Sunday, August 29, 2010


Three weeks behind schedule but no less satisfying, the roof is on!

I had to splurge and buy ten dollars worth of sheet metal roofing fasteners for this job. They have sharp ends like nails to puncture the sheet metal, threads like screws to turn into the wood and hex heads like bolts so you can use a wrench to tighten them. I put about seventy of these little guys into the roof. Below you can see the green heads of the fasteners. They also have a neoprene washer that seals up the hole as you tighten them.

I know hand split shakes would have been much more authentic but I kinda dig the 1930's depression era grunge look of the sheet metal.

In other news, Kent Griswold posted another House of Fallen Timbers update on his Tiny House Blog for August. Thanks Kent! Also, I registered the blog on the Nature Blog Network. It's a great listing of blogs on all things nature, lots of birders and other flora and fauna related topics!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Purlins, Gables and Ridgepole

Hands down the toughest job so far. As I mentioned before I had to re-design the roof plan based on the lack of suitable dead trees left on the property. I had to scrap plans for a loft over the porch that would have given me an additional 15 or so feet of storage space but I was still able to gable the roof. 
 The first  big challenge was to get the purlins up on the walls. I'm 82 inches high at the corners now so I had to lift these logs over my head to get them up on the walls. These are the Hackberry logs I floated up the river, they are strong, straight and heavy. The largest is 9 inches at the butt and 8 inches at the tip. All are ten feet in length. The ridgepole stands ten feet off the cabin floor. 
I used Cherry, Box Elder and Elm for the gables. I have some left over scraps of bridge decking I will be using as makeshift rafters. Those are the boards you see laid across the purlins. Cutting off the ends of the gable course logs at an angle with the pitch of the roof is extremely difficult, as you can see I still have to get the back side gable trimmed up. The sheeting you see on the side of the cabin is the corrugated metal I'll be using for the roof. The previous owner of the property left around fifty sheets like these stacked up on the side of the garage.
I slid the metal up to see if my rafter scheme will work. Not ideal but it does look like I can make it work. I hope to get the gables trimmed up and the rafters nailed down next weekend. Who knows maybe I'll even get some sheet metal tacked down!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Last Round Up

Friday evening I hiked the entire property and made a treasure map of every fallen or standing dead tree the size I can use. The news wasn't good. I had to re-design the roof based on what I have left to work with. On Saturday I rounded them up and hauled them to the site. I left no stone unturned as they say, one of the fallen trees was hanging over the river, its root ball still attached to the bank. I dropped it and floated it upstream using the water to carry it. Real lumberjack style.
I'm sure this river has been used before to move lumber but I would bet it was a very long time ago.

I got two logs out of the tree and pulled them about fifty yards upstream to a less daunting embankment, closer to the cabin. I ended up with six twelve foot fairly strait logs by   the end of the day. All six have at least a 6 inch diameter at the tip. Today I cut six notches and stacked three logs. The walls are just under seven feet around and I plan to start on the roof next weekend. Weather was pretty good for felling, hauling and notching. My wade up the river was perfect. The temp is like bathwater in August. All in all a great weekend and a real treat to be finished felling and hauling logs.