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James' log cabin build  RSS feed

 
gardener
Posts: 1688
Location: Middle Tennessee
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It's been a banner couple weeks since my last update. A lot of big, noticeable things have gotten done to the project, which is a real motivational boost. Gutters have been installed, the concrete back patio has been poured as well as the pad out at the basement door. My crooked and "hand made" retaining walls at the basement door were filled with concrete as well, which will allow me to finally backfill against the basement and those small hills of soil on that side of the house will be tamed and graded to a final slope. Aside from the back patio, I built a small deck at the mudroom door. I no longer have a giant step to get into the house. I still have to build some stairs to get to the deck, but for now a couple pallets and a discarded log make do. I really had my eye on the tape measure when marking for the footers for the new deck. Missing the mark on the front porch piers may not be demoralizing and irritating anymore but they are still fresh in my mind. My neighbor again came over with one of his farm tractors and augered the holes for the form tubes for me, and I proceeded to fill those with sack concrete. I almost missed the mark again, but my deck posts do land on the concrete piers, barely. I've decided I'm just not good at calculating where those need to go. In addition to the exterior work, my brother helped me get the interior doors hung, which not only is a great step forward but those doors have been piled up in the bedroom since June. Having those in their final place frees up space and will allow me to chink the interior bedroom walls and get the floor done. Getting all these steps in the process completed not only boosts morale but has really gotten us closer to the finish line.
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James Freyr
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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I'm happy to say that more progress has occurred at the cabin to wrap up the year. It's been a slightly crazy month, not because of the holidays really but because it's getting down to crunch time to do my best to not only try and have the cabin ready to move in come January/February, but also trying to finish sprucing up the current house my wife and I live in to get it on the market and hopefully sold come first half of January. We've been cleaning up the garden, mulching the landscaping, recoating the deck, packing, cleaning the garage (which I'm ashamed to admit had become a sort of dumping ground and was cluttered pretty bad) and taking carloads to goodwill, and everything else involved in moving. I last moved ten years ago, and I didn't bring a whole lot, and now I look around and it's amazing the stuff that accumulates over a decade of not just living in a house but building a life with a counterpart that grew from girlfriend to wife during that time. We have for a few years now been adjusting our lifestyles to be less of a consumer and continually evolve to repurpose, reuse, create and make-do, and we are both excited to be moving into a smaller house and have enjoyed the downsizing process. It's been great for us to give things away that we no longer need, will use, or don't want to take with us and focusing on taking what we need such as things to cook food on/in, less furniture (like having one bed instead of also having a spare bed for guests that never come), and less clothes for example (we both had what I think were a lot of clothes that haven't been worn in a year or more, so off to goodwill those went).

Back to the cabin, it's largely been a bit of a flooring extravaganza, with the tile in the half bath getting finished as well as the hardwood throughout the rest of the house. I still have to set tile in the laundry room and master bath, but that's all I lack for flooring. I've also been doing other small tasks like running another plumbing vent stack thru the roof, finishing the water heater vent in the attic, and devoting a day to cleaning up around the cabin and running cardboard to the recycle center. Here's some pictures of the floors that I've been working on and many thanks to my brother who came and helped me make a marathon finish to the hardwood flooring. (The first pictures of the small room is a bathroom, and that's porcelain tile that looks like hardwood)
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Posts: 95
Location: Charlotte, Tennessee
17
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I love the look of your bathroom tile. And I can completely relate to the joys (and hard work) of downsizing your stuff. My husband was in the Navy for the first 13 years of our marriage, and we never had accumulation creep. The following 12 years though ... lots o' crap! Now we're getting out from under that, finally.
 
James Freyr
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Location: Middle Tennessee
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Thanks Erica. I find the crap accumulation phenomenon interesting. It's like I turn around one day wondering where it all came from. No one else put it there and I realize I brought it home like one bag at a time or the UPS driver brought it to me one box at a time.

Bingo! That's my new years resolution, but not just for a year. I vow to continue to consume less, and not accumulate crap. Time for more concious living.
 
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Very nice James. My wife and I started our log build this year also. We pretty much have done everything but the roof including harvesting and milling the logs last year. We are not as far along as you are, we just now got it dried in.
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Brad Robinson
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A couple more pics
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James Freyr
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Nice place Brad! What kind of wood did you use? I like the round style and those jumbo timbers on your porch. Are the wall logs coped or is there a chinking gap? Are they also round on the interior?
 
Brad Robinson
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James Freyr wrote:Nice place Brad! What kind of wood did you use? I like the round style and those jumbo timbers on your porch. Are the wall logs coped or is there a chinking gap? Are they also round on the interior?


James, we had a bunch of red pine on the property so we cut them down and used those. This a post and beam style build. This is my 3rd log home build using red pine. I milled the logs flat on the top and bottom with my saw mill. foam sill plate insulation was used in between each coarse as a gasket, and then I filled all cracks and voids with spray foam, and eventually everything gets chinked. Yes the logs are round on the inside as well. I will finish the partition walls with lumber that I milled.
 
James Freyr
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You have a really nice looking home in the making Brad. I hope you will share some more pics as the work progresses towards the finish line!
 
James Freyr
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The last several weeks have found me trying to make steps towards completing some details that make a house function, such as a working kitchen sink and a shower. The granite guys delivered and installed the countertop and only then was I able to plumb the kitchen sink, which in turn allowed me to turn on the water heater. Oh man, hot water is so nice, especially after so many weeks or months rather of freezing my meat hooks trying to do dishes or wash up outside with the garden hose. Appliances were delivered at some point and I got the dishwasher and range hood installed. In the master bath I finally plumbed the mixing valve and riser, got the shower pan set in a mortar bed and the cement board hung and taped in the shower. I also installed the vanity, wood top & sink, and set a toilet in the little half bathroom. That room still has a little ways to go before being complete. The closet got finished in 12 inch wide rough sawn cedar and I hung some sheets of bead board in the pantry, which really just look like sheets of plywood in the picture. Shelves will installed hopefully in the next two or three weeks. And lastly just two days ago I set the tile in the laundry room. My wife found these funky rustic wood looking square tiles, and I’ll post another pic of the floor once it’s grouted.
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pollinator
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So pretty!  Love the updates.
 
James Freyr
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Thanks Sonja!
 
James Freyr
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I got that tile in the laundry room grouted a week and a half ago. Since that floor is finished, I could now build a little table/bench for the sink going in the laundry room to rest on. I went back up to the old dilapidated cabins previously pictured and pulled out some 2x4's and lightly pressure washed 70+ years of dirt off of them. It turns out they're made from poplar, and one of my favorite features in old lumber are sawmill marks, which a lot of the lumber in those old cabins have. I used some of the same oak that was installed on the bedroom wall to make the little shelf. I think it turned out real nice, and I like giving that lumber a second life and repurposing materials that were laying around. Also in the last two weeks I worked on the floor in the master bath. We chose to do some in-floor heating, and this style of floor heating is electric and comes on a mat, which gets unrolled over some insulated cement board. The mat and heating wire adds some thickness, not much maybe 1/16th of an inch, so now the heated area is a little taller than the rest of the cement board, so I decided to skim a coat of thinset over the entire floor, to help bring everything back to one level. After a couple days of that curing, I installed the tile, which took two days time. Also, I installed some trim in the closet, but before I did that I sprinkled diatomaceous earth in the expansion gaps between the hardwood floor and wall. These gaps often end up being bug highways, and I figure now's my chance to take proactive measures for indoor bug control, especially since I refuse to spray bug poisons. I used a shim to scoop DE from a mason jar and sprinkle it into the gap before the baseboard was installed.
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James Freyr
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I've got some catching up to do. Quite a bit has happened since my last post for those that have been following along. I think I'll turn this into two posts. Picking up where I left off, the bathroom floor was grouted, and I installed the vanity along with its countertop, sink, faucet and corresponding plumbing. My wife and I also decided to use some bead board on a few of the walls in the bathroom, which we recovered from the two old cabins down the driveway mentioned earlier in this thread. I lightly pressure washed it to knock the dirt off. It was made from old growth pine and I’ve included a picture of the end grain to show the growth ring density. It had a really peculiar piney smell when I was making cuts with the mitre saw. I also applied a waterproofing coating to the cement board in the shower stall and got it tiled and grouted. A few weeks passed before I installed the shower door, and I'm waiting on the valve trim and shower head to arrive.
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James Freyr
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Another item that arrived and I got installed with the help of my neighbor was the countertop for the island. We found a guy in the state that did woodwork and he made it from 8/4 red oak. I finally got the little half bath finished, well almost. The only thing lacking is to stain the door. I’ve also been working on the mountain of trim carpentry I have to do, and I got three exterior windows cased with trim boards. It feels good to have those three done as they are the only ones that are not under a porch roof or have the eave directly over them. They were the most difficult of all the windows since I had to be on a ladder to finish them. I always enjoy getting the hard stuff done first leaving the easier things for last. My brother came back for a day and he helped me with a few things, including installing a storm door. Just yesterday I tiled the backsplash behind the stove. It's a mosaic made from glass tiles. The pieces are stuck onto a plastic sheet and are installed in approximately 1 foot square sections. I used white thinset mortar to affix them to the cement board. It helps reflect light back through the glass tiles as opposed to using a grey mortar. It was the last of the five tile jobs to do in the house. All that remains is to grout it when I return on Monday, then I can put away all my tile tools. Hurray!
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