Gravity-Powered Shingle Shuttle

I’m going to put on a new roof soon, working by myself. Hardest part is getting the shingles up on the roof. I’m building a gable patio roof at the same time so I don’t want to rent a lift several times to load different roof areas as it progresses. While doing a search for info I came across this:

–Lew Lewandowski

A little blurry, but you get the idea. I’ve asked Lew to send us a video of his version.
Bundles of asphalt shingles are heavy!

Post a comment (5 comments)

Restoring an Old Ruin in Cornwall, UK

Hi Lloyd,

Love Shelter and ever since a friend showed me your book a decade ago I’ve been dreaming of taking a copy of it with me to a hillside somewhere in Europe and seeing what might be possible haha

I’ve done bits of labouring and landscaping and walling over the years here in Cornwall, and have never quite managed to earn and save up enough to get a foot on the ladder towards some land here or even elsewhere as life has been quite hectic. However, I somehow managed to come away with enough money to buy the old ruin I’d dreamed of since being 15.

It’s not on a hillside somewhere sunny yet, but that might be the next one, but it is a very special place in an incredibly beautiful and historic area within a world heritage site.

It was built in the late 1700s to early 1800s and the archaeologists that we have to use here in the preliminary stages of the build because of the surrounding ancient history even found a couple of shetland pony shoes (that were often used by the coast here to pull up carts full of seaweed). We also found an old pair of sugar tongs and a half penny from 1861 which was really cool.

From the patchy information that we’ve managed to find in some of the old records it’s likely that it was lived in by mining and agricultural workers as there is an ancient farm 100m down the track and many disused copper and tin mines scattered all over the fields and into the valley.

I’m probably only one third of the way through the works (with some help along the way) towards reinstating it traditionally and working it into a cosy tiny home that will sleep 2 to 3 and maybe even a couple more outside in a small yurt or something.
Read More …

Post a comment (2 comments)

Cabin Built by Jeff Waldman, Molly Fiffer, and Friends

We spent a year salvaging the big door and over half the windows, which we designed the cabin around. The rest of the design was informed by our lack of capabilities and by the constraints and logistics of the site and property. The build then took another year.

The solar-powered cabin was 280 sq. ft. plus a 100-sq. ft. loft. The deck tripled our square footage with the intention of opening the two large doors most of the year. The redwood timbers and siding came from a neighboring sawyer and the interior was mostly plywood with exposed doug fir timbers. Shelves were made from slabs of madrone we milled — trees cleared from the cabin site.

A hundred feet down the trail was an outhouse and the weekend property, shared among friends, also featured a series of suspended tree decks, elevated outdoor shower, wood-fired hot tub, and host of camp activities.

Unfortunately, it all burned in the fires of 2020. Cleanup was a group effort and a minor amount of rebuilding has happened since then. We built a new outhouse and just this last weekend a tiny A-frame, just big enough for a bed for two.

Here’s a little more context: Read More …

Post a comment (2 comments)

Raised from Earth

Under the gaze of southern Arizona’s cinnamon-hued Canelo Hills, a mother shares ancient building traditions with her three sons. In Puebloan creation stories, adobe structures, like people, emerge from the earth and return to the earth. For Athena Steen, it’s the family memories, skills, knowledge, love, laughter — and the clay itself — that endure.

All clay, rock, and standing dead timber harvests in this film conducted in accordance with the rules of local jurisdictions.

Also, see: www.caneloproject.com/photos

Post a comment

Shipwrecked

A friend gave me this sleek little surfing kayak; I was excited and suited up and went surfing.

So excited I didn’t think of attaching a leash (connecting me to kayak should I get dumped), forgot a life jacket, and was wearing a 15-year-old 4/5 mil wetsuit that was stiff from age.

You can see where this is going, right?

It was kinda rough in the channel, and I wasn’t in paddling shape, but I went out and got a small wave — and was impressed that the kayak surfed pretty well (which most kayaks don’t).

I was tired, thought I’d go in, but — maybe just one more wave. And got dumped.

The kayak headed shoreward and I was getting slowly swept out to sea in an outgoing current (heading towards a minus tide). Tried swimming while holding on to paddle, but was getting nowhere, so abandoned paddle. Tried swimming to shore but the suit was so stiff I could hardly raise my arms. PLUS the the way it floated me, I couldn’t get horizontal to swim. I couldn’t get closer to the beach. (Same beach where I was a lifeguard 60 years ago — ironic.

I didn’t panic, but was worried, even contemplative: what if I can’t get to shore? How long do I have? I mean, I’m a lifetime swimmer, surfer, swim instructor, lifeguard at Lake Tahoe, Santa Cruz, Stinson Beach, and this was the first time I couldn’t swim to where I wanted to go. Shit!

There were a couple of people on the beach. Guess I could wave arms and yell “Help!” but “…the shame of it all” (a la Lee Marvin in The Wild One. Kook!

Well lo and behold, here comes a surfer, towing my kayak out. I was too tired to climb aboard, so I grabbed the back of it and he started towing me to shore. Halfway there, a girl on a longboard paddled over, let me borrow it and I paddled on in.

The kindness of strangers.

My rescuer turned out to be Kater Murch, who I remember as a kid in town and who was now a physicist living in St. Louis and home for the holidays. (This was on the afternoon of Christmas eve.)

Beyond the call of duty.

You saved my ass, I said, and hugged him.

OK, OK, if I go kayaking again, I’ll use a leash, wear a lifejacket, and wear a new stretchy wetsuit.

Post a comment (9 comments)