Sunday, June 17, 2012

Building an Outhouse, Part One (of many)

Yesterday I buckled down and started some more serious work on my outhouse. Donna had suggested that guests wouldn't really feel comfortable with our "thunder box" just being in the large yurt. I saw her reasoning, and set to work on my next project - a nice and refined outhouse. I am still going to continue with my sawdust toilet experiment, so I don't need to worry much about having a hole.

I located it nice and close to where I am composting the bucket contents, so that helps, and it is only sixty paces to the yurts (Mummu's outhouse is fifty-one paces from her porch, so I think I'm competitive.)

I dug out the top layer of peat and lichen, right down to good old Canadian Shield. It looked great, and when I placed the floor on it, it was very level and stable. A sturdy outhouse is very comforting to me. Well, that, and a spare roll of toilet paper.

Today is Father's Day! I sure miss my Dad (and Mom too for sure) - I can't recall any job or project I've tackled here that I didn't imagine or wish for his help and presence on. Being apart from him for so long really makes me appreciate how much he has done for me (as well as how powerfully he has made me who I am).

We all woke up together this morning, and headed over to Mummu and Grandpa's for a special breakfast of french toast and scrambled eggs. As always, they were awesome!

Then Grandpa and I headed off to catch some delicious bass for supper. Sadly, we didn't even get a bite at either of the lakes we tested out. Grandpa agreed that the fishing has been really poor lately. Then it was off to the abandoned dump to retrieve some aluminum siding that he had scoped out in the past. I was hoping to use it to make a metal roof for my outhouse. After that, it was already noon, so we headed home.

After lunch, I strapped the floor of the outhouse on Kenny's wagon and pulled it to my clearing. It fit great, and, with Donna's help, I twisted it "tenkan" or 180 degrees to put its best face forward. Later, with Donna and Mummu's assistance, I attached the corner support posts, and raised everything into position. I'm happy with how the shell has turned out, now I just need walls, door, roof, shelf and toilet seat. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to get this one completed. I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the month, but I also realize that I'm on a different schedule nowadays - one that has to take minor emergencies into account.

I'm also a bit slowed with the sawmill - the piston that raises the mast seems to have died completely, so now I have to lift the entire weight of the mast by muscle power alone. It's no biggie, but it is a challenge to accurately lift that mass to exactly the height I wish to cut at. I'm told that they should be able to get a new piston around Thursday of this coming week.

One advantage of having a thunder box perched over a sawdust pail, is that when the pail is out for emptying and airing out, the thunder box apparently makes a great hideout for little boys. Donna returned from outside the yurts to find Kenny exploiting this discovery.

Tonight I took a few measurements for the roof of the outhouse, and, before I could proceed, Donna and Kenny came by to check up on me. I invited them for a walk back to the dump, where I showed Kenny the remains of a moose, and Donna the remains of someone's crushed stone. Hopefully we will be able to get back there and scoop up some of the stone once our driveway is complete and I can bring it right up to the yurts to use as a path to our porch.
 

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