TIV the OLD FARMER TEACHES You HOW TO BUILD AN INEXPENSIVE FARM HOME

TIV WAS AN OLD FARMER who had been in many technical fields related to home building, welding, electricity, doing all these many professions in the city before he moved out to the middle of nowhere. He was on our Homesteaders' list til he passed. You know lists. They're. BETTER THAN CHAT ROOMS OR BLOGGING, those ole fashioned LISTS? You'd get your email every day from it. Or a couple, if someone had answered the day's subject. I liked FARM lists, homesteaders' lists.

The folks on my farm list were generous. They gave great detailed info, like HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN ROOT CELLAR, HOW TO PICK the LAND, How to BUILD A HOUSE out of used materials out in THE WILD, HOW TO PICK A TRUCK and then how to PICKLE a CUKE and  HOW TO PICK A CHAIN SAW. Or How city folks can move to the country and get the oldtimers to like and trust 'em! (the hardest of all.)

Many a highly top-secret file have I built from their list-posts as you tell these guys you're taking notes, they get itchy as so many secrets are borderline illegal. I kept notes mostly for my own perusing later, (fer when I get some land.) But I know they got buggy as one day after I pilfered a little charming frizz some goat keeper wrote on her goats intended to whet cityslickers' hearts to move to the wild, to make city folks see that the rural life would have its charms, including garlic goat cheese.. I confided in  TIV, an 80 yr old Swedish farmer and one of the ancient doyennes of the list, and a pretty relaxed guy ----that I was doing this. He said:

"But if we entice everyone out of the cities, who is going to make my workboots? Or replacement rock guards for the sicklebar? Or even make those movies I never get around to seeing (the last movie I saw in a theater was Jurassic Park--the first one). Well thru my writing down what he said, capturing his DNA in amber, I've preserved TIV to be decanted in the future.

Tiv has a point. Division of labor is the way to go...everyone does what they like/do best and provides services and goods to others. I for one don't want to have to learn how to do *everything* myself. There aren't enough hours in the day for the things I have to learn now! If I had to provide for myself 100%, my standard of living would go down pretty dramatically. (The alternative would be to have three sons, as I did. But SONS move to other cities.)

Would your friends really be happier planting a garden (and wrestling their meager corn crop away from coons)? Or milking a goat at 6 am? Or dealing with sick animals or bugs eating their tomato plants or having snakes crawl into their house?

Most people I knew in the city would be as miserable on a homestead as I was in the city. Don't make it look TOO charming. We don't want them thinking that homesteading is Club Med with chickens. LOL!" TIV.

                        WHAT DO WE CONSTRUCT A FREEBIE CHEAPO HOUSE OUT OF?
Among the constructive info,. Tiv recently answered a letter from a POSTER ON MY FARM LIST who'd said "let's have a contest. The rules are, construct a freebie cheapo house. What would you use? In my case it would have to be totally art troveau because there's not a nickle of extra cash so old country fields with abandoned lumber, or suburban alleys with same would have to yield up my building materials. Could my fantasy county cottage  really be built from just stuff that's lyin' about?

Tiv stepped in.  'You'd be surprised how nice a house you can build for almost nothing. The trick is, build your barn first. The reason is that as you collect wood and other stuff like a packrat you can store it in the barn. Offer to deconstruct old barns that are falling apart and haul the timbers off for yourself. Hell, you might even get paid a little to do it, too.

Sometimes you can actually get paid to go through condemned houses and remove any flammable accelerants and such, such that when the house is demolished it won't blow up or catch fire. While you are in there you can ask the owners if you can use anything you need, such as plumbing fixtures, windows, appliances, etc.

Just this week alone I saw about four ads on alocal for-sale news flyer for free washer/dryer or free fridge. They are pretty common. Other appliances can also be had this way.

My wife showed me her grandmother's house. It is a small cottage, but has three(!) bedrooms and a library. From the outside it looks quite small. Actually, most of the rooms *inside* are quite small. But I did notice that the house was built quite solidly. No drafts. No squeaks. No creaks. I then found out the house was built entirely by scrounging condemned homes back in the 1940's!!! Even the electrical wiring and plumbing was ripped from other houses. A few years later, they built a small gambrel-roof barn the same way. Over 55 years later, the house is still solid as anything and will easily be around in another 55 years."

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THE WORLD OF CHEAP CONCRETE: Anything with fibres in the mix. Steel fibre Dramix, polypropylene fibres (more common and not so subject to clumping), glass fibre (should have alkali-resistant treatment), organic fibres (chopped straw, rolled and chopped tree inner bark or small branches, wood "excelsior), long, thin, curled strands produced by concave-toothed cylinder rotating with, not across the grain of a log, recycled paper products (cardboard, kraft, newspapers etc. run through a garden shredder/grinder), recycled and shredded carpeting, cloth remnants from clothing manufacturers, hemp, sisal, kenaf, coconut coir and a lot of other things I have forgotten. Alkali in Portland does degrade organics over time, but if the thin-shell wall or roof is overbuilt as it usually is, or if the architectural form is one that depends on compression-strength rather than tensile,-- fibre degradation should not be of much concern. Examples, a dome, a vault (arch-ceiling) place the materials in compression. Horizontal flat surfaces would need support in some form, either separate in the form of a beam, or integral in the form of deep corrugation, folded plate or channel, with rebar or asphalted bamboo imbedded in the bottoms and tops. All concrete cracks because of 1/16 inch shrinkage per ten feet in all. directions as it dries and sets. The addition of fibres turns otherwise visually noticeable larger cracks into a myriad of tiny ones invisible to the naked eye, and easily sealed against rain. The tensile strength, elasticity etc. of various fibres does vary, so the length, diameter and material would be of concern to the engineer making his stress-calculations in a large commercial building.

For the relatively small-scale homebuilder you need not do more than make up several small samples using varying type, density of fibres in the mix, and thickness of the membrane. Let them set up, lay them across loose-stacked concrete blocks, load them with sandbags until something breaks. If the breaking point exceeds the dead and anticipated live load, (double the latter as a safety factor), your chosen fibre-cement mix and thickness is adequate to the intended use.

A young farmer chipped in: "What if you made a wall the following way: a) Stack concrete block, fill the cores with rebar and concrete, and stucco the inside surface (strong enough for tornadoes, etc., and good thermal mass on the inside).

Tiv answered. "I love concrete in its many forms and uses, especially as a binder in stone walls. I built the basement under my kitchen with concrete blocks and a concrete floor. But this is information we should all know: I'm going to give it to you. It's from a book.

"One does not need to conjecture long about the negative, anti-life characteristics of Portland cement. The harmonics of natural lime is utterly destroyed by heating this rock to the extremely high
temperatures of 2700 degrees F. and by grinding it to fine dust. There is little wonder that the end product, cement, is an unbreathing building material. Used to make concrete, it thus becomes an
exceptionally hard, dense, heavy building material. For structural integrity it is unsurpassed, particularly when reinforced with steel. It is also fireproof, doesn't rot, requires minimum maintenance, and spans great distance. Yet, for all of these characteristics, it is inappropriate to healthy home construction.

"The Portland Cement Association has been so successful in promoting their product that we forget to ask pertinent questions about its manufacture, cost, and impact on the environment and human health. "Concrete housing creates an interference zone which deflects and intensifies electromagnetic radiation.

"There are two features of reinforced concrete that contribute to its undesirability as a building material. Steel reinforcing rods buried in concrete create a Faraday cage inside the structure. Also when depth aggregate is used in the concrete mix this further inhibits any possibility of a concrete wall's breathing. Depth stones, also called plutonic stones because they are often carried up by plutonic or volcanic forces from great depths in the earth, have great hardness (e.g., granite), high specific weight (e.g., lava), and low porosity (e.g., basalt). They also emit considerable background radiation themselves. Stones from surface deposits, called neptunic stones, are satisfactory for use as aggregate.

"Concrete does not have to be made with Portland cement nor involve the use of depth stone aggregate . . . I have resorted to using vegetable-related building materials that are not only
organically healthy but less expensive and more of a joy to work with .

The most promising alternative to Portland cement is the return to using lime cement. A house of lime is a healthy house. There exists no empirical evidence to date that anyone has died of living in
a house of reinforced concrete, although in Germany the term 'bunker disease' is used to indicate concrete-related illness."

That's from pages 75-77 of Ken Kern's book, The Healthy House, c. 1978. As most of you know, Kern also authored or co-authored The Owner-Built Home, The Owner-Built Homestead, The Owner-Builder and the Code, and Stone Masonry. He was an architect, a builder and a homesteader.

Another lister said he'd heard that "just pouring" won't work...so I'm about ready at last to concede your strongly grain-enhanced wisdom and adopt your suggestion.

One question: the "premix" surface bond cement (with the fibers already in) is pretty expensive. I've heard that you can buy the fibers and (obviously) the cement materials separately, and make your own inexpensive mix. The question is, exactly what "stuff" does one buy--e.g., bags of long-strand loose-fill fiberglass insulation plus cement plus sand (suggestions on "where" also appreciated)? And how do you mix those materials (proportions, etc.)?

U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers developed surface bonding. A good formula is as follows:

Portland 19 1/2 lbs
Lime 3 3/4 lbs
Calcium Stearate 1/2 lb
Calcium Chloride 1/2 lb
Glass fiber 1 lb
Water 1 1/2 gallon

Note that the glass fiber should be treated for alkali resistance or use polypropylene fiber.

Depending where and in what quantity you get the raw materials, this
goop applied at a recommended 1/8 inch thickness will probably cost all
of ten or fifteen cents a square foot, at a fraction of the cost of
buying, mixing and applying mortar-joints. As an added bonus besides the
increased strength, the wall will be practically waterproof. Another
wild thought. Every carpet contractor is surrounded by dumpsters full of
old carpeting---big disposal job. Take some of it off his hands, support
it with temporary arch or geodesic scaffolding, trowel or pump fibrous
concrete firmly into the nap. Safely lead elephants over it after it has
dried. Paint a coat of penetrating hydrophobic Xypex or equivalent on it
for waterproofing. Good for temporary housing and lot cheaper than tent
or yert while building your dream home.

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Someone wrote " I've heard that "just pouring" won't
work...so I'm about ready at last to concede
your strongly grain-enhanced wisdom and adopt
your suggestion.

One question: the "premix" surface bond cement
(with the fibers already in) is pretty expensive.
I've heard that you can buy the fibers and (obviously)
the cement materials separately, and make your
own inexpensive mix. The question is, exactly what
"stuff" does one buy--e.g., bags of long-strand
loose-fill fiberglass insulation plus cement plus sand
(suggestions on "where" also appreciated)? And how
do you mix those materials (proportions, etc.)?

Thanks as always for your exciting and insightful
moments of inter-brew lucidity.

tvoivozhd>>>na-a-ah, you'll have to wait too long for one of those
tragically brief moments of lucidity to reoccur.

^*^*^*^*^*^
U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers developed surface bonding. A good formula
is as follows:

Portland 19 1/2 lbs
Lime 3 3/4 lbs
Calcium Stearate 1/2 lb
Calcium Chloride 1/2 lb
Glass fiber 1 lb
Water 1 1/2 gallon

Note that the glass fiber should be treated for alkali resistance or use
polypropylene fiber.

Depending where and in what quantity you get the raw materials, this
goop applied at a recommended 1/8 inch thickness will probably cost
all of ten or fifteen cents a square foot, at a fraction of the cost of
buying, mixing and applying mortar-joints. As an added bonus besides
the increased strength, the wall will be practically waterproof.

You may visit this list and may even find ole encyclopaedia with legs, like our late TIV.

Reply-To: homestead@listserv.oit.unc.edu
To: homestead@listserv.oit.unc.edu

FARM GARAGE SALES YIELD USEABLE TIN AND WOOD

One day our Homesteader listers were talking about retrieving old wood from nearby farms. One lister said that he'd had a cabinet maker build furniture out of the rustic, aged wood, it was that good.

Another lister askect "When the cabinet makers built furniture out of your barn did they give you the OAK part or the pine?

ANSWER: Both. We built the welsh dresser and the tables out of the oak floorboards. We used what we could of the exterior pine panelling to make firewood/kindling. We reused the cedar rafters as fence posts. The main support beams were either fire wood or became the supports of the run in sheds, depending on their quality.

The old tin from the roof reroofed (with some caulking) the run in sheds and the chicken coop. The oak that did not become my furniture was taken by the Antique Tables people. They didn't pay me for the oak, (although in a store the welsh dresser would probably have cost me $2-3K) I didn't pay them for tearing down the barn into re-usable pieces and stacking it up neatly. There was some disappointment on their side that the support beams were pretty much unusable for their purposes. They left the job half way through because it became evident the tearing down process wasn't going to come out even with the cost of material (usable by them). I traded a neighbour with a  caterpillar some round bales of hay for the demolition, fire and burial of the ground floor, which took him two half days. I feel like I got a great deal.

STRAW BALE HOMES: See DULLY HOMES  HIS MAIN PAGE, and THE METHOD INVOLVES SOME BEAMS with the STRAW. Is very inexpensive.

THE PIECE DE RESISTANCE: ANCIENT WELSH or ENGLISH type HOMES. This one is really a dessert for your eyes, an amazingly beautiful, spiritual Medeival home in Wales. This would be easy to build. RAW TREES! Cost this fellow 3 thousand pounds, is that like 5k dollars? It's HUGE, well fitted, and very pleasant on the eyes. Ya have a feeling if local codes would allow this? Write me at astrology at earthlink net

http://www.simondale.net/house/

http://www.simondale.net/house/build.htm

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Our POSTER is ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ, Los Angeles Writer, Futurist and Astrologer. Catch up with her websites  TRUTHS GOV WILL HIDE & NEVER TELL YOU, also The  FUTURE, WHAT'S COMIN' AT YA! & HOW TO SURVIVE the COMING GREAT DEPRESSION, and Secrets of Nature, HOLISTIC, AFFORDABLE HEALING. Also HOW TO LIVE on A NICKLE, The FRUGAL PAGE.* Anita is at astrology@earthlink.net ). Get a 15$ natal horoscope "my money/future life" reading now + copy horoscope as a Gif file graphic!

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