Closing in the Gables – Part 1: Framing and sheathing

With the windows and doors almost all installed, we decided to change gears and close in the gables. This part of the house is not structural, so I have more leeway with how to do it. I still used 16″ centers for my framing, though. I decided to frame it in with 2×6’s, since I had almost all the lumber I needed for free from when I was working on the roof and a guy just wanted to get rid of them. The biggest challenge was getting it all up there. My 24′ ladder only reaches the top of the … Continue reading Closing in the Gables – Part 1: Framing and sheathing

Roof – Part 4 of 4: Shingles

Whew. That was hard. I’m now officially “under roof”. I knew the roof would be a multi-part series, but it was more long and drawn out than I thought. I am now far behind my goal for finishing the home in 2-3 years. In fact, I thought back in October that I might be able to finish the roof by the end of 2018. We are now halfway through 2019. On the bright side, I’m still within budget, and now that the roof is done, I can take a breather and finish projects I left hanging like installing a motor … Continue reading Roof – Part 4 of 4: Shingles

Girder Log & Girder Support Log

  I estimate the roof of my log home will weigh around 50,000 lbs. In class, they taught us that you need a girder log that is crosswise to the ridge pole to increase the strength of the structure. The girder log is also known as a collar tie. Its job is to keep the walls from spreading apart due to the weight of the roof, as well as to support the second floor. Since we used pulleys, we knew we could install the girder log at any time after we reached second floor height. We decided to wait until … Continue reading Girder Log & Girder Support Log

Leveling Rafters

Seems like there’s always more to do… A few weeks ago, we took a major step forward- we are done with the walls, and we got the Ridge Pole and rafters installed. I’ve spent that past 2 weeks- in between weather events and life- getting the rafters level. Again, if we were building with 2×4’s, it’d be easy. Building with crooked logs involves a lot of finesse and finagling to get things to look right. There is nowhere to ‘zero’ my measurements, so I have to do relative measurements. For example, the cap logs are actual logs, so they vary … Continue reading Leveling Rafters

Part II: Rafters up- new crane guy

Click here to read Part I (where we get the Ridge Pole up) They sent Chad out to help.  He asked me about the the guy who set the Ridge Pole (RP). I told him the guy’s name, and he laughed- “Oh, yeah, good ol’ Be***! That guy’s afraid of his own shadow.” I was immediately at ease with Chad. Here’s a guy who knows that stuff like this is dangerous, and harping on it doesn’t make anyone safer. We all know it’s dangerous, and we do it anyway, but we try to work smart. I told him the plan. … Continue reading Part II: Rafters up- new crane guy

Part I: Ridge Pole up, but what a struggle

We decided to go with a crane. I’ve written about how dangerous I thought installing the Ridge Pole myself would be, how long it would take, and how expensive it would be. I took a Thursday & Friday off work to prepare. Thursday- it took me nearly all day to pull the rafters off the rack, bolt them together, and then lay them out in preparation for the crane to lift them. By evening, I had just enough daylight to chain blocks to the RPSL’s as a cradle to hold the RP. But I almost fell when the scaffolding slipped … Continue reading Part I: Ridge Pole up, but what a struggle

Cutting Rafters

Background I’m neck deep into using my sawmill. Back in February when it was raining and muddy, I welded up another 18 feet of track for it in the neighbor’s shed. I made dogs to hold the logs in place and squared it up very well. I thought I would be putting the roof on in June of this year. But, I’ve had several delays- the weather being the number one delay, but then my job sent me to Florida for a week of training, and then our LandCruiser needed a new headgasket. Finding, cutting, peeling, and installing the RPSL’s was … Continue reading Cutting Rafters

RPSL’s installed

Another small milestone. Just two more logs so far, but wow, it was not easy. Background RPSL’s are Ridge Pole Support Logs- their job is to hold up the Ridge Pole (RP)- the largest, longest, straightest, heaviest log in the entire build. They are very important logs, and must have no defects and be very straight. I estimate the Ridge Pole I’m going to use to be about 5 tons (for comparison, the heaviest wall log was around 3 tons). Vertical compression strength for a 12″ log averages around 650,000 lbs (about 325 tons), whereas the horizontal strength of a … Continue reading RPSL’s installed