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Logs, Wind and Sun: Handcraft Your Own Log Home ... Then Power It with Nature Paperback – August 20, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Many people dream of getting back to nature and living self-sufficiently in a house built with their own hands. The Ewings show readers how to do just that in this account of how they built a log house and then powered it using sun and wind. For most people, this would be a monumental undertaking, and so it was for the Ewings. In one case, their logs were delivered a mile from their homesite, and they had to move them the rest of the way themselves. Using a combination of brains and hard work, they solved this problem and many others. The Ewings take a clear, step-by-step approach to log building-a project one obviously should not undertake without considerable building experience. Fully a third of the text is devoted to explaining how to run one's home completely off the power grid. Readers are offered a wealth of hard-to-find information about solar photovoltaic modules, wind generators, charge controllers, batteries, inverters-all fully explained in the Ewings' easygoing, pragmatic manner with an emphasis on safety (had this material been offered during the Y2K mania, the authors would have made a mint). This section makes their work stand out from other log-building books. Purchase where there is strong reader interest in building construction or in rural living.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Because this book is so much fun to read, you ll not notice how much you are learning about foundations, log settling, chinking, solar and wind power and so much more. The authors have liberally peppered the book with humorous stories about the adventures and experiences involved in building their home. I got a few odd looks from office-mates here when I laughed out loud at one of the escapades. Perhaps this book is best read first while curled up in bed or your favorite chair, and then again at a desk with a notepad and pencil beside you for taking notes. --T. Johnston, Log Home Store

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: PixyJack Press (August 20, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965809838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965809832
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,033,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rex Ewing's diverse interests have led him from Colorado to Costa Rica to Alaska, working cattle and horses, mining gold, and formulating equine supplements. He now lives at the end of a bad dirt road in the Colorado Rockies with his wife LaVonne and two dogs. There he writes novels and non-fiction books from his hand-hewn log cabin powered by the sun and wind.

In his latest project, Rex turned his love of science into a suspenseful post-apocalyptic tale that one reviewer called, "The best-written book I have read in years." WINDS OF PURGATORY is set in Colorado where science and the supernatural collide in an attempt to bring oil--a maliciously destroyed, long-lost commodity--back to the world.

Rex Ewing was born and raised in the heart of northern Colorado's ranching country where he grew up in the company of mixed-blood horses, Charolais cattle, and the large herd of Corriedale sheep his father John imported from Australia. In addition to his time on the ranch, he spent four years at Colorado State University, two seasons mining placer gold in California and Alaska, and a couple of stints on his brother's cattle ranch in Costa Rica. He also lived for seven years in a crude mountain cabin, casting gold jewelry, hand hewing log cabins, and roofing houses whenever money was tight.

When his father suffered a heart attack in 1984, Rex returned to the ranch which, in the intervening years, had been transformed into a Thoroughbred breeding and training facility. For six years he managed the ranch and hay farming operations, and when John Ewing died in 1990 he took over the family's horse nutrition business. It was a serendipitous career move for Rex, for it was while in the role of businessman that he met the love of his life, LaVonne, a freelance graphic designer hoping to do design work for his company. She got the job, for life. Four years later they married and moved onto a small acreage where they raised hay, pastured a few horses and dreamed up a future together.

Rex penned his first published book in 1997, a small treatise on horse nutrition. BEYOND THE HAY DAYS: REFRESHINGLY SIMPLE HORSE NUTRITION quickly became popular with old hands and greenhorns alike.

A year later, with a half dozen solar panels, a few batteries and sundry equipment, Rex and LaVonne divested themselves of their flatland holdings, packed up their cat and two dogs, and moved into a rustic cabin Rex had built on his mountain property several years before. Small and charming but lacking most modern conveniences, the cabin became their home for the next two years while they transformed a truckload of dead trees into a cozy, off-grid log home.

Rex and LaVonne chronicled their log-building and off-grid experiences in LOGS, WIND & SUN, a down-to-earth book which became a bestseller within the log-home and renewable-energy communities. Rex followed up with POWER WITH NATURE, a book for off-gridders, and GOT SUN? GO SOLAR, a primer of grid-tied solar- and wind-electric systems which he wrote with friend and fellow writer, Doug Pratt.

HYDROGEN--HOT STUFF, COOL SCIENCE was Rex's first full-length foray into experimental writing. Employing an irascible wizard and a fanciful setting known as the Wasserstoff Farm, Rex embraced the difficult science of hydrogen energy in an imaginative tour de force that found quick acceptance with science teachers and Wall Street advisors alike.

The updated 2nd edition of Logs, Wind and Sun was released as CRAFTING LOG HOMES SOLAR STYLE; later editions of the other renewable energy titles have also been released, thanks to the popularity of green energy.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
Logs, Wind and Sun is one of those rare books that is both packed with useful information and enjoyable to read. I only wish it had been available five years ago when my husband and I started drawing up plans for our own log home. We spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars trying to get utilities to our remote mountain building site. This book clearly lays out alternative power solutions that can give you the freedom to live with all the modern conveniences you need miles from the nearest power pole. The authors personal experience provides the framework for the book, but they have obviously done their homework, and all their recommendations are backed up by copious facts. The book is generously sprinkled with photos and illustrations that de-mystify and explain and personal stories that entertain and inspire. LaVonne's Verities and Rex's Maxims give you personal insights and quips. And the writing is several notches above most other how-to books, offering emotional insights into the process of building your own home, as well as the more expected practical fare. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who's ever dreamed about building a log home.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Georgie Wingfield on January 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
When I started reading Logs Wind and Sun, I imagined I would skim the more detailed parts about construction since I don't plan to build a log home. I bought the book because I was interested in solar and wind generated electricity. But in the end, I read everything. Whenever I tried to skim, I soon came across something that caught my interest and, before I realized it, I was totally entranced with the story. The framed inserts break up the flow of the text and add little tid bits of information just when some variety is necessary. Rex's Maxims and LaVonne's Verities are a novel way of introducing light humor while at the same time making an important point. The illustrations were very concise, attractive and easily understandable. The photography was out of this world and the photos very appropriately located within the text. Every photo enhanced the message on the page where it was found. Logs Wind and Sun is clearly a product of team work, the story of a couple who, working together, accomplished their dream. I loved it, and also learned what I wanted to know about solar and wind power.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Thomas M Levack on August 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have been reading everything I can find about log homes. Most of the books I have read are more like an information text book. Lots of facts but boring. Logs Wind and Sun gives you the facts and how to use them along with a very enjoyable story of the trials and tribulations the authors encountered building there own log home. This gives you a much better idea of what to expect building your own log home from scrath or from a kit. The detailed information on solar and wind energy is a real eye opener. It opened up a whole new possibility of finding what my wife and I want in a piece of land to build our retirement log home on. We thought that land with no power was out of the question. Now we know that is exactly what we want. With this book you have nearly all the information you need to build a self sufficient log home. If your dream is to have a log home in the mountains far from the "rat race", Logs Wind and Sun is a must have book. Live your dreams!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Larry Pollman on October 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
A very inspiring and fun read! Written by a couple who had the courage to pursue their dreams, this book is written for you and me with lots of details, wit and humor.

One of the funnest books I have read in years.
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