Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The trailer

We picked up our trailer this weekend, thanks to my grandma and to my father for helping us build sides. Towing big logs wont' be a problem anymore. We are talking about putting a large hand crank winch on it. That will assist us with getting those large logs actually on the trailer.

After a lot of calculating, Cory and I realized we will need more wood for the walls. The piles just seemed so much bigger last fall. I guess there is just so much more waste than we thought. We are running out of time for cutting more trees down. So we got on the phone and called as many log home places we could find. Log home builders often have waste pieces when squaring up the corners. The waste pieces could be exactly what we need. They just need to be 12" long to fit into our wall. Most of the time these waste pieces are already dry and debarked, which is a plus for us since we are running out of drying time. Luckily, we found a log home builder willing to give up his waste ends to us. Again another wonderful person helping us out. So, this week we will be heading over with our new trailer to pick up a load of waste ends. I know Cory and I will be breathing easier when have enough wood in our hands. Let this be a lesson to us in the future.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Blogging about building!

We're finally doing it! Blogging our building progress. Late last summer Cory and I bought just under 6 acres of wooded land. The land already had an old logging road into a cleared area. We were able to buy the land debt free. This summer we will be building a 16x16 cordwood house, also debt free! For those of you who don't know what cordwood is, visit www.daycreek.com or www.cordwoodmasonry.com. Also we currently live in a 18ft in diameter round cordwood house with a half loft. It's my profile picture. We plan on doing everything we possibly can ourselves and with the help of friends and family. As soon as we knew what we wanted to build, we got right down to work. We will be using mostly balsam fir and some cedar for the cordwood. Last fall we cut down some of the trees we will need to build. It sure is a lot of work cutting down all those trees, liming them and then transporting them to the land.

The next step was to remove all the bark from the trees. We bought an attachment for the chainsaw called a log wizard. This attachment was invaluable to us. If we didn't have the attachment we couldn't peel logs till spring.

We are done peeling all the balsam trees. Next we began cutting our logs to length. We chose to do 12 inch walls with stackwall corners in this small house. In the future when we build a bigger house we may do a post and beam structure with a cordwood infill. To prepare the corner pieces we needed to mill them using our alaskan mill. The corners will be built out of 4x4s.

There are some cedars that still need to be peeled so I got to work on that. I used a draw knife that we borrowed from a guy in our area. People in the community have been so generous to us. I still have blisters from this day of peeling! You'll also notice that we have no snow left. Which is amazing for our location and the time of year. It's practically unheard of. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we don't get that April dump of snow. It sure isn't to bad working outside right now. No bugs, not too hot, and no long underwear!
Also right now we are working on getting all this cut wood stacked. Our plan is to stack it just like firewood but only one row deep. This is to maximize the sunny southern exposure and enhance the drying process. So far we have about 43' long x4.5 high pile. We figure it's close to two walls not including mortar and windows. Our walls are going to be 10' tall, 8' of that being downstairs and a 2' knee wall in the loft to add more headroom.
This past winter we got a lead on some free tamarack logs for our floor joists. Since we don't have a trailer, this is how they were transported. Not recommended. And Cory and a friend loaded these bad boys by hand!! Luckily my grandma is going to borrow us a trailer for the summer and we plan on putting a winch on it. Then we can go back and get more of these free logs!

More to come!