Ridgepole Raised!

Posted: August 17, 2016 in Uncategorized

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The raising of the ridgepole(RP) was fairly uneventful…and that is good unless you are filming for a reality show and the producer is hoping for some drama.  We put up good rope guy lines to beef up the lifting poles before we started lifting.  We also measured and cut the height of the two outside ridgepole posts to give us the 5/12 pitch of the roof we wanted.  Then we cut ‘cups’ into the posts to ‘cradle’ the ridgepole as we set it down.  We used very long…24” x 5/8” lag bolts to secure the RP to the post.  Big Red in the center of course gave us the most work.  Rob had to use his 30” chainsaw to cut a 6” hole in the middle top of Big Red to fit the post into.  Big Red was 3’ shorter than our other post so we had to extend it by using the post.  We will hollow out a large DF(Douglas Fir) and wrap it around the post for looks later.  It seems since the day I saw and bought that big tree its been testing both my patience and my wallet.  The cost of the tree was nothing compared to all the other expenses it has incurred.  Building the footing $700…cement $600…lifting it into position $300…top post to stretch it up to the RP $250.  Sheesh…a 16”x21’ DF(Douglas fir) would have cost me $75!  I sure hope we get lots of memories over the next years because of ‘ol Big Red.  So now the RP is up and we can start to work on the wall logs above the loft.  Cool.

Ridgepole On Deck!

Posted: August 8, 2016 in Stacking Logs

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Well…my second favorite log of course!  50 feet long…almost 18” at one end…it will extend eight feet past both ends of our cabin.  With the extension of the 2×6 the roofing will extend a total of 10 feet past each gable end wall.  That my friend is GREAT LOG PROTECTION FROM THE RAIN!  It took five of us working as a team to get this bad boy onto the second floor deck…Jack, Rob, Sam, Bonnie and myself.  From the photos you can see that we used the two north end sets of block and tackle to initially lift the RP up onto the deck edge.  From there we brought the south end pulleys to replace those pulleys on the end and moved the north pulleys further back on the RP.  Eventually with that strategy we slide the RP to a center point on deck.  Next will be to hoist it straight up on to the three posts.

Joyce Log Extenders

Posted: August 4, 2016 in Stacking Logs

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OK…we now have a half loft…but we need a temporary floor over the WHOLE floor.  Because the joyce logs were cut long most of them spanned over the middle close to the north wall.  I could have used scaffolding but thought that was too heavy and expensive.  Later I will be using 16’x2x8’s for the main floor so I went ahead and ordered those to use as temporary loft extenders.  We lagged 2×8’s into the north wall to act as a hanger and brought the 2×8 extenders over.  We then had a strong temporary floor to extend over the Great Room to finish the wall logs and rafters.  Later we will dismantle and use these logs as main floor joyce lumber.  Ok…that was wordy…but I felt it was a good solution that some of you readers may use some day. 

Second Floor Joyce Logs

Posted: July 30, 2016 in Stacking Logs

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OK…here are a set of wonderful photos.  The second floor.  Fourteen 8” logs spaced 24” apart to be used to lay 2x6TG(tongue and groove) flooring on soon.  I will attempt to have the patience to give you some details I think will be interesting. (It is 95 degrees outside and I am happy to be at the Flippin’ 50’s in Elma Washington eating their great food, using their AC and enjoying great hospitality). 

My last post showed placing the joyce beams.  Those two logs go east/west.  One is lagged to Big Red and the other is place halfway between the south wall and Big Red.  We use 5/8”x 14” lag screws.  Now the joyce logs are pulled up on the south end and drug north to span the two beams and the south wall itself.  Are you with me?  Jack(of the Onalaska Log Building School) cut these logs long so we could use the portion that fit best.  So Kara and I measured the diameter of each log and found the 8 1/2” point on each log and made a mark.  We then pulled each log to this mark to the beam lagged into Big Red.  That way we should be very close to level with all fourteen logs…important when we add the 2x6TG dimensional lumber for our floor.  Are you still with me?  We then lagged each log secure.  I found $10 sheets of 3/4” used plywood on Craigslist and bought 30 sheets to make a temporary floor.  My sister Kara helped screw them down.

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Things are really starting to go UP here!  We are getting close to the height of our second floor so we will be setting our joyce beams across the east and west walls in order to set our Joyce logs for our LOFT. 

Gallery  —  Posted: July 28, 2016 in Stacking Logs

Access Door

Posted: July 21, 2016 in Stacking Logs


First Ridgepole Post

Posted: July 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

Bonnie helps use the Pievy to rotate the log for Jack.




We use a piece of Pressure Treated wood between the log post and concrete because concrete will eventually rot the log.


Positioning the north ridgepole post.  Again…no boom trucks were harmed(or used) in the positioning of these logs.


Bonnie was always on hand to help in any way she could.


This is my new favorite photo!


It was a delicate balance of which side to pull in order to lift this center post into position.


This center post will be 1 out of 3 logs to hold our ridge pole log up.  Big Red…our center post is in the upper right corner of this photo.


Bonnie is on the jeep winch and Rob is on the tractor pulling this post into place.




This is my happy face.


FYI…the 2′ square footings will hold 4×4″ posts and 4×8″ beams that will hold the 2×8″ joyce milled lumber for the floor.  You can see the joyce hangers along the top of the foundation.


I am looking at a wall log that needs to be notched in order for the center post to fit correctly


Notching the wall log.

Jack’s Nephews Day

Posted: July 15, 2016 in Stacking Logs

Jack had some relatives visiting from Germany so he brought them over to get the experience of building a log cabin.  By the way…I am open to that for any of you to come over!

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BIG RED Installed!

Posted: July 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

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OK…you must be sworn to secrecy…the facts I am about to tell you could damage my reputation and otherwise ruin my day…if too many people find out that I actually USED A BOOM TRUCK…shuhhhhsssh.  You see, from day one most everyone has suggested that we use a boom truck to lift up our logs…”you can’t do all that with just rope and pulleys…that’s crazy!  You need a boom truck”.   So you can see my reluctance to use a boom truck even though it was only used on ONE log.  A BIG one.  BIG RED.  A tree really.  Alas, wisdom got the better of me and in the end I was glad we did it this way.  No friends were harmed in the installation and no rabbits lost their homes.  I think the photos speak for themselves.  Enjoy.

Cement Footing for Big Red

Posted: July 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

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I purchased a big cedar tree from a mill in Port Orchard WA with the intention to use it as our ce

nter post.  It measured 18’x40”.  It was gorgeous.  Knots and grain everywhere…it looked like a perfect ‘climbing tree’ for the GKids…or at least a beautiful addition to our great room.  My engineer planned for it to have only a one foot thick footing…that would have left almost four feet UNDER our floor.  That wasn’t going to happen so I had a 4x4x4’ footing built so we wouldn’t loose but one inch of tree.  For months I planned just how we would lift this tree into the structure and then stand it upright.  The steel plate on top of the footing had to be boomed onto the footing it was so heavy.  We got a nice campfire pit out of the deal as well.  Kristof was a big help for over a week…Thanks Kristof!  Life up here is not so ‘off the grid’ that we don’t have Netflix with our sat dish and solar footprint.