Solar Station Construction Plans by Ben Peterson -- ebook
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Mike Haasl

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since Mar 24, 2016
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Mike is a homesteader, gardener, engineer, wood worker, blacksmith and most recently a greenhouse designer. He heard about permaculture in 2015 and has been learning ever since.
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Northern WI (zone 4)
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Recent posts by Mike Haasl

Check to make sure all the bolts are tight on the saw.  I had a weird thing where it was pulling to the side while doing the vertical cut and it was loose bolts that I think were holding a bearing block underneath...
I bet you're talking about this Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence:

Guess who has one belly button and will be talking about SKIP there???
1 day ago
Hey there, my PTJ projects got shuffled and now I'll be leading a big build.  Making a roundwood timber frame pavilion/pergola in the space between the Fisher Price House (main house) and the Library.

Due to risks and uncertainties, we'll break the project into a number of stages.  Getting Stage 1 complete is reasonable.  If we are chugging along well, we can consider taking on Stage 2.  Stage 1 involves 4 posts, two horizontal beams and two sloping rafter-like beams with a lot of angle braces.

The posts would normally be sunk 4' deep but this spot has crumbly bedrock within a foot or two of the surface.  So we'll be setting the posts on that and experimenting with ways to pin them down.  This means that angle bracing the structure will be more important than usual.

The current thought is to build two "cants" and tilt them up into place.  Each cant will include two posts, their beam and angle braces.  Once they're up (and temporarily held in place), we'll put the rafter beams up.  

We'll likely get to build a gin pole to lift stuff up in the air.  We'll likely get to debate the merits of different kinds of joinery.  I suspect we'll be encouraged to not have any metal in the build (except for the joint with bedrock).

Stage 1 will enable mounting a shade sail and hanging lounge chairs in the space.  Stage 2 (I believe) would be to put a roof on the structure to keep the patio mostly dry.  Stage 3 (I believe) would be to add two more posts and make the structure extend farther to the East.  

- The logs are currently attached to the ground and have needles growing from them.  We'll have to harvest, peel and transport them to the site.  The tractor would be very helpful, as would the log arch
- There is a big picnic table that may be in the way.  But working on the patio (instead of up in the air) might be nice
- Developing joinery that won't collect water and rot is important.  This isn't holding up an eathen roof so we may have a few options
- Paul loves huge logs so we'll have to balance the size vs what's really needed
- I'm struggling to think of ways to connect the logs and brace them without fasteners.  In a way that won't uplift or disassemble in a strong wind....

Everything is finally planted.  Wettest coolest spring I've had here so the dry sandy soil is nice and damp (yay) but we had frost warnings earlier in the week (boo).  Just need to build a quick squash trellis and wait to harvest in the fall.
2 days ago
How about if you make a 10.5 by 10 pillow and then later on, shrink it to 8"?
I mean from everywhere except the scooped out part.  Depth is fine, bluntness and handle are kinda chunky
The easiest way is to dig a hole.  A standard post hole digger will get you down 4'.  If you shovel out the top you can probably get another foot deeper.  If you measure temps of the soil you're removing as you get deeper you should be able to guesstimate the 6' temp.  For instance:

6" down - 70f
1' down - 67f
2' down - 65f
3' down - 63f
4' down - 62f
5' down - 61f
6' down should be around 60f.
1 week ago
Most of my stuff is planted, just need to transplant in some squash and build a natural trellis.  So far so good on my plot :)
1 week ago
I'd probably aim for maybe a 16' diameter.  I'm a long way from needing to know that :)  

That pic above uses carriage bolts and the beams bypass the sides of the posts.  Most roundhouse pictures I've seen have the beams meeting on top of the posts.  Then a bit pin/spike could tie them together and attach them to the posts.
Thanks Mark, it's good to hear the bark doesn't have to be removed.  I'm used to peeling pine but I'm guessing peeling locust is harder work.

Here's what I'm talking about.  A circle of 8-12 posts with a matching number of beams tying their tops together.  Then a matching number of rafter beams to hold the roof.