Sunday, April 27, 2014

Log moving and let the chips fly!

Work now begins on the two 24' logs that will make up the sides of the floor frame for the 12 by 16 cabin. That is after you get them out of the rack and into position. No small task, but made a lot easier with the wind generator stand that I have re-purposed into a dandy log mover.

A chain around the log raised by the floor jack secures the log against the top frame of the mover. When balanced this log can be moved easily on the wheels. If more force is needed a snatch block pulley and rope can be used to double the pulling power. 

With the two foundation logs moved and placed on 6X6  sleepers the layout can begin.

After rolling the log to determine the crook (if any) a center line is chosen so that 3 inches of wood is left on either side. Shown here by the two green lines. The ends of the log are marked. The log end center lines will be horizontal when the log is finally placed. The green lines will form the edges of one chop line for each flat side. The log is rolled 180 degrees and and similar lines marked.

Next make saw cuts about every 8-10 inches down to the lines.

Split off the bulk of the wood to be removed.

Using the broad axe to chop down to the line.

With the log turned the side can be finished.

If all goes well here's what you get. One side done one side to go...

Not counting the layout it took about 1.5 hours to do this. Not bad for my first one. 

As I think about hewing these logs I know this is nothing new. One hundred and fifty years ago if you would have told someone that you did this they would not have been impressed. What gets me is every time I pick up one of my antique broad axes to do this work there is no doubt in my mind that this very axe was held and used by someone to perform this very task. There is something very cool about that.  I can almost feel their finger prints on the axe handle.

Monday, April 21, 2014

EV battery pack replaced

The new 12 volt EV batteries have been installed. It went better than I expected! Nice surprise. The 8 new batteries shaved off 480 pounds of weight over the 6 volt ones but with their lower 150AH rating there will be a loss in range. Time will tell as I learn and record their performance.
 Plenty of room in the battery box.
 $1100 worth of replacements.

Used the rest of the week to work on models for the new log cabin.
First round of logs will require blind dovetail joints to lock in the 4 corners of the bottom logs.

With a saddle carved into the top of the first log the second log can be scribed and notched. The notch can be seen but the groove in the bottom of the log is hard to see. In the background of the picture you can see how it fits together when assembled. This process would continue until the walls are the desired height.

The top log is also the bottom chord of the King post roof truss. A lock notch will be cut to secure it in place. The lock notch design keeps more wood in the bottom chord notch area for more log strength. This is important because much of the roof load is carried by the out rigger perlin at each eave.

And the final result of the roof truss system mated to the cabin walls looks like this.

Next up?  The foundation logs and floor system.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Model cabin work

Model building will be the key to the success of this next cabin project. My design calls for a 12' by 16' cabin with a 5' deck in front. To get the feel for this area I laid it out with some boards I had on hand.

This is just the cabin area. The 5' deck will extend the footprint on the 12' wide end to the right.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had more logs than I had originally estimated and will put this excess to use in the construction of roof trusses for this cabin.

With 98 logs I decided to make a spreadsheet and sort them by length. This gave me a good picture of the quantity of each length that I had for construction.

After doing some searching and sketching I decided to use whole log King Post trusses with log perlins exposed to support the roof boards. Then if necessary go with a built-up roof on top for as much insulation as desired by the buyer.  I bought some 1.25" and 1.0" dowels and set about making a model of the King Post truss and perlins to help me visualize how everything would go together.

The trusses will extend beyond the cabin side walls by 3'. The final detail will be to model up how the trusses will mate up to the walls and the eave sofits be enclosed. To see this I will model a few rounds of the cabin wall. Because I will be using a Saddle notch so I will use my first model I made in 2004 for my first cabin to refresh my memory and then cut the dowels for the new model.

So for now I'll pause on my cabin model work switching gears to spend a little time on the electric vehicle battery change over from sixteen 6 volt batteries to eight 12 volt batteries.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

45 - 35 - 20 to go

That's 20 inches of snow to go before I can get back to work on the logs.

April Fool!!
Just kidding. The snow is gone but the frost is not. Got another 35 logs pealed and trimmed over the last few days. The bottom logs in the pile are frozen to the ground. Had to start a second log rack to get the top logs off the pile and let the sun in on them. Hopefully in a few days the sun will do its job and then I can get to work pealing the final 20 logs for the cabin. It has been a long winter.