Work on my cabin-of-no-intent has been progressing rapidly lately. After all the tedious, long-winded, and unrewarding work of digging holes, pouring concrete into sonotubes, and finally creating a floor, we put a big blue tarp over the work site. The blue glow through the trees looked like aliens had landed in the woods. We then went indoors to build wall SIPS and machine the timber frame. (The original notion of building with stack wall construction fell flat months ago due to various concerns, so SIPS it is.)
This was followed by painting, staining, etc., until last week something exciting happened – we put the walls SIPS and timber frame up! Now we have something that resembles a cabin (minus roof, windows, doors) and looks less like an alien space ship landing pad.
I didn’t realize, when this clever idea came upon me, how much work it would be to build a cabin in which to do nothing. Turns out it takes a lot of doing to get to the point of doing nothing. We have spent the better part of the last three days building roof SIPS and will be painting them tomorrow and working on the ridge beam for the roof. I have no idea how we will get that massive beam in place but am hoping we do (maybe some burly visitors will fortuitously stop by , maybe the scaffolding we are about to acquire from a friend will help somehow . . . ) and that I will have photos soon of a cabin with not only a roof, but windows and doors before the snow starts drifting in. Until then, this is the best I’ve got:
This doesn’t look very impressive, but getting to this point was the hardest part, creating something of a road to get the tractor in, measuring, leveling (this slope is steeper than it looks), digging holes, mixing and pouring concrete
Finishing the floor . . . it felt monumental to get to this point, like driving in The Last Spike, and I was overjoyed to have a flat, level surface to walk on after tripping over roots and rocks and watching things (that needed to be retrieved) tumble down the slope over and over again. You will see in this photo The World’s Biggest Straight Edge and the World’s Biggest Square – evidence that I am building this cabin with a cabinetmaker, not a carpenter, and part of the reason everything has been taking so long. We have done much screwing where there would have been nailing; much measuring (and remeasuring) to the nearest millimeter where there would have been eyeballing; much questing for perfection, where “good enough” may have sufficed . Painful while it is happening, but worth it forever after.
. . . and then this was it for weeks
. . . as we worked on all of these
and these . . .
and refinished the lovely window I snagged at a garage sale many years ago
and made 14 of these SIPS
and then voila, all within a day one SIP goes up
the others follow
and you have a lovely, windowless view
and a roofless cabin, at which point we threw the tarp back over top and retreated indoors to start working on the roof SIPs
No nails here – pegged mortise and tenon construction with fir timber frame
A tad medieval, but it works.
and the timber frame construction goes well with the hobbit house look of that odd window I found and fell in love with years ago. Surely it was part of a pair at one point.
We couldn’t have gotten this far without our project manager. Wait until he finds out this isn’t a new dog house!