Today we ask that age old question…

28 Mar

What in blazes are THOSE?

What do you get when you cross an auction with an “Alternative Home Builder”?

You get this:

Glu-Lam Beams for ISBUs
The loaded truck with it’s tandem trailers was over a 100 feet long.

Glu-Lam Beams for ISBUs-2
Imagine being the guy following that truck up the Continental Divide?

Glu-Lam Beams for ISBUs-3

Bet the MDOT guys make you wait until “off-hours” to move that sled!

Glu-Lam Beams for ISBUs-4
Why YES! I did have to take up all the parking places, thank you very much!

Glu-Lam Beams for ISBUs-5
.Let’s see how savvy you guys and gals are. I’ll give you a hint.

The longest one is 89′ feet long. The shortest one is 67′ feet long. The narrowest width (at the ends) is 12″.

Without peeking at the photo names… What are they… and what are they for?

RR Avatar

Now excuse me, because I have several chainsaws to sharpen!


12 Responses to “Today we ask that age old question…”

  1. William Shepherd March 28, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    It frightens me that you need that much laminated lumber. You must be building great big things out there.

    • Renaissance Ronin March 30, 2013 at 1:47 am #

      You’re going to be amazed at what we’re doing with them… and, not a single “monument” will be built in the process… 🙂

  2. qualityalternativebuildings1966 March 28, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    My guess is glulams. Possibly from Timberweld?

    • Renaissance Ronin March 30, 2013 at 1:53 am #

      You get half a point. Glulams (also called “glu-lams”) they be. NOT from Timberweld however. 🙂

  3. claytonjacobs March 28, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    Hey Alex! They look like ridiculously long laminated beams… what for?!

    I have no idea! We gotta get you on the survival podcast to talk about container building!!

    Take care my friend and all the best to your family.

    Hag Sameach!


    • Renaissance Ronin March 30, 2013 at 1:51 am #

      Hey Clayton! They’re pretty big, huh? Maybe I’ll build an ISBU Skyscraper with them! Nah! 🙂

      And, I’d love to talk about ISBUs if it will help the listeners of The Survival Podcast. Haven’t been able to connect those dots yet. 😦

      I hope that all is well with you and your lovely wife! We think about you from time to time and we don’t even cuss or anything! 🙂


  4. Tex Arcana March 28, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    They’re Texas toothpicks… 😉

    • Renaissance Ronin March 30, 2013 at 1:49 am #

      Yeah, that’s it. They’re for Texans with really big teeth… but you better have some massive guns to lift these pups up to your gums! LOL!

      • Tex Arcana March 30, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

        Yeah, I’m gonna hoist them with my big awesome muscles:

  5. Ellen March 29, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    Hey, we are a good sized family (7total) planning for an isbu home. We want to be off the grid, including plumbing if possible! I’m wondering if you have any recommendations about vacuum flush systems- or other alternatives that can support our size/need. Any resources would be greatly appreciated.

    Ellen Sheridan WY Sent from my iPhone

    • Renaissance Ronin March 30, 2013 at 1:46 am #

      Vacuum Toilets are extremely water efficient.

      While originally designed for aircraft and marine applications, we’re seeing more and more of them installed in homes, cabins, workshops, entertainment areas (like cabanas).

      They don’t work on gravity like your normal toilet. They work on a created vacuum. Because of this, you can install them with piping running horizontal or even vertical (into overhead pipes). They’re a plumber’s dream because you can essentially avoid just about any construction obstacle.

      Many families are now considering putting them into their homes, as pricing has begun to become quite competitive.

      I’ve even thought about using them in the new residences being built on my farm in Montana.

      While there are many varieties of vacuum toilet systems, my personal favorite are the systems that combine a composting tank with the toilet operation.

      Composting is a process where organic materials are “decayed and decomposed” for use as nutrients for soil enrichment.

      Vacuum toilets are usually multi-part systems consisting of a vacuum toilet, a vacuum generation – interface – system and some method of collecting and then distributing that sewage to either a sewer system or septic tank. The newer vacuum toilet systems can include a composting system.

      I’ve also “seen” the military versions of these vacuum toilet systems made from stainless steel and they are pretty impressive.

      These systems are attractive, they use very little water (up to 80% less than “normal” toilets), they are basically “low or no odor” devices, they’re easy on the sewage system because they reduce sewage volumes, and if you think it through, you can put them just about anywhere that you’d put a regular toilet.

      The energy requirements vary so you should check the specifications carefully for “off-grid” operations where you’ll be making your own power using Photovoltaic Panels, Wind Turbines, Hydro or some other type of power generation.

      There are manufacturers like Evac and Envirolet in the marketplace that are apparently doing quite well.

      I’m interested in systems like the Envirolet systems that combine a vacuum toilet system with a composting tank.

      Perhaps someone from one of those companies (here at RR we reach literally hundreds of manufacturers who follow what we’re doing with interest) will read this and offer up some additional data.

      Hope this helps.


      • Tex Arcana March 30, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

        Hey, you mentioned “composting toilets”… Well, they also call them “septic systems”, and the passive units are perfectly fine for dealing with such things, since they actually prefer less water than most toilets send off to the sewers. And if you have an issue, just jump start them with a cup of sugar. And foodstuffs sent down thru a garbage disposer are food for the bacteria anyway, so that’s not an issue either.

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