The Shelter Blog has been inactive since May, 2019. Too much to do! From this point on, Lloyd’s Blog will have the buildings, vehicles, and home-related posts such as what has previously appeared here. Go to lloydkahn.com.

Carpentry (157)

Learn to Timber Frame Book Review

Will Beemer of The Heartwood School for the Homebuilding Crafts was kind enough to send us this amazing book on learning to build using the timber framing technique. I have always been amazed by this particular process of framing, watched a ton of YouTube videos on builds using this technique, but never really understood the process fully.

I now know about wood selection, the tools needed, layout and cutting, framing, sills, joists, braces, etc. This book gave me a great starting point for using timber frame building techniques. Thank you so much Will! Can’t wait to start a project!

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A Phenomenal Bread Knife

All our bread is homemade, so we use a bread knife daily. We’ve had 3 of them, of different configurations. But we got this very unusual one a couple of months ago, and it’s not only better then any bread knife I’ve ever seen, but a delight to use.

Irene says: “I like making bread knives. I tell folks when they buy ’em, ‘If this doesn’t cut the bread SMACK out of the oven better then anything else you’ve ever used, then I’ll double your money back.’ No one’s ever returned a bread knife.”

The wood is cherry or mahogany, they are made in the USA, and available for $30 plus $10 postage (mail check) to:

Irene Tukuafu
2639 N. Sycamore Haven Dr.
Nauvoo, Illinois 62354

Check out also, Irene’s musical instruments:


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Jeffrey's Straw Bale House

Hey there!

Well, it’s happened twice now. Just as you publish a book on a subject, I finish a project that might have sat nicely in your book!

First one was my tiny home dome, released just after your book Tiny Homes

Then coincidently I purchased and moved onto my 38 ft. narrowboat just as you released Tiny Homes on the Move

Now. I have just finished creating this 40m2 / 430 sq. ft. straw bale house with my new company, Hartwyn. The building is named Ty Twt — Welsh for “small home.”

It was an interesting project, where we offered the entire build as a training program. We took a group of mixed-skill interns through the entire building process in 12 weeks.

We used local straw, dug our site clay for plasters, and the timber was (mostly) all milled locally. It boasts a green roof, composting toilet, tadelakt shower (Moroccan lime plaster), and greywater system.

I have attached some pictures, and have high-res ones if you would like. But all of the information is on our site with a nifty little time-lapse of the whole process!

Hope this is of some interest!

–Jeffrey


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Godfrey Stephens' Junk-Rigged Snookwis

…An ancient Nitnat canoe (carved from one cedar tree), which Godfrey rebuilt in the ’70s. It’s sheathed in copper, with an underwater Nautilus window and a tiny stainless steel wood stove; there’s room for two. Tilikum (Godfrey’s daughter) is now the caretaker of the boat and keeps it in Port Townsend, Washington…

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Living Off the Grid in Paradise



Warrick Mitchell lives deep in one of the world’s most remote locations: Fiordland, New Zealand. His home in the country’s oldest national park is nestled in a vast wildness accessible only by boat or airplane, a four day’s walk from the nearest road. Life in isolation can be hard, but surrounded by breathtaking, pristine natural beauty, plentiful wildlife and a small but tight-knit community that is always willing to lend a hand, Mitchell would have it no other way.

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Bill Heick's Northern California Home

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Photo by Lloyd Kahn

Bill’s piece of land is at the end of a two-mile dirt road. His 1900 sq. ft. house has a pentagonal floor plan with an 800-year-old salvaged old-growth redwood log as the center post. There are 21 Douglas fir rafters that Bill peeled and then sanded with an auto-body grinder. There are structural posts under eleven of the rafters. In between the posts are 2″×6″ studs with traditional plaster walls.

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