Floor Joists – Part III: subfloor

In the last post, I finished the joist installation. Before installing the 4×8 3/4″ OSB panels for the subfloor, I wanted to get everything as near as possible to level. The set up The 2×12 double beams are made out of 20 foot long boards. They are not perfectly straight over that distance. When I installed them, I checked carefully for any crown in the boards, and placed it up. But you don’t want your joists following the crown of the beam. I used a water level to level the joists, and followed that line when installing them. The idea … Continue reading Floor Joists – Part III: subfloor

Floor joists – Part II: beams and joists

The setup With the rim joists installed, it was time to install the two double beams. They are 20 foot 2×12’s sandwiched together with 1/2″ bolts and nuts, there are 4 boards in each of them, and they span 40 feet across the house, supported by 5 piers each. There are two of these beams. I decided to install one, then attach all the floor joists to it, then install the second one later. Space is at a premium inside my cabin with all the lumber and osb stacked inside.   When I set the forms for the inner piers … Continue reading Floor joists – Part II: beams and joists

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

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

Cap Logs Installed!

Our cap logs are installed- this means we are almost ready to enter a new phase of construction. It has been a long hard road. Some folks at LHBA claim we are moving at “one gear below breakneck speed” using our lifting poles, but it often doesn’t feel that way… What are cap logs? Cap logs are the final logs on the walls. In the photo above, they are the ones that stick way out on the front of the house. Paired with ‘double-butt logs’, they hold up the roof rafters, and give the roof enough overhang to protect the … Continue reading Cap Logs Installed!

Almost done with 1st floor logs

  We’re nearing another crossroads- the logs are about 12 feet off the ground, which means they are about 9 feet up from the piers, and about 8 feet up from the finished floor height. All of which means we have to start thinking about the second floor. But first, I’ll summarize what’s happened since my last post. Improving techniques Jack hammer is pretty good The jack hammer cost me about $130. I don’t know if it’s a monster jack hammer or just a regular one, having never owned a jack hammer before now. But it is definitely heavy- I … Continue reading Almost done with 1st floor logs