Vern and Sara Street
Sapulpa, Okla


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Building a log home -  by Vern and Sara Street
Updated 08-20-11

In October of 2005, Vern and Sara Street decided to purchase 10 acres located in western Creek County West of Sapulpa , Oklahoma on Highway 33.  We lived in Sapulpa in a real nice split level house on two acres.  Why did we do this?  We really enjoyed the place all month long until the payment became due!  Being retired and on a small income, this was tough so we started looking around for a place we could build or move something in and remodel and save some money.  

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91st Street home

Our new place had all we needed to start.  It had a 30 by 50ft shop (pole barn), on the property, a nice water well, and two septic tanks, but no house.  We figured we could probably move in a house and spend a year remodeling and we could do this on our budget as we could afford it.  We have had some experience remodeling - see Loft Apt.  We put our current house on the market thinking it would take six months or so to sell, and we could build living quarters in the shop building, however, the house sold in two weeks and all of a sudden we were homeless!  So the old 1972 Superior motorhome became our home temporarily.

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1972 Superior

So the next job was to get the living quarters ready before the cold weather set in.  In Oklahoma, that's about first of December.  The shop building was divided up to 10ft by 30ft living, a small shop area of about 19 by 30 ft.  The rest of the shop was used to store all our stuff.  Stuff which we will looking thru for the next year or so every time you need something you know you have but can't find.  The old joke is, it's within 50ft!  We built a very basic space with the bathroom, shower, washer and dryer in the end of the space.  The rest of the space contained  a small cabinet, a hoosier cabinet, refrigerator, antique cook stove, TV hanging on the wall, and a Murphy bed that can be folded up during the day.  Everything you need.  Oh yes, also the computer desk.  Can't do without the internet.  

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The Existing Homestead

Speaking of the internet -- we moved out here in the country to escape the big city life, but hi-speed internet didn't appear to exist.  SBC couldn't even find our address!  Finally, we got hooked up with a dial up connection but after a while we knew something had to change and we begin researching for a better internet connection.  It appeared we would have to get one of the expensive satellite hookups but in doing some research, I discovered that WIMAX (a WIFI with up to a 30mile radius), was available in certain locations and as luck would be, a company located about 25 miles from us had a wireless internet setup with an antenna only 3 miles from our 10 acres!  This is really neat stuff!  We had to put up a 40ft antenna, (to get over the trees), and wow - we have hi-speed internet.  Not super fast but about 350K.  Much better than the 24K dial-up!  Now we can surf the net in style. We also eliminated the expensive land line we had for a phone, and subscribed to the Vonage internet phone.  All this cost less the the SBC phone line.  We are planning on building a log home like they did in the 19th century, but we gotta have our internet to find all the cheap stuff.  What's wrong with this picture?

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I can relate!

While surfing the net one day, Sara discovered the website for the Log Home builders Association.  Since we had to build something anyway and we had always enjoyed looking at log homes, we signed up immediately  for the two day school in Monroe, WA.  This was fantastic!  Skip Ellsworth has been teaching this school sine the 1960's, and has over 45,000 members in the organization,  They offered a money back guarantee and as far as I know, no one has ever asked for their  money back.  The course was very intense for two days and we took pages of notes of how to locate and procure your logs and how to construct a butt and pass loghome that will last for years.  Just like they did in the early days. You also got an education on the different types of log homes and log home kits and why the kit homes are so expensive.  About all you see here in Oklahoma are kit homes as it is a project to find logs long enough for the type of home we are going to build.  If you are interested in building a Log Home, or purchasing one, be sure to spend some time on the Log Home Builders website to learn about all the different types of construction.

August 2006
After completing the living quarters, we were forging ahead to locate some logs.  In Oklahoma, we don't have too much to choose from except for some different types of Oak trees and most are too short and crooked to use as a wall log.  SE Oklahoma has some pines but we were unable to track down a logger willing to work with us.  Most were contracted to some big company.  We discovered that I knew a guy in Mississippi, (thru motorcycle events), that was a logger and had 3000 acres of Pine and Poplar that were downed by hurricane Katrina.  After a phone call to  him, we were assured we could get all the logs we needed by summer of '06.  He recommended the Poplar for various reasons and we said great. We made a Goldwing trip to Mississippi to personally see these logs.  They were beautiful!  We then proceeded to level the site and prepare for the foundation.  We elected to use Log Home builders Assoc. 30ft by 30ft plans and would use a 18 inch footing with piers. The summer was very busy getting everything ready for the footing.  Still thinking that the logs would be here by Summer's end, we worked thru some very hot Oklahoma days and managed to get the piers all ready for the logs, -- but -- they didn't show up.  The logger had some kind of personal problems and all of a sudden dropped out of sight.  So, we were back to square one on getting logs.  Nice piers, but no logs!

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Okla Summer!

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Ready for logs!



So, here we are - back in the hunt for logs.  We decided this time we would look closer to home as the price of diesel fuel had risen considerably since Spring therefore trucking costs were out of sight.  We tried the internet and found the Missouri Department of Forestry which contained a list of Missouri loggers with their email addresses.  I sent out probably 50 emails to loggers in Southwest Missouri and most of them came back undeliverable.  We did receive one email after that exercise from a guy in West Plains, Mo. who was very helpful.  We actually drove up there to meet with him.  He was the typical logger who worked locally but his truck was not legal to cross the border - i.e., no insurance or  license to cross over in Oklahoma.  I ran across this often but this gentlemen did send us to the right people.  He led us to a guy who bought and sold property mainly to harvest the trees.  He dealt mostly in Oak and owned a sawmill which cut Oak into railroad ties.  Occasionally, he would have some groves of pine which he would stack out on his yard until he got a call for Pine and then he would shutdown Oak and saw the Pine.  Anyway, we made a deal for three loads of White Pine averaging about 12 inches diameter and cut 45 ft long.  So, again, we have logs.  This guy knew the local truckers and fixed us up with a truck line to haul them to Oklahoma.

 

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Nice Stack of Logs-
But still in Log Yard

12-13-2006
To a future log home builder, there is no other sight more exiting than to see your logs arriving at your building site!  December 13th, the first two loads arrived.  Yipee!  They have finally arrived.  Now we have to figure out how to unload them.  This part of Oklahoma does not have an abundance of log handling equipment and the truckers didn't have one of those neat little log loaders mounted on the truck.  But, as luck would have it, my neighbor, who is in the heavy equipment business, had a track hoe available and after a couple of broken logs, he had figured out how to unload them.  I hope I can borrow his track hoe when it comes time to install the ridge pole 30ft up in the air.

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Yea! Logs Arrived

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Unloading - Okla Style

January 2007
Meanwhile, the logs are laid out on sacrificial logs and the de-barking begins!  However, the weather in Oklahoma in not really great for construction of any kind.  As can be seen in the photo's to the right, it has some warming up and some drying up before we can start laying the logs  I  have discovered however, you can de-bark if the temperature is between 35 and 40 degrees.  Anything lower than this, the bark seems to be frozen to the log.  So, we stop and work on the model!

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De-barking in the snow

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Oklahoma Winter


February 2007
Well, after an unusual cold January and most of February, it warmed up, the wind came and dried up the site.  It looked like we would finally get to finish de-barking and stack some logs.  We inventoried the log pile and saved the length, butt size, and every 10 ft of each log into an Excel spreadsheet.  We found by sorting by the 10ft size gave us the best matches when comparing the log sizes.  A lot of the butts were flared and made the log appear larger than it was.
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Pick out  the first log

February 22, 2007 - first log at last!
We got out the old John Deer and hooked onto the first log for the piers.  We originally setup our little Wheel Horse to pull the logs over to the site  and it's hydraulic lift would pick the end of the log, as soon as tried to go forward the little tractor just stood up.  Not enough weight on the front end.  Oh, well, I will work on that later.  The old JD did it and after dragging the log over parallel to the piers, we hooked on it with the front loader and lifted up and set on blocks next to the piers to align the rebar up and mark where to drill the holes.  Then the tricky part starts!  Trying to start the rebar in the bottom of the log.  Here we could have used more people.  But after a few tries and 30 minutes or so SHA-ZAM!  We have the first log!  We're so excited.  It works just like Skip said it would!

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First log on the piers
We're off and running!
February 28, 2007 - Four logs up!!
After a rain and a few days of drying out, we continued to put the first layer of logs on the piers.  The problem begins when trying to stab the logs on the rebar  extending out of the pier.  We learned a couple of tricks.  1) Use a string line and be sure the base of each rebar is in aligned with the others.  If not, make a note how far off and which way so you can compensate when you drill.  2) Use the string and make sure the height of the rebars are the same or they are stepped from one end.  You will need to start on the one that is the tallest.   3) After the logs are drilled, pick the log  up in the middle with one strap with the log near balanced.  This way you can grab the end of the log, tilt it down and guide it onto the rebar at a time.  Then you can gradually let the log down, keeping it slightly tilted until the next rebar slips in and so forth.  Piece of cake!  This works when you using a lifting device such as a front end loader.  Using the lifting poles, it would be a different scheme.

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Four logs up on piers
I also found an extremely good buy in 2X12's to use for my dimensional lumber.  84 lumber had their 2X12 8foot for $2.00, 2X12 10 foot  for $3.00 and 2X12 12 footer's at $4.00.  One 2X12 makes 2- 2X6's which I will need a large number for floors and ceiling.  Will have to do my own Tongue and Groove, but I work cheap when I am working for myself.  I couldn't believe the total board foot of dimensional lumber required to build a log house!   It was an eighteen wheeler load complete with his little attached forklift.
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2X12's for floors & ceilings
We spent a couple of days facing the inside edge of the first layer of logs.  We plan to do a wood floor and wanted the rim joists to fit really snug against the logs to keep out the bugs and critters.  I purchased one of the little chain saw guides that is advertised to use as a mini sawmill.  I think that is a joke but did well for my purpose.  I screwed a 2X12 on top of the logs and used it as a guide to true up the inside edge.  Now that I'm thru with the guide, I'll sell it on ebay and get most of my money back.

Mar-08-2007-
We are into laying logs and driving rebar.  We are half way thru round 5.  It's starting to look like an impressive structure.  We now have people driving down the road stop and just watch what we are doing.  One guy, Tom, was so impressed he decided to help us for the day to learn what we were doing.  He drove a lot of rebar!  We also tested some demolition hammers and chose a unit marketed by Harbor Freight .  It seemed to work and reduced to rebar driving to laying on the demolition for a few seconds.
We have reached to limit that we can use the front end loader to reach the top of the structure so we have to regroup and prepare for the next step.  The plan, at least for today, will be to mount lifting poles in the inside corners and chain them to the structure.  We would have done poles to start with but the ground is only inches from rock and didn't have the equipment to drill the holes.  We will now just set them on the ground chained to the corners.  This will give us lifting capability plus alignment poles when placing the new logs on top.  It will allow us to just set the logs in place and keep the inside straight with the walls.

 

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Working on 5th layer!

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Pounding Rebar!

March 25, 2007
After a few days of rain we have now completed the lifting pole installation and works very well.  We still use the front end loader to lift the log up and over the overdangles and then with the log sitting on the top overdangle, we attach the lifting straps around the log and use our small 12V cable winches to complete the sitting of the log in place.  This gives you very fine control of the log and you can actually rotate the log in the straps or slide back and forth to get them best match of knots etc. to obtain minimum gap between the logs.  I secure a winch to my jeep and one to my tractor.  That seems to be the best way as they also carry around a 12volt battery.  It's musical cars and tractors when you complete a log and change sides.

We now have seven rounds up and rebarred.  It gets slower as you go up in levels as you have to climb further  up the ladder to do anything.  Usually several trips up the ladders on each end of the log are required before you are done.  The lifting poles also provide a nice stop for the inside of the wall.  We set the lifting poles true and tight in the corners to provide this guide.  The eighth round will require taller ladders!  The weather is not looking good for the next week.  The red clay gets real nasty when wet.  Not the kind of mud you would want on your feet when up on the log walls.

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Using the FEL to set
lifting  poles

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Sara standing at the
back door.  Seven Rounds.
Note lifting poles in corners.

Sara is always watching  for bargains in the local newspapers, ebay, and craig's list.  This month she has found a large stock of used 4X8 sheets of  two inch polyiso rigid insulation for $5.00 a sheet.  So, we purchased enough of it for six inches in the roof and two inches in the floor.  Of course the problem as always is where to store this stuff.  I had to move some good junk out in the weather to make room under the shed for the insulation. Also, while pouring over the classifieds, she discovered scaffolding I could purchase  for $35 a section.  I quickly checked my rental guy and discovered I could rent the same for $50 per month.  Didn't take long  to decide what to do there!  This scaffolding will be nice when chinking starts.  I also ran across a buy on 5/8 poly rope.  It was used so I questioned the strength.  To test it, I used a piece tied to the FEL and around  a 45 ft log weighing appox. 1500-2000 lbs. and it didn't break!  Therefore, I feel OK about using it for block and tackle, safety ropes, and guy ropes.  I tie a rope all around the lifting poles to use as a grab (safety) rope.  I have used it a number of times

We are still waiting and looking for good buys on windows and standing seam metal roofing.

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2 inch polyiso insulation

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Testing the 5/8 rope-
lifts the 45ft log -

4-18-2007
Well, more rain and more waiting time to dry out.  Not too much to report as we are just lifting logs when the conditions permit.  One of the problems as you go higher is the longer ladders.  Earlier, I would just go up on the log wall carrying a few sticks of rebar but as you get higher this takes a lot of time so I built a rebar "quiver" like an arrow quiver.  I can now carry enough rebar to do a complete log with one trip.  We have figured out that it is quicker to place a whole round of logs with just enough rebar to hold them in place and then carry the "hole hawg" up and drill the complete round, then set all the rebar, and then carry the rebar driver (Harbor Freight demo driver), up one time and drive all the rebar.  It only takes about 5 minutes per log  to drive the rebar and this only requires one trip up on the wall.  We have finished round 10 and have two logs up on round 11.  Then the rains came again!  But, good news - Fred Casey and his son-in-law Chuck (LHBA forum user Freeloader), are coming up this week for some hands on experience.  They are getting ready to start their home in Midway, TX.  We should get a lot done with two extra helpers!  Now if the site will just dry out!

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Using the rebar quiver
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"Bear" is checking the  roof design.
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Ten rounds up!
04-19-2007
Well we managed to get round 10 up and rebarred after some time to dry-out.  Thursday the 19th, Fred Casey and his son-in-law Chuck came up from Houston, TX.  They arrived about 9:00 AM after driving most of the night.  Amazing what log home builders will do to get to work on a log home project!  They are starting their log home in Midway, TX  and figured they would get some experience setting logs.  That's a good thing for our project!  We managed to set round eleven including drilling and rebar.  It sure works better when you have four people working.  Both Fred and Chuck got to drill, place and drive the rebar.  Something they can look forward to in their project. They are building a 40 X 40.  Wow! Longer logs and more rebar!  They spent the night in our guest house, (1972 motorhome), and left early Friday morning to return home.  We really enjoyed and appreciated their help.  If anyone reading this is planning on building a log home, I would highly recommend spending a day at another site to expose yourself to an actual project.  You can learn a lot.

 

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Fred drilling with the
"Hole Hawg"

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Chuck - setting rebar
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The whole crew -
Vern Sara Chuck Fred
WK of  04-23-07
Well we had a few days of nice weather and Sara and I managed to to complete round 12 and rebarred.  It then appeared that our lifting poles would be too short by a foot or two.  We couldn't lift the logs above round 13, and we have to have room to lift 15 rounds.  The walls would be 14 rounds, and we still have to lift the ridge pole above the round 14 in order to get on top of the log walls.  It was apparent that the lifting poles had to be taller which means undo all the rigging, guy ropes, etc.  Sara asked me "can't you just raise the lifting poles?"  This is why you have a team - two brains are better than one!  Of course I can raise them - just like raising the RPSL's (Ridge Pole Support Log), up to top of the foundation.  Simply tie a chain hoist to the top of the walls; tie the lift chain to the lifting poles, and crank it up - leaving all the guy ropes and rigging in place.  We raised each of them 3 foot and placed a 3 foot cutoff piece of log under them.  Piece of cake.  We now have lots of room to lift 15 rounds and I have practice lifting the RPSL's  when the time comes.

We managed to lift round 13 logs on three sides before the promised week of rain started.  It started on schedule about three pm Monday the 30th and has rained every day since.  There are lots of puddles all around the site as I update this site.  We are now patiently awaiting dry weather!  Then will come round 14 which is the top of the walls in our present plan.  Of course plans can be changed.

 

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Going up - round 13
Sara & Coby operating 
lift controls
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Round 13
Clouds moving in!
Week of 06-04-07
Most of the month of May was consumed with rain.  We broke records with more the 10 inches of rain total.  We did manage to get in a few days work on the project.  We're hoping that with the rainy weather maybe the summer will not be as hot as usual.  Wishful thanking!  

We now concentrated on installing the Ridge Pole Support Logs (RPSL's) and the ridgepole.  Since we were going to be working inside the structure, we cut a temporary door.  Notice the slant - proof what a dull chain on the chainsaw will do.  We really tried to cut it straight!

The RPSL's were set up on stands and cleaned up somewhat as it is much easier down on the ground.
We then slid the RPSL under the wall until it was inside the house.  We then placed the bottom against the pier and the lifts were tied on the top of the pole and lifted up!  Worked as expected.  Then the RPSL was trued up using a plumb bob as gravity still pulls straight down!  After plumb, the RPSL's were bolted to the walls using 5/8 inch all thread every other log.  As some of my logs are curved slightly, I used a shim to insure the bolt could be tightened. See Loghome Pictures for more detailed pictures.

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Nice straight temp door!

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Slide RPSL under wall

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Tie to lift cables and raise it.
The Ridge Pole is set up on stands and cleaned up along with stretching  a tight string across the top to locate where the rafters will sit.  It will be much easier to do  here rather then 30 foot up in the air.  I did a few notches and a few shims.  Now, if I can only get it placed with the correct side up!  The ridge pole (small end), is placed up on the log wall using the corner lifting poles.  The front end loader now pushes the pole upward onto the wall until the log is almost teetering over.  The  opposite lifting poles is now connected to the top of the ridge pole and using the lifts and a chain hoist attached to the opposite wall, the ridge pole is pulled across the structure and rolled over to the RPSL's.  The lifts are now placed from the top of the RPSL's to the ridge pole and the lifting begins. This worked better in theory than it really worked.  As the ridge pole gets closer to the top, the angle of the cable gets smaller and therefore using a little geometry, causes the lifting to become harder.  I almost overdid my system.  #1) I should have had taller extensions on my RPSL's, #2) I should have had stronger lifts. #3) Why didn't we rent a crane?  Anyway, by 8:30 PM and almost dark, we managed to roll the ridge pole over on the RPSL's - talk about an adrenal rush!  The next morning, I used the bucket truck to get on top and pound the rebar thru the ridge pole into the RPSL.  I also tied a safety rope across the RP to tie my safety harness to when setting the rafters.

Today, 6-8-07, we set the cap logs and double butt logs completing the walls of the structure.  Whew!  I am  ready to do something besides lifting logs!  I am now  close to needing the 24 ft 4X10 rafters.  I just can't wait to sit up on the RP and pull the rafters up!

 

 

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Set rafter locations

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Set small end on top

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Push the pole up on walls

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The lifting begins

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Rebar the RP to RPSL

6-20-07
Well, we managed to find a few days of dry weather and installed the center RPSL, and eventually the second floor girder.  The center RPSL had to be picked up from the Ridge Pole, and actually picked up higher the RP in order to set the RPSL down on rebar extruding from the pier.  Then the RPSL was carefully lowered on the rebar.  By using ropes tied to the top of the RPSL, we managed to pull the pole exactly under the RP.  This is much easier to say then to do, but after a few misses, we managed to get it just right.  Then, it's up on the RP and pound in a piece of rebar thru the RP into the RPSL.

Next, the second floor girder was brought up and after carefully measuring the locations, the holes were cut in the walls for the girder to slide thru.  By using the lifts and the backhoe for a little push power, the girder slid into place right next to the center RPSL.

Now, we really need rafters -

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Slide the center RPSL into postion.
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Push the girder thru the building
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Here it is in position.
7-28-07
Dry weather at last but we are never happy,  Now it is hotter  than blue blazes!  It must be July!  I expected to have a roof on by July therefore working in the shade, but didn't happen.  After two months of being promised our 24ft  4X10 rafters, we called our log supplier and was told he still has more logs.  We will pick them up and with a $100 extension added to our little sawmill, I will cut my own rafters.  I managed to find enough logs in stock to cut 5 rafters so now I have some to play with and learn how to raise them.  See additional photos here.  I will have to pick up the additional logs next week.  We will need 11 sets of rafters and it takes a 11 or 12 inch tree at the small end to cut one.

 

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Let's saw some rafters!
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Pull it up to the top!
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Here's two sets!

9-08-07
We did a flying trip back to Birch Tree, Mo. and picked up 13 logs cut 24ft each to cut rafters.  The 13 will provide the extra 17 plus several spares.  I will make floor joists out of the rest of them.  We spent a few days milling the rafters and waiting a few more days watching the site dry out from more rain.  It never rains in Oklahoma in August, but guess what - it did this year!  We were able to complete the rafter  installation during August even after our bucket truck died for a couple of weeks.  The telescoping cylinder started streaming oil and so we had to go from log home builder to truck mechanic.  This was supposed to be an eight hour job for someone who knew what they were doing, but it took me considerable longer than that!

Putting up the rafters turned out to be quite a challenge.  If you look in the manual, Ellsworth (LHBA), provided two pages devoted to installing rafters and referred to the guy on the ridge pole with 4 baggies; nuts, bolts, washers, and lunch.  In my case, he should have included a suitcase  to spend the night! 
We only had two people, Sara and I.  I would get all the ropes aligned up with the Jeep tied to one side, and the tractor tied to the other side.  I would then get up on the ridge pole and Sara would drive the Jeep and the tractor and raise the rafters until they crossed up over the ridge pole.  I would then drill thru the rafters and bolt together with an all tread.  After bolting together, I would slide the rafter across the ridge pole to the correct position with Sara moving the rafters ends as I moved the top.  This all sounds easy and probably would be if you have a nice smooth Douglas Fir ridge pole,  Our white pine RP has a number of  outcroppings of knots about every three foot.  The rafter had to be lifted over these with a pry bar.  The best we were able to do was two sets per day.  And, we dropped a couple of them, but only one broke.  The first ones we did, we chained the rafters to the cap logs until we got the top bolted.  This was an extra step and took a lot of time.  I  then learned you can attach a block to the end of the rafter so that when it slides into position, the block drops over the cap log and holds it for you.  See the picture.  One other thing I did was to build myself a rebar ridge pole saddle to sit in why I struggled with the rafters.  It sits over the ridge pole and has a place for my feet.  You can stand up and work and much more secure than just sitting on the pole 34 ft. in the air.

Now the rafters are up, we are going to setup one of the porch supports and start decking on it as the slope will be smaller and I can walk on it before starting up the steep roof.  While I was waiting on rafters and broken equipment, I installed the porch piers.  

10-20-2007
We now decided to construct the porches to provide a walkable area to use as a base to start the decking up the slope.  This turned out to be a very good plan since the roof has a 12/12 pitch and would otherwise require scaffolding.  We also took a couple of logs (future 3rd floor girders), and made a walkway up to the porches.  A lot easier than climbing ladders when carrying a 12 foot 2X12 with which we used for the decking.  We were originally going to use 2X6 tongue and groove but decided to go with the 2X12's since we picked them up at a great price and they cover fast.  Some were wet and drew up a little so we just covered the deck with 15# tar paper to seal between the living space and the insulation.

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Here comes more logs
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Five new rafters
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Jimmy cutting all thread
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Block to rest on Caplog
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Sitting in the rebar saddle
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Broke when dropped
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All are up!

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Another view of all

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Locating porch piers
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Decking begins
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Framing North porch

 

11-21-2007
With the decking completed, it is time to build a roof on top of the roof.  First six inch sleeper rafters are installed on four foot centers which will be filled with 4X8 sheets of polyiso rigid insulation.  A total of six inches thick.  I then covered the insulation with the new hi-tech double bubble radiant shield.  According to their specs, this reduces the radiant energy by 97 percent and also adds some R factor.  I thought it would be worth the 31cents per sq. foot cost.

Then, the whole roof was stripped with 2X4's every 3 foot to attach the metal.  At first, I was going to use a standing seam product but it required a solid substance, i.e., plywood or osb board, and cost twice as much money.  I decided to use the tryed and proven method of standard 36 inch metal attached with screws.  My roof is a 12/12 pitch and is so steep I'm not worried about any leaks. Much less money and a lot less work to install.

With the help of a fellow LHBA member, Randy Titus, we now have the North side completed and are ready for the snow.  The South side will be started shortly and will be warmer to work on during the coming winter. 

 

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Sleepers ready for
insulation
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Metal has arrived!
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Randy pulling up
another sheet

 

11/26/2007
With the help of my grandson, Aaron Manuel, we completed the sleeper rafters on the South side.  Randy Titus returned on Saturday the 24th, and we continued by stuffing the insulation, 6 inches of Polyiso - 72  4X8 sheets  as seen in the picture.  Then the bubble rap was installed, stripped with the 2X4's, and the metal was installed.  Whew!  Randy worked my rear off daybreak to dark but we got it done.  I owe him big time when he builds his log home.

Next step is to complete the metal on the porches and install the trim.
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Randy and Aaron
installing insulation
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Metal on South side!
01-02-2008
A lot has happened in the past month including a record ice storm for all of Oklahoma.  Winter has finally hit us and not good for outside construction.  I did manage to complete the roof including the trim.  I have removed the walkup ramps and ready to start inside on the floor.  It is good to finally start working on the inside.  Now if the weather will warm up - Ha, not a chance:  It's January.

 

 

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Roof with trim complete
01/17/2008
It is really nice to start the floor - at last, I will be working inside instead of crawling around on the roof.  First, the rim joists are fastened to the bottom logs via 8 inch lag screws.  I had previously cut the inside of the bottom log flat so the rim joists fits tight to keep out the bugs and critters.  I used construction cement to be sure of a good tight seal.

Again, my good friend and certified log home builder, Randy Titus showed up to help me finish the floor.  Construction sure goes faster with two people working.
I ended un using eight  foot 2X12's for floor joists; not required, I could of used 16 footers, but I had the 8 footers - see earlier postings about the eighteen wheeler load of 2X12's.  So, I have a very sturdy floor.

 

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Starting the floor
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Down goes the subfloor
Now that the floor is in, it time to start working on the 2nd floor.  I had to cut some more 4X10 beams for the 2nd floor joists.  They sit on the 2nd floor girder and attach to the log walls via some handmade brackets made from angle iron and lag screwed to the log wall.
Randy, and my son-in-law, Jimmy, fabricated a heavy duty door made of 2X12's (I've have lots of them).  It is nice to just leave the tools inside and lock the door.  Now if I just had the gable ends finished, I could heat the place.  Today it is 30 degrees out there, that's why the website is being updated.

 

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Hanging the 2nd
floor joists
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Joist hanger
01-29-2008
The 2nd floor joists are installed and 2nd floor decked with 2X12's after installing a temporary stairway.  The 2X12's were sized on the table saw and fitted but not nailed down yet.  Some are wet from being stored outside and will probably shrink some.  I'll let them lay there in the building for a couple of months and they will be tightened up and nailed.  Hopefully no gaps or cracks.  Tongue and groove would be better but I had the 2X12's.  After the floor was down, the 3rd floor log girder is stuffed in the open gable and supported via 2 chain hoists ready to raise to the correct level.  Wow! This is really up high!  The wind really blows thru the gable ends up here!  After the 3rd floor is completed, I'll close in the gable ends.
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2nd floor joists
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Temporary Stairs

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2nd floor decking

 

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Ready to raised 3rd floor girder
02-06-2008
With more unusually nice weather in February we managed to continue on with the third floor.  Randy helped me on a beautiful weekend to raise the 3rd floor, floor joists and fastened them to the rafters up in the slope.  The 12/12 pitch still allowed considerable space above the 3rd floor.  The width of the 3rd floor is about 14 foot that you can stand up in and still leaves room under the slopes for some storage cabinets. The joists were decked with the last of the 2X12's.  It's hard to believe there is an eighteen wheeler load of 2X12's in this house!

The 3rd floor also provides a great beamed ceiling for the 2nd floor.  Much better than walls on  the 2nd floor going all the way up to the top of the slope.  This is the main reason for the third floor in addition I gained about 350 more sq. foot of floor space.  It's awesome!  The view from the 3rd floor demands that I have a small deck to watch for storms or just enjoy the sunset.  Another design change but so what!  We will probably be changing the design until we are done.  It's a LOG CAB IN!

Next, we can close up those windy gable ends!

 

 

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Attaching 3rd floor joists
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Hello from 3 floors up!
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Sunset view from 3rd floor
02-12-2008
Randy and I started the framing of the gable ends on Saturday.  Great weather allowed us to completely frame the East end which is the most difficult as it is opposite the open area, i.e., only has the loft on one side.  There working off the tall ladder on one side and Randy in bucket truck on the outside, we "Got-R-Done". 

Sunday, we braved 25 degrees, (Feb is still here!), to install some OSB board on the East gable end.  Randy rigged up a pulley and a temporary handle on each sheet of OSB board, allowed us to lift it up and screw it into place from the bucket truck, (a great investment).  Every sheet made a big difference in the cold air blowing in the open end.  By the end of the day, it warmed up all the way to 30 degrees!  Brrrrr!  Later, we will install board and batten over the OSB.

We started the framing of the West end until we ran out of daylight.  It will be much easier on the West end as we have 2nd floor on both sides  to work off of plus the 3rd floor for the upper section. Now, if it will just warm up!

May 21 -2008   We are behind in our web update - see loghome pictures for updated pictures.

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Completing East framing
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OSB board installed
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West end framing