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Digging a Tunnel

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posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 09:05 PM
Greetings, Earthlings. I'm wondering if any of you have any sound advice for digging a tunnel/trench/bunker into a hill in sandy/clay soil in the SW desert? How does one go about this without the thing caving in on itself and without costing an arm and a leg? Step one: Start digging into the side of the hill. Step two: Then what? I was thinking of making adobe bricks and stacking them up. I'm wondering how miners built their mine shafts, with wood? Sorry, I'm obviously pretty clueless when it comes to engineering techniques.

Also, does anyone know of any live, real-time, survival chats? I created one but nobody ever showed up.

A Female Visitor to Plantation Earth

posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 09:14 PM
Being a "Sand Hog", or tunneler is very dangerous work. In construction projects there is a high incidence of sand hog deaths. Make sure you know what you are doing before you dig. Proper bracing and shoring is crucial. Tunneling in sand is the most difficult as it tends to shift very easily and requires more support members.

If you wish to tunnel I suggest that you do a lot of research first.

posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 09:43 PM
Tunneling could be very dangerous indeed. I would read up on the subject, maybe join a chat where cavers dwell. As for a shelter, it seems awfully labor intensive. I would definitely look into a cave first. A natural shelter that could be useful during fallout, a natural sheild if you will.

hmmm you have me thinking...I wish you luck and safety.

posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 10:50 PM
one good way to place a bunker in a hill is to use the spoil( whats been dug out) to fill sand bags. this spiol is mixed with cement ( you must experiment as to the proper mix ) you stack the bags and ancor them by driving shrapened rebar into them then you wet the structure down and the bags sort of stick together. you would need to resurch this much more but it is a way. it would be the best covert way i can think of .

[edit on 24-1-2007 by wcssar]

[edit on 24-1-2007 by wcssar]

posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 11:55 PM
The best and safest way ive found to dig a tunnel in the sand is to hire a group of guys to do it. Honestly its way to dangerious to attempt it yourself.

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 08:01 AM
here is a discusion on the subject
this may help.

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 01:37 AM
I suggest looking into "green" homebuilding techniques for the desert environment. I don't remember any of the titles, but i've read several books on such construction methods.

What kind of shelter are you considering?

Also think about this, if you dig a trench through a mound, it'll be easy to roof off, and won't require tunnelling, but will require a LOT of digging.

Look into using sandbags to build a bunker/emergency shelter. If you're looking for something more livable, look at some of thr "rammed earth" homes for ideas.

I know that there's people usinmg around 75% AZ calichi (the kittylitter-like stuff that covers most of AZ desert and scrublands) and 25% quickcrete to make "super-adobe" bricks using forms. You could also use newspaper and concrete if you've got a GOOD papercrete mixer.

The papercrete mixer is like a HUGE heavy duty blender, usually built from a wrecked vehicle, attaching a set of cutting blades (think lawnmower blades stacked up) to the transaxle, and paper, water and concrete are added in ratio. The slurry that comes out is poured into forms like adobe and once set, weigh something like 20% of what a pure concrete brick would weigh, as well as having an added insualtion factor. There's a few papercrete houses around the valley.

My suggestion is to look at all the different green building techniques, moist utilizing natural materials and lots of labor, and once you know what kind of things are being done, you'll probably have a better idea of what you want to do.

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 05:55 AM
this post on "green" building is very good. i remember a video on what they call "earhtship" houses that where constructed from rammed earth in old car tires and soda cans used like bkicks to form walls. the whole thing was super energy effecient and total cost was very little more than the land it was built on, the "down side" was it was labor intensive to the max. but hey the building materails were mostly free or very low cost. i think it was dennis hopper or dennis... the guy from gunsmoke that owned it. are we talking day to day living space here or a retreat /bunker? that makes a bit of difference.

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 06:00 AM
IMHO - unless you are employing a specialist contractor - cut and cover is the only way to go

basically - dig a huge trench in the correct area - build a semi convetional " building " with a reinforced forrof @ the bottom of the trench

then with duce care being taken to damp proofing - put the spoil back on top of the building

a concrete " blast cap " is opitional - dependant on your requirements / budget

the ensuing mound can be landscaped

here are pretty pictures :

the main advantage of cut and cover construction - is that all the professional advice / assistance you need can be sourced without revealling the exact location of your proposed build

the only issues that you will need help on are - truss sizes / spacing to support the roof

and the exact mtehods to damp proof the base / walls

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 06:56 AM
I'm with Ape on the design method...far safer but more labour intensive to excavate down to the intended floor-level, build and backfill than to attempt shoring a tunnel dug through loose soil.

The main safety factor you will have to really look into with the build-and-backfill method is that you have strong enough beams for the roof to support several tons of earth, especially when rain-sodden.

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 08:28 AM
You could just build a structure preferably steel and concrete slab next to a hill then bulldoze the hill over the structure. Its probably going to be easier than digging and removing tonnes of earth.


posted on Feb, 13 2007 @ 07:22 PM
Female Visitor to Plantation Earth,

I believe your best and cheapest option is a peice of 10'-12' wide steel culvert. You could get in in any length or width you so desire. With some batteries, solar panels, dehydrated food and water you would have a great shelter of last resort and it wouldn't cost you an arm and a leg.

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