Closing in the Gables – Part II

In Part I, I framed in the gables with 2×6 lumber and then sheathed it with 3/8″ plywood. Part II is all about the vapor barrier and the board and batten siding.

Installing the vapor barrier.

The vapor barrier was harder than it looks. It came in a 3′ x 100′ roll, and you must tack it to the plywood. It would be easy if it was right on the ground, but no, I had to tack it, then move the scaffolding, then tack it some more. I initially thought, “Oh, I can start the first row, and then the second row before I move the scaffolding, but I didn’t know how long to make each piece – probably should have measured, I guess. I ended up just doing one complete row, then going back to do the second, and then the third. Lots of pushing the scaffolding around. No fun.

If you zoom in, you can see the horizontal cleats the boards will be nailed to.

After I got the vapor barrier tacked in place, I realized that I didn’t mark where the studs were every 16″. Whoops. No problem, I knew they were 16″ apart, so I just hunted until I found one, and marked it. Down on the ground, I took the 1″x3″x8′ cleats and marked them every 16″ with a chalk line. When I installed the cleats, I just lined up the chalk line with the stud markings. The cleats are what you nail the board and batten to, so they need to attach to the studs instead of just the plywood. I put one cleat at the bottom, and one 5′ up, and then put some in the triangle at the top. I also put a short row directly under the ridge pole so I’d have something to nail to.

We initially liked the idea of cedar board and batten. I found a really good deal on some 1″x10″ cedar up in Chapel Hill, TN from Cedar Direct. I went and picked it up myself on Halloween – trying to get all yellow boards. But when I lightly sanded them and then put a clear sealer on them – they turned pink. It’s not their fault – the wood was great, and was a great price. I would buy it again, but it just doesn’t work with the other colors in our cabin. Not bad, but neither one of us felt like we’d enjoy pulling in the driveway for the next 40 years with the wrong color up there. So I sold it. I should have asked a bit more – I had about 8 people lined up to buy it when I posted it for sale.

LHN & Patty came to visit!

And the same weekend, we finally met LogHouseNut (LHN) in person. He brought Patty with him, and she was just as nice as could be. If you’ll recall from this post, LHN is the one who motivated us to keep going when we were very depressed about our crooked ugly logs:

The kind words that kept us motivated back in 2017.

Back to the cedar: I lost a bit of money on it, but found a really great deal on some 1″x12″ pine boards – and we really like the wider boards anyway. I got them from . Very nice company. When I got there, I had to wait in line. No problem! I felt like I found a gold mine – look at this slab:

Nice slab! Someone is going to get a nice table!

James from RusticLodgeWorks called me and said when he was making the boards that he could get me either 3/4″ or 1″ boards for the same price, so I went with the 1″ boards, thinking they would be less likely to warp. While that is true, that extra 1/4″ over a 10″x10′ board really adds a lot of weight to the thing. They are actual 1″ boards, so they are only 1/2″ thinner than just a regular 2×12 like you would buy at the store. This makes it challenging to install them, especially if you are just one guy working by yourself. No problem, I have pulleys. 🙂

I also used a ticking stick again to trace around the ridge pole for a nice clean fit (see Part I, for this info).

Here’s a video of how I installed them.

We are going for a “honey” color look on the outside, and I think we “nailed” it.

Next Steps

We’re a bit worried with the political instability in the country right now, so we are pushing ourselves to get this thing done ASAP. We decided to close in all the biggest holes (like the gables) first. Then, we’ll focus on insulating the gaps between the logs and chinking. We have one window on the 1st floor in the kitchen that we still need to decide where it goes. Once decided, I can chink up to the second floor on all the exterior walls.

My design for 4×12 brackets.

But wait! There’s more! I started designing the brackets to hold up the second floor and picked up some steel. I was just going to bend them into shape with a torch and an anvil, but Ellery has access to an industrial brake. We’ll find out if it can handle 1/4″ steel. I hope I can make a few brackets soon and get some of the beams installed because this will give me a second floor area to work from. We may or may not install bedrooms on the second floor at this point. I figured out how to knock out chink, so I think we can put second floor windows in later. If we can get the first floor complete, we can get it inspected and move in sooner. Then we can work on the second floor at our leisure.

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