Monday, December 31, 2007

Foundation Pillars

Back in the summer my neighbor needed a big oak tree cut up and removed from her yard. It was about three and a half feet wide. I saw the opportunity for foundation pillars. At the time I quartered the big pieces to get them home. I've been working to turn these quarters into 12"x12" pillars for the temporary foundation on which we are going build the log shell. I'm treating the bottoms and sides with penetreat and a home made stain to protect against termites and rot. The tops will be trimmed later to 8"x8" to represent the permanent foundation wall thickness.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Lifting The Logs

I put a lot of thought into how to lift the logs onto the wall. Ideally I would like to have a boom truck, but at $400 per day to rent and around $15,000 to buy a good used one, a boom truck was not an option. I've seen a lot of ways in books, some are very elaborate lifting systems but most are stationary. I wanted something simple and movable. Something that would allow me to move the logs from the rack to the building with out having to drag it on the ground. Once I plane these logs I DO NOT want to drag them in the dirt.
My logs are on the small side at 12 inch butts and 7 inch tips and they have been drying for almost a year so figure they only weigh around 600 or 700 pounds (that's only a guess).
I thought about using an old boat trailer that I had and build a rigging on it that resembles a old home made wrecker or a crane. I could use my come along to lift with. The pictures below is what it turned out to look like.


Old Boat Trailer

It Works!

Up Date:

The original design that I was going to build used wood 6x6's to support the lifting beams. I decided instead to use some metal uprights that I have used on the trailer for another purpose. I canned the original idea to save weight on the trailer and not have to deal with cutting compound miters on both ends of the supports. (I'm not that smart:) ) After I finished the trailer I wished I had done it the way I had originally planned, so I went back and added the wood supports. Now I'm happy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cleaning Up

I finally put another log onto what will eventually be a play house (practice), but its time I get started on our house. I would like to be finished with all the log work by next June. That gives me about 6 months to get it done. After Christmas I should be able to lay at least 2 logs per week. We will have 11 courses of logs which means we have 44 logs to lay for the walls plus the 2nd story floor joist. So its time to stop playing and get "Serious".
Last Thursday I was able to get everything cleaned up and the temporary building site is ready to go. Today I've been working on the trailer that will be used to lift the logs (IF IT WORKS!).I'll post more about that when its finished.

Another log on

A mess to clean up

Ready to get started