Farm Life

Farm Life

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cabin In The Woods Part II: Wrestling Logs

    When the long winter slowly started to bloom into spring, I longingly looked out the window with only one thing on my mind.... Pine logs. I know, this is not a normal thing for a woman to dream about, and I was hoping for blooming gardens, and green grass too, but pine logs had ruled my dreams, and plans all winter. I knew what I had to do to prepare them, how many we would likely need, and as soon as things were thawed out, I took to stripping the bark off the large mountain of logs. This was tedious work, although the longer the logs sat, the easier it became. As soon as I had a few logs ahead, we would set them onto the footing we had poured the previous autumn. Each log was hand selected by my dad for straightness, and compatibility with the lower log. We would set the log, level it, and finally pin it into place. Slowly, the logs began to resemble the makings of a house! I could see results! However, with only my dad, myself, and two boys, as the height of the walls grew, so did our plans to set them up there. We used my dad's truck to drag the logs into position.

Dragging logs to the building site.
     Getting the logs higher and higher proved quite difficult, but anything you put your mind to....
My dad, working with the pulleys.
Pulling a log into place with our pulley system.
 We set up a pulley system and then used the truck to pull one end up and sometimes the other, although many times we got on the end of the rope and heaved the logs up into position manually. The boys and I would pull on the rope, sending it up to my dad, who would then secure it to the top of the wall. We could only use the truck where we had access, and this left us pulling by hand on the backside of the cabin, and for the top layers of logs.
Myself, drilling holes for re-bar.
     The logs were secured together by drilling holes and hammering in re-bar through the top log into the lower log.
Getting ready to drive re-bar.

    Driving re-bar with a sledge hammer, over your head, this high up, is not for those that fear heights! I am not terrified of heights, but on the last layer, at over twelve feet high, my dad had to take over for me. He has nerves of steel, I think. Safety harnesses would have been a great idea, but we were up and down the walls too often to bother.
    My boys pitched in and helped pin logs, and provided the farm boy power we needed to help heft the heavy pine logs into place. Eben worked in high places, while Ethan preferred jobs that allowed his feet to firmly touch the ground.
Eben, helping to secure a log.

Ethan, clearing some trees, and brush.

 Log by log, and layer by layer the log walls have grown. I kept insisting after each layer that we needed another, until now I have a three story house! Originally, I planned for a cathedral ceiling, but life has changed since then, and we have added three more people to our little family of three. The third story will make a great place for the two oldest boys, and they are quite excited about it. 
    After getting all of the logs into place, and secured, we needed to turn our attention to the ridge pole that would be placed high at the peak of the roof, atop two, twenty-four foot beams. How would we manage to hoist it up there? More planning needed to be done to figure this one out before we attempted to put this into action......