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How to Build an Underground Bunker

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  • How to Build an Underground Bunker

    For those new to this thread who are reading this first - Mike, the owner, dug it out from 1995 to 1997 by hand with no mechanized equipment to help him. This was at 10,000 feet elevation with short summer seasons. The most expensive consideration was buying concrete (about 100 bags of 80 lb concrete) to the total of $1000 - $1500.

    Unfortunately there are no pictures (that I am aware of) of the 1995-97 digging as this was before digital cameras and the builder was on his own with no-one to take pictures. (I don't think he began taking pictures until 1999-2000?).



    The plan (not followed to the letter, but you'll get the picture)



    Images...

    Blast Doors:

    These are steel and reinforced with concrete in the event of a big TEOTWAKI.



    Roof Cross-section (sort-of):

    Three layers of logs, 6 layers of waterproof sheeting, concrete and dirt



    Bunk-beds and Ladder for accessing Emergency Hatch



    Emergency Hatch



    Landscaping and drainage ongoing:



    Gun Port



    Stores and Tools





    Covert Exhaust system for Stove (tree stump faces road):



    Roof goes into the Mountain! Maybe one day they'll be another tunnel going to the Cabin Build (that's another story though ;) )



    The design and plans shown in the vid are of a small pole shelter triple-clad with roof logs and sheeting (waterproof).

    This allows the weight of concrete and earth on top for the overhead. For the walls logs and steel 'H' Beams along with more sheeting (waterproof) then earth.

    The internal space resembles an 'L' shape as recommended for fallout / blast shelters. This is small but incredibly strong and resistant to cave-ins, earthquakes, disasters. The shelter is multi-functional with two bunks and two stoves providing heat.

    A main entrance with a steel blast door and an emergency exit / trapdoor are installed.

    The year round temperature is about 35 - 45 degrees without being heated. The bunker has been featured on multiple social-sites and Mike is often contacted by television companies for it to be shown on mainstream broadcasts. The Colony short-listed him for appearing on the show but ultimately another was chosen.

    However when the challenging conditions are revealed to TV companies (short accessible seasons, snow fall requiring snow-mobiles etc) the producers normally go for an easy access bunker elsewhere and underground shelters that are more fancy.

    This is doable by any able-bodied male (or female if driven enough) with the right location.

  • #2
    The location inspired a fictional film which was shot at Mike's Bunker called After The Fall / Raiders of the Mountain Hold:



    I'd have many more pictures to show you BUT the retarded hosting site has crashed / won't let me upload any more pictures. :(

    If you have any questions, please ask and I'll try and get a bit more specific. :)

    The Next Big Project!

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    • #3
      I have to ask did he have any problems with cave in's? What did he use to shore up the roof while digging?

      Why 3 layers of logs? What diameter is the average log?

      What type of waterproof material did he use?

      I know a lot of questions. Most people dig down making a big hole, then built their bunker, after which they back fill the dirt back in. faster and easier to complete.

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      • #4
        Just for comparison--



        http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-a-Super-Top-Secret-Bunker-under-Your-/

        I love the guy's account of building it--kind of a rambling, thinking-out-loud thing, but it works for me.

        IIRC, he used a power-washer to blast away at the dirt. Not sure if this link gives the full story. I think he stopped for a bit then went back and did more and posted on it separately.

        A pretty different situation than making a bunker up in the mountains with hand-tools and materials on site/hauled in, but if folks are interested in one, maybe this will also be of interest.
        Been there, done that. Then been there again several times, because apparently I never learn.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by RICHFL View Post
          I have to ask did he have any problems with cave in's? What did he use to shore up the roof while digging?

          Why 3 layers of logs? What diameter is the average log?

          What type of waterproof material did he use?

          I know a lot of questions. Most people dig down making a big hole, then built their bunker, after which they back fill the dirt back in. faster and easier to complete.
          Average log diameter was approximately 5-7 inches, 10 inches in places.

          Waterproof Tarpaulins (Six layers worth).

          No problem with cave-ins. The structure has withstood 12 feet of snowpack one winter and the worst damage was a tiny crack in the concrete on the surface.

          Why three layers? Because it's extra strength and resilience, you have to over-build when at heavy-snow elevations. An earlier structure (warehouse cabin) was collapsed during the 'snowmaggedon' year of 2011. The bunker, withstood it like a champ. :)

          Mike dug out the hole and used the dirt for raising up a berm he built his warehouse cabin on (so it was above the snowmelt which is like a river during spring and early summer). Dirt from the on-going cabin bunker is being used to reinforce and landscape the sides (not that it really needs any! LOL).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Schneb View Post
            Just for comparison--



            http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-a-Super-Top-Secret-Bunker-under-Your-/

            I love the guy's account of building it--kind of a rambling, thinking-out-loud thing, but it works for me.

            IIRC, he used a power-washer to blast away at the dirt. Not sure if this link gives the full story. I think he stopped for a bit then went back and did more and posted on it separately.

            A pretty different situation than making a bunker up in the mountains with hand-tools and materials on site/hauled in, but if folks are interested in one, maybe this will also be of interest.

            Looks pretty cool, good for if you have on-grid electric. Not so easy without it. Another consideration at 10,000 feet is generators don't run well and need retuning for the air-content (lean-rich mixes etc).

            Comment

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