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Winters Work part 2;

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.
With the difficulties of my arrival behind me it then became clear that the insulation under the cabin floor has needed work for years. I spent 2 days remedying this during which time the temps never passed negative readings. Finding the offending areas was tough because the insulation had been installed by someone other than myself................ The bottom of the floor joists were covered by heavy plastic stapled in place and then a sort of wire mesh also stapled up to hold the rolled fiberglass in place. Inspection reveled many bare spots and fortunately I had 2 rolls of R-33 insulation each 32' long to tighten things up. For the time being I replaced the plastic and wire mesh but had 20 4 X 8 sheets of styrofoam insulation shipped out to seal things up for good this coming summer. Yes, summer will be work time too if this place is ever to improve.

Once things were sealed from below it was easy to keep the place 65* or better inside and that is the warmest we've ever had it out there. Warm & happy I began to work on framing up an 'indoor privy room', this is for a canister commode and a small wash counter with a basin for the sake of better hygiene. The idea of not visiting an outdoor toilet at -30* appeals to us greatly

Under way;

Ready for wiring and then sheeting with ceder boards.

I intend to wire the place for 4 overhead electric lights and a ceiling fan all the way up in the peak of the second floor ceiling. This little room is where I'll put the breaker box and on the outside wall by the door a gang of 4 switches. I knew as I worked that it will be springtime before I run the wires even though the supplies for the job are on site.

After the room was framed I went to work leveling floor joists from the loft upstairs over to the windows in the gable in front. This area was open space and although we have 2 large windows facing north we can't really sit and look out of them at the Aurora at night.

Hanging the joists on the loft side was easy but on the gable end they had to nest on the log beam that spans the front wall. This meant notching, shimming, and blocking them fast with pieces of 2 X 4 to hold them in place. Getting things level and plumb in a log cabin is not as easy as conventional construction but I'm level and plumb on everything I did.

I'm seeing a carpeted deck with 2 comfy chairs and a little table here.

After getting the bridge frame in place I finished the ceiling upstairs. It is sheeted with 3/4 X 3.5" X 8' pine boards. I cut each to square the butts with a hand saw miter box and staggered them so that butt joints are all separated by 2 or 4 runs of ceiling boards.

I'm not sure whether I'll use finish on them or not, it took over 600 boards to sheet the entire ceiling.

By the time I had done all of this it was getting cold again and time to start clearing trees from the lake shore up the slope to the cabin. I should have done a before and after picture but didn't think of that. When I was done, the day before I left in March, I had cut over 60 trees. 30 of the trees were large with the biggest being 30" at their base and over 60' tall. I cut them all into either fire wood size or 16' logs to be used for out buildings. All the cutting and hauling was done over a 4 week period and at that time we had about 4.5 feet of snow on the ground or more. Some days I wore snow shoes to work from 9:00 AM until 6 or so.

I'll show you the pictures of the work, the trees, and the finished job on the next page.

Your comments are most welcome.


  1. jaybo41's Avatar
    Ard, I am exhausted just thinking about the work you accomplished while away at the cabin! Things are looking good buddy!
  2. fyshstykr's Avatar
    Looking great Ard, hope to see the cabin someday soon.
  3. Ard's Avatar
    Remember, it's only an airplane ride away fellas. If you wait another year it'll be better and you won't have to work while you're there
  4. gunner's Avatar
    Get it done while you are "young." I just finished remodeling our 2nd home in Florida (I'm 67 this year) and would not be up to a similar job in the cold of Alaska.
    I take it you don't have to worry about break-ins there. Used to be that way here in Maine, but with this economy, crooks break in and steal everything copper and everything else that isn't nailed down.
  5. Ard's Avatar
    Hi Joe,

    The cabin is not completely safe but being 75 miles from the nearest road provides somewhat of a buffer zone from recreational theft. Out there it is kinda understood that being caught with someones stuff or worse yet in the act can and has resulted in people being shot.

    Nothing is ever safe, but Bush rules are pretty harsh.