Sunday, May 25, 2008

Jump several weeks into the future

As is the case around here, updates are few and far between. Mostly because of lack of time to do it and partly because of lack of visible progress and a little bit of laziness as well. Maybe I'm just to close to the whole thing to be able to see any real leaps forward. That sometimes happens. It's been about ten months since we started and the time has come to sprint towards the finish line end get things completed. Work has been steady, still just Dad and me doing all the work with Kim helping hold things, move stuff and keeping the saw dust swept up.

So, I suppose that I should send up a few pictures to get things up to date on the blog. I really wont bother with a detailed pictorial account of everything, just enough to get current with the progress.
I will at a later date share a few of the details on the roofing crew that shouldn't be allowed to roof a dog house, but I shall not go there for now.

The pics......

Chevy trucks have never been my choice for the ideal truck. They do however, make a fine platform from which to install windows on a new cabin. Here, Dad proves my point with a demonstration.

The last major piece of the exterior construction is the kitchen. Here the ceiling and roof start to take shape.

Now the log siding and a window on a very cold and windy day, and yes of course it rained.

Foam insulation panels going up with Dad, Mike and myself going full blast to get it done while the weather is good.

The private deck for the master bedroom is taking shape.

Siding on the back of the cabin was fairly easy to put up since ther wasn't many obstacles to work around.

Monday, January 14, 2008

And Still There is More.......

Once the cabin was under least to the point that the felt was on and the rain wouldn't pour in, it was time to get the front porch on.

And of rains!

You guessed it! Porch rafters!!

My Hunble Apologies.......

As is the custom, the updates are few and far between....but the progress on the cabin is anything but few and far between. So.....rather than yap about and the details of building a log cabin, I'll just post pics of the progress and the current status of things. Here goes........

Second floor framing begins

The first ridge beam is in place

The rafters are going up.......

The second ridge beam goes up.....

Kim and myself setting the second set of rafters on the second ridge beam...

The T&G goes up on the rafters...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sorry for the delay.........

Yes, it's been a while since the last pics were posted. I'll explain later.

Last log......last log screw!!!!! Finally!!!!

This beam was twenty feet long and came in two pieces.

Try carrying that on your shoulders up a ladder boys and girls!!!

This will support the second floor of the cabin. Me and Dad carried this up ladders and put it in place on the two support walls. Lot's of fun!!!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Logs, Lots of logs!!

Dad and myself continue to pile up the logs. There is an end in sight. At least I think there is an end in sight. For now at least, we have decided to start doing a little framing to get everything tied together. The exterior walls are all but complete and need to be tied together o keep them in place if a nasty little wind decides to come through and blow things around. I sure would hate to see all those logs laying back on the ground in a heap. I believe that they would officially become firewood at that point.

Here we are laying up the cap log on one of the gable ends of the cabin. The framing for the second floor will start on top of this log.

So, we start a little framing on the two main level bed rooms. Nothing fancy or tricky here. Just your typical run of the mill framing will do.

That all went pretty well. We now have what appears to be the makings of two bed rooms.

Here we are doing the framing for the front bed room. The center dividing wall is framed from 2x6's. The floor beams for the master bed room will rest on the center wall and need all the support they can get.

And now for the second bed room framing. You can see from this pic that the log walls are not completely finished. We are moving towards that goal as much as we can at the moment. Once the framing is complete, then we can finishde the log stacking and get it all braced and tied together.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I'll let the pictures do the talking....

And The Beat Goes On

Work continues on the cabin project. The log exterior walls are nearing completion. The weather has been perfect for frying eggs and baking biscuits. Hot, hot hot! Our little corner of the planet is almost 16 inches behind the norm for rain fall this year. The ground is parched and crops are suffering. At least it has given me plenty of time to get along on the cabin accomplish things that rain would bring to a halt.

Kim is if official photographer for the cabin project. She has become the one in charge of documenting each phase and milestone along the way. Example.......while I am lifting, dragging and setting logs on the walls........she takes the photos. All in a days work I suppose. The smile on her face gets bigger each day as the walls begin to take shape.

My dad has been there without fail. He has more or less taken charge, as much as I will allow anyway. He has his ideas and I have mine. That is always the case I think. But in the end, there are no compromises. We usually come to some sort of agreement on things and keep moving ahead. Kim's dad has came down a few times and pitched in. Every little bit helps as the saying goes. Truth is, I couldn't imagine having 6-8 people there to do this kind of work. There is barely enough room to move around with just Kim, dad and myself there.

In spite of a record dry season, yesterday was a slight exception. It did rain for about an hour or so. Just enough to soak everything and put the breaks on any log stacking efforts that would otherwise occur. A day of rest however is certainly not a bad thing.

Kim and I went to an estate auction last weekend in hopes of finding a nice antique piece of furniture to put in the cabin. It wasn't to be. There was only one china hutch there that would be considered antique. It had a few problems. One of the doors was cracked, cracked glass, and it wasn't as wide as I would like to have a hutch to be. It sold for $160. Worth it perhaps, but not exactly what I was looking for. So we passed it by. We did manage to be the winning bidders on Craftsman generator. After a little tlc, she's running like a champ. Now if the electricity goes out for some reason, we are prepared. It can also run all my power tools for the cabin project. No need to have a temporary service to get electricity on site. I also was high bidder on a box full of Coleman lanterns. Since we have an outdoorsy personality, these lanterns can shed a little light on a dark camping trip. I think I have about five of those lanterns now. What? You can never have to many lanterns! Oh, we also got a box lot of boating supplies. Like we need boating supplies. I wanted the paddles to carve on and maybe hang up in the cabin at some point. It's better not to ask questions, so will become clear when the cabin is finished.

I will post some current pics of the progress in a day or so. Maybe tonight if I get a chance to fire up the puter.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Time to get caught up.......finally

I suppose that I should be honest with those who are reading this little blog of ours. See.......the cabin project much farther along than this blog reflects. Most, I mean all of my time is spent cutting, measuring, drilling, pounding, caulking, fastening and lifting logs. That leaves exactly zero minutes to get the blog caught with reality. that is......until now.

As I attempt to get the blog in order...please under stand that there is a high probability that will forget something or at the very least get things out of the order in which they happened. So, I humbly beg your forgiveness as I recall as best I can the events of the past few days (weeks).

Once the floor trusses were finished, it was time to get down to the nitty gritty of what it means to be building a log cabin. The key word here is "Log".

They arrived on the 23rd of August just as promised. I was there waiting as the truck came up the hill to deliver them to there final resting place. Well, as close t final as I could get for the time being.
Here is a pic of the log packs just as the driver pulled in before unloading.

Believe it or not, our cabin is on this truck, nicely packed and neatly wrapped.

It's sort of like Christmas if you think about it. Just replace the reindeer with a big red truck and replace Santa with a good ole' boy from Morganton North Carolina and there you have it.'s 98 degrees!!

So when it was all said and done, all the log packs were sitting on the sub floor with the exception of one pack left sitting on the ground.

This is a really good way of saving yourself a little on medical bills. If the logs are placed on the floor then one doesn't have to lift then onto the foundation which in my case is just over six feet high at the front of the cabin.

Yes....I know you can rent things to do the heavy work.....but as I discovered, Dang..those things are expensive!

I truly expected to be doing most if not all of the work at this point I have started planning to build a boom pole to attach to my tractor to help me sit logs in place on the walls. Isn't it funny how everyone wants to help you but when it's time to put up or shut up, there is scarce a warm body to be found. Fair weather friends I believe is the term for that.

You never know how things are going to turn out. I must give my Dad lots of deserved credit. Just when I thought and was preparing to go it alone.....Dad comes down and jumps right in. I must say......we are both learning the ropes on this one. Between the two of us.....we have exactly no experience in log construction. All of that was about to change.....quickly.

We spent the first two days arguing about what to do and how to do it. We spent the next few days testing out theory.
Here is the gratuitous self indulgent pic of me and the lone pack pf logs that had to be placed on the ground.

Not to worry my friends......this is only a temporary resting place. You will soon be standing proudly on the wall of our little cabin.

So after the first two days of what shall call "intense discussion", me and dad get down to the business of trying to figure this stuff out. I went through all of the log packs to find the "starter logs", and wouldn't you know it..........they were in the last pack I opened. I shoud have started there first!
Building a log cabin is a game of firsts'. First measurement, first cut, first one thing then another. You get the idea.

Here me and dad (or is it dad and I?) preparing for the first cut of the starter log.

It was fairly unspectacular.....just a little four foot long piece to get started around the future fireplace.

And here it is! The moment I have waited for all my life (I'm not kidding about that)...placing the first log for our cabin!

We had so much fun at this.....we decided to put it on and take it off three times before we decided to move and and do something else.

It seems that we were right the first time.

The theory was, since we have such a long wa y to go with putting up logs.....we thought we would get a little practice in before we went to the next one.

As the first logs are placed, you are forced to think ahead. Now is when you drill all the holes for the electrical stuff. That wasn't nearly as bad as I had anticipated. I'm getting better at it, I think.

After two rounds of logs the electrical holes must be in place and then a new challenge......where oh where to put the windows?

This is me in my thinking pose. You can always count on Kim to take pictures of some very strange moments.

This was one of those moments.

There will be plenty more to follow.

So..............shew wee!...................After all that thinking, measuring, cutting, caulking, drilling, screwing and unscrewing, lifting up and taking down.........the walls beging to take shape.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

More about Floor Trusses

A little advise to the shade tree log cabin builder.......never buy floor trusses from ABC ( a local truss manufacturer)......apparently not one person at that facility has a tape measure!

I'm certainly not an expert builder by any means, but I can read a tape measure. Heck.....the new ones even have the fractions printed on them. Take it from me....there are advantages to engineered trusses. The disadvantage is that you must trust and then pay some other outfit to build them for you. Therein lies the problem.

Floor Trusses

The work of building a log cabin doesn't seem to be getting any easier as we move along. Everything gets heavier and longer! On this day in cabin history we were putting up the floor trusses. The long trusses were 28 feet and the short ones was ten feet long. The challenge was just getting them on the foundation from the ground. They were delivered 5 days ahead of schedule, thankfully......we were ready.

At this stage of the game, I am very surprised and pleased with the progress in spite of the rain delay on the foundation, the lack of manpower to help lift the big stuff and oh.........this is the first time I have ever built a log cabin.

This is a pic of the first nail that was pounded in the cabin project. I got it started and then Kim drove it home.
Hey......maybe thats where that phrase came from!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sill Plates and Flasing...the metal kind.

Kim and I worked every day in the evenings after or day jobs were done. We finally got the sill plates, flashing and sealer finished. Not a very difficult task....if it hadn't been for the block layers not having a clue on how to install would have been much easier to get the plates down. Does anyone know a good block layer out there? Please.......please let me know of you do.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Block Laying Finished

Finally......after the monsoon season passed (which lasted about three days) the block layers finished up.

See there, I told you the possibilities were endless. Within a given structure of course.

First order of business was to fill the corners with concrete. Yes I know, it's overkill....but you never can over do a foundation......even for a humble little cabin like ours.

Yes it rained.....the up side is that it was cool enough that day to get it all done in one day.
We poured 2000 lbs. of concrete using a 5 gallon bucket. NOT FUN!!

Monday morning the mixer went back to the rental place.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Step Two.......Pour concrete & Lay block

Things happen pretty dog gone fast around here. The construction loan was closed on (of all days) Friday the 13th of July. The next morning we were off to the Highland Games. We returned home on the morning of the 15th to find the excavation work already in progress. Monday the 16th I had the block layer come to give me an estimate on the job. Tuesday the 17th I ordered the block from Summit Building Supply in Burnsville NC., the concrete was poured on Wednesday the 18th and the block were delivered on Thursday the 19th. I was in a mild state of shock to see things flow go so well.

The block layers came on Monday the 23rd and got about half to block done before 12pm the same day. And then........well, lets just say that I discovered a cure to the drought we are in here in the South. Build a house and it will come. I gave some thought to just converting the house foundation into a swimming pool. It was full of water, all I needed was a filter since it was a bit muddy.

Nothing lasts forever, including the rain. It did finally clear up a few days later and the block guys were able to finish up the job.....well.....after the mistake they made was taken care of. Nothing major really, they just didn't build the wall that we had talked about the day before. But that was all soon in the past once we were all on the same page.

Here are a few pics to bring us up to the point that the foundation block was completed.

She way look a little confused, she may seem a little at a loss for words, she may even broken hearted.

All these things are true. I think more than anything, she just doesn't yet see all the possibilities in front of her.

After the concrete was poured, then came the block. Ah,...the possibilities are endless!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Major changes are a foot

Oh boy! It's been longer than I intended since the last post. Theres plenty of excuses I can make for not getting around to posting here. Basically, I just haven't done it. Thats about it. Seems that time gets away from me faster than I would like it to. I hit the big four zero back in January. That was painful to say the least. A surprise birthday party made it a little easier to deal with. But, every day can't be a reality creeps back from time to time and I get bummed about it. Some things I can change, this one......I can't.

Kim and I have done lots of bike riding this year, mostly spring and early summer. It's been way to hot and humid lately to get out and huff up and down hills on a bike. I am getting a little weary of the heat. I want to be out in the woods doing what I love. Soon summer will end and the weather will break and be more conducive to strenuous activity.

Now for the big news.......for most if not all of my adult life and a good portion of my teenage years, I have had this deep desire to step back into time and live life as our ancestors did. Well, for the most part that can be a little difficult to do. But still the desire lingers and I keep an open mind about things and life in general and grab for the little things that feed that desire of mine.

One big step in that direction has always been the fact that I wanted to build and live in my very own log cabin.'s finally happening. Yes world......we are building our dream cabin. That accounts for my lack of mountainous type activities as of late. So for awhile at least this blog will serve a dual purpose, one is to chronicle our life on two wheels and the other is to keep a log of the progress on the cabin.

I suppose that I should say now that when I say "building our dream cabin", I literally mean that we are doing the building. HGTV calls it sweat equity. I just don't have much trust in allowing strangers to build a cabin that I will be happy with.

So, from here on out......I will post pics of the work, tell of our failures and successes and maybe, just maybe I'll have a bike riding story to throw in from time to time.

It all began when we came back from the GFM Highland games on the 15th of July. Dave was digging away with the dozer, so I joined the effort.

By the end of a very long and hot day, house seat was done, footers were done and we were ready for concrete.
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