Gable Logs

Posted: September 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

Rob and Tyler work to position the last of the gable wall logs on the north end.


Tyler spent the last part of the summer helping build with us.  Thanks Tyler…without your help we couldn’t have pulled it off.  All we had to do was keep him fed and in front of a TV whenever FSU or the Bucs were playing.


When logs are stacked on top of each other there are always knots and bumps to impede that close fit.  To remedy that we are constantly using our cordless saw(chainsaw) to remove the knots and bring the logs together.



All the rafters are up and in position.


As the gable walls got higher I had to get higher to see the gap between the logs and call out the best fit.  This is also a nice shot of our view to the north.  Without the clouds we are able to see the southern end of the Olympic Mountains.


It got easier to lift logs towards the top.


Quite a view at the top from all directions. 


Bonnie and I decided to give this log a try.  You can see the log in the upper left corner.





Rob is drilling 1/2″ holes in our north end ridgepole post.  We put treaded rod through both the post and the wall log for wall stability.  The smaller vertical log is the ridgepole lifting pole that was used in several lifting situations.  We are pretty much done with it so it will be cut and pulled out of there shortly.

Rafters are 8” at the top and 6” at the bottom(eaves).  They are assembled on the ground in pairs.  Two logs are laid side by side…overlapping 11” at the 8” end.  Clamped…or strapped so they are secure together then drilled so a 1/2” AT(all thread) can be tapped through and connected with washer and nut.  The set is now connected and ‘hinged’ at the center.  Pulleys are then used as normal to lift onto the wall.  Once at the wall the lift points are shifted allowing a second pulley set to be used to pull set over the ridgepole.  As the rafter set is pulled over the ridgepole it falls onto the far wall with great force once past the ‘tipping point’.  Always an exciting moment.  Once on the ridgepole a layout is made and rafter sets are moved into position.  We use 5/8” lags to secure the rafters on the wall and on the ridgepole.  Bonnie and I has some great help while putting rafters up this year…Jason and Katie…both graduates of the Onalaska Log Building School came over with their Monster Van and were lifesavers.  We ended up being short two rafters and had to go back into the woods to fall four more trees.  Jason and Katie made it easy with their Monster Van.  With all the trouble we had getting those trees to lay down we should have just chained up the trees to the hitch of that nasty van and just had Jason drive home.  It sure would have made it simpler!  Thanks Jason and Katie! 

  1. Alan says:

    Very entertaining. Looks great too. What is the size of your cabin?


    • Hey Alan. Our cabin footprint is 34’x28′. It will have a half loft. That makes it right about 1500sq ft. Thanks for checking in. If you have anymore questions please ask. I’m trying to catch up on my blog. Our roof is half up. Ciao.


  2. Alan says:

    Do you ever have people come out to see what you doing? I’d like to bring my wife out some time if that would be possible. How many bedrooms are you planning for? Are you hiring people to help you or are they all family? What was your garage size?


    • Hey Alan. Yes…we try to help anyone out we can. If its by letting them come over that’s great. Actually Jack and Sharon Tipping of the Onalaska Log Building School have brought out lots of students over the last couple years. Check out their web site if you already haven’t. Onalaska Log Building School. Are you in WA? We live there on the property only in the summers. We are currently in Florida so you’ll have to wait until June 2017. But Jack would invite you out to his place in Onalaska WA. He and Sharon have 11 logs structures on their property. Then sign up for his class in the springtime! We will have two bedrooms plus an open area in the loft for bunk beds or something of that nature. We have lots of friends who come out to help plus we’ve gotten to know a handyman in the area who is a huge help. Our garage is 30’x24′. Are you planning to build a log cabin? Where are you thinking? When?


      • Alan says:

        I’m interested and will probably sign up for the spring class in Onalaska. I live in the Puget Sound area but just purchased 44 acres above lake Roosevelt. It will be recreation property, I don’t see myself living there year-round, but I really like what you guys have done and I think my two boys and two son-in-laws would like to be involved with a project like this, especially since it will be theirs some day. I have power within 200 feet of where we may build but no water yet. Did you ever consider buying pealed logs? Not sure if the trees on my property (Ponderosa Pine) are big enough to use for a garage and cabin. I thought I’d have a logger come look. If you were doing this again, would you recommend putting in the septic when the foundations were being done?


      • Hey Alan
        Yeah…do the class…best money you can spend. And bring your boys too.
        Lake Roosevelt huh…cool…Bonnie and I did a whole summer looking over there. I’m not sure how your logs will do…you’d have to research that. Jack(from the the Onalaska Log Building School) may be able to help there. I know he has helped with a log build over east of the mountains last year. I’m not sure what logs they used. You can probably contact him off his web site. As for buying peeled logs…my idea is to use trees…not manufactured logs or kits. That’s just me. You need to make your decision. Power…we have power going literally across our property…but its 1500′ away. Utilities told us it would cost us 37k to get power to us. Not good. So while we will wire the cabin for normal power we may not ever hook up to the gird. Instead we will use solar, propane and generator. We’re actually happy about that. “have a logger come look at the trees”…I’m not sure a logger would have a clue what you actually need. Again…talk with Jack. Put the septic in when you have a big excavator on site.
        Random thought….if I had it to do over I would build something small first. Maybe 12×16 or …. Reason being you will learn a lot on that first structure. Plus you can then live in that while the second cabin is going up. Generally speaking I built TOO BIG(for what we needed). So consequently it has taken more time and money than we had budgeted.
        OK…if you ever want to talk call me at 3054090214


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