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Discussion Starter #1
I recently moved to a nine acre property in central Virginia. I've been wanting to be able to homestead for a long time so this place is awesome. Something I looked forward to most was building my own house, however, the property already came with a good house. So a few of my friends and I talked about what to build, Viking mead hall was one we all thought was doable and pretty awesome.

We will be using rocks, oak and mud brick we get from our own property. There are just a few things I'm not sure about. 1. Drying the oak quickly, were talking about 24 foot logs with no bark. Do not want to wait and we have no way to transport to a kiln or pay for it. Solar kiln seems like the best option. 2. Treating the wood, this structure will have a basement and I don't want to worry about moisture. I read an article about a farmer using discarded motor oil on oak fence posts and they are still in the ground 60 years later. 3. Central Virginia has an abundance of these white rocks everyone calls quartz ( have heard white granite), and I am wondering would they be good for building walls and a foundation with. And finally, does anyone have a good mud bricks recipe, my property has a ton of clay, and I guess I could get sand from the creek. How should I separate the clay from the rest of the dirt.

Thanks in advance for reading!
 

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Haney Family Sawmill
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The process is as I have seen
1 Cut your logs.
2 Peel them
3 Stack them off the ground
4 Visit a chiropractor.
5 Now start site prep
6 Move stove to site
7 Chip and rough place stone (Chips go into bottom of foundation.
8 Go to Chiropractor.
9 Now that you have done this the logs have seasoned got the first settling.
10 Build and ***** with mud next year ***** with better stuff.
 

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short of a kiln, there is no real "Quick" way to dry logs like you are talking, as far as I know. Believe me after having build many buildings, a year is not a long time on any major build, what with weather and other considerations. Not sure how big you are wanting to go, but if it is any size at all, you will be here next year still working on it, going " Man, I did not really think it would take this long!!" But it does.
 

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Can you provide an example of the type of construction you are considering? I did a search on 'viking era mead hall' and did not come away with an understanding of what you are thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was looking on building it in a ravine, digging it out and filling it with a stone foundation. Then we would set diagonal beams that would run from the ground and meet in the middle and be supported by vertical beams. The roof would be thatch. The exterior walls will probably be mudbrick. just search mead hall and Google will give you some good images. The first pic is kinda the construction I'm looking to build, the second one gets a glimpse at the inner construction
 

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That I'm aware of, logs are typically dried the way traditional lumber is. I don't believe a kiln (particularly a solar kiln) is going to do very much.
 

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Sounds like it's more of a timber-frame construction, or an early form of it.

The only fault I see is you are building it in a ravine.. The ravine is a ravine for a reason, mainly water runoff. Which may be a problem if not addressed from the start.

As to drying the logs, check some of the many timber framing sites and see what they do to dry the logs or if you can use them green, see what they recommend.

Also check the quartz for fractures, grain of the rock, because that is where is will split, crack. If you see other than white in color, that tells you there are other minerals in the quartz. For example if it has an orange streak through it, it means it has iron in the quartz etc. But that also may be a weak spot.

Keep us updated on your progress..
 

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I've got oak beams two years old, and they're still drying and checking....

Not all oaks are the same.... Post Oak? you can bury it in the ground (sans sapwood) and it will last for ages... have post oak posts in my fence, 50 years old.... an old local barn, that floods every couple of years, was made of nothing but post oak posts and beams, and is still hard as nails...
 

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Never mind my question. I see you say there's a house on the property...

This is interesting though... Id love to see it finished.. Would be a great party hall..
 
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