25,000 cubic feet of stone

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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

You might try a search for Mother Earth News and 'slip forming'. There were several good articles on this technique by an old retired couple (can't recall their names) back in the day. They built several buildings using that when they were in their 70s or 80s. IIRC it was just an extension of your plans for forms for the basement, then you just move them up as you go.
Harry K
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Helen and Scott Nearing described their slip form stone wall technique in their "Living the Good Life" book.
How could we slip form a pyramid, with unshaped stone? A 48'x48'x48' pyramid could be 100x75K/48^3 = 68% stone, with 742 ft^2 of 1st floor space, 515 ft^2 on the 2nd, 330 on the 3rd, 185 on the 4th, 82 on the 5th, and 21 on the 6th, totaling 1875 ft^2. The Mercer house in Doylestown PA is close to this, with lots of small vaulted rooms built over dirt piles that were later removed, in the 1930s. Lots of interesting ceiling tiles, laid on the dirt before the concrete. Mercer often made huge bonfires on the roof at night. Nobody seems to know why.
With C = 0.16x3.75 million pounds = 600K Btu/F of thermal mass and a P = 192' perimeter and a 53.7' slant height and P/2x53.7 = 5152 ft^2 of surface, RC = 8765 hours (1 year) makes R = 75, eg 15" of foam. Hmmm... Not so good.
How could we waterproof it for a few thousand years?
Nick
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There's an article in Fine Homebuilding a couple years back where a guy built his house using poured slabs with embedded rock.
He laid out his walls shapes horizontally on beds of sand with wooden forms for the perimeter, windows and door openings.
He placed the rocks he wanted in the desired patterns (along with some rebar I think), then poured/tamped concrete into the forms. When cured, he got a crane to erect the slabs into place.
Quite interesting. Result quite nice. Being able to get the sand off is the real trick.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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I think you should really consult a stone mason with ample experience before getting too serious about this, and then look into what's available at local yards and inspect what you have on the property.
Committing yourself to laying 1000 yards of stone without any serious prior experience is, I think, a course for disaster.
Almost all stone walls are built with a core of rubble with dressed (or at least more "regular") stone as a facing. You may wish to consider not going with 100% stone, and, for example, using a poured/reinforced concrete core with rock exterior layer (which is stronger, much quicker to build, has the same thermal characteristics as a mass stone wall and _much_ cheaper).
Much "roughly square" stone naturally occurs that way. On our property, the bedrock (limestone) naturally fractures (by winter freeze/thaw) into fairly nice rectangular blocks 5"x10"x7" (flattened cinder block size) We just go out and pry 'em out. In another spot on our property, they naturally fragment into rocks about 1'x2'x18". We use the smaller ones for garden walls. Haven't started trying to use the bigger ones yet.
There are other places nearby where the natural fragmentation is like 2'x2'x3'. Fences built with this stuff look really cool.
If you're lucky, you may find that "Gabion (sp?) basket stone" in your area is pretty squareish. These are wire mesh baskets used to build retaining walls around stream beds and bridges. In our previous home, the local rock supplier's basket stone was very similar to the stuff we find naturally on our current property - being close enough to square that you could build dry walls with it, with under 10% wastage. The advantage to this is that it's as cheap as you can possibly get for "bought stone" - often cheaper than crushed gravel. Like $12/yard. Meanwhile, "designer stone" can sometimes be >$1000 per ton.
Demolition companies are sometimes a source too. Cohen's (in Ottawa) collects building stone from demolished buildings and sells it by the ton. We bought a few skids worth at $100/ton.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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Chris Lewis wrote:

Dear Mr. Lewis,
Thank you for your Five star response. It is incredibly informative and helpful. If this Gabion stuff is available and usable at $12/yard the stone for the entire project comes in at about $11,000. I was expecting to spend many times that amount. It looks like I can purchase a variety of dressed stone facings in the $2-5 per square foot range to give the house whatever look I want but I will still investigate the natural fracturing pattern of the bedrock and its ascetics. How would I go about locating land which yields "fairly nice rectangular blocks 5"x10"x7" (*or similar) ???" That sounds perfect. Is there a geological society that might know the answer?
Thanks again, William

Once I know what materials and methods I want to use I plan to build a detached garage on a property that I already own with a tiny apartment above. The goal of this pilot project is to get a very good notion for how long things will take and how much they will cost. Hopefully I will discover many of my mistakes on a much smaller scale and I can correct them before starting on the guest house before starting on the main house.
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It occured to me that you're going to have to get consultation on the suitability of this stone for masonry, even if it's of suitable size/shape. The local basket stone might not bond or weather well, and you don't want it to disintegrate.

A two floor detached garage isn't "much smaller scale".
Try a single floor shed/outbuilding first.
As my father (a civil engineer) used to comment: "the road is paved with broken dreams" - specifically referring to unfinished DIY homes sprinkled hither and yon.
Or the friend who, after 8 years of construction, _still_ didn't have the exterior facing up on his house, and was going to have to redo all of the sheathing - he was taking so long, it had rotted out. Despite being exterior plywood.
He should have been a little less ambitious than a 4500 square foot 3 1/2 story octagonal house as his first effort.
Well, actually, it was his second effort. His first effort was the 8' square shed he and his wife & dog lived in for the first two winters. Rural Ottawa winters. Ick.
--
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No. 1. After you find out how much useable rock you have, perhaps as we do here in Florida (in a certain area i know about), we give our trees to a lumber Co and in exchange they "clear the land", and you could do the same with your rocks in exchange for having them do the blasting; beaking up your share of the rocks into smaller pieces etc. This could also level the top of your mountain (if you have enough rock) for building space. I have a property on a side of a mountain in Ga. so i know how precious is level ground for building. No. 2. Get instructions on how to dig a coal mine, and instead of going up with the rocks, you can get down in the rocks; hack out a fireplace; put a chimney on it all and you are home, baby, home. You can spend the rest of your life, taking your time, doing the - uh - finish work on the interior. You can lay your solar panels right on your roof, which, of course will be the ground (your lawn/garden/whatever).
What makes coal mines dangerous is shody construction and constant, everyday blasting after the hole is dug, therefore your "mine" will be safer than anything on God's Earth, as far as buildings go that is.
In Palestine, the houses that were stolen from the Palestinians, were all built of stone, so if you can find an old Palestinian to help you in exchange for giving him and his wife refuge here in America, youhave also done a good deed, and won lifetime friends - of course youwill also be helping him to bring over the rest of his family? Iam quite sure you can fit them all on that mountain of yours until they all get their bearings and begin to fan out on their own? http://www.zaytoun.org/suppliers/index.htm The Friends (Church (Quaker)) (i think it is) is who you would get in touch with as far as getting a Palestinian over here. Also the Salvation Army may beable to help you out.
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Given polls saying that 70% of Palestinians support suicide bombings of civilians, I think that you have a good chance of recruiting a Palestinian stone worker who can also bring along a friend with a dynamite-laden suicide belt.
That way, if you put a civilian bus on top of the rocky cliff, you can martyr the 2nd Palestinian to help blast away the rock and save on quarrying fees.
You may even be able to save on labor rates, because I hear that the latest fad is for Palestinians to hire out their children as homicidal bombers and surely such children have a lower day labor rate.
A more reasonable alternative, may be to import one of the similar number of Jews who were forcibly expelled from Arab lands when the State of Israel was created. They also lived in stone houses in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, West Bank, Gaza, etc... The obvious advantage is that they are less likely to take out their grievances by blowing you and your children up :)
--- Obviously, I am being sarcastic and politically incorrect here -- but my point is that bringing in ridiculous, biased political accusations has no basis in this newsgroup. The poster is being incredibly naive or disingenuous if he believes that the Middle East conflict is just about one group "stealing" from another.
So let's all of us keep our political prejudices and vendettas out of this group!!!
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blueman wrote:

Well said!!
Harry K
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