smelly but we won't use it in the house because it is smelly, stinky artificial and stays around far too long.

real rock work requires a very dry mortar mix. if it is too wet when it splashes on the rock it'll discolor it. i tried to hide the mortar to make it look like dry-stack. all of the rock work in this area has tragically ugly thick mortar joints--imo.

i also used the mortar to stucco the portions of the walls that will show. i'll know this morning if my color is correct. just ignore that half full beer it is mine..

the dirt backfill should wrap around the high side of this wall sloping up the root cellar roof.

if all goes as planned all of the water will shed out and away from the root cellar. only the incline to the entrance will shed to the root cellar. that is one of our famous billboard tarps it will remain there and get buried. it will be watershed protection. i still need an old piece of carpet to cover the roof to help the dirt stick while plants get a chance to take.

i am very sore today but still plan to start up the other side after morning chores--advil gel caps. two days in a row will make a huge difference.

the root cellar plan
digging the hole
photo of earth bags

photo of ferro-crete shell #1

photos of ferro-crete shell #2 & #3

the back bottle wall
front wall portal
red door and rock wall

things left to do.
- - run electricity to the cellar.
- - stub out plumbing to go to the barn.
- - stub out electrical conduit to go to the barn.
- - lay the first few courses of the solar storage tank.
- - back fill the entire thing.
- - plant mint and violets.

next stop.
- - new chicken coop
- - barn
- - pump house, canning storage
- - solar hot water
- - green house
- - summer kitchen


Wendy said...

Wow! That looks awesome! I can't wait to see it all planted with mint and violets :).

Beth said...

I love the rock work. Beautiful!! I really like the red door too.

Lookin' good.


tansy said...

great job! it is going to be a masterpiece when you are finished!

Danielle said...

I know your muscles are super fatigued after lifting all those rocks, after rocks, after rocks...Looks real good though.

The Polar Bear said...

how cool! wish we lived close enough to help, that looks like a great project. progress, hooray!

Anonymous said...

I love the look of that rock work, especially with the hidden mortar. I agree about the look of some rock facing having too much mortar showing.

Ron said...

That looks great, Karl! I love the stone work. When finished, it will truly be unique.


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