Triple Blocks – Details

Another post on pulleys? When I first started lifting logs, I used a chain hoist, some antique #8 pulleys, and some homemade pulleys when I couldn’t find any more antique pulleys. Pulleys that are rated for more than 3,000 pounds are surprisingly hard to find, and the ones you do find can cost over $400 per block. Pulleys are rare because everyone hires a crane or uses a telehandler to lift heavy stuff anymore. If you are having trouble finding a telehandler due to the recent construction boom, you may want to consider using block and tackle. A set of … Continue reading Triple Blocks – Details

How to use Ropes & Knots to build a log cabin by hand

I’ve always been intrigued with rope and string, and the many uses for it. A few years ago, I even took up knitting, and I’ve come up with my own designs for socks, sweaters, hats and scarfs. The idea that clothing can be made simply by looping string together is quite astounding when you think about it. And building a cabin with ropes and pulleys is a fascinating step back in time. Some of the pulleys I used were 100 year old antiques I found on Ebay. But I made others myself.  Now that I’m all but done using ropes, … Continue reading How to use Ropes & Knots to build a log cabin by hand

Roof – Part 3: Installing almost everything on the roof

box frame for insulation almost complete The shingle elevator was made out of wood, and it broke after the week of rain weakened it. So I welded a new one. It works better, but I’m worried about the rails it rides, which are 22 foot long 2×10’s. I’ve made a lot of progress on the roof- the frame is complete, the insulation is completely installed on both sides. I had to stop and measure how much insulation I had left- and use the hot wire foam cutter to cut the 9″ thick pieces down to size – they were too … Continue reading Roof – Part 3: Installing almost everything on the roof

It’s been a weird month

I cut 6 more trees I measure trees by their diameter (straight across the butt of the log), while Julie measures the circumference (with a tape all the way around the butt of the log).  Either way is fine, but since she’s picking the logs, we’re going with her measurement. The idea in the beginning was to stack logs from biggest circumference to smallest circumference. We got started on the second level, and were at a point where the circumference was about to drop below five feet. And then get skinny dramatically. There were still some big ones here and … Continue reading It’s been a weird month

Up to the 4th Course

The method Each complete layer of logs (made up of all the logs that are on the same level) is called a “course”. The logs are oriented in alternating pin-wheel courses- and by pinwheel, I mean at each corner, one end of each log “passes” a log that is “butted” up against  it. On the next course, you reverse the butts and passes at that same corner, and on and on. Each log is pinned with rebar to the layer below- every 2 feet. I won’t bore you with too many of the details, but it is a lot of … Continue reading Up to the 4th Course

1st layer done

This is a great feeling- The lifting poles worked, the pulleys and chain hoists worked, we figured out the kinks and got all four logs on the piers. It looks less like a grave yard with tombstones sticking up, and more like a….well, at least a perimeter with big posts sticking out of it: There was a little preparation required before setting the logs down on the piers: That’s pressure treated #2 pine – 2×12 from the local hardware store, laying on top of a shingle (90lb builder’s felt) that I sourced from the county dump (they were new in … Continue reading 1st layer done

“Houston, we have lift-off”

The poles are in! I need to thank everyone who helped out. I often feel like I’m a recluse, and I have a hard time in social settings. I’m pretty much an introvert – parties wear me out, while enjoying gardening or working on my own is energizing. I asked around at church last week, and made a couple of pleas asking for help on facebook. I got a commitment of two people by Thursday night, but we needed more- a lot more. I got a couple more Friday night, and a couple of calls Saturday morning. It was humbling … Continue reading “Houston, we have lift-off”

Finishing Foundation, Getting ready to install Lifting poles

We didn’t have any blowouts on the foundation. I waited seven days for the concrete to dry, and then I started pulling the plywood off the piers. They looked ugly: The neighbor even came over to have a look. He said, “you gotta cover those up with mortar- if water gets in there and freezes, it’ll crack your foundation. “But they’ll be under the house- and there’ll be a ten-foot wide porch to protect them,” I protested. “Doesn’t matter- humidity in the air can do it, too. The building inspector might not like ’em looking like that,” he reminded me. … Continue reading Finishing Foundation, Getting ready to install Lifting poles