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Author Topic: whack em stack em cabin idears  (Read 2047 times)

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Offline 4x4American

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whack em stack em cabin idears
« on: October 31, 2017, 08:36:54 pm »
So I got logs, a sawmill, and a backhoe.  I needa make a place to sleep in at night and where the crew can warm up during the cold winter days and maybe cook some lunch for them too.  Nothing fancy but I want it to be simple, tough and fast.  Something that will last a long DanG time too.  Really wanna get it up before this winter, don't have much time.  Well really my main concern is getting the foundation done before the ground freezes, so I need to decide how I'm gonna do it.


Here's what I need help with:
1. Foundation...I need to go down at least 4'.  I'm in greasy clay soil too so whatever it is is gonna need to be able to tolerate having wet feet.  Really don't wanna mess with pouring any concrete...but I could probably get footers from utopia concrete or something if I decided to go that route.  Would prefer to use wood for cheapness, kinda like a pole barn but I'm not sure how that'd hold up.  Of course I don't have enough black locust to use as poles to set in the ground.   It's gonna be prolly around 16x24 or something like that.  Reason being I have 16' logs and 12' logs.


2.  Walls...I'm thinking to make d logs on the sawmill to use for the walls.  I have a mess of northern white cedar and white pine I can use for this.  The cedar I have is mainly 12' long and some 10'ers.  The pine I have is pretty much all 16'.  My idea was to either make them all 6" thick so that everything is even...I want to have a thick wall like a traditional log cabin would...but I also have some big ole pine logs that I could cut down and make square pieces to fit in there.  I really don't care what it looks like, just need something functional.  So how can I connect them without spending all this time cutting joints.  Can I just set them on top of each other and stagger them for stability and timberlock them to each other?  Can I just set the two flat surfaces on top of each other and then chink it or should I put some sort of insulation strips down and sandwich them?


See I'm just a hack and I want to use modern technology combined with a little bit of old school tried and true to make something functional as fast as I can using every advantage I have (sawmill, backhoe, logs).  My plan was to build the walls probably 8' tall and then on one side lay a bunch of 4x6's or something across on one side to make a loft and then build the roof over it.  I have a man bucket for the backhoe we built so I can easily lift a man up to tackle airborne stuff.

I'd love to build the style where the loft goes over the front porch so that you have a place to hang out outside in the rain.  And all that stuff will come I just want to get it started and giver hell..

so...wadayathink?

Boy, back in my day..

Offline btulloh

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2017, 09:10:35 pm »
I think you'd be better off and quicker to saw stuff and build a post-frame structure intead of logs.  Don't know about the foundation.  Not familiar with your soil conditions.  Plenty of great minds on here to chime in yet.

Whatever you decide to build, i'll enjoy following the progress. 
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Offline barbender

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2017, 11:07:49 pm »
I'd say, put treated posts down the 4' and attach your subfloor to those, bringing them above grade to whatever height you like. If you want logs, go for it, but it would probably be just as fast to just saw yourself framing lumber and board and batten siding. Or would the logs get you around having to have lumber graded? My .02
Too many irons in the fire

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2017, 12:57:03 am »
Do as Barbender and Btulloh say but save the "slabs" you took off the log.  Edge them to the same consistent width and nail them up so it "looks" like a log cabin!
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2017, 06:58:51 am »
If I was going to build a quick log cabin, I'd get a bunch more of the 2' long epoxy coated rebar from HD ( $.75/ea.), drill holes in the logs and pound the rebar in. I'd use any type of long lasting foam strip between the logs. "Caulk saver" comes 3/4" and there's rolls of foam for truck caps. Also "sillSeal" can be folded lengthwise.

You're going to have to cut out windows and the openings need to be taller and that's another opportunity to tie the logs together with a groove and a 2x4.

Just thoughts.... haven't had the motivation to try them.
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 07:02:27 am »
Thanks for the idears guys!  I want the walls to be nice and meaty is why I wanted to use logs or d logs.  Itís gotta be my fort at the fort.  Lol
Boy, back in my day..

Offline Don P

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2017, 07:52:55 am »
For foundation if you can drain the 4' deep clay swimming pool to daylight you could do a gravel filled trench footing then build on skids on top of the gravel.
There are also permanent wood foundations on gravel footings.

Posts running from a footing up to a floor, unbraced, are simply something to tip over. A post frame building braces the posts by extending them to the top plate and uses the sheathed walls to brace the posts. The infill between posts can be log.

Any of the foam strips need a space to live in if they are going to have any recovery, smush them dead flat and they wont bounce back and fill a gap so it you use them you need to plow a shallow groove to set them in. A router or power planer run down the bottom face depending on the foam. Use close celled foams, open cell is water holding sponge. The caulk saver is known as backer rod and comes in many diameters. A saw kerf down the bottom edge about 1/4 depth also helps relieve stress and directs checking to that lower hidden face. Any projecting edges need to be shaped back underneath the log above creating water shedding drip edges rather than water collecting ledges.

Lags and timber screws can pull stuff tight where if you use dowel type metal, rebar, nails etc if the log is a rocking chair you can pound one end down, go to the other and pound it down and watch the other end pop up... I like to have a bucket of lags, impact and drills handy even on those jobs. Really even with the timber screw jobs I usually go through a couple of hundred 3/8 lags on a house.

loft joists spanning 15' at 2' centers should be 4x8 minimum, I'd lean towards just skimming the top flat and living large with them.

You can just lap the corners, they will gap vertically as the wood shrinks. You can chink that or do some joinery to block that initially. There are many kinds of corner notches if you want to explore that.

Offline Crusarius

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2017, 08:45:50 am »
perma columns are prepoured columns that you bolt a 6x6 post into. That works for quick and dirty but they are kinda costly.
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Offline Hilltop366

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2017, 08:59:35 am »
Lots of overhang on the roof.

Offline red

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2017, 09:43:52 am »
Drop two sea containers and build a roof between them . Of course you have to get creative . Its Nov 1 you have to go prefab for this year next Spring is the time to do it right .
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Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2017, 12:56:47 pm »
Sounds like the cabins we built in Fairbanks, Alaska, back in the 80s.  The foundation there had permafrost concerns, so the cabins were built on concrete piers that had footings about 8' below grade.  I think they were done with an auger on a backhoe.  They were poured using sonotube forms with rebar reinforcement, and the cabin sat about 30" above grade.  Probably what today would be considered only suitable for a deck.

The girders were pressure treated, probably built up from 2x8 or 2x10.  Floor joists were 2x8 or 2x10, can't quite recall.  This was for a 20x28 structure.  Double up rim joists to support the d-log walls.  The walls were 6" three-sided logs, cut square on ends and butt-jointed.  A layer of sill seal, yellow fiberglass, was laid between each run.  We used 12" spikes to secure logs in place.  Had to first cut a notch with a chainsaw, pop out the wood with the hammer claw, then pound in the spike with a 3 lb. sledge hammer.  Timberloks would go so much faster.  Gable trusses were set on top of the 8' wall, and blocking and scabbing put in to hang a drywall ceiling.  Non-bearing 2x4 walls were framed inside to establish the living space.

Wall corners were simply alternating overhangs.  I think the term is butt and pass.  If you wanted to get fancy on a corner you could cut in a shallow housing in the passing through log to inset the butt end of the other log.

The trick to a nice butt joint when connecting two logs in a run is to set them flush together then run a chainsaw straight down, taking a little off each side and making them match perfectly.  Just don't do it with the logs in place, as there is a good chance of going too deep and hitting the wall logs below.  Don't ask how I know this.

I wasn't involved in the finishing, but I know you have to frame in a box to hold your windows and door, set in a notch that allows the logs to settle and shrink.  There probably was some chinking done on the exterior of the logs, but the interior walls were just bare rough-sawn spruce.  Roof overhang was probably 24" at eaves, and close to that at the gable rake.
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Offline 1938farmall

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2017, 02:07:26 pm »
got lotza ideas about "quick & dirty" but see you are in the state of n.y.  are you going to do this without worry about the code?
aka oldnorskie

Offline 4x4American

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2017, 09:37:15 pm »
Thanks chugiak tinkerer!  I wouldnt have thought about a notch for allowing movement.  are there any other spots i need to do something special to allow for movement?

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Offline barbender

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2017, 01:13:14 am »
Everything moves in a log structure. Anything that impedes the logs from moving down towards the floor will cause problems.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2017, 10:39:36 am »
A friend built a log cabin kit. He had to build window and door "bucks". Basically a 2x6 box that was a couple of inches shorter than the rough opening. From the upside of the box a vertical slit wad made with a curcular saw so that there was maybe 2 inches showing in the inside. You would nail the buck into the ro at the top of the slits so that the nails could move as the logs shrank.
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Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2017, 12:31:58 pm »
One option might be to skip the foundation altogether and build a "portable" structure on skids.  You'd have to keep it a little smaller, maybe 12x16 or thereabouts?  As a temporary or portable structure you'd probably slide right past a lot of permitting issues.

The dovetail cabin thread that's also active has a link to this nice cabin by Fred in Montana.  Scale that up a little bit and you've got the makings of the perfect doghouse.
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Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2017, 12:44:05 pm »
I think you'd be better off and quicker to saw stuff and build a post-frame structure intead of logs.  Don't know about the foundation.  Not familiar with your soil conditions.  Plenty of great minds on here to chime in yet.

Whatever you decide to build, i'll enjoy following the progress.

I'm not sure if I agree about a stick-frame build being faster, but definitely it allows for a tighter build.  Logs have a huge thermal mass, and that's the reason why I'm not doing a log build at my remote cabin.  If insulation, ventilation and heating are a big concern you're definitely much better off going with a stick-frame or post frame build that you can insulate as much as you want.  Logs suck as insulation.

Log cabins built with sawn logs go up insanely fast provided your joinery isn't too complicated.  The bonus is that once the walls are up you've got the insulation (hah!) and siding already completed.
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Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2017, 01:08:40 pm »
For foundation if you can drain the 4' deep clay swimming pool to daylight you could do a gravel filled trench footing then build on skids on top of the gravel.
There are also permanent wood foundations on gravel footings.

Posts running from a footing up to a floor, unbraced, are simply something to tip over. A post frame building braces the posts by extending them to the top plate and uses the sheathed walls to brace the posts. The infill between posts can be log.
...

To throw you another curve ball, my remote cabin design (still at design stage, *sigh*) is based on Don P's advice above.  In my case the footings are pads placed on a bed of gravel.  The posts run from the pad to the top plate, and exterior sheathing will act as a brace.  This is my 18x30 design.

I doubt this would be faster than log construction, but you could infill frame with 2x6 or whatever depth you want for insulation.  I don't have the joinery details quite yet, but I would forego traditional timber frame construction and use Timberlinx and Timberlok connectors wherever possible.  A scaled down version of my 18x30 could be done with the logs you have, assuming diameters are sufficient.
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Offline rjwoelk

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2017, 02:46:27 pm »
4x4 I did pads on my cabin. 9 3x4 pads sitting on packed gravel. Cabin is 22x26 with a 6 ft deck. I used the dovetail jig from NorthernDovetailer. But I would say buttand pass if you dont mind the look, whould be the fastest way. I used log screws 14 inch. Get the ones you can use a nut driver with. The torex ones we had trouble with. the twisting action cause it to slip out.  With Butt and Pass you got vertical shrink and if you notch the one into the side of the other it will give you a better seal. One can use a good chiniking caulk to seal up.

 
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: whack em stack em cabin idears
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2017, 07:38:43 pm »
Drop two sea containers and build a roof between them . Of course you have to get creative . Its Nov 1 you have to go prefab for this year next Spring is the time to do it right .


Yea...I'm thinkin you might be right, Red...it's getting late and I already have one building started that needs to get done ASAP but I haven't had the time..not sure where I plan to get the time to do a cabin and the kicker is the clay is so wet right now I can't hardly do anything with the backhoe on it it's like riding around on an ice skating rink with bald tires.  I would love to get a foundation done though so that I could work on it during the winter but..seems to me lumber needs to move year round...sometimes I think about just a camper would get me by for now..
Boy, back in my day..