PREPARING TO BUILD A CABIN
We bought our five acre parcel of land in the Spring of 2004 and started dreaming up what we were going to do on it. We told our folks we were going to build a cabin; I think my parents didn't believe me and thought I was a little crazy! Aaron and I were so excited we just started cutting trees, branches, anything....oh the feeling of owning your own piece of land! Over the course of five months Aaron and I drove every single weekend five hours to our land and gradually a cabin came together. Aaron's brother, Adam, joined us for 2.5 months; we'd never have done it without his help! Please take your time on these pages, click on the pictures to see the bigger view, and enjoy the building process of a log cabin by two people who have never built much of anything before! The links above will take you through each process of the building. Originally all the photos were on one page, but that was like 300 pictures, so I split the building process up into six pages.
April 18-19, 2004.....This land is ours and we are anxious to begin work. There is a lot of snow still, up to the knees, but after cutting some trees down we found some dry land to walk on. The future cabin site.
April 28-29........After moving the logs we cut, we made sure they were off the ground and started peeling. The bark was still tight to the trunk, so the first weekend of peeling only produced 5 peeled logs.
May 4 - 5th.......A bunch of new logs for me to peel. Luckily these ones started peeling without much use of the drawknife.
May 9-10th.......Snowing and 32 degrees...what a way to start working. We burned lots of limbs from a nearby slash pile. Warmed up to 55 that day. Peeled 16 logs this weekend.
May 15th.......Hiked into our moose lake to get the 60+ moose rack out we found the year earlier. I ended up hiking 7 miles in socks due to open blisters on both heels. The rack is a special addition for our cabin.
May 16-17th......Aaron come-alongs a log that is too heavy for us to carry. We did eventually carry it the last little bit. After moving 7 logs the first morning I had my work cut out for me to peel. Peeled 7 the first day.
Nice pile accumulating of peeled logs. For the whole weekend we moved 13 logs out of the woods and I peeled 15 logs. Kodi taking a snooze out of the sun, behind our big log
May 23 - 24th...........Moved 10 more logs out of woods and peeled all ten on the first day. Worked until 10:00- sunset now around 1130. My peeling site.
After two days of A LOT of wind this is what I look like. The second day I peeled 5 large logs and 3 gable logs. This weekend marked us at 60 logs cut, 58 peeled.
June 6 - 7th.......Bug season in Alaska, and it is only the start. Mosquitoes are out 24 hours a day in full force. We started digging our post holes. Finished cutting 7 logs and peeling 9 logs= 75 total cut and peeled
Digging second post hole on first day. Kodi escaped mosquitoes by being buried in the dirt, it also kept him cool on a fairly hot and humid day.
Finished weekend with all 8 post holes dug about 4 feet deep. Plan for 14X18 cabin. Hauled in 6 more 80# bags of concrete.
Hammering in log posts to set up string to square and level site. Hiked in 10, 80# bags of concrete.
Isn't this how everyone carries their concrete? Crazy how heavy these bags get after multiple trips! Our concrete mixing supplies! Pretty simple but it works!
Finished 7 out of 8 posts, only 1 more six inch post to poor = only two more bags of concrete.
June 20-21 These logs are pretty immense for the two of us to carry around. We made our own little dolly dragging system. We lifted the front with a smaller log that we each held on opposite sides. It worked slowly.
Our first log, half logs on both short ends of the cabin. Pretty straight chainsaw cuts. We made a scribe and used it to fit all our logs. I'm sure store bought ones are much better, but this worked!
The first of MANY notches we chiseled.
Balancing chainsaw work and long days of chiseling.
The floor joists are coming together slowly. This notch was a giant one. The logs we used were so varied in size and taper that we had to get creative.
June 27-28th......The outhouse hole finally dug, about five feet deep. The rocks are part of our foundation around the base to make it level and stronger.
July 18-19th......Adam joined us from Montana! He will be helping us over the next couple months. Aaron and Adam hauled 70- 2X6s and 9 sheets of plywood to our cabin site, it took 9 trips in all.