Putting Up the Shower/ Outhouse, Part Two

I’ve noticed that our building progress goes in spurts. Our building flurry follows with some downtime while we attend to other life events. So it has been with putting up the shower/outhouse, after Shouthouse version 1.0 was a bust. We’re finally getting back to it.

If you’ve been following the progress, we’ve been trying to build a rounded structure to complement the dome, which has caused some serious trial and error, with error predominating due to the instability of the rounded frame. The new plan for 2.0 was to create a separate rounded end frame to attach the vertical 2x4s. We used bolts to attach it to the main structure for extra stability. It worked great in theory, and gave Giovanni a chance to get in some hands-on math (measuring) and physics (torque).

But once we got the round end frame on, it became clear that, even with bolts, the frame just wasn’t attached with enough counterbalance for all the weight on the ends. When you stepped on it, you could feel it jiggle. Just as we were willing to settle for it and started planning the flooring, Mauricio had a revelation for Shouthouse 3.0. Which meant that the two days of work on 2.0 promptly got dismantled.

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In the mean time, we had our neighbor, Mike, come over to level and dig out a drainage pit. We put in some piers to put the Shouthouse on and Mike was able to put it in place with his handy equipment.

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With the Shouthouse frame finally in place, we could get to work on version 3.0. What we realized was that, if we put the tongue-and-groove floorboards in (scraps salvaged from the dome floor), they would provide the elusive stability we’d been breaking our heads over. Instead of having a totally open floor, we could cut out a round hole for the shower drainage, and the surrounding floorboards would give the whole end the counterbalance it needed. So we got to work putting those in.

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Success! Once we got that blessed frame in place and stable, we finished putting the vertical 2x4s all around and built a door.

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Next, we used natural (expensive) pure tung oil to finish it and give it some waterproofing.

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Whew. That took way longer than it needed to, but we sure learned a lot in the process, which we will apply to building a tool shed. Next up, putting on the roof and installing the shower, propane water heater and compost toilet. Ooh, it looks so cool.