THE STUMP HOUSE

A couple years after our first daughter Morgan was born I began construction
on " The Stump House ". I wanted to create an enchanted play house to
stimulate her little imagination. She and I used to sit in the top of this stump
when she was little and discuss plans for it.

 

 

Sadly this 1200 year old giant Redwood fell to loggers about 1877-1880 to shore up
the Wright's Train tunnel. You can see the springboard scaffold marks in the side of the 8 foot diameter stump.
There is a 4 foot hole at the bottom that makes for a through passage under the stump.
Its offspring grow in a circle around it. I hope they are OK with what I am about
to do to their mother's remains. Had their overhanging limbs trimmed up a bit just in case.

 

 

The floor framing is notched into the top of the stump. The first inch of the stump surface
is as soft as styrofoam... beyond that it turns to perfectly solid redwood.

 

 

 

Several yards of mulch and rotten wood had to be shoveled and carved out of the top of the stump.
An autobody grinder and a 5 inch wire brush cleaned out anything rotten inside the stump. The
aluminum footing forms above were used to cast concrete anchors for pressure treated supports.
T
his baby is ROCK solid.

 

 

 

It was discovered that the stump is hollow down the center. It took many dirty
hours with a chainsaw and body grinder overhead, reaching up the center of the
stump, filling every orifice in my body with redwood dust, spiderwebs, and bugs
before I could get this 18 inch PCV pipe to slip in. A rope ladder will
eventually go up this when the kids get big enough to deal with it.

 

 

 

Tough going. Stuck at four feet. Six to go. Wishing I knew a really fat guy to put up top.

 

 

 

Brute force saves the day.

 

 

Framing begins.

 

 

The outside is formed of 1/4" exterior grade plywood. The shape follows the contours of the stump perimeter.

 

 

Porch cantilever.

 

 

Roof framing

 

 

 

1/2" plywood roof sheathing.

 

Some rocks, sticks and tree bark and you got a stump house.

(forgot to take pix for a while :)

 

 

When approaching, many visitors exclaim " Rapunzel, throw down your hair!".
You can see here that I still have not cut out the staircase pipe up the center.
Am thinking elevator now... water counterbalanced... hmmm.
Kathy thinks we need to remodel the house first... hmmm.

 

 

 

Starting to trim out the inside. The countertop is redwood burl with clear

epoxy coating. Epoxy tidepools in the burl wood contain small seashells

and iron pyrite (fools gold). The sink is a copper bowl with lathe turned brass fittings.

The water faucet is hand pounded copper tubing. The "leaf" is a piece of 3/4"

copper tube split lengthwise and bashed upon with a hammer until it turned into a leaf.

The knobs are some cool shells out of great grandma's collection.

Each window sill is carved to match the contour at it's location. This one

incorporates the sink plumbing.

Sand dollar in the surface of the epoxy lower left.

Wainscot beginning to be installed about perimeter.

 

 

Porch railing of Redwood sticks inserts into the live tree and will grow into it
within a couple years. The copper vine wrapping down here is the
drain from the copper gutter. The grape leaves are cut from copper foil and
veins put into them with a pizza roller. Getting that big stone on the right up
there just about killed me.

 

 

 

More vines. Here you can see one of the three carved window sills flowing out
over the edge. When a big Redwood is cut down, the perimeter of the tree continues to
grow for about 5 years. This creates bulbous flowing wooden formations before the
roots figure out that the trunk is gone. I carved the sills to look like them.

 

 

 

The idea with the interior is to get rid of all 90 angles and, except for the wainscot,
all milled and flat surfaces. Kind of like Wabbits house (Winnie the Pooh). I am looking
to make it look like it grew this way.