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Small Cabin Forum / Member's Projects and Photos / 3 Sided log Alaskan cabin
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# Posted: 2 Oct 2020 01:46 - Edited by: aktundra

With work done on the cabin and sauna, it was time to freshen up the old cabin. Build over 50 years ago, “Little Blue” needed some work. The sod roof was neglected and some of the birch rafters were rotten.

With a late spring and materials in place from last year, I slowly began to the process. I had 4 big tarps in case spring forced me off the River. I was already pushing the normal time the river travel wasn’t safe.

First I shoveled the years snow off

Then I chipped off the frozen dirt, moss and trees.

I had to remove the layers of light tin, plastic then the wood 1x6s.

# Posted: 2 Oct 2020 02:07 - Edited by: aktundra

At this point in the project, I start to wonder about my sanity. We fired up the sawmill and raised the cabin another layer of logs. The roofs off, the rivers melting and I’m starting this project in April!

I kept pressing forward.

The dog knows... I’m crazy

Slow going solo

Dried in and lumber/insulation safety stored inside

My goal of blue roofs complete!

# Posted: 2 Oct 2020 19:24 - Edited by: aktundra

Other small winter projects included more lighting, building a bookshelf for the charging station, books, games (hide all the junk), and clean up the solar by mounting it in the wall.

I built a sliding door for the medicine cabinet

The bedroom is always a little cold. I added 1” blue foam, strapping and tongue and groove.
It really retains the heat now!

These 12V 3M lights are great. I’ve added them in all the dark areas - under cabinets, under the benches, under the shelf’s, in the loft. Cheap and easy

Storage is key!

We built a water/drinks/chips extra storage area

How we left if

# Posted: 2 Oct 2020 20:59 - Edited by: aktundra

Summer had us down... the cabin flooded. It was the highest the rivers been in over 50 years. Much of the work was destroyed and needs rebuilt.
I made a list at one point that covers some of it. It’s more dollars, time and damage than I want to remember.

We were certainly bummed, overwhelmed and a little defeated. BUT there’s nothing we can’t rebuild. And I’ve been wanting to raise and level the cabin so what better time!

It was overwhelming. Having to dry out, burn, or bag everything. We started out thinking we could dry it out. But the more we dug, the more we realized the reality.

The sofa weighed a ton ! We had to chainsaw it apart.

We removed the pine flooring, and subfloor. Eventually I’d remove the joists but we kept the old ones in place for the raising of the cabin.

We started jacking with 6 ton, 12 ton and 18 ton jacks. We used the smaller ones initially and worked 4-6 jacks at a time worked around the cabin in a circle. 1/2” steel plates for under the jack were indispensable. These were absolutely necessary. If I were to jack up a cabin again, I’d get airbags. At the time, we couldn’t find any to rent.

We dug out along the length and width of the cabin where we needed a jack. We used small pieces of 4x4s, 6x12s and 2x4s to jack and block inch by inch.

The cabin is up!

# Posted: 2 Oct 2020 21:00

Nice to have a subfloor again

While we are at it... might as well redo the loft. We needed a couple more inches on the main floor and wanted to clean up the rough cut loft.

We had to haul material in. This isn’t my preferred time (summer) or method (boat).
Now time for new joists

New insulation. We put in a layer of 3” and a layer of 2”. I really wanted to upsize the 2x6 joists, but given the original construction, was limited. So I added a center beam support to prevent sag.

Raised up

We took down the loft and added beams with rough cut 4x6 Samson brackets. The loft is 2x6 T&G

Originally we wanted wood floors again. We bought and hauled up 1x6 tongue and groove like I’d used before. The plan was to put it upside down on the floor (no grooves). After hauling it out, we realized this supplier we’ve used in the past now has it grooved on the front and back. Tons of tongue and groove ? What now?

The inside walls were old and dark. With a surplus of tongue and groove, using it was the only solution.

We decided after much debate and no clear victory to try the cheap laminate from Costco (Mohawk). It installs fast, affordable and durable for the dogs. I like the gray with the wood.

Re wiring the electrical

Lowe’s Denver hickory cabinets, laminate countertops and Koehler Costco sink

Unique stove

New tongue and groove walls

Looking good

My homemade door of 10 years ago warped in the flood. We need something 77” tall. So we used a craftsman door with one long panel we hoped wouldn’t be as noticeable it’s cut down 5”

# Posted: 2 Oct 2020 21:15 - Edited by: aktundra

MVPs of the renovation:

Honda 3000 -
We upgrade from the yamaha 2000. The debate was how much bigger for running tools vs increase fuel consumption. Noise was also a consideration. I’m very happy with this. I ran table saw and miter saw with the 2000 but I think I pushed it too hard too much. It just wasn’t able to get my miter saw up to speed without a good deal of time.

Pop up tent for the saws and a dry work space. It was nice having this covered, lit area.

I bought a Rapid Shelter as I couldn’t get anything cheaper to ship reasonably to Alaska.

LED shop lights
Plug in FEIT costco LED lights - I’ve paid between $15-30 for these (rebates). They are great in the shed, during renovation, under the canopy.'-linkable-led-shop-light%2c-2-pack.product.100 462723.html

20V nail guns
The 20V nail guns are awesome off the grid and building. So handy for projects. The 18 gauge brad nailer and framing nailer are worth every penny. They are expensive. Dewalt, Milwaukee, Ryobi. These are so helpful for projects not hauling around generators, compressor, hoses.

Unique 30” range- we love a full size range at the cabin. Helps with breakfast prep, nice for full size cookie sheets or fitting a turkey in. I like 4 big burners as I have a griddle and hot water going in the mornings.

Unique fridge - yet to be installed. I’m excited to see how this works with the solar. It’s a 12V fridge. The decision was made to up the batteries vs using a propane fridge. I’d rather run the generator than haul in propane. de74562d1

Counter Gauge
This contour gauge is great for getting shapes right with the tongue and groove and transferring cuts.

Saker Contour Gauge (10 Inch...

Vaughn 12oz mallet - the perfect balance. I used the soft face for the flooring install and tongue and groove. The size is perfect. The two faces are perfect for the job where sometimes you need softer face and sometimes you need to softly beat. SF12/100144220

Mr Beam lights - I tried the cheap Amazon solar lights and they didn’t last a year. I’ve had the Mr Beams battery lights for 2+ years and they work great, including at -40. They use D cell batteries and I haven’t changed them yet. This year, since electrical was disconnected during the flood, I put more up. This one is great in the outhouse ered-Motion-Activated-Ceiling-Light-White-MB990-WHT-01/206961975

These are great lights for outdoors ed-Motion-Activated-Integrated-LED-Security-Light-Brown-MB3100-BRN-01/301453772 ed-Integrated-LED-Security-Light-Brown-2-Pack-MB361XT-BRN-02/312156386?MERCH=REC-_-pi p_instock_mobile-_-312169814-_-312156386-_-N

Dewalt work bench
I like that I can clamp pieces to it. It was used all the time. I will probably buy another it is so handy and stable for making cuts, working, layout. 27

And the best thing was ordering Lowe’s and Home Depot online. This saved a lot of time shopping.

# Posted: 2 Oct 2020 21:51

I struggled with uploading pictures this time. I’ll try again or put a link. I couldn’t get Flickr pictures to embed.

# Posted: 4 Oct 2020 11:08

Looks great man! Good ol Ak rises up again. I’m always worried about bears breaking in. I had to cut down a bunch of beetle kill spruce close to cabin. Couple birch leaners too. In this last 4.3 quake I had 4 trees tip. Like leaning over 45 degrees. All leaning south.
I’m inspired by your get r done spirit. And one of the best things about being remote is when your just cruising, enjoy the surroundings hauling freight. I don’t have river access so figuring out what I can get into a 185 is always my concern. Probably our pilots concern more than mine.
Bush Alaska life is always full of great times memories. And opportunities to test your skills. Stay safe n dry.

# Posted: 5 Oct 2020 09:39

Sorry to hear about the flooding, but the place looks great!

# Posted: 5 Oct 2020 09:51

Wow, so sorry about the flood and the damage! It looks like you are making a great recovery!

Ol Slim
# Posted: 5 Oct 2020 12:50

Wow.... heartbreaking to see the flooding , then just wow again ! What a great recovery ! Hats off to you sir !

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