Saturday, 28 January 2012

Plan for a tree bog

Following a bit of research on tree bogs and how to build a tree bog, during which I found this link from PermaWiki with words and pictures and this video from the excellent site, I have a plan for a tree bog of our own.


I've never had such a detailed plan before, and I'm pretty excited about it. (Could it be that I'm actually learning something?)

To explain the image, there's a 30 cm slope on the land over two metres (the whole thing will be two metres by two to allow room for a sink and baby changing area). The purple bits will be round wood stripped of bark to stop the little beasties that like to live under it; the turquoise bits will be sawn pine from a local builders' merchant; and the pink bit will be decking. Everything else will make sense during the build process which will start as soon as the rain stops (hopefully Monday).

For anyone who thinks we're over-engineering this, we over-engineer everything. Many of our guests have very young children and safety is obviously our main concern, along with beauty. Hopefully this tree bog will be both.

The first surprising thing is the length of those roundwood uprights - 3.45 metres on average and there are nine of them. It always amazes me how much wood goes into even a small building. If you're in a building now, take a look around and picture the materials that went into it.

I know.


Archie AKA Devils advocate post VT said...

Good evening Alex it looks like a great plan don't know if you have watched the Ben Law house in the woods build on Grand Designs ? Ben was using sawdust ( which he had a large amount of re his work ) as a freshing agent each time the loo was used a shovel full was put down the hole. Do you plan to use something similar in your new tree bog ? Do your have a form of Eco loo already setup else where on site ? I gess your right re safety and these type of loos having seen the bit in the film Slumdog millionaire were the boy jumps through the hole ! Funny how these things come to mind post large VT !

Archie might have been better with V & T ? said...

Try again ! See if this gets past censorship ! No vodka & tonic thus far ! Did you guys make one of those spiral shower enclosures that Clare designed ? As thought of really easily way of making one, indulge me. And here's how, get some boards the height of the enclosure lay them on a flat surface side by side put a straight edge along the ends to line up the bottom edge then get some strong fence wire single strand lay a lenth about 6inches up from the bottom and nail to each board with wire nails two nails in each board then do the same in the middle and top of boards then roll up the boards as if a carpet stand roll on end and then pull out to spiral shape you wish Nail plywood sheet or some such thing on top to keep shape
Am sure you get the idea ? No steel frame needed could look great with a little tweaking ??????

the devolutionary said...

The clip recommends a handful of sawdust every other visit, but I think a small amount each time should work fine. The main thing is not to fill up the bog too fast (!). Previously we've had a bucket (actually a dustbin) compost toilet based on a system used by a nearby goat farm. Only problem was it needed emptying up to twice a week, by me. Now you see why I'm working on the tree bog - a massive labour saver...

the devolutionary said...

(Archie - I can't publish everything you write as it would soon become your blog!) Great idea for a rustic snail-shell cubicle. In fact we've got the metal armature now and a fairly good idea what the finish is going to be like. As I said in the post, one of the main drivers here is that the work should be beautiful as well as functional - and because we never know who's coming, we tend to aim quite high in terms of beauty. If it was for our own use or more basic camping, you've got a good solution.

Archie said...

Hi Alex how's it going are we at the after photo stage yet ?
Only joking there's more work in these things than meets the eye !
haven't had the snow as yet but coming big time, I see your end is also getting some very cold air, more logs, a bit like the film " The Day After Tomorrw "
At least the mud is hard,
And yes oh boy do animals drink water in cold weather,
I am humping ( no jokes please ) ( yes I know bad turn of etc etc ) 60 gallons a day to the neddys, I try to think of it as a trip to the gym, I use 6 gallon screw top canisters, much easier to carry if you throw them on your shoulder,
The African head thing doesn't work for me, and you ?

Well who ? Would it be ! said...

Logs ! Now there's a thing firewood you can never have to much ? I once stayed in little farm house just south of Tour many years ago ( when men were men and women quivered ) it was close to Christmas and very cold and my girl friend at the time was about to abandon me and drive home ( I had to hid the keys ! ) so in a bid to get her warmed up ( it's ok I am keeping it clean stay away from the delete and don't fall asleep )
I lit a fire and went in search of logs in the out house
I got the biggest armful I could carry ( as didn't want to leave her on her own to long or she would have been gone and as you know it would be a long walk home !
Anyway point being , when I dropped the logs in the house I was covered in Massif bugs I don't like bugs at the time really really didn't. So do you get a lot of bugs your end ?

the devolutionary said...

I'm loving the hard mud, but it's holding up the tree bog. I've cut and stripped the poles but the ground's too hard to break at the moment. So I've been finding and cutting dead standing wood to add to the wood pile. Have to coax the tractor into life to go and collect this afternoon.

How many horses do you have - three, or two thirsty ones?

the devolutionary said...

The only bugs we see at the moment are shield bugs, aka leaf bugs, aka stink bugs. They live between the roof wheel cover and the roof and won't move again until the Spring. Although we saw a bumble bee a couple of weeks ago, before Winter arrived.