Sunday, July 25, 2010

Close but no cigar!

Cut 16 notches, stacked ten logs over the weekend. Looks like I won't make my deadline for being under roof by August. But pretty close. I have a family reunion next weekend so this will probably be the last update for a couple of weeks. My foraging efforts last weekend helped me find three standing dead trees of appropriate size for my uses.
I chopped this one down with the axe because it was growing up from the side of a steep and slippery ravine. I didn't trust myself with the saw under those conditions so I got a nice workout. I tied a rope around it before I dropped it so that I could haul it back up the hill after it fell. Even at 11:00 a.m. my little point and shoot camera had to turn its flash on to take a picture this deep in the woods. Gives you an idea of how lush the canopy is this time of year. "The woods are lovely dark and deep" - Robert Frost.

The walls are almost finished. I just need a couple more courses and I can start the roof! Can you believe it is almost August? Time flies when your having fun.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Art of Manliness

The Art of Manliness is a blog I came across while doing research on log construction. I know what you might be thinking and if I'm right about that your wrong. It is not a haven for testosterone induced chest thumping by a bunch of he-man woman haters. OK if you go there looking for something to be offended by you will probably find it. They cover a lot of ground and aren't shy about addressing controversial issues. To quote the author --

"The Art of Manliness is authored by husband and wife team, Brett and Kate McKay. It features articles on helping men be better husbands, better fathers, and better men. In our search to uncover the lost art of manliness, we’ll look to the past to find examples of manliness in action. We’ll analyze the lives of great men who knew what it meant to “man up” and hopefully learn from them. And we’ll talk about the skills, manners, and principles that every man should know. Since beginning in January 2008, The Art of Manliness has already gained 53,000+ subscribers and continues to grow each week."

Anyway I noticed today that Brett showcased the House of Fallen Timbers! 

Thanks Brett!!

My analytics tell me that over 100 vistors have been referred here since Brett posted the link so welcome to all of you visiting from The Art of Manliness. 

I really enjoy Brett's work and lets face it guys its getting harder and harder to find good male role models these days. Here is one of my favorite recent articles from The Art of Manliness.Dance Like Zorba the Greek

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Poem in Thanks

One of my friends told me to read this poem and I thought it was worth sharing.

Lord Whoever, thank you for this air
I'm about to in- and exhale, this hutch
in the woods, the wood for fire,
the light-both lamp and the natural stuff
of leaf-back, fern, and wing.
For the piano, the shovel
for ashes, the moth-gnawed
blankets, the stone-cold water
stone-cold: thank you.
Thank you, Lord, coming for
to carry me here -- where I'll gnash
it out, Lord, where I'll calm
and work, Lord, thank you
for the goddamn birds singing!
-- Thomas Lux

Thanks Flash!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Cut 12 notches and stacked eight logs yesterday. The walls are now over five feet high all the way around.
Which brings me to the next image. Drum Roll please...the first ever taken from INSIDE the cabin!

As you can see the gaps between logs are wide.

My plan is to wedge smaller logs (sticks) into the gaps and seal them up with mortar. Below is a quick example of what I mean for illustrative purposes. I'll whittle them down to make a better fit before the mortar goes on.

Today I'm heading back into the woods to forage for some more dead trees. I need six more nine foot logs to finish up the walls.

In  other news.  Kent over on the Tiny House Blog posted an update I sent him. Thanks Kent! His blog is an incredible resource for ideas and examples of all sorts of construction methods and man does it make my Google analytics go wild when Kent posts an update. I had 193 visits to the blog the day Kent posted the story!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Everything I ever needed to know I learned on Sesame Street

Thought I would share the video that helped me figure out how to move some really big logs out of the woods. I watched this video and noticed the older man using horses to drag a big log. I don't have horses and the logs were to far off the trails to use the tractor but I have been called a jackass myself so I thought I'd give it a try. I was able to drag three big logs out of the woods. Something about having the weight distributed across the stick and all the tension on the rope makes it possible to lift one end and slide it relatively easily. Like so. I dragged the logs up hill, downhill and through a creek bed!

Anyway, enjoy the video and keep an eye out for the log dragging.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

ROI (Return on Investment)

Yesterday I cut ten notches, stacked eleven logs of various sizes and started framing up the window. The weather was nicer than it has been and I worked shirtless most of the day. I took a dip in the river to cool off and noticed that I'm really starting to get in good shape.

The point of this "backslapping"  is that this cabin is a gift that keeps on giving. Not only am I getting a deluxe little outbuilding out of it, I am in the best shape I've been in over a decade. So I thought I would run down the cost of goods and the return on investment today.

The latest expense was a new set of handles. One for the axe and one for the hatchet. fifteen dollars.

I estimate I have used around three gallons of gas give or take, another fifteen dollars.

There was a new chain for the chainsaw, eighteen dollars, and a pound of nails, two dollars.

Grand total = $50.00 (so far)

Building your own log cabin = Priceless!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Half way up!

Happy Independence Day!
I had three days off work and got 28 notches cut and seventeen logs stacked. The walls are half way up.

Nothing particularly exciting to share, except maybe my plumb line. This is the poor man's lazer level. A string with a nail tied to it. Helped me get straight lines to square up the doorway.

Sorry for the brief  update. I spent way too much time in the heat this weekend. To quote my favorite pirate ..."Stagger, Stagger, Crawl, Crawl ... or was it ... Crawl, Crawl, Stagger Stagger?" - Yellow Beard