Building a Hobbit Hole

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  • Building a Hobbit Hole

    Hi everyone, really excited to be able to share with all of you the process of building a hobbit hole!

    This will be as a garden feature for the back yard, so just like many of those on the Hobbiton movie set there won’t be a room inside, and the door will be fixed in place. Being my first hobbit hole build, I’m not quite sure how it will turn out but I’m having lots of fun so far! I’m not strictly following any particular design from the movie set, but kinda taking bits and pieces from a few of them, I guess.

    I've recently made a start on the construction, and I’m going to try to post photos as I go. I’m guessing it’s going to take a little while to build... then followed by a year or two (or 50?) of watching it age and the garden grow around it!

    The location shown in the following pics was chosen because it is situated in front of a retaining wall, and the level steps up behind it, which should work well for the hobbit hole to nestle into. There is also a large plumbago hedge on top, which can grow around the structure.


    First things first, there happened to be the remnants of a very old brick bbq in the chosen location, so this had to go!








    With the bbq removed (no small task, I might add!) a footing was dug, and vertical posts positioned:





    The posts were propped, and the concrete footing was poured:




    This was left for a couple of days to set.

    Next: constructing the window and door frames!
    Last edited by Valar; 25th November 2017, 19:01.

  • #2
    Looks like crazy hard work already!

    Looking forward to how this turns out. Good luck!

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    • #3
      What a great location!
      Looking and sounding wonderful already.
      Just wondering if you were able to 'salvage' any of the nicely weathered bricks to use on the facade?
      So looking forward to watching this hobbit hole take shape.

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      • #4
        Great project Valar. I'm so looking forward to seeing it develop.

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        • #5
          Oh man, a dream come true! I want to do this as well and I already have the spot picked out.

          Eagerly awaiting your next post.

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          • #6
            Very cool!!! Will be following this project closely!

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            • #7
              I LOVE IT!! Can't wait to see how this turns out!

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              • #8
                How exciting! Can't wait to see the rest of this project. Good luck!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Beast View Post
                  Looks like crazy hard work already!

                  Looking forward to how this turns out. Good luck!
                  Thanks Beast, hoping it turns out ok! Glad you're along for the crazy ride


                  Originally posted by Minuialwen View Post
                  What a great location!
                  Looking and sounding wonderful already.
                  Just wondering if you were able to 'salvage' any of the nicely weathered bricks to use on the facade?
                  So looking forward to watching this hobbit hole take shape.
                  Thanks Min, I've currently got a few pallets of secondhand bricks (there are a couple propping the bottom of the wooden planks in the photo) which I've been using for other projects around the yard, so I thought I'd use some of those as they're from old demolished buildings and red like those used in Hobbiton, so I'm hoping they should work well. I'm excited to see how they turn out!


                  Originally posted by bill59 View Post
                  Great project Valar. I'm so looking forward to seeing it develop.
                  Thanks Bill! It's the weekend so I've been building some more today, just having elevenses and lunch break in one go, as I somehow missed second breakfast!


                  Originally posted by Ithildin View Post
                  Oh man, a dream come true! I want to do this as well and I already have the spot picked out.

                  Eagerly awaiting your next post.
                  I can't wait for you to start yours, Ithildin! Are you going for somewhere in the back yard too?


                  Originally posted by FlyAndFight View Post
                  Very cool!!! Will be following this project closely!
                  Cheers, FlyAndFight! Really glad to have you along, I'll try and keep the posts (and the work!) going. Having heaps of fun building this


                  Originally posted by TheWhiteHand View Post
                  I LOVE IT!! Can't wait to see how this turns out!
                  Thanks TheWhiteHand, glad you're along for the ride!


                  Originally posted by Vicksken View Post
                  How exciting! Can't wait to see the rest of this project. Good luck!
                  Thanks Vicksken! Really nice to be able to share the journey with you

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    While the concrete was setting, I purchased some large treated pine sleepers to use for the window/door frames:



                    Treated timber was an absolute necessity, as the termites we have here in Oz are potentially even more destructive to a hobbit hole than a grumpy fire-breathing dragon would be to an entire town made of wood (and we all know how that turned out!)

                    I decided to use rough-sawn treated pine timber which hopefully should age and weather with time. The advantage of working with pine is that being a softer wood it is easier to use in construction, for example drilling/cutting/sanding is much easier. The disadvantage is that not being a seasoned timber, it tends to warp and move around over the seasons, sometimes during the construction process when you least want it to! Not to worry, this should add to the rustic hobbit hole charm (well, that's my excuse, anyway )


                    For the window frame, curved sections were cut from the sleepers and joined together to form one complete window frame. This was sanded by hand to smooth the edges and give a worn appearance:







                    For the window, I had to choose a design, so I went with something similar to one of the windows on Sam Gamgee's house:





                    The frame was taken to a leadlight window maker, he made a window to fit, and I was really happy with the result:





                    The same sleepers were then used to make the sections of the door:





                    These were then joined together to make the door frame:





                    And voila, one window and door frame complete!





                    But still a long way to go yet...

                    Last edited by Valar; 25th November 2017, 22:50.

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                    • #11
                      Wow! This is going to be amazing!

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                      • #12
                        Take a bow sir!! That leadlight window is marvellous, nay, beyond marvellous!

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                        • #13
                          This is looking awesome. I’d love to even have room to be able to do this in a future house.

                          do you happen to have progress photos of making the frames? Are they made from straight wood joint together and cut out the curves or have you forced the wood to curve yourself?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Your hobbity hole is coming along beautifully Valar!
                            That window looks exceptional.
                            What is the diameter of your door opning, if you don't mind me asking.

                            You are making this look so simple, I am thinking even I could do it.. I have to keep reminding myself, that the better someone is the easier they are going to make it look.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Extremely cool! Love the in-process photos and eagerly waiting to see the completed hobbit hole. 1 question though, I assume you cut the arches out with a bandsaw, but how did you join all the segments together? just glue and clamped or some other type of joinery (mortise and tenon)?

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                              • #16
                                Projects like this is my main ambition to get on the house market

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Valar View Post

                                  I can't wait for you to start yours, Ithildin! Are you going for somewhere in the back yard too?

                                  I do it's in the backyard in the rocky area under that old maple tree. Going to did it back a bit more to get it deeper into the slope and give it a good curve in the corner. It will like Hobbit hole #22 in shape.







                                  Really enjoying these posts!

                                  Well done!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    How much of #22 are you hoping to do Ithildin? It is actually one of the largest of the hobbit holes, not including Bag End of course.



                                    This gives a better idea as to just how 'long' the sides are.
                                    Although thanks to the tree you can't see the center.


                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Hi Min, it won't necessarily be a carbon copy of #22. I do like it a lot and will most probably take some ideas from it but it was more of an example of the shape of it as it sits nestled in a corner and has an arc to it rather than straight across, like many other hobbit holes do.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Jinkys View Post
                                        Wow! This is going to be amazing!
                                        Originally posted by Earl.Haig View Post
                                        Take a bow sir!! That leadlight window is marvellous, nay, beyond marvellous!
                                        Jinkys and Earl.Haig, thanks! Yes, happy with the window, hoping the rest turns out ok!


                                        Originally posted by MrFishyFace View Post
                                        This is looking awesome. I’d love to even have room to be able to do this in a future house.

                                        do you happen to have progress photos of making the frames? Are they made from straight wood joint together and cut out the curves or have you forced the wood to curve yourself?
                                        Thanks MrFishyFace, yes will try to take & post more pics. I did think about bending the timber but decided instead to try cutting segments from straight sections, then just joined them together using screws. I'd like to think this was the easier option!


                                        Originally posted by Minuialwen View Post
                                        Your hobbity hole is coming along beautifully Valar!
                                        That window looks exceptional.
                                        What is the diameter of your door opning, if you don't mind me asking.

                                        You are making this look so simple, I am thinking even I could do it.. I have to keep reminding myself, that the better someone is the easier they are going to make it look.
                                        Thanks Min, from memory the diameter is around 1200mm, so I believe it would be much smaller than Bag End, but at a guess may be similar in size to some of the smaller hobbit holes?


                                        Originally posted by N2Darkness View Post
                                        Extremely cool! Love the in-process photos and eagerly waiting to see the completed hobbit hole. 1 question though, I assume you cut the arches out with a bandsaw, but how did you join all the segments together? just glue and clamped or some other type of joinery (mortise and tenon)?
                                        N2Darkness, thank you! I just used screws for joining, the plan is that these will be hidden during construction though


                                        Originally posted by Stig View Post
                                        Projects like this is my main ambition to get on the house market
                                        Agreed, Stig! If a real hobbit hole came up for sale I reckon most of us here on the forum would want to move in!


                                        Originally posted by Ithildin View Post

                                        I do it's in the backyard in the rocky area under that old maple tree. Going to did it back a bit more to get it deeper into the slope and give it a good curve in the corner. It will like Hobbit hole #22 in shape.







                                        Really enjoying these posts!

                                        Well done!
                                        Great location, Ithildin! What a beautiful garden, something similar to Hobbit hole #22 would be perfect in the corner just there
                                        Last edited by Valar; 4th December 2017, 05:09.

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