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Author Topic: Saddle notched cabin finally getting close  (Read 3692 times)

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Offline Don P

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Saddle notched cabin finally getting close
« on: May 11, 2005, 10:30:23 PM »
This came up on the random photos.

 It's taken so long I had forgotten posting pics of it. I took that shot right after we had replaced the bottom 4 rows. We've been taking our sweet time, its been an off and on project for about 2 years. The family has been great to work for. Hope ya'll don't mind me blowing my horn, we're  right proud of how its come together. Here's a few inside shots I took recently.

We cleaned up and reused the old mantle. I had to widen the surround to work in some steel around the chimney. We had removed a small amount of chesnut from the old ceiling, seemed like a good accent.  For safety in the old soft brick and mortar we decided to put in gas logs and a stainless flue.


I had to tear off some of the old red oak roof sheathing, it was some of that sorry fine grained old growth. Figured we might as well try to make some use of it anyway, so I used it in the kitchen addition. Fridge will go to the left, stove to the right.


Upstairs above the kitchen we put in a bathroom. The ceiling, wainscot and trim is poplar from the old upstairs floor


The old floor joists were heart pine. I used some of them for the new stair railings. My present stair top is about a foot beyond the old stair hole, there was no turn in the original stair...pretty much a ladder!


A laborer works with his hands
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An artist uses his brain, his hands, and his heart

Offline UNCLEBUCK

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Re: Saddle notched cabin finally getting close
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2005, 10:44:13 PM »
I remember when you started that project , that is beautiful , I cant believe its the same place !
UNCLEBUCK    bridge burner/bridge mender

Offline TN_man

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Re: Saddle notched cabin finally getting close
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2005, 05:32:48 AM »
That is just gorgeous 8) It is amazing what you have done with that place. Thanks for the pics.
WM LT-20 solar-kiln Case 885 4x4 w/ front end loader  80 acre farm  little time or money

Offline crtreedude

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Re: Saddle notched cabin finally getting close
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2005, 06:53:06 AM »
Very nice! 

What a beautiful place.
So, how did I end up here anyway?

Offline pappy

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Re: Saddle notched cabin finally getting close
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2005, 09:57:55 AM »
Don,

Quote
Hope ya'll don't mind me blowing my horn, we're  right proud of how its come together.

toot away!!


you should be right proud   NICE!! very nice work !!   8)


P.S.   what ya use for chinking ??
"And if we live, we shall go again, for the enchantment which falls upon those who have gone into the woodland is never broken."

"Down the Allagash."  by; Henry Withee

Offline jerry-m

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Re: Saddle notched cabin finally getting close
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2005, 12:23:04 PM »
Hey Don,   Great Job... Some real find wood work on the kit. cabinet...  Love the bath tub...

Thamks for the pictures,   Jerry
Jerry

Offline asy

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Re: Saddle notched cabin finally getting close
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2005, 06:37:17 PM »
Great photos, thanks, I'd love to see more, how about some of the full house outside???

What's the stuff in between the boards on the walls?

asy :D
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Offline crtreedude

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Re: Saddle notched cabin finally getting close
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2005, 08:28:29 PM »
Asy,

That is Vegamite.... Or Spam.  ;D



So, how did I end up here anyway?

Offline Don P

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Re: Saddle notched cabin finally getting close
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2005, 10:54:59 PM »
Thanks for the kind words. The stuff between the logs is called chinking, its about the consistency of vegamite and spam mixed with stringy axle grease  :D. Its like a very thick caulk with sand in it. I used a product called Weatherall 1010, its a good bit stiffer than Permachink and tolerates pretty hard tooling without squishing out. The chinking is applied over a backer called Grip Strip. It's made from 1" thick planks of Ethafoam cut into trapezoid shapes. I ordered boxes of several widths and would grab an armload of various sizes, finding the closest fit and then razor knifing it to final shape. I filled the void between the backer with white styrofoam beadboard, cutting it fairly close and filling the gaps with sprayfoam. You can also chink directly over the beadboard, its cheaper than ethafoam, but be sure you use  expanded polystrene (EPS). Don't chink over extruded polystyrene (blueboard, XPS) or it'll blister. 
The original chinking was corn cobs and mud, later it was done in the old high lime mortar...I don't think there was any portland cement in that mix. Finally the most recent chinking had been modern hard mortar.

Asy, the boards on the walls are white oak and poplar logs that were hewn on 2 faces with a felling axe and broad axe to about 6-7" thick, the trees had been mostly in the 10-12" range. We counted rings and knew the trees were felled about 1842. George might have slept under one  :D. I did some hewing and those guys have my respect! The mason that repointed the chimney was over here last week using an adze to hew a mantle for his house, it was the next planing type tool in those days for flattening a timber.

Below is a picture I put together a little while back, the left side is before. We lost the timberframe wing with its brick nogging to termites. From 1865 to 1965 the timberframe wing extended about 24 feet further left than the before shot. They tore that wing and the back kitchen down in 1965 when the little devils got it. I hit a colony 2' underground in a cracked rock...they were still having a party  :o. I put the "modern" facilities in the new addition.

A laborer works with his hands
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Offline Don P

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Re: Saddle notched cabin finally getting close
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2005, 08:19:07 AM »
I found what I hope is a better shot of 2 different men's hewing.
The bottom 3 rows (up to the checked poplar log  ;)) were original and hewed in the early 1840's. Sometime between then and 1865 the upper logs were added and a full second floor was built. The upper logs are white oak salvaged from a building that was smaller and much more rustic, From some calling cards withing the joints I would guess it was an early barn. I'll try to dig up a pic of the building as a clapboarded farmhouse. The upper logwork was done pretty crudely, they were simply making a wall that they were going to furr out with rived 1x4's and lath to be plastered over. If you scroll back up to the stair pic you can see where they chopped out areas of a bulging log to give a flat spot to attach the furring strips to.

The poplar course was the original top plate and allowed easier cutting and nailing than oak. I've been told that the story and a half style of the original was considered English while the dogtrot and saddlebag styles were more Scottish. I sorta think folks were more like we are today than we give them credit for....they built what worked for their needs  ;D.

The hewing was done by snapping lines down the sides of the log that established a plane. A felling axe was used to strike down to the line every few inches, then the broad axe popped those chunks off leaving a flattened surface.


A laborer works with his hands
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An artist uses his brain, his hands, and his heart

Offline Don P

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Re: Saddle notched cabin finally getting close
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2005, 11:34:16 AM »

Here is the "cabin' as it appeared from 1865 to 1965. It was very common to cover the log walls with clapboard. I removed some of that 140 year old poplar siding from the gables, it was about worn out but had certainly served well. When the siding was removed in 1965 a civil war sword was found between the clapboards and the logs. We were working on another old local cabin last year when one of the previous occupants stopped by, she had lived there as a young girl. She said she never knew she grew up in a log cabin.
A laborer works with his hands
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An artist uses his brain, his hands, and his heart

Offline Ernie

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Re: Saddle notched cabin finally getting close
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2005, 03:16:21 PM »
When Jan and I went to Canada for our 25th wedding anniversary, we spent most of the time at Dad's cottage in Haliburton and just drove around all the old roads and tracks we could find.  We saw plenty of abandoned log dwellings and often wondered if they were restorable.  You have shown that they can be beautifully done.  You would have to go a long way to find anything newly built that comes even remotley close to the quality and character of your place.

Well done Don smiley_thumbsup
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Saddle notched cabin finally getting close
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2005, 03:35:57 PM »
At the last conference I went to in Ohio we toured several barns and a few old houses.

One house was a very old "Log House" although the sign out front said "Log Cabin".

The man inside in period clothing said that the difference between a log house and a log cabin is that a log cabin has round logs on the inside and outside. A log house has squared up log walls, both inside and outside.
This house also had been covered with clad-boards which he said was common practice after about 3 years of the "house" being assembled and drying some. It also had notches cut on some 'fat' logs for the vertical furring strips that the siding was nailed to.

He said there were many other houses in that town that were "log houses" and that they had siding on them and that you couldn't tell from outside if it was a log house or not.

I though I'd pass on this info about the difference between a "log house" and a "log cabin".
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Offline Don P

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Re: Saddle notched cabin finally getting close
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2005, 05:53:48 PM »
Thanks Jim, that's good to know  8). I tend to use the term "cabin" quite loosely, why do I call this one a cabin?... cause it had a plywood sign nailed to the back wall calling it one  :D.  From the little I know, the semantics of the terms have changed over time. B.A. Mackie called his round log abodes "homes" and was distressed by what he called the "lawg caybun concept". He observed the term "cabin" originated meaning a small simple shelter for the poor, the oppressed or slaves. Hunters, trappers and homesteaders of the time would have built "huts" or "shanties" but never a slave's "cabin".  Only later was the term cabin used as a political symbol and entered our vocabulary by that route. Log builders nowadays are constantly reminded by "log home" salespeople to not use the term "cabin", just as realtors don't like the term house...we're supposed to say "home". I think they're mostly worried that cabin might sound less expensive than home, and home sounds cozier than house ;D.  I would be interested in other viewpoints on all that. In the end a rose is a rose but it is interesting to learn how language and its shadings change.

 This one went about 20 years before weatherboarding, I've worked on another that went substantially longer, but I do think that was the intent of the builders. This was a form of framing that allowed occupancy pretty quick and then over time they could be "fancied up". Some homes were sided, some never got the round tuit's but they still had a perfectly acceptable house. The timberframe wing was added when they sided this house.  I've also seen a number down in the piedmont that were stuccoed.
A laborer works with his hands
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An artist uses his brain, his hands, and his heart

Offline Norm

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Re: Saddle notched cabin finally getting close
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2005, 08:28:09 AM »
Great thread Don, I sure enjoy reading and viewing your projects. Thanks. :)


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