28 X 40 California Redwoods

Started by pmichelsen, March 01, 2011, 12:29:03 PM

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Well once I am done with work today I am headed up to the property to pick up where I left off. We had some rain up there Monday and Tuesday of this week so hopefully the ground will be a little bit easier to work with. I have my light poles semi welded up, I will have to add an addition four feet to them tomorrow. I would have done that when I welded the arms but they would have been too long for my truck and I didn't feel like pulling a trailer.

Welding up the poles, like everything else, turned into quite a job. The basic pole and arm by themselves was pretty straight forward but making an adapter to tie into the goosenecks was a little more work. I ended up welding a plug that fits inside the end of the arm, the plug consists of a piece of tubular steel that I welded ends on, I then drilled a hole through the ends and welded in a piece of pipe that I machined to accept the gooseneck. After that was done I tapped the pipe for two set screws and also tapped the plug for two set screws that way I can remove the whole thing for assembly and maintenance. I then have a cap that will cover the end of the arm and hide the connection from the gooseneck to the plug.

Trying to figure out all of my connections so that everything can be accessed in the future and be up to electrical code was a little tricky. Granted it didn't have to be up to code but any time I can make something to code I do.

Amazing the amount of work I have put in just so we can throw a few horseshoes once the sun sets...

Here is a picture of the plug and the yet to be drilled cap.

Hopefully I will have more pictures of my progress next week. Of course I would love to be able to have the poles installed and all of my conduit run by the end of the weekend, I'm just not sure that is a realistic goal. I figure if I can at least get all of my conduit run and the holes for the poles dug I should be in good shape. Realistically I need another person to help me get the poles in the ground and they weigh a few hundred pounds each. Plus I will need a second set of hands when it comes time to pull the wire anyway so another tip is in the near future regardless.


I realized I never posted an update after my last trip. On my last trip I was able to install 95% of my conduit and get my light poles welded and in the ground.

I went up this last weekend for another run at my light poles and I think I had a good run. I was able to get my lights wired up and the final 5% of conduit run. The only things left to do are run the speaker wire, pull wire to the old pump house, and paint the poles their final color.

The speaker wire and wiring the old pump house I will complete in a few weeks, the painting is going to have to wait until the spring. Things are just too wet and cold up there now to paint. I think they should be alright over the winter since I did get a good coat of primer on them. Possibly a light sanding in the spring.

My friends and I always do a trip to the cabin the third weekend in January and I'm glad everything will be functional by then. If you couldn't tell we really like playing horseshoes.  :)

Here are a couple pictures from yesterday evening:


That's one impressive amount of work on the recreation site.  Sure looks like there are many hours of enjoyment for you in your gang in coming years.  Great job!!!


I was up at the property two weeks ago to put some finishing touches on the horseshoe pit in preparation for my annual trip up there with my friends in three weeks. There are nine of us in our group and every year around the third weekend in January we all head up for our annual "MansTrip." It's a time for just the guys to get together and in all honesty, be kids again.

So I pulled speaker wire to each of the light posts on the horseshoe pit and mounted my marine speakers right under the arm that sticks out for the light. The other end of my conduit is in the old pump house that is visible in the picture above. In the pump house I removed two old pressure tanks and put a shelf for my stereo and ran some electrical in there. I will use this area to store the rakes, brooms, canopies, and other items for the horseshoe pit. 

Unfortunately the trip didn't come without setbacks, I went up on a Thursday night, got in around 11:30 and by Friday night the water system had gone down on me. Over the last few years we have had quite a few problems with the system and quite a few people who have known enough to get themselves in trouble have worked on it. I am still hoping I can limp it along until spring, and then I will pull everything out and redo it all. Sadly not only do I need to re-plumb the system I also need to build a new enclosure for the system. With the amount of moisture we get up there wood just doesn't last long so we are looking at building the enclosure out of stainless or aluminum.

If my stock keeps performing the way it has the last few months I should also be breaking ground on my structure in the spring. My plan for this year is to at least get my electrical run to the site and possibly my foundation poured. Hopefully 2013 will be the year of the cabin!


This last weekend was my annual trip with my friends up to the property, two of us are owners and have cabins on the property and the other seven are our friends. I can definitely say all of my hard work on the horseshoe pit paid off, everyone was very impressed and we were able to play five double elimination tournaments over the weekend. I think we played until 11:30pm each night. Was nice to have the lights and background music was a nice touch.

One thing that made it a little better was bringing out a portable fire pit off to the side of the horseshoe pits so we could warm up in between games. It was such a hit I think i am going to build a permanent one this summer with some seating around it for the spectators.

Here is a picture of our motley crew, you can also see the newest addition that my buddy made, a horseshoe shaped score board. He designed and cut it out on his water-jet machine, it's made out of 1/4" aluminum. We are unsure if we should powder coat it or not, in the day light it gets a nasty glare. We use two spring clamps to mark our scores. You can also see the bracket on the light pole for my outdoor speakers, I pack them up when we leave, no sense exposing them to the elements.


That is one sweet horseshoe pit!  Well done and good luck woth your future project!


Headed up to the property tomorrow for the long weekend.

We're hoping to complete phase one of our water system rebuild. Phase one includes rebuilding the enclosure that houses the pump and filters. Since my buddy and I are still fairly young we want to build something that will last all of our lives so we don't have to rebuild this enclosure again. So we ordered a few hundred feet of 3" and 2" tubular aluminum, the plan is to concrete the four main supports into the ground and then weld everything in place as we build.

Once we get the enclosure finished up we are going to rip out all of the plumbing for our system and start from scratch, hopefully simplifying and alleviating a lot of headaches we have had over the last few years.

If I have time this weekend I will also put a coat of paint on my light poles at the pits.


Well we got phase one complete of the pump upgrade, and not a moment too soon. Roughly 30 minutes after we finished yesterday the power went out on us and stayed off for about 16 hours. Overall we're happy with our progress, all in all it took the two of us about 2.5 days, though we took frequent breaks for family time in the badminton court.

On the next trip we will be adding gas shocks to keep doors open while working, a new floor, and replacing all of the plumbing. We also plan to arrange things so they are more easily accessible, such as the filter housings.

Here is how we left it:


My buddies and I decided we need to take advantage of the long weekend so we are headed up to the cabin tomorrow after work. This trip will mainly be R&R, though I will try and get a coat of paint on my light poles and do some digging around our holding tank to prep for our plumbing work in two weeks. Aside from that we are planning a kayaking trip and much time down in the river.

I also placed an order over the weekend for all of the fittings we need to re-plumb our pump and filtration system. It's amazing how fast things add up when ordering 2" SCH 80 and 2" copper, but I really believe we are doing it the right way now and we will have a lot less headaches going forward. That right there makes it worth every penny.


Well I was up at the property last weekend, went up Thursday afternoon and came home Monday. Most of the time was spent hiking, swimming, and playing games with the kids. I was up there with four of my friends and their families, kids ranging from 7-17. It was my idea of a perfect weekend and what having a cabin is all about, being able to make memories and continue traditions.

Sunday after everyone had packed up my buddy and I decided it was time to tackle the water system. Over memorial Day weekend we had done the work above (new enclosure) so now all we had to do was rip out all of the plumbing and start from scratch. We also had to replace the base of the enclosure, which we did out of Trex.

I am happy with the work we did, I think we made it a lot cleaner and hopefully we won't have as many problems.




I had a major development in the future of my cabin life happen yesterday, if everything works out I think it will be a much solution for me. I should know by the end of the weekend if this new development will work out or not and will post an update at that time.


Well as I said the other day there was a major development. As I mentioned in my original post the property is owned by a group of us and my cabin was the one that never got fixed up in the 80's and as a result I was going to need to start from scratch. Well a few months ago the majority of us (there are seven total in the group) decided that we did not like what one of the owners was doing with his place. Basically renting it out to growers in the area to be used in case the DEA cracked down on their homes. To be fair the person in the group doing this became a member by default when his father passed away.

So the rest of us decided that they needed to go and asked if he would be willing to sell his place. Fortunately he agreed for a set amount, well as of this morning I am the one that bought him out and I will be taking over his cabin. It will still need some work but nowhere near as much as the other cabin. And for the price there is no way I could have built one for anywhere near that amount, plus the place comes fully furnished and ready to go.

I'm headed up there in two weeks so I will post pictures of the place and detail the work I plan to complete.


Well here are a few pictures of the place I just bought, I really couldn't have built something for the price I paid. It does need some work but it is a good starting place.






I'm even lucky enough to have one of the larges trees on the property right next to me...


Very nice - very lucky to have the opportunity to Ca$h in - in that area.  That whole area is just so special.   
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.


Wow...looks like you made a good choice.  Now you have a real comfortable base camp while you work on the other cabin.  Congratulations!


That trees looks to be the same width as your truck !


That tree is probably wider than my truck, it's really amazing just how big the giant redwoods can get. I'll add in a better picture of it when I get home tonight and you can see how it dwarfs my fullsize truck.

Since moisture is an issue up there and the weather seems to eat decks for dinner, I'm looking at doing LGS joists and beams. My deck posts were always going to be tubular steel but now I figure why not go all out. Here is an article I found on the topic that seems to be fairly informative:


Has anyone tried this?


Here's another picture of that tree next to my truck...


I am definitely going to go with LGS for the joists and beams. I think I have tracked down a supplier too so once I have the money I will be ready to go. Looks like I can provide drawings to the supplier and they will precut everything so installing on site will be a piece of cake. I need to get busy now digging the the footings for the posts, the footings will be fairly deep with rebar cages that tie in to J-bolts so that I can attach the steel posts. I will then have my buddy water jet and bend some saddles for the LGS beams to sit in. Hopefully this will make for a fairly bullet proof deck, but being that I'm so young I really need to go crazy so that I only have to do this once.  ;D


Took off tomorrow and Monday and I'm headed up to the cabin after work. My parents are going to come up tomorrow evening and stay through Sunday so they can see the place. I will be getting my dad's advice on some improvements I'm looking at doing and an addition I have been tossing around in my head since my last visit. Plus it will be nice to enjoy probably one of the last nice weekends of the season. I'm hoping to get in the river but we shall see, looks like the high is supposed to be 80 with the low around 34.


Headed up to the cabin Thursday after work with a fairly small list of things to accomplish:

- Flash the edge of the roof
- Build a new staircase up to the deck

When the previous owner roofed the place they didn't flash the edges so some of the plywood and rafter tails are showing early signs of dry rot. So I will be fixing all rot and flashing the edges to limp the roof along another couples years till I can replace the whole thing.

I will be replacing the whole deck next year or the following depending on the availability of funds ;) but the stairs can't wait that long so I am going to build a new set.

I'll post some pictures when I return.


Well as I began tearing off the old stairs I kept finding more and more rot. I kept replacing stuff but then had to remind myself this is only a temporary fix to get me through till next summer. So I only replaced what was absolutely necessary to make everything safe enough for my rowdy friends to come and go.

In the first picture you can see near the top of the stairs the stringer was pretty much completely rotten. After finishing up the stairs I flashed the roof and then spent the rest of the weekend cleaning up the grounds. I was fortunately enough to be able to watch a bald eagle eat a fish it had pulled out of the river and from the deck watch a river otter play in the water for a while.


Went up to the property over Thanksgiving and worked on the deck with my buddies. The beam in the front of the deck feel victim to wood beetles and had pretty much failed. The plan is to hopefully replace the whole thing next summer but I wanted to make it safe until then. I used concrete anchors to attach a bottom plate to the footing and then ran a double top plate attached to the bottom of the deck joists. We then used a few bottle jacks and lifted the deck back up to as close to level as we could get and put studs every two feet. I went back and used some OSB to add strength. I think this should last till the summer then I will tear it all out.


Putting in studs:

All studs in:

OSB attached:

While I was up there I put in a new sink and fixture, the sink was one that my dad pulled out of a house he is remodeling and the fixture was one he ordered and didn't like.


Well it's been a stressful few weeks up at the property, the Lodge Lightning Complex fire is just 2 miles away from my place and when I went up last weekend to further work on my fire break I saw that someone had broken in. Fortunately they didn't take much, food, beer, clothes but the weird thing is that they hung out cooked meals and watch movies.

Fortunately it's looking like the amazing Cal Fire is going to be able to hold the line and my place is going to be fine, now I just need to figure out what I'm going to do for better security. I'm thinking of a simple alarm that will just make a bunch of noise. Friends have told me to just install satellite internet so that I can have cameras, but I really am fighting to not be connected up there.