Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I've made some more progress on the windows, interior, and exterior siding. I've now got all but the large South picture window installed. The woodstove and hearth are installed and working. This project is close to being finished!

Here is a view of the Northwest corner of the cabin. You can see the windows, wood stove an hearth:



A close-up of the Jotul wood stove and hearth. The hearth is made from a monolithic slab of sedimentary stone, 3" thick and weighing close to 350lbs! It makes a great hearth for the stove and looks great. I've found that its hard to go wrong when you're building with real timber, stone, and iron...



The East wall is getting stud framed, and should be done with only a few more hours of work. I started by framing out the window cavities and hanging the windows. The top window is for the loft. Both of these windows are new, inexpensive single-hung windows that match the windows on the West wall. You can also see that the North side of the building is completely sided now:



From the inside, the stove pipe is centered between the two West windows:



From below, you can see the light coming in via the two East windows and the doorway:



Here is the assembled cedar log bed up in the loft. I've got things covered in plastic until the sawdust settles down. :-)



Here you can see the loft window relative to the cedar bed:



From the loft, looking down at the wood stove, stone hearth, and Western windows. This cabin is now cheery and well-lit, and the rough opening for the biggest, South-facing window is not even cut yet!



Several more days of work to go. Hopefully the weather will hold. I am nearly certain that I will be unable to side the South wall as I am running out of salvaged and weathered board and batten siding. That will most likely have to wait until next year.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I've made more progress on the siding and windows! The North wall has been completely framed, insulated, and tyvek'd and about 1/2 sided. There is one window on the North wall with a great view of Moscow Mountain.

Here is the Northwest corner detail of the cabin:




Here is the window on the North wall. Since this is an old-fashioned picture window which I salvaged and restored, it seemed that the best way to make it work was to build a proper window sill. You can see that here in this picture:



The wood stove is installed and is completely functional! Here is a picture of the chimney coming out of the West wall and then going up past the end of the gable. It extends exactly 3' above the peak of the roof.






I had to build a piece of exterior framing to help support the chimney, since the chimney extends more than 1' past the exterior of the cabin in order to miss the gable-end overhang. I intend to sheath that piece of exterior framing in wood, probably cedar.



Today was the last day that I will be able to bring heavy materials up to the cabin job site until June 2010. It rained all night, and the Jeep trail was too muddy to make it up the hill without winching. It took an enormous amount of time and patience to get this final load of board-and-batten siding up to the cabin. I did it inch by inch by pulling my Jeep and trailer up the hill using my winch. It is hard to see from this picture how ridiculously steep this trail actually is.



When the weather improves, its more framing, insulating, and siding. I'll just have to hike up to the hill now to continue the work.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I've more-or-less finished one whole exterior wall! This wall faces the Northwest and gets the most weather. It took far, far more work than I expected, but I like how it turned out!



The patch of tyvek housewrap is covering the thimble hole for the wood stove chimney. The chimney will exit the wall at that point and then go up and mount to the exterior of the cabin. I preferred this solution to cutting a hole in ceiling/roof.

I used salvaged pine board and batten siding, most of which came from a dismantled granary in Potlatch, Idaho. I love the weathered look of that siding! Most of this pine siding is over 75-100 years old and still going strong!

After I finished the 2x4 stud frame, I cut out the rough window openings and installed the windows. I then installed all of the insulation (recyled Denim insulation from UltraTouch), followed by 1x4 horizontal pine nailers over the insulation. This was followed by a layer of tyvek over all of that, followed by the board and batten siding.

Much of the time involved with this wall had to do with scribing and cutting trim and siding (with a hand saw) around the window trim and exposed purlins and rafters. Much time was spent clipping into a climbing rope, climbing up the ladder, hauling up a piece of trim or siding, test fitting a piece of siding, climbing back down the ladder, cutting some more, clipping in and climbing up and screwing the boards and battens in place. I expect the eave walls to go much, much faster since it does not involve such heights/ladders/climbing harnesses.

Today I attached cedar fascia/bargeboard and I carefully caulked around all the windows and trim.

I've got a couple more hours of work to get the woodstove and chimney installed and then its on to framing and finishing the North eave wall.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I've made some more progress on the exterior, non-structural stud frame. I've been focusing on the Northwest wall, since it gets the brunt of the weather: I want to make sure that gets done and sided before winter sets in. This side is the tallest and most awkward to work, so it will be great to get this wall done.



I've got a skirt framed around the whole cabin on all four sides. The top of this skirt roughly corresponds to the top of the timber-framed girts which ring the whole cabin.



The door is framed in and hung:



I finally got two rough openings for two windows framed in. I've opened up one of the rough openings:



Its great to *FINALLY* have real light and fresh air coming into the cabin.



A view of the window opening from the atop the loft:



You can see Moscow Mountain in the distance through this window:



The natural light in the cabin is a welcome change. It really cheers up the place!



I probably have 4-5 full days of stick framing left to go. And then its on to insulating and siding.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The cabin door is hung!

I finally decided that it was time to get the proper cabin door installed. Now that door is fully framed inside and out, I started by placing 3/4" cedar around the entire rough opening.

This process took quite awhile and it took hours of hand planing to remove enough wood to get a workable opening for the door.

While I was planing the cedar door jambs, Peter and Sadie came over to help for awhile. They helped by mounting a deadbolt into my custom made ledge and batten door:



I really appreciated their help, as it shaved a couple hours off the project. It turned out great!



Next, I installed the pintles into the door jamb. These are custom-made wrought iron pintles from blacksmiths at Horton Brasses. They hold large wrought iron strap hinges. I mortised these pintles into the door jamb, and I think it turned out nicely.





I then hung the door! Sounds simple, but it took some time.

Here is a view of the closed door from the exterior.





And the door when it sits open:



The black deadbolt turned out to be a nice and simple solution. I still need to attach a handle to the door.

Interior pictures of the exterior of the door. This door swings inward.





Some interior pictures of the interior of the door:







Getting this door hung and locked seems like a major milestone in this cabin project!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I've started the last large sub-project: building the exterior stud frame. The idea here is to construct a non-structural frame which provides space for insulation as well as windows and door framing.

I started by lag bolting 4x4 beams to the sill plates. This provides a strong and stable ledge upon which the rest of the stud frame can sit. I fear that unless there is a super stable ledge like this, the exterior frame might sag over time.

The studs are on 24" centers. The first part of the exterior frame extends from the 4x4 ledge to a plate which sits at approximately the same height as the tops of the interior 4x7 girts. This wraps around the entire cabin, uninterrupted except at the door opening.



Once the window framing is in place, I will cut out window openings.




It is slow going. Its going to take me several full days to complete this process and do it right. However, I am excited to finally get the window openings framed so that I can cut out the openings and get a lot more light into the cabin!

I will infill the studs with insulation and cover with either 30# roofing felt, Tykvek, or both. I'll place horizontal 1x4 nailer over that and then put up the board and batten siding over that.

Simultaneous to all of this work, I've restored three large picture windows that I salvaged when we performed a house remodel in 2005. This restoration involved scraping glazing and paint, re-glazing the windows, replacing glass panes, and painting the windows. I find window restoration to be miserable work, but I think the old windows will look perfect in this cabin.

The interior is mostly done, with the exception of the windows, window sills, and trim.

I got the remainder of the flooring installed, I got the ladder/stairs installed, and I got the loft railing secured and installed. This cabin is usable, although working doors and windows would be nice at this point.





The loft railing and the stairs were pre-fabricated in my workshop, but with only a little bit of planing, everything fit like a glove.



I used beautiful black oxide square head lag bolts to secure the loft railing and stairs. Worked like a charm!



Here is the backside of the loft railing. I still need to trim the pegs...



I even moved a little furniture into the cabin... Here is a bench/chest in the loft:



The flooring turned out well. I still need to do a final sanding before I oil it. This goat barn flooring is a bit rough. There were some 1/8" gaps in places and some height differences between boards. Sanding should help that somewhat. Overall, I am very happy with this flooring.



Here, the bottom of the stairs terminate on a piece of flooring. However, I've replaced that piece of flooring with two custom pieces of cherry that I harvested and milled from Moscow.



Things are going well. I'm working on the exterior frame now so that I can finally add windows, insulation, and hang the door. More on that soon...

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Jeep trail to my cabin is passable now and I've moved several loads of supplies up to the cabin. Namely, I moved the rest of the Douglas Fir goat flooring, my timber-framed/keyed staircase, and a large pile of lumber to finish the external nonstructural frame.

In reality, I probably only have 2-3 more trips via the Jeep, and this thing will be finished.

Here is a picture of me installing the Douglas Fir flooring above the subfloor. I'm "blind-screwing" it just above the tongues. The flooring is crude and rustic, but it looks pretty good. Its not as tight as store-bought finish flooring would be, but I like the effect.

Unline the loft flooring, I think I will have to sand and fill in a few large gaps in the main-floor flooring.



You can see the custom-made stairs in the background. They look great and they work great! They look like they really belong in this timber frame cabin.

Which, of course, they always did.