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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in round wood working.

This BB will be making a rough siege ladder log scaffold for a large berm or hugelcultur. It may be helpful to do the PEP Gardening BB about Build a hugelkulter first if you don't already have an existing berm/hugelkulter in place. Paul also provides a helpful diagram in this thread. making a quick 7 foot tall hugelkulter

This scaffold can be used for more easy access to plant or add organic matter to a berm or hugelkulter.

Paul details the process in this video, starting at 2:45.



You will need to do some basic joinery work, creating notches for the vertical and horizontal logs to fit together, and you may need another person positioning the log into place. A loose fitting joint will be fine for this project.

Low quality wood is also fine to use, and this can be left in place to provide additional decaying organic matter for the future!

Be safe when using hand tools, work at your own risk, and enjoy building!

To get certified for this BB, post three pics.  

  - Your chunks of wood that you are starting with
  - Action pic about half way through
  - Final product
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steward
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This won't count as a BB because Jocelyn and I did it together.  But here is a pic of the pieces of wood as we get started:




Here are a couple of action pics in the middle:





And the horizontal log being "persuaded" into it's final position


 
paul wheaton
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Brian wanted to get some roundwood timber framing experience, so we did this next one together:








and here it is all done:

 
paul wheaton
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The great thing about doing this is that you learn a LOT about working with roundwood.  

  - the vertical logs have such wonky angles that you are not going to get far measuring stuff.   This will go 20 times faster if you eyeball it

  - when brian and i were done with the second log, we sat back and thought that brian could have done it by himself in about an hour and a half

  - since this is a garden, the joints can be a bit sloppy - excellent for beginners

  - since this is a garden, the wood can be a bit punky - which makes shaping it go much faster

 
paul wheaton
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I've had some people say that this one is really hard to duplicate elsewhere.  

I think that concern has some truth to it.   But I also hope that there will get to be a thousand sites that have steep hugelkultur that can use some scaffolding like this and there will be lots more opportunity.  

For now, it is just amazing how much a person learns from doing this, so I think this is a really good choice.
 
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I have a rather steep portion of my hill that's a pain to walk up and down. I'm contemplating making one these scaffolds there eventually. Would that count? Are there minimum dimensions for the resulting scaffold? I could put one on my 4 foot hugel for my kids to use, but I'm not sure if that would count if it's scaled down to kid size.
 
paul wheaton
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I think it needs to be something that is 45 degrees or steeper.  But, yes, just putting something on a hillside is fine with me.

 
pollinator
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Part A:First pic shows the new upright installed last night in front of the Fisher Price house. Second and third are my notches, carved mainly with chisel and mallet... seemed about as fast as the other 3 carving their notches with chainsaw, hatchet, etc. to get them where I thought they were pretty good and lined up.

Part B/next post will contain the pics of my horizontal log in the notches (Justin, Robbie and I manhandled mine into place.) I’ve really been enjoying this round wood work!
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Leif Ing
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Part B

(Including a bonus photo from last night, of the Duke on his Throne!)
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Staff note (paul wheaton):

Lief - that is your final product on the top-left - correct? So, yes, I certify that this BB is complete!

 
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Yesterday we raised two hugel scaffolding verticals in order to allow us to install horizontals today.  Cut the notches first in the vertical logs (one of mine/Robbies was very non-vertical).  Made them quite narrow (1") and then eyeballed them to see how they lined up.  Then widened them out to 3.5".  The goal was to not cut in to the center of the vertical logs.  Leave an imaginary 2x12" beam inside the log untouched.

Then I cut the horizontal to length and measured/laid out the tabs on one end.  Then I had help getting it into place on that one side.  I then scribed/laid out the other end.  I didn't get both slots in the same plane, one was vertical, the other was more perpendicular to the slope.  After a few adjustments, both sides fit.
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My log on the ground
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One side in, marking out the other
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All done!
Staff note (paul wheaton):

I certify that this BB is complete!

 
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A rocket mass heater heats your home with one tenth the wood of a conventional wood stove
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