Ziggy Reports from The Timber Frame Workshop

Things are progressing smoothly for us here in Nacogdoches. We have fairly quickly moved on from layout to cutting the joinery for the Lake Naconiche timber frame pavilion. I personally haven’t spent much time around the more specialized timber framing power tools, and it’s been a sight to see…. and an experience to use them, too… continues…” – Ziggy

A Heavy Duty Homemade Door

The second story of our timber frame & straw bale house has shorter than standard wall heights. It is definitely standing height, but the beams (or top plates, more specifically) that support the rafters are at head height, and another curved tie beam is similarly placed. We have two door locations upstairs, one to access the north storage loft above the porch, and a second for the walk-out balcony on the west, so we were faced with having to size and build our own homemade doors from scratch.” – Ziggy

Read and see more at The Year of Mud…

Building a Roundwood Spiral Staircase

The completed roundwood spiral staircase
At last, I’m here to report that April and I accomplished building the round wood spiral staircase.  Over the course of five days, literally up to the day before we left Dancing Rabbit, we installed the risers and treads. The staircase design came from our dearest Tom Cundiff, who instructed us on the layout over the phone and in person during our last Timber Frame Workshop. It took us a while to fully grasp the layout and the flow of things, but once we fully understood the principles, it went fairly smoothly…” – Ziggy

See and read more at The Year of Mud…

National Straw Bale Building Code is a Go!

A historic day for straw bale construction!
Thankfully, we’ve never had to worry ourselves about local building codes, but there are many, many more folks who regularly struggle with codes when attempting to build a natural home in their area. And so the following news is very welcome, not just for those folks, but for a potential ecological/cultural tidal shift, as well. Earlier in October, an appendix on straw bale building was approved for inclusion in the 2015 International Residential Code for one and two-family dwellings. The IRC is basically the foundation for building codes all across the US.” – Ziggy

Continue reading at Small-Scale.net

Ziggy Shares Some Tips for Maintaining a Living Roof

Our living roof edge detail getting installed
The hardest part of building a living roof, other than figuring out how to get all that monstrously heavy soil or sod up there, is designing a good edge detail that will contain the soil at the eaves and gable ends. A good living roof edge detail should contain the soil on the roof, while simultaneously allowing the excess rainwater to drain off, all without puncturing your liner, and allowing for some kind of gutter system. And it should look decent. That’s a lot of design details to weigh, but I think we developed a good set of plans…” – Ziggy

Continue reading about living roofs…


New Owner Needed for Gobcobatron Cob Home at Dancing Rabbit

The current Gobcobatron interior
I promised some big news earlier, and here it is! Gobcobatron, one of the most recognized homes at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Missouri, is for sale. It is a cob house that’s been featured in Yes! magazine, Popular Mechanics, Parade Magazine, Treehugger, Lloyd Kahn’s Tiny Homes, overseas magazines, and other media.
The house is a great 3 season dwelling, and is currently being utilized for earning rental income. This house has a lot of potential for the right individual looking for a seasonal space, or for earning income while living in a popular intentional community.” – Ziggy

Read more about this unique tiny home…

Our Inaugural Cob Oven Workshop: Mud, Fire, and Fun!

Baked bread fresh from the cob oven
A few short days ago, our first Cob Oven Workshop came to an end. The workshop was filled with mud, fire, and a whole lot of fun. Thankfully, our participants agreed! Folks got down and dirty as we built an oven from the hearth upwards. We learned all about how to make a good batch of cob, using natural and recycled materials effectively, plastering, how to fire an oven and make good use of the ample heat it provides, and lots more.” – Ziggy

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