Igloo with blocks from a mould.

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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
FYI, Robson V, Kanye is a very successful young musician and Kim his wife that suffers from a very bad case of manmade Steatopygia.
Kim's dad was a hugely talented and well connected (to the judges' wallets) lawyer that got OJ off the hook.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
May I issue a small warning to the OP?

Make the top half of the igloo fairly thin. If the structure falls while you are sleeping, you do not want to get a thick, heavy piece hitting your head. Thin it out from both outside and inside, with sweeping strokes. This will also make it stronger, bond the blocks together.
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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Well, stone my soap. Got 65 lbs outside my back door to mess with.

I'm told that Canadians have a very distinctive way of pronouncing the word "about" as if there are several 'u' = abouuuut.
Snow here still belly deep on the deer.
The piles along the edge of the front street are 2 - 2.5m high.
Backing out of any driveway, you do so with great care as nobody can see anybody.

The way it gets pushed with graders then piles with front-end loaders, it really does set up like concrete.
30 minutes and you can walk across the top. Kids tunnel in it but the chunky consistency leads to dangerous cave-ins.
Far better to cut it up with a snow saw and build something elsewhere.

Inuit begin with a sloping snow drift and cut down into the middle for the first blocks in the spiral.
HA! I can still remember being taught that as a little kid.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Why do they spiral it ? We lay a lot of bricks and cut stone in this country, and we generally lay them in courses. Even the round towers and turrets on the castles are laid in courses.

M
 

Robson Valley

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Stone and brick gets laid in courses here, too.
Every thing is square-edged and you can't hardly shave that down.
The mortar gets wedged if you build a brick dome, yes?

The snow blocks go up in a spiral with all 4 edges angled to fit. No mortar up there.
Each snow block is wedged against the previous one so it doesn't tip over.
Also, it has to tip inward as it will be a dome.

I know that most are strong enough to stand on, it you can get up there.
Blizzard snow drifts into the cracks and the thing is almost airtight except for the entrance tunnel.
 
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Toddy

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We do that with stone too though....caches, cairns and the like. Dry stane dykes don't have mortar yet they'll stand and weather for hundreds of years. I know dry stane buildings that are literally thousands of years old, and most of those are curved. Yet they don't spiral.
Why I wondered about the igloo.

I thought that if you put one snow block ontop of another it'd stick anyway....like the head on a snowman.
 
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Robson Valley

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Snow blocks certainly do stick to eachother. When the pressure melting refreezes, they don't come apart easily at all.
Even if I cut and pile up a few in my own front yard from a drift. The wind certainly can't knock it over.
All the same if it's little bits or wash tub chunks.

Snow is plastic. It flows down hill. Tree breaker on hill sides. Ever so slowly, slowly.

Curved dry stone buildings but are they domed as well? The classic Roman keystone? Not in a snow house.

I get to see lots of avalanches from my kitchen windows. Hardly ever any slabs but major chunks come off the cornices.
Using a snowmobile track for scale, I'll estimate some bits that don't break up are bigger than most people's houses.
Later this spring, we see the killers that are 1/2 snow and 1/2 dirty rocks.
 

Toddy

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No, no, not the keystone.... corbelled. The church in the village where I live has a medieval self supporting stone roof on the oldest part too.

I wonder if it's because the walls of the igloo are actually quite thin ? Logically I can see how they're built, and that the spiral is very sound, I just wondered why that way. Are they all built that way ?
 

Robson Valley

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A block of snow drift, 24" long, 12" high and 6" thick doesn't weigh very much.
Depends on the snow and I'm a poor judge of such things = maybe 5 lbs?
We cut blocks from drifts to build blinds for coyote hunting.
Right out in the open and invisible. Was a guy that sold white umbrellas to the Inuit for that.

My soapstone carving has no lines to indicate the blocks. The whole thing is so out of proportion
to fit the stone maybe it made no sense. The window block is carved, though.

Never seen a snow house which was not a spiral. Sometimes hard to tell from the slope of the drift
and the depth of the interior where they started. Somebody must know the reason.
I've got family up north in the Yukon, guess I should ask them.
 

Toddy

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I was just curious :)
I did one term on the archaeology of Greenland, and it included the archaeology of the native peoples of the Arctic, not just the Viking settlers.
I wouldn't ever want to live their lives, but it was interesting to see just how creative people were/are in making 'things' that make life, in a frozen land, possible.
I have always admired craftsmanship, skill, and ability, and those people had it in spades :)

M
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Did you try their local cuisine?

I have always wanted to try fermented bird. Not keen or raw blubber. Not much taste in raw animal fat.
Raw liver = raw liver. Taste virtually the same in all mammals.
Even human liver smells like pork/beef liver.

I know that!
 

Robson Valley

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Muktuk (seal fat) is super high in Vitamin C. Beats the hello out of oranges. Gross, gross, gross but you live.
Was going to carve a kudlik cooking lamp (quilliq) this winter until I got sick. Will try again in March when I get home.

Remember that the Inuit have been living and surviving in the Canadian Arctic for many THOUSANDS of years.
Not many that can lay claim to that under those circumstances.