Blog Archives

The Finished Cabin Model 2

For the site plan of the cabin, I used a large board of wood with a big piece of foam that I got from my dad from his workplace. The foam was covered with some green cloth that I found around my house. The intention of the foam was to let me pluck in small trees into the foam, as it was very difficult to glue/tape on the tiny trees. A river was made from an Aeropostal bag (as I couldn’t find anything blue to put on), and the wind-turbine generator was made from paper/Bristol board.

The following explains about how I made the insides of my model:

For the windows, I cut out small sheets of plastic and then taped them within the inner walls of the cabin with duct tape. I then covered the inner walls with white paper, which helped hide the duct tape and the cardboard. For other parts of the cabin (including the rocket stove and the bathroom) I pieced together some cardboard using a glue gun and then covered them with white paper to hide the zig-zag patterns of the cardboard. For the doors and the ladder, I used some leftover balsa wood from my classmates and then glued them on wherever I needed them. For the foundation, I used four small pieces of wood to elevate the cabin.

Here are some more pictures of the cabin:

 

 

Advertisements

The Finished Cabin Model

I’ve finally finished my final cabin model! The cabin turned out better than I expected. Here’s a brief summary of how the construction went:

Since I used cardboard to make the walls of my cabin, I had some problems painting it with watercolours, as the paint wasn’t very visible (I could still see the Cheerios logo in the background from where I got the box from). As a result, I decided to cover the cardboard with white paper and then paint over it. This, however, caused to the paper to get really soggy and sometimes rip, so I had to tear off the white paper. Now that I think about it; this idea could have worked a lot better if I were to just use a thicker type of paper – one used especially for water colouring, or if I used a different kind of paint, like the paint used to paint walls. Instead, I thought of a much worse idea by covering the cardboard with drywall compound to help make the paint stick on it more easily (The actual use of drywall compound is to stick sheets of drywall together like a type of plaster or mud). In the end, the drywall compound caused the cardboard walls to curve slightly once it dried. Also, it caused some of the drywall to peel off and/or crack; thus revealing the cardboard within the cabin (in which I had to fix after); although this was probably due to my limited skills in using drywall compound, as the drywall compound appeared really bumpy in texture and had an uneven coating. When I glued every piece together, the four outer walls looked better than I expected (what I expected was having large ovular gaps between each corner in which the walls were glued together; however the walls stayed together appropriately due to the strength of the glue from the glue gun). All in all, I would advise planning your steps beforehand using project management to reduce the workload to yourself and to increase efficiency while working. Here’s a document I found on Google about the basis of Project Management: http://www.personal.psu.edu/mum28/blogs/Mairead/Project%20Management%20Steps.pdf

For the roof of the cabin, I also used cardboard. I cut out the pieces of the cardboard according to the measurements made on AutoCad, and then pieced them together. I then covered the roof with cut out strips of black Bristol board to make the shingles look more realistic. I then added shish-kabob skewers within the roof to act as roof trusses (I don’t have any pictures of that now, but I’ll include them in my next post).

As for what I learned about the process of model-building; I find it quite relaxing and fun to do. Looking at my final product, I feel as if though I’ve accomplished a great goal in my life. Modelling the building allowed me to gain a betterĀ  idea about what it was that I was trying to build. While constructing the cabin, I’ve discovered several problems about my design (such as having a roof that was too small to fit a rain barrel within it); hence through modelling I was able to improve my design aesthetically and structurally. In addition, I found it frustrating to work with such small pieces in the cabin; so I guess model-building also requires a lot of patience and diligence.

Here’s a picture of the cabin:

I'll be sure to take more pictures after. The angle on this one's not the best, and the flash makes it look not-as-good

I’ll be sure to take more pictures after. The angle on this one’s not the best, and the flash makes it look not-as-good

AutoCad and Cabin Designing

After sketching the drawings on paper, I had to show my ideas on AutoCad in order to get the proper measurements for my design. This is done so that the construction of the model will be more precise/easier to make. Of course, the measurements are to scale to show inches and feet- architectural measurements.

For the drawings on AutoCad, I need to show everything from a birds-eye view; showing the first and second floors of my cabin. Also, elevations are required to show the side/front of the cabin. In addition, I will include a site plan to show what’s happening around my cabin (to include a river, some rocks, my pico-hydro and wind turbine generators and more).

I didn’t include many hatches to the AutoCad drawing (in AutoCad, hatching is used to add a texture/design to a closed shape). This was so that I wouldn’t get confused/distracted by my design. This also makes my design look really simple; which is good in that it gives me a better understanding of what I’m building, but bad in that the AutoCad design itself looks unappealing.

AutoCad 2007

Modeling

Going back to my “Functions of a Cabin (and any other house)” post, now I need to design a rustic-looking cabin that includes all the functions that I’ve talked about (volumetric space design, energy systems, water systems, waste management systems and climate control system). To “design” means that I just have to draw out the cabin from different views (inner, outer, site plan…) and write out a bill of materials for all the things that I’m using for the cabin, including a rocket stove, which was explained in my “Rocket Stove to the Sky” post. I’ve already done all of that, though, and I will be posting pictures later of some of my drawings/bill of materials. NOW, I have to make a model of my cabin that I’ve been designing.

For the cabin, I chose to use cardboard to make all my outer/inner walls (although balsa wood would have worked much better) I got the cardboard from No Frills for free, and I’ve already covered most of it with white printing paper to be painted over, later on. My foundation is just a large wooden plank and my site plan (including trees and a river) consists of items that I got from dollar shop (Christmas decorations). I haven’t completed the cabin yet, but I’ll be sure to post pictures of it when I’m done.

Anyways, here are some pictures of other people’s professional-looking models:

d0r

 

Rocket Stove to the Sky

Rocket Stoves (rocket mass heaters) are heaters; they heat the house. They’re “super efficient furnaces.”

FURNACES INFORMATION: The efficiency of furnaces is measured in AFUE, which is a number that shows the percentage in efficiency (A greater AFUE results in a greater efficiency). High efficiency furnaces range from 90 to 97%, while low efficiency furnaces range from 80Image% and less.

90-97% is already pretty efficient for a furnace, so how can rocket stoves beat that? I don’t even know. The efficiency of rocket stoves haven’t been professionally analyzed yet, so there’s not really a specific number that shows it; not in the AFUE (if someone can tell me otherwise, please do! I’ve been looking for an answer from many sites now, but I can’t seem to find a proper answer). Guaranteed however, rocket stoves are a very efficient way to heat up one’s house (efficient as in the amount of fuel – wood – put in will bring you a lot of heat, and for a long time too – which is up to 4 days).

In the picture on the right: Wood and oxygen go in on one side to be burned in the burn chamber and then transferred into the steel drum. The steel drum brings out some of the heat directly out into the house for immediate heating, while the rest of the heat is transferred through a long, airtight duct to keep the heat circulating around the house to have constant heating. The duct is usually covered with clay, mud, stone and many other materials and then covered with a ceramic spray to keep everything together. This clump of clay, mud and stone (and many more materials) that covers the duct can be used a furniture; a couch; a bed; a table; anything.

This is the only website I’ve seen so far that sells rocket mass heaters:

http://zaugstoves.com/Zaug_Stoves/Home.html

A rocket mass heater in real life

Functions for a Cabin (and any other house)

Wouldn’t it be nice to escape from the city; go to somewhere quiet and secluded; to be one with nature. I’m not talking about a camping trip; more like a cabin in the woods.

To be one with nature; you gotta have the look: Those new-looking houses won’t really fit in the whole “nature” theme and it won’t really fit in middle of a bunch of trees either. The overall look of the cabin has to be rustic, with mainly from Victorian-style aesthetics (your choice actually; it’s just that I’d prefer Victorian-style over other rustic designs) with additional adjustments from our new-day technology, such as having side-sliding windows and electricity generating systems like wind turbine generators or pico-hydro generators so that we’ll do as little harm to the environment as possible (net zero energy footprint, net zero carbon footprint…). The cabin (and any other house) would need to have these functions:

volumetric space design – smartly using the space given to us, including space for sleeping, the living room and a bathroom (in this case, a small cabin would be around 500 square feet)

energy system – a way to generate, distribute and store energy for use (for small things like lighting or the composting toilet)

water system – to gather, store and distribute water (this includes having a rain barrel and having a grey-water system. A greywater system is something that reuses the water that’s used for bathing, washing hands or from the toilet for use for watering plants – NOT FOR DRINKING)

waste management system – get rid of all types of waste, like human excreta and compost. Food wrappers and other non-compostable things should be carried out with you back to the city to be disposed of there (includes things like a composting toilet and a composting area)

climate control system – keeps the temperature warm during cold temperatures and cool during hot temperatures

This site shows a bunch of cool looking cabins like the one on this post: http://freecabinporn.com/