Here’s a photo essay of one of my summer projects.
This is a root cellar that I’m building, albeit slowly. Moving all of this dirt (several times) is hard work:
This thing is pretty big as root cellars go, finished dimensions will be 13 x 24, but the hole is quite a bit bigger. It’s at least 35 feet long right now and 15 wide. I had to go oversize so I had room to install posts and sheeting.
I didn’t like this first “dig” attempt for several reasons. I could not auger in the post holes I wanted no matter how much I tried, the PTO (power take-off) unit on the tractor worked just fine, but the ground was too hard. Basically, I had no way to set the cedar posts I was planning on installing.
So, try #2 had me doing a little trench work. I also located a bunch of cedar posts, which I plastic wrapped the bases to help protect from moisture.
The posts were already limbed and mostly dry, but some of the ones I’ve put in were pretty heavy.
A center post was installed, for a ridge pole, this is the first of several to come:
Looking down from the top with the side walls going up:
Sidewall posts nearly done. The top log was spiked in to each post with galvanized spikes.
I decided to speed things up by lifting the top logs onto just three posts, which was a balancing act challenge, but it worked. I then simply spiked in the remaining posts, clearing out just enough dirt underneath to let them fit:
Compression from the weight above (tons) will push all the posts down more or less evenly, but it doesn’t have to be completely level. Center height will be fairly tall I think, over eight feet, but we’ll see if I have to make any changes when I get to that point.
The uneven ground above has all been removed now and the floor is almost level.
Sidewall posts and top “plate” installed, nearly there now with the basic sidewall construction:
This took several days, working by myself. It’s hard work, and I’m nice and sore now. I’ve got more done, the sidewalls of plywood are installed, but forgot to take pictures, more to come.