Tag Archives: tornado

On Wisconsin: Wooden bullet helps researchers make affordable shelters : Wsj

Safe room testing

Bob Falk, a research engineer at Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, stands near an air cannon that fires 2-by-4s at 100 miles per hour into a wall designed for a tornado safe room. The walls of the room are made of interlocking pieces of lumber, making the rooms more affordable.

That’s why Falk and his team of engineers have been using an air cannon to fire, at 100 mph, 12-foot long, 15-pound southern pine 2-by-4s into specially designed walls made of some of the cheapest wood available.

The cannon mimics the forces of an F5 tornado with 250-mph winds. The lumber used to make the walls of the shelter is of such low quality, Falk had to specially order it because he couldn’t find it at area lumber yards or hardware stores.

“This is quite a resilient design,” Falk said after a test shot. “All we’re trying to do is absorb the energy.”

The goal is to create an economical wood-based shelter that can be easily constructed in a basement or garage by anyone halfway skilled with a hammer and saw. The process for making a tornado safe room could be similar to that of building a storage shed that comes in a kit.

“You buy the lumber, you take it home, you put it together,” Falk said. “And that’s an important aspect. Most safe rooms you can only put into new (homes).”

Safe room testing

via On Wisconsin: Wooden bullet helps researchers make affordable shelters : Wsj.

Lynne’s Recycled Treehouse My Great Outdoors | Apartment Therapy


Name: Lynne

Location: Rural countryside outside of Durham, Ontario, Canada

We are a family of 6, living in the countryside 2 hours northwest of Toronto. I am an interior designer and I love to travel. Most of my designs are inspired by travel and by the use of organic, natural elements. Two years ago, a friend of ours lost their barn to a tornado. The barn was beyond repair. Rather than see it burned, we bought the barn boards, beams and tin roof — and hired the local Amish to help us to transfer the barn to our property.


We started with a small treehouse base, with an idea to have a small wrap around porch. It was so FUN to build, we decided to add a second floor, and only have a small front porch to allow a bit of extra space for a wee kitchenette and wood stove. The project grew as our excitement grew. We, as adults, were having more fun than the kids with the treehouse!

Most of the treehouse is built from the reclaimed barn, and the reminder of the items were provided by our friends. The kitchenette counter is from an old tree, the wood stove was from our old stone house, the porcelain sink was from our neighbor’s yard…..even a huge slide…it was from an old dismantled playground. The slide is a favourite of my 83 year old grandma. She loves it !

We sleep in the treehouse as often as possible ( with the exception of the cold winter nights). We hear the sounds of the trees, the trickle sounds of the rain and fall asleep under the stars.

Best sleep ever !!!

Creating the treehouse was a labour of love. Our friends and family adore it. I often blog about the treehouse and other outdoor projects (we built our pool in an old stone barn foundation).


Thanks, Lynne! Readers, check out Lynne’s blog here.

via Lynne’s Recycled Treehouse My Great Outdoors | Apartment Therapy.