Author Topic: stack wood log hogan ?  (Read 15216 times)

Offline surfivor

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stack wood log hogan ?
« on: November 16, 2010, 08:43:07 AM »
 I have the book "rustic retreats"



this book has a section on a stacked log hogan as made by the navajo indians. The walls are composed of 54 logs 8"-10" in diameter and 10' long. The roof is interesting and composed of 40 logs 4"-8" in diameter and 4'-8' long.

There are 6 walls in a hexagon pattern. It would appear to be almost 200 square feet in size. The roof is made of unnotched logs stacked concentrically in increasingly smaller hexagons to form a dome which is then covered with bark and dirt. There are no windows in the design, just a door and a air intake hatch at the top.

 What appeals to me about this is the size of the logs would be smaller than for a cabin and easier to move around. I'm not sure on the earthen roof, certainly it might make the thing less visible from the air so you wouldn't end up on google maps so easily ..

 I'm interested in extra space for storage or emergency living space etc ..







 Here is an image I found that seems to show the roof frame construction of one of these things .. I guess you then add smaller logs or sticks. I could see maybe a tarp over the whole thing then covering that with dirt or other material .. not sure .. why not add some windows too ?




Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2010, 09:13:14 AM »
Interesting.  I didn't know anything about these.  I think you are on to something with the smaller size of the logs.  Those are small enough to allow a single person to build it. 

I would assume that the ends of the wall logs are notched to fit together like lincoln logs?

Offline surfivor

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2010, 09:30:32 AM »
 A guy also told me once the cedar has seasoned the logs are lighter and it takes 6 months to season. Would I just cut them and let them sit for awhile hopefully slightly elevated off the ground but otherwise exposed to the elements or should I try to stack them in a pile and cover with a tarp ?

 The book also has a hand cart that has 2 bicycle wheels that can be used to move small trees, perhaps I should try to make one of those or buy some such landscaping cart ..

not quite the same but I found this pic:


 As far as notches, the description says:
 with chain saw, notch logs halfway through to form a saddle joint 12" from each end. This is similar to a "log cabin" joint, except the notches are cut at 60 degree angles so the stacked logs will form a hexagon.

 It shows using the earth as a floor (no floor basically), so not sure if that is best design for that ..

Another book I found, not alot of reviews or info, except a few excerpts form pages:



here is some sort of a hogan building project I came across which is very detailed and long and is not strictly a building how to paper, but if you scroll through it it looks like it has some interesting info .. and some of the hogans appear to have wooden roofs or something ..

http://earthworksinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/FinalReportFinal.pdf

check out this hand log mover for like $580:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0XL9-jTP4E#
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 09:43:40 AM by surfivor »

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2010, 09:34:11 AM »
my big concern for you would be that you are in Maine.  The Navajo are in the southwest.  yes, snow and cold happend in southern Utah, northern Arizona, but
1) it is DRY cold/snow
2) it is not AS cold

with the dirt floor, that may be a problem.

Offline surfivor

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2010, 09:51:08 AM »
my big concern for you would be that you are in Maine.  The Navajo are in the southwest.  yes, snow and cold happend in southern Utah, northern Arizona, but
1) it is DRY cold/snow
2) it is not AS cold

with the dirt floor, that may be a problem.

 I would have to possibly make some sort of elevated floor with plywood or whatever .. Not sure, I have a creative mind, but I am not a carpenter builder so I'd have to think about it or ask people more questions ..

 I am also concerned about water with any floor that is at least not somewhat elevated as well ..

Offline Perfesser

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2010, 10:21:58 AM »
Never seen this design before - too cool. Seems to make the most efficient use of (in the desert) a fairly scarce resource - large logs.
Roof is particularly interesting and a good use of the smaller log ends. I dunno about dirt in a wet climate though. I'm a believer in sheet metal roofs.
Cedar logs are very light when dried a bit. Strip the bark as soon as you can after cutting though, it comes off clean. In the spring you can slit the bark with a knife and almost peel it off in one piece, then lay it flat to dry in a sheet.
I think I saw Iroquois longhouses use this for roofing.


A cart for moving is a great idea but get large diameter wheels for rough ground - bigger the better. Not so great for hills.
These LogRite carts are way overkill for cedar, something heavy like oak maybe but cedar is very light.

For dragging up steep hills you can make a "stepper". It's just an X of wood, 8 ft.  2x4's are fine for smaller stuff. A bolt through the center. Lay the center of the X on the log near the uphill end(feet of the X uphill), tie a loop of rope around the center of the X and around the log (twice around the log to bite in and prevent slipping) with an appropriate amount of slack. As you pick up the other ends of the X it will lift the log and slide it along a foot or two. Reposition the X for another bite.
If the log is heavy you might need a loop of rope at the top of the X to keep the feet from spreading.
It's tedious but sometimes the only way to get it up the hill alone.

Offline surfivor

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2010, 01:07:33 PM »
Never seen this design before - too cool. Seems to make the most efficient use of (in the desert) a fairly scarce resource - large logs.
Roof is particularly interesting and a good use of the smaller log ends. I dunno about dirt in a wet climate though. I'm a believer in sheet metal roofs.
Cedar logs are very light when dried a bit. Strip the bark as soon as you can after cutting though, it comes off clean. In the spring you can slit the bark with a knife and almost peel it off in one piece, then lay it flat to dry in a sheet.
I think I saw Iroquois longhouses use this for roofing.


A cart for moving is a great idea but get large diameter wheels for rough ground - bigger the better. Not so great for hills.
These LogRite carts are way overkill for cedar, something heavy like oak maybe but cedar is very light.

For dragging up steep hills you can make a "stepper". It's just an X of wood, 8 ft.  2x4's are fine for smaller stuff. A bolt through the center. Lay the center of the X on the log near the uphill end(feet of the X uphill), tie a loop of rope around the center of the X and around the log (twice around the log to bite in and prevent slipping) with an appropriate amount of slack. As you pick up the other ends of the X it will lift the log and slide it along a foot or two. Reposition the X for another bite.
If the log is heavy you might need a loop of rope at the top of the X to keep the feet from spreading.
It's tedious but sometimes the only way to get it up the hill alone.


 I had the thought of using some maple and oak as well or whatever else is good. If I had to use cedar I wold have to cut alot of the cedar I have and I might want to leave some. Also, if I am clearing areas for growing plants, it may work out better if I use other woods as well ..

 Thanks for the info on a stepper ..


 The roof seems like a simple but interesting design .. not sure best way you could work in a metal roof, maybe it would not be too hard ..

 It seems like you could almost throw a big tarp over the thing, then stick a bunch of foam insulation, then another big tarp on top of that or some kind of canvas .. full water proof roof though may be elusive there as well as a perfect fit ..

 The other thing is the roof would have to be able to hold alot of snow ..

 I found more pictures:









this could be like a root cellar:











 

Offline Perfesser

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2010, 11:31:02 PM »
Pretty sure you could park your truck on this roof with no problems.

Again, depends what kind of access you have with vehicle. If you can truck in some modern materials why not put a traditional roof on?
The cabin I saw had a normal roof(not 6 sided) with large overhangs on the peaks. I'll try for a pic if I can find the place again.
The tarp is a good idea, maybe the commercial (party tent) type of material.

I guess it depends on how long you expect this to last. I'm really lazy and only want to do things once. I make em to last as long as I do.

Offline surfivor

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2010, 09:07:53 AM »

 I guess a regular roof would not have these hexagonal logs but just 6 main rafters at each corner and more like a regular roof or an "A" style roof as you mention ..

Offline surfivor

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2010, 10:00:32 PM »

 What about doing the traditional roof with earth and then covering the whole thing with a one giant large tarp and putting rocks and such on top of the tarp ?

Offline Sweethearts Mom

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2010, 04:58:43 AM »
I can tell you why you could not do that here in TX. Fire ants would take over the roof!

Offline Perfesser

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2010, 10:51:51 AM »
Dirt makes no sense. It shifts, it's heavy, permeable to water.
If you want permanent, steel or concrete is the way to go. Instead of dirt you could do the traditional logs, plastic or tarp, wire or fiber mesh and then a ferrocement or meshcrete cap.
Or a sloped flat roof as in the below pics and use steel sheet.
http://www.texasmusicforge.com/gimmeshelter70.html
GREAT construction stuff at the site above. Has me sold.


I got a couple of pics of that cabin.


Offline surfivor

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2010, 11:17:22 AM »

 I'd be interested in a detailed plan on how that roof is laid out in the pictures, not totally sure how it is done ..

 That other link; So you lay down a tarp ontop of some sort of flat wood frame, then wire mesh and the insulation and cement on top of that ? You then end up with pretty much a flat cement roof ? I suppose you could use the  roof as a sort of deck where you go out and sit on the roof, have a barbeque etc ?

Offline Perfesser

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2010, 12:13:53 PM »
I think the two opposing posts are extra high with a ridge pole from end to end and rafters laid out to the other walls.

That site has a ton of stuff, but you can adapt it to anything. Concrete is putty, make it do what you want. The hex log stack would look pretty inside, toss some plastic over and use his technique after that for a forever kinda roof.

Offline surfivor

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2010, 04:29:09 PM »
I think the two opposing posts are extra high with a ridge pole from end to end and rafters laid out to the other walls.

That site has a ton of stuff, but you can adapt it to anything. Concrete is putty, make it do what you want. The hex log stack would look pretty inside, toss some plastic over and use his technique after that for a forever kinda roof.

 I could create a concrete dome roof over the stacked hexagon roof I guess then .. Would there be any issues with cracks or leaks, frost heaves from ice and such ? Would the roof need some kind of insulation ? .. I really like that idea, create the dome with stacked logs, cover that with tarp/wire and then concrete over that ..

Offline Perfesser

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2010, 08:47:11 AM »
That site has over 100 pages of pics and detailed explanations of the methods used. Concrete recipes and a lot of tips.

Put as much or as little insulation as you like. Between the wire mesh and concrete additives like glass fibers and curing agents you should have no problems with cracks.

Offline wyomiles

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2010, 10:37:57 AM »
I have been looking into building a hogan on my land in Wyoming. I have lots of beatle killed pine available and will notch the corners as with a log cabin. I will do the traditional roof as your pictures show but will then cover with a formal roof of metal or shingles as the one picture showed.This will give me the cool looking internal log ceilings and a sealed external roof. I want to build the walls tall enough to allow for a wrap around porch. This will give more outside living space and protect the walls from the weather. I will have windows for light instead of the hole in the roof. I might even add a wall of pateo door windows to one side for solar gain.  I have been playing with the thought of building several hogans ,over years, that would be built with two common walls , to form a large ,enclosed ,octagon like shape. This would leave a large interior courtyard for gardening etc. I hope to start collecting the logs this summer and do some dirt work. I will probably build a foundation out of river rock and cement and put in a wooden floor . Allthough I have also thought of putting in a cement brick floor, like a patio. I also think it might be neat to add a kiva like basement to combine two traditional native buildings into one.
When I get closer to building I will post some pictures and let you know how it goes.

Offline “Mark”

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2010, 11:57:52 AM »
A guy also told me once the cedar has seasoned the logs are lighter and it takes 6 months to season. Would I just cut them and let them sit for awhile hopefully slightly elevated off the ground but otherwise exposed to the elements or should I try to stack them in a pile and cover with a tarp ?

All wood shrinks when it dries/seasons, so if cut them, don't cut them to size yet. Wood usually loses about a third of its weight when drying. The key for drying wood is heat and airflow. If you stack them, stack each layer with a 90° turn to allow air to move through. Remember to alternate each log with skinny ends between fat ends to keep your pile level. Covering the top with a tarp is a good idea to keep new moisture out of the middle where it dries the slowest. Don't cover the sides as you need the airflow. :)

Dirt makes no sense. It shifts, it's heavy, permeable to water.

It depends on the dirt. If it's mostly clay, the water will run right off of it unless you get a lot of rain/snow.

Offline surfivor

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2010, 06:25:59 PM »

 I picture building a chimney into the side of the hogan as well as a stove pipe outlet made of mortar. Not sure if the center top should have an opening for a possible fire pit in the center or not ..

 I guess cedar logs don't rot, someone tells me other types of wood need to be treated ..

 Since I am unsure when I would have time to build such a thing, I am not sure how to go about it as I would perhaps need to cut the trees several months in advance .. If it turns out I am too busy, the cut logs might sit around for a long time, possible a couple of years .. On the other hand, I could end up not cutting them and then find I would have had time to do the work but no logs ready ..

 

Offline Mike928

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2012, 12:44:39 AM »
First of all, im pretty pleased you folks are fascinated by e Navajo Hogan (pronounced as ho'gaan, with emphasis on the gaan) anyway this dome type hogan is in my culture is refered to as the female hogan, there is also a male type hogan too also called a forked hogan. Female type hogans are more common than the male hogan, but both are still used today for living in and ceremonial purposes. traditional hogan homes are 100% green, only logs and dirt are used....now days people cover the logs with thick plastic sheets before covering the structure with dirt.

Modern type hogans also called octagons are made of lumber and modern building supply. They tend to be built with mulitple rooms. The roof can be covered with either roofing shingles or a metal roof.

If you like the dome with the logs, you can cover the roof with straw, then chicken wire, then apply stucco, cement, adobe, or papercrete for a more durable dome without the maintenance of recovering or reapplying the dirt after each storm.




Offline LJH

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Re: stack wood log hogan ?
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2012, 10:18:28 AM »
I love the old log hogans, there are still plently of them on the Big Rez but sadly, more and more of the plywood & sheetrock variety - or double-wides.  :(

A couple of years ago the daughter of a friend of mine got married to a White dentist, the first-ever Anglo in the family. They had two ceremonies, the first a traditional Navajo wedding in one of the family's hogans (a grandmother's, I think) and the second at a Catholic church. She sent me both sets of pictures, very cool.

My friend says they'd better make it work because if not they'll need two divorces.  ;D (So far, so good.)