Thursday, September 29, 2016

Log cabin picture of the day - The Duke and Duchess in the Yukon. . .

The Duke and Duchess in Whitehorse.

And they even got in a canoe.

And they are holding the paddles correctly!

Friday, September 23, 2016

A-21, Bingo!

The other day, walking around at work, I started feeling a slight stabbing pain in my left heel.

I looked down and inspected my shoe and found this attached at the heel.

One of my log cabin numbering tags.

24 years ago when I took down my first two cabins I used these electric box punch outs as tags. And when I ran out of them I cut squares out of flashing tin.

This past weekend while working on the new project, this one must have come out of the end of one of the logs I was moving.

Whenever we move a cabin we have to come up with a way of marking the logs so it can be reassembled as much as possible the way it came down. Some times bad logs have to be replaced, then you need your logs numbered so you can get a replacement log about the same size, and make a pattern of the notches.

I always lettered my corners and numbered my rows. 'A' would have been the front left corner, and '21' would have been one of the higher up logs near the top of the second story.
If it had been a log that ran the whole width of the cabin 'B 21' would have been on the other end.
If it had been a log with a door or window dissecting it, 'B 21' would have been a separate log.

A couple photos in my earlier posts about the Adirondack Lean-to project shows the logs tagged.

Here is a notch I removed that still has the tag on it.
This is one of the tin tags I had to make.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Movies with Log Cabins - "Foxfire" 1987

It's kind of like bagpipes, you either love John Denver or you don't. I happen to love his music.
While he did several films, he could never be considered a great actor.
At least in the 1987 film 'Foxfire' he played close to kind as a country singer.
The movie also starred Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn, a couple of Americas acting elite. Actually they were respectively English and Canadian but they were very much associated with American Theatre.

Most of the film is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains and takes place on the old family homestead.
While it is hard to find photos of the log cabin used, the cabins is featured a lot in the movie.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Walker Sisters Cabin in the Smokies - a little more info.

I few weeks ago I posted HERE this image. . .

I didn't know anything about the image at the time other than what I posted. . .

Thanks to a site I follow on Facebook I have since learned a little, actually a lot, more about the place.
It is now known as the Walker Sisters cabin and has quite the story behind it . . . and it still stands.

Any of these following links can tell you as much as you would like to know about the place..

Saturday Evening Post

Your National Parks



and here is a link to a PDF file on the original story.

It is hard to imagine in this day and age that someone lived in that house, using the old ways until 1964!
I was nine when that house was last used as a home.

 And they had a dog!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Adirondack Lean-to project -- Notching 101

 Was able to get out to the cabin yesterday, Sunday and get a little bit done on the project.

Now that we are moving above the sill logs and the first course I will start using 'V' notches until we get to the top plate.

So. . . here is the first 'V' notch I have done since about 1995.

While the tools aren't quite as sharp, nor my skills, it didn't turn out to bad.

Some of the wood isn't in the best of shape, so the wood is a little harder to work with.

Had visitors today out at the cabin, so I actually ended up with a little enthusiastic help.

My friends John and Diane stopped by, and John is always one to try his hand at new things so we ended up having a notch 101 class going on.

Here John is setting the angle for the notch.
The first scores we do with the chain saw. . .

Then moving on to hammer, axe and chisel.

 Till I find my three inch chisel a sharp axe will have to do.
 Fine tuning with a smaller chisel.

He did the top of one log and the bottom of another to complete his first log cabin 'V' notch.

Now I just have to give him a key to the gate and he can come out and practice whenever he likes.

So, at the end of Sunday here is how it looks.
Two more logs up and the third one ready to be worked on.

We will lay the decking next work day which will allow us a working platform once the logs start getting higher.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Sometimes you have to look inside. . .

This cabin, called the Jacob Coonce Cabin, would have stood not to far from where I live now.
This photo is from the Library of Congress archives.
What it shows is how you sometimes have to look underneath the siding to find the log cabin.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Speaking of Hudson Bay Company


Paintings with Log Cabins - Hal Foster

Hal Foster is just one of my favorite artists period. And like many artists because of his chosen field he is often over looked.
Most people know Hal's work from his comic strip Prince Valiant (1937) and his work on the strip Tarzan (1928). Born in Nova Scotia in 1892. Much of his youth was spent exploring the outdoors.
He also worked as staff artist for the Hudson Bay Company for a while. In 1919 he rode his bike to Chicago to study art and soon found work as an illustrator.
While known mostly for his comic work soon of his early illustration work centered around life north of the U.S. border.

One of the first illustration I came across of his was an image of what a canoe portage was like.

If you have ever done any kind of canoe portaging you can understand this illustration.
Now imagine doing it with gear not as light weight as modern gear.

A lot of his early works were illustrations for stories about the Mounties. And looking at one of his early works about the Mounties I came across one the had a couple of log cabins in it.

While images of Hal's other works are limited, there are a couple good books out there on his life offering a look into his early life.

A young Hal Foster with a Mountie painting in the background.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I love this image. . .

I love this image! Log house and log barn.
Imagine if you will the house in the back ground covered in white clap-board siding.
And then think about some of your rural drives where you saw house like that.
They could have had log cabins under that siding.

It is hard to tell if the barn in the foreground is a two pen barn or just has a wide front door.

Notice the two people who seem to be seated in a buggy or wagon. Probably pretty proud of that wagon.

The slit rail fence, and a board fence.
What a great image.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I love the eclectic nature of this build . . .

Eclectic build.

Got time this Labor day weekend to labor on the Adirondack lean-to project.

If you have been following this blog for more than a couple of days you will know my latest project is a Missouri version of a log Adirondack Shelter, a three sided camping lean-to.

 Last spring I made good progress on the foundation and setting the first two logs.

Hot weather and daughter sports kept me from working on it all summer. Darn.

But this weekend allowed me time to start up again.

Here you can see the third log placed and ready to be notched.
 Here I made the first diagonal notch on one of the base logs (sill log).
The first notch on most sill logs for some reason is just this simple diagonal sill notch. The next log on top of that will have a matching notch. After the base logs (sill), builders would use either a 'V' notch or some sort of dovetail.
Occasionally a flat notch. or rounded 'saddle' notch on softer woods.

Axe, chisel, chainsaw and hammer were the tools for the day.
 I am having to remove the original notches to make my diagonal base notches.

On this one you can still see the tag from my numbering system when I first took this old log building down over twenty years ago.

This notch is a 'V' notch, but not in very good shape with the ends damaged.
 Here is the log with the old notch removed.
Look how good the wood is on the inside after being down for over one hundred and fifty years.
 I made a cardboard template from my first notch and then scribed the pattern into the next log to go on top.

 Cut out and ready to set.
 Two pieces of the puzzle.
 Fit together.
 I then did the same thing to the opposite end.
 How it sets on the other two logs.
 Second log for the day (fourth log in all) up on the base and ready for notching.
 Another old notch removed.
On this one you can see the old Adz and axe marks. And my numbering tag.
 Two old square nails I removed before my chainsaw caught them.
 Both logs notched and the log set.

 Here you can see the third log of the day (log five) up and ready to be worked on.
 The extra length, or cantilever, will allow me to extend the logs slightly past the sill logs.

This longer log at the back will start the next course.
Its purpose in the cabin I took down was one of the two logs supporting the second story floor joists.
 While still not notched, level is right on.
Now I have to make sure that stays true after I notch it.
Bone yard of old notches.

 How to move 300 - 700 pound logs on your own. (Probably the reason I have a hernia:)
When working on the big house I had an old tractor to help me move the logs around the lot.
Still, sometimes the logs had to be moved into place by hand to places the tractor could not get.

No tractor this time so, . . .with a  good hauling rope. . .
. . . and a couple round logs or pipes I could roll them pretty far and get them right up to the project.

Just don't get in the way once they start to move.

Getting them up on the foundation still requires effort and ramps.

I will keep you posted on the project as fall moves along.