16x28 in VA

Started by Don_P, December 27, 2019, 07:45:55 PM

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A little over a year ago a financially challenged local man lost everything in a fire. There was a round of emails. We took the bobcat and trailers over and cleaned up, cut the burned trees and harvested a few more. On Christmas day last year we began harvesting some of our trees, several others also donated trees. We sawed them into lumber, borated, dried, planed and graded it while drawing plans, getting permitting, excavating and putting in a foundation. The site really worked best for a walkout basement. The community has been very helpful, I found out today someone is donating the roof metal. We were closing in on that and hoping something would happen, cool!
This is a sketch of what we came up with;

We hit a boulder in the basement but he was delighted to have the feature left in place;

This is a shot of sawing one day, we had 2 sawmills going;

We started framing a couple of weeks ago as we had time. These are a couple of shots over the past few days;

The sketchup file is here;



What a great thing for everyone to pitch in!  Thanks for sharing.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.



Really great to hear stories like this.


Thanks for the kind words of encouragement  :). Somebody keeps pouring oil in the lamp. The weather has been warm for this time of year here. We got the roof sheathing done New Years Eve and the underlay on, just enough of both. The metal was delivered today. It's been raining for the past 2 days but I've been detailing the frame which I prefer to do solo. I like to run for the roof, get dry and then drop back and button up the small stuff. It looks tight on 2x6 but I think we'll make it. I put out the call for a roofing party, probably my last day of freedom for a month. If it works we have enough bodies to work both sides at the same time. It is supposed to be clearing but windy, we'll make the call in the morning. There was a message when I got home today from a friend of a friend at the big box, no guarantees but make a list of what we need  [cool].

I took a couple of pics this afternoon, yup that's a stovepipe poking out the slider hole. I stuck my jobsite barrel stove in there and was down to a T shirt inside this afternoon  ;D. The mudhole at the foot of the ladders about ate my boot. There was a stump at that end and the overdig is pretty huge and now very soft. I need to put a quicksand sign there. And of course Murphy is on the job too, the prevailing wind is from that right hand high end direction, the last sheets will go on there and then a dismount. I had a less than stellar roof exit on another job before the holidays. stuck the landing on the lower roof but debarked the back of my hand pretty good on the roof edge, this will be getting back on the horse  :D.


Took 2 days but we got the main metal on. It was raining yesterday morning so we rescheduled. I planned on just detailing framing and getting ready what I could but the sun broke out and the wind started rising so I went for it and got the south side on by dark. It snowed a little overnight and the wind howled, we started late today but it was still icy and windy. Everyone persevered and we got the north side metal on before calling it. It was back to 4x4 and sliding in the mud by then  :P. I start classes tomorrow so it'll have to ride for a bit... that and mamma needs a new pair of shoes, we all need to do some paying work for a little bit. We'll make soffit and fascia material next, it sounds like between everyone we have enough tyvek, the windows are stored in one of the guys barns and the siding is in mine so that'll be the next push.

We swung by and looked at a downed poplar when we were done, it's about 3' dia and has 3 good logs in it so we'll probably snag it and make more lumber, we were also donated a large pine that blew over last week, there is probably enough red oak drying here for the finish floor, most of it was from a big tree behind my house, ok leaning over my house  :D. This is a shot of it being felled. Up high you might be able to see the blue and white line into the crotch. I'm down below with the loader putting tension on it while my partner is felling it. Down at that butt flare it was around 4' but was really about 3' dbh. It and the others right there made quite a bit of high grade wood.


That is a good size oak.  I wish we had some of those instead of 85%+ ponderosa and other odds 'n' ends.  Who climbed the tree to place the line?
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Remember the old potato cannon? My partner, the other Don, did some googling and made an air canon. It has a steel pipe air reservoir and a quick dump valve, then a pvc barrel. It shoots a beanbag and line, probably about 75'. It took 5 tries but did a whole lot better than trying to get a throw line up there. Once the light line was up we used it to haul the bull rope up. IIRC we sawed about 1500 bf out of that tree. The trees have grown quite a bit since we built about 35 years ago and I need to move them back, more for wind than fire but it will make it safer for both. I think I'll take out that whole pine grove coming up the driveway in the next year or two. That is a fire hazard and also keeps the driveway shaded in winter. There are some oak saplings in there that I'll try to avoid and let them start the next generation. For a lot of our woods it is harvest time, they are at the use them or lose them age. I think 6 of the trees we took off that hill had the beginnings of heart rot and one maple was completely hollow, it'll be the next stumpkin  :D.


That is so cool...definitely something about volunteer work that puts pep in your step...good job!
"The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne."


Bean bag cannon.   ;)   Cool. 

I'd need to have a boomerang or something incorporated as our ponderosas don't have crotches to hang the rope through. 
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.

Ernest T. Bass

So awesome of you guys... Who paid for the concrete?

Our family's homestead adventure blog; sharing the goodness and fun!


Lots of small monetary donations paid for the excavator (who basically charged for fuel) and also paid for the foundation materials. The building supply gave us the block, sand, mortar, rebar and delivery at about cost. With that and windows we had pretty much tapped those funds out by then. I had said I would start with the top of the foundation but... well you know how volunteers can evaporate. We started and then another friend hopped in who is good and fast at blockwork, that is his tractor with loader and backhoe in some of the pics. He has also done the backfill and built stone retaining walls at the lower side with flagstone steps, he provided and installed the drainage pipe and gravel and the parge and dampproofing on the block and ran the sewer line out, big kudos to him. Both of us D's started truck driving classes yesterday, supposed to be there today but they cancelled in the snow at daybreak (I kinda wanted to go and learn to skid big trucks  :D)

MD, I'd bet you could lob the line up through the branches on one side and haul the line up, then lob through the branches on the other side to get a wrap.


Very nice story, and a good looking place you guys are building. Looking forward to seeing some of the finishes go on.

Also cool to see a new build on the forum.


My partner and I spent some time getting class A CDL's, its become a pain to get our stuff moved around. We did a 700 mile day earlier this week and brought home a big tandem dump truck, only driven to church on Sunday by a little old lady. Once we find a honkin air braked trailer we can start hauling the iron around ourselves. MD, you'll appreciate this... 900cid  :o, puts my old big block chevy in perspective  :D.

Anyway, its been too wet to get the next job going so we've had some time to work on the little house. We got the tulip poplar soffit, white oak fascia and white pine board and batten siding about wrapped up on the first side today.


Quote from: Don_P on March 08, 2020, 09:18:53 PM
... 900cid  :o,

All in one engine! 
I've never even had one half that size.   ;)
What is it?  Cummins?

Oh, the little house is looking good.

We're still snowed "out" of the mtn property. Too deep in too many places for even new the tires and chains all round. Which is good for the previous drought conditions. 

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


It is quite a beast, its a Cat engine and all that in 6 cylinders, they must be paint can sized pistons  :D. The Lull is about 26' long and 10 tons and then there's some smaller toys, and of course logs that we want to be able to trailer around. For scale the door handle is just over my head.

I took a couple of pics Monday of framing and soffit work that might be helpful to someone, someday.

And then that afternoon I lost round one with a tick bite. The doc put me on doxy for lyme, sick as a dog right now but this too shall pass.

Nate R

Quote from: Don_P on March 12, 2020, 07:07:08 AM

I took a couple of pics Monday of framing and soffit work that might be helpful to someone, someday.

Don, do you know what sofffit vent material/vendor that is? Looks like it plays well with 1x stock?


I'm about certain it is Air Vent, typical 2"x ~3/8" thick strip vent. I planed that soffit material to 3/4" thick, guess I could've easily taken it down more. I rout a 45 degree chamfered edge on each abutting wood edge to the vent strip to kind of break up that deep step. I've also used T&G there and stick the strip vent in the grooves but that is a pain. If anyone wants to get rich, I hate that kind of vent but it is what is typically available. In windy locations, my house for one, if the wind hits it right the vent pieces start to resonate, very annoying when trying to sleep. I made decorative drilled caps out of wood for it on one job in the prairie where they howled.


DonP,   Sorry to hear about the tick bite and hope the doxy does its job well.   Get better / stay well.

Thanks for the truck picture. I've seen one or two of those still in use around here. A 9000?
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


"The Caterpillar C15 is an in-line, six-cylinder diesel engine. The bore by stroke ratio is 5.4 inches by 6.75 inches, or 137 mm by 171 mm. The displacement is 15.2 liters, or 928 cubic inches. The power rating when used in a truck or bus is 435 to 625 horsepower at 2,100 rpm; RV and fire truck ratings are 600 to 625 horsepower at 2,100 rpm. The total torque output is 1,550 to 2,050 foot-pounds at 1,200 rpm. Total weight of the engine is 3,090 pounds."

At 150 cu. in. per cylinder, that one cylinder is bigger than the entire 4 cyl engine in my first car; Volvo 123GT.  :o
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Getting close to done for my part. A few details to wrap up then get the scaffold and toys home. The virus has finally gotten here, I think I'll hole up and play in the woods and sawmill for awhile. Couldn't get the slider at this point so will cover that hole for now, waiting on sill extensions for the swing door but the supplier has gone silent, hopefully will hear something next week. Its just a shell but its warming up here, he can camp in it out in the woods where its safer till this zombie apocalypse blows over. How is everyone making out?


I have been wondering how you were Don. The cabin looks nice. Here in NM the public schools were closed about 2 weeks ago, so we followed suit. This week the Governor announced that K-12 will stay closed toll fall. Covid-19 is here but as in so many things NM is behind; this time that is good. I do a lot of walking around the property to keep active, as well as work on small projects. We should be okay if we can hit the grocery store every 2 weeks. You and M stay safe.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


Yup, stay safe. Most of us will be pretty poor coming out of this but if we're healthy we can rebuild. If you get really sick it'll be loads worse. Michelle made the tough decision yesterday to shut the farmers market down for awhile, just as stuff is starting to ramp up. A painful decision but I think the right one. Schools are closed for the rest of the term. My main contact has been fuel to and fro and a few stops at the little building supply. Credit cards or "bill me" only, no cash. I've been keeping a can of wipes on the seat of the truck and pull one out and hang it on the steering wheel at each stop. Wipe down my hands and handles, any touched places, then head on... paranoia works.

The bullseye is still there at the tick bite but not angry looking like it was 19 days ago, 2 more days of doxy to go so I hope its beat it back. I feel fine other than the joys of antibiotics. Been doing lotsa yogurt and probiotics.

We scored a new slider today, it'll be ordered tomorrow. Very generous  :).
I got most of the ridge on today. Got the first piece on then had to come down and work on other stuff for hours, the wind picked up considerably and finally laid down towards evening so I got all but the last piece, the end cap needs some detailing first.
I had hoped to do that in the morning but got home to one of the pines just below the house blown down and laying across the drive... looks like the first tree for this round of sawing just delivered  ;D.

Be safe everyone!