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19 skiddable structures microdoc

 
master steward
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This 36 minute long microdoc is about small skiddable structures, at my property on mount spokane and at wheaton labs in montana. Lots of commentary.











HD Streaming

$4.00

19 skiddable structures microdoc
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Seller paul wheaton
 
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Thoroughly educational & enjoyable, thank you for sharing. Watching your ideas, skills & goals evolve is a joy in my little life.
 
pollinator
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Awesome, some great ideas here, thank you for sharing.
 
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Delightful! Thanks for all your excellent work.
 
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I always wondered if there was more to the emphasis on skiddable structures than just the utility of being able to move things around.  OF COURSE!  It's to keep the bureau of no fun off your back.  BRILLIANT!
 
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Nice to get this as a Freebie! Inspiring structures.
 
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Where I grew up on the east coast the bureau of no fun did not recognize skiddable as non-permanent. Most outbuildings were constructed on ‘sleepers’ or ‘bunks’, which are essentially the same as skids, minus an angle cut at the leading bottom edge. Making them into skids wouldn’t have mattered for taxation purposes. So axles and wheels were big business, since a structure on wheels WAS considered portable. Enterprising folks would often just set up wheels alongside to make it look portable, and sometimes fool a lazy assessor.

Some thoughts to help anyone looking at constructing something like this-

Most commercial roofing companies own one or more roll formers- the machine that makes flat stock into ribbed panels. A lot of the test pieces are too short to be of much use, but on big jobs there will be damaged or miscut panels getting thrown away if you happen by at the right time. Often the butt rolls of leftover flat stock are also disposed of, if it’s a custom color or simply too short for them to bother saving (and that could still be 50+ feet of 3’ wide metal!). I was once given several 100’ rolls of 8” wide flashing material that is 19 gauge (heavy duty) that makes great project material. I was thinking it would not be a bad thing to add metal to the top of the exposed skids in an inverted ‘U’ to keep rain and snow off. (It should have firring strips creating space between the metal and skid so moisture doesn’t get trapped and accelerate rot).

If you ever get access to cheap or free steel plate, it makes good material to beef up the pulling point of the skids. A hole through the skid creates a weak point and is inclined to create a split, as shown near the end of the video. Yes, a longer skid helps, but even better is sandwiching the skid between 2 pieces of 1/4” or thicker steel with the hole drilled through all of it. Now your chain or cable is pulling against steel, which is through (or lag) bolted to the wood. A spreader bar can even be incorporated here with a center pull point. This would be really useful for a heavy structure which may get moved frequently. Still on the subject of metal, a strip on the bottom of the skids makes the thing slide way easier- much less friction than wood.

All of that said, the fact that the video here shows and discusses skidding structures onto a trailer to move them points to the fact that, on anything but ice or snow, rolling beats skidding, especially since you are not constantly straining and twisting the framing. One cheap option is a 10’ wide mobile home axle. No springs or anything else, just the axle and wheels/tires. They can often be bought used for less than $100. Weld a D-ring to the outer ends just inside the hub, to attach chains or straps. Now you can easily (pretty much) jack up one end of your structure, roll the axle underneath, strap or chain the building to the axle, and either pull it with the other end (tapered skids) on the ground or lifted with a 3 point hitch. This also gives you better ground clearance if you’re moving the thing in areas of protruding rocks or stumps.

If you live in the north, most stores which sell used sporting goods occasionally throw away skis. These are great for skids under smaller structures, or for building freight sleds. They slide well year round, not just on snow.

Final thought- on the shower door with magnets, why not use a long spring as well? Or spring loaded hinges?
 
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Love this, esp the canning house. I need a canning house now! And Willow houses are always such an experiment--thanks for showing yours.
 
pollinator
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~Wow! These structures are really impressive. I was wondering about having longer skids too as I can see how pulling them with a chain might be problematic. How about installing a brace that might be captive between the 2 skids and passing a long cable *behind* that brace? as the cable tightens, the brace prevents the 2 skids from starting to join together. It would pull straight for sure.
Certainly, it would be a good repair on the short skids that failed. [although with the floor of the structure being fastened to the skids, that should not happen anyway: these structures are obviously very sturdy]
 
paul wheaton
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Maybe you could make a drawing of your idea?
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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paul wheaton wrote:Maybe you could make a drawing of your idea?



I'm terrible at posting images but let's see if this will help. The front of the building, from where it will be pulled is essentially an H laying flat down, with the horizontal line between the 2 verticals being the brace I would add, on the same horizontal plane as the skids.
Assuming the lower part of the H is moving toward us, the cable would run parallel to the brace but right behind it and pierce the 2 skids, which, I agree were a little too short. With the brace holding the 2 skids apart, there could be no distortion as it is being pulled.
Another advantage I see is that the shorter skids would also make for a shorter turning radius when going left or right, so it could be more maneuverable. The shorter skid would also mean less of a tripping hazard. By reaching slightly under the building and behind the brace to run the cable, the tips of the skids could not break like one of the buildings showed.
Certainly it would have been easier to install the brace during the *initial* construction, but it could still be done, either lifting the building or dragging it over the brace. It would only need to be fastened to the floor, as a repair, if the brace can be fitted tight, with no wiggle room.
When I prepare the frames for my bee hives, a wire is run through to make the frame stronger, but the metal running through the wood and turning can damage the vertical parts of the soft wood frame. They sell little eyelets through which the wire/cable can be run, protecting the wood. Perhaps something similar could be done, but scaled up to protect the skids from the rubbing of the cable? Like running a short section of pipe through each skid: when the cable runs though the pipes and the skids, it would go through the metal pipe, protecting the tip of wood skid from being torn off?
I tend to overbuild, and I'd love to be able to get my paws on some massive poles, plus have the strength and the manpower to do it so perhaps I'm overthinking this but as you are making these structures with massive round poles, the weight is also going way up. There comes a point where you are asking an awful lot of that cable. I think that is why it could slice through the skid, busting the tip. The metal pipe would solve that problem.
I built a small porta-potty by the garden to put my seeds and hand tools temporarily. I wanted it to be very light so it could be moved with the little 4-wheeler I have. The frame & floor is all 2' X 4's with [yes, horror!] sheets of shower stall plastic fastened to it on the outside. I don't care much for plastic but for cost [$17/ sheet], durability, light weight and ease of working it, that was my best option. It is only 4' X 6' with a very steep smooth roof to shed rain faster. When I work in the garden, I poop and pee in it. It has a partial floor with a 2' X 2' X 3' deep hole dug under it. When it is full, I'll let it compost over the winter and move it the next spring, adding leaves if need be. I will then have a great place to plant another fruit tree.
 
Julie Reed
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Perhaps something similar could be done, but scaled up to protect the skids from the rubbing of the cable? Like running a short section of pipe through each skid: when the cable runs though the pipes and the skids, it would go through the metal pipe, protecting the tip of wood skid from being torn off?

16C07D41-DEEA-4FFF-801D-D79505849D51.jpeg
Kinda like this maybe? (Sorry if I’m misunderstanding your idea!)
Kinda like this maybe? (Sorry if I’m misunderstanding your idea!)
 
Richard Gorny
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Perhaps using a classic, millenia old solution for chariots, horse carts and similar "vehicles" would work?

 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Julie Reed wrote:

Perhaps something similar could be done, but scaled up to protect the skids from the rubbing of the cable? Like running a short section of pipe through each skid: when the cable runs though the pipes and the skids, it would go through the metal pipe, protecting the tip of wood skid from being torn off?



Thank you so much for making the picture, Julie. This is indeed in line with what I was thinking of. But because I was thinking about the *repairing* of the busted skid shown in the video, I was placing the brace under the building, making it more able to turn and change direction on a dime.
Also, I was making the pipe just flush with the skid instead of adding an angle to the pipe. I realize the bend would give more protection to the tip of the skid yet, but with the massive structures that Paul is working on, he has to use a pretty beefy cable. Threading a big cable through a pipe that makes a right angle around the bend might be a real son of a gun. More power to him if he can do it, but oh! mama! That might be pretty tough.
 
Julie Reed
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So here I’ve updated my ‘stick figure’ artwork to better reflect what you meant (I hope?) My idea with the pipe, which I didn’t explain (what? People can’t read my mind? Lol) was the pipe parallel to the skid is not connected to the pipe going through the skid, it just houses the cable to protect the skid from wear. So you wouldn’t be threading the cable through a 90 degree pipe setup, which I agree could be difficult. Off to the right I drew a different option, steel plate bolted to the skid. I had mentioned that in a previous post. It could just be on the outside- or inside and out- of the skids, depending on how strong you want it. Making a hole through the wood weakens it, so the smaller the hole the better. Either way, the cable now pulls on steel (pipe or plate) instead of wood, making it a stronger and longer lasting arrangement and no broken skid tips! The cross brace should only be about 6” back from the tips of the skids, to give the best support, which was why I drew it the way I did yesterday. Of course I also forgot any dimensions on my drawing... good that I never chose engineering as a career!

Richard- yes, a whippletree used ‘backwards’ of the way it is with oxen would accomplish a similar result.
B86827EA-D937-4821-ADAB-FD09419C3FF9.jpeg
[Thumbnail for B86827EA-D937-4821-ADAB-FD09419C3FF9.jpeg]
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Julie Reed wrote:So here I’ve updated my ‘stick figure’ artwork to better reflect what you meant (I hope?) My idea with the pipe, which I didn’t explain (what? People can’t read my mind? Lol) was the pipe parallel to the skid is not connected to the pipe going through the skid, it just houses the cable to protect the skid from wear. So you wouldn’t be threading the cable through a 90 degree pipe setup, which I agree could be difficult. Off to the right I drew a different option, steel plate bolted to the skid. I had mentioned that in a previous post. It could just be on the outside- or inside and out- of the skids, depending on how strong you want it. Making a hole through the wood weakens it, so the smaller the hole the better. Either way, the cable now pulls on steel (pipe or plate) instead of wood, making it a stronger and longer lasting arrangement and no broken skid tips! The cross brace should only be about 6” back from the tips of the skids, to give the best support, which was why I drew it the way I did yesterday. Of course I also forgot any dimensions on my drawing... good that I never chose engineering as a career!



Yep. that is a perfect rendition of what I was thinking, and indeed, the 1/4"steel plate added on the outside of the skid would be great additional insurance,especially if the pipe will now be flush with the outside of the pipe. There is no way that the cable could tear through that wood now!
 
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Love being able to see and hear a little bit about all the skiddable structures now residing on the Wheaton lands. Being able to watch this has given me just a little more info to work with as I contemplate my own future building needs. I imagine that codes across the country are similar when it comes to building a small cabin-style structure to live in, and I want to dispense with the need for permits, etc. Skiddables seem the way to go, and I wouldn't mind too much needing to leave the bedroom skid to walk a few paces to the toilet skid or the livingroom skid! I might arrange them to have an open inner courtyard, covered by a high roof just to keep the worst of the elements away.

Being able to watch this video without having to pay to watch encourages me to look into purchasing any plans on your skiddables. I certainly would never pay to see this sort of conglomeration of things done on skids. So I suggest that leaving it available to all free of charge would also encourage others in the same way.

Thanks Paul for all the encouragement to any interested in becoming the sort of Permie you envision. I am learning alot here, and feel very welcomed and guided with helpful suggestions by all I've interacted with.

20200806_100735.jpg
rough draft of skiddable "home" orange lines = raised open roof
rough draft of skiddable "home" orange lines = raised open roof
 
Julie Reed
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Cindy Haskin wrote: I imagine that codes across the country are similar when it comes to building a small cabin-style structure to live in, and I want to dispense with the need for permits, etc.



Codes may be similar, but are often finely nuanced to a certain area, such as a city, county, township, borough... and some places have no code at all. Typically the more densely populated an area, the more stringent the codes. It would be well worth it, before investing time, money and effort into multiple skiddable structures, to find out what the codes are for the specific area you wish to build. In your case the issue may not be so much size or portability but occupancy. Living in a building year round changes the nature of the use. Seasonal cabins are often exempt from codes, but once it’s your full time residence, it could be different. The wrong code enforcement person could look at your group of skiddables with the common courtyard roof and say “obviously you are not using these as portable buildings”. This is often a taxation grab too. In our area, seasonal cabins are assessed at a lower rate than homes. So people build ‘cabins’, then live in them and upgrade them to a home to avoid taxes. When they finally get caught, they now have the issue of whatever upgrades they did needing to meet code.
So... be sure you’re on firm ground with whatever permits may be required. Often times a structure being mobile exempts it from permitting, but I think mobile is considered to be on wheels, not skids. Something else to verify. Good luck! Always best to live simple
 
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Paul, what is the desired roof slope for each or all of these human size structures? You mentioned the chopped wood hut not having enough slope, and it looks like you're happy with the canning kitchen roof slope. Just wondering.
 
paul wheaton
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A shake roof needs a steeper roof so that water can drain from the shakes.
 
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