Construction Journal Entry Week of 3/15/09

3/14-15/09 Twelve scouts and six adults, counting me, spent the better parts of Saturday and Sunday camping at the cabin. We took the new troop bus and one pickup and arrived at about noon. The scouts set up their tents, except for one, down at the old log pile site. One pitched his tent on the upper roadway. I started a fire in the wood stove right away and we kept the cabin cozy warm all day. The boys played in the snow and came in to warm up and dry their clothes and mittens. Some of them played chess in the cabin, and at one point lost one of the pawns down the crack between the floor and the wall. The piece could not be found. Bert and Ernie showed up to meet and play with the boys.

One of the dads liked the marble base I had built for the stove and he told me he needed something like it for his cabin. I offered to give him whatever he wanted from my leftover marble. He selected some pieces and we set it aside. I'll bring it to him later.

At one point we were talking about how I worked the logs and I told them that I had broken a drawknife working on a log. They were surprised to hear that, so I went down in the crawlspace and brought up the broken drawknife to show them. They all immediately agreed that I needed to display that broken drawknife on the wall along with the whipsaw that was already hanging there. I agreed to do it and I got their advice in positioning it.

I took the two adults who hadn't seen the place before on the grand tour on the trails up to the spring. Dinner was cooked out on the front porch and the scouts ate inside the cabin. The adults ate out on the porch. I slept in my trailer, a couple of the dads slept in the tents with the boys, one slept on the porch, and two slept in the cabin. The fire in the stove burned out during the night.

In the morning, they started the stove up again, the boys cooked their breakfast outside and one of the dads cooked a breakfast for the adults on the porch. By mid morning, it started snowing and the troop packed things up and loaded up the bus. We left for home sometime before noon and by that time it was snowing pretty heavily. The bus was backed into the driveway and it took a little doing to drive it out making a left turn onto the road. As soon as it was on the road, we decided we had better chain it up because there was already four or five inches of snow on the road. Once the chains were on, we had no trouble getting up over the pass and down to Zeke's where we had lunch. I took some pictures of the event.

3/17-19/09 I went up to the property for 3 days, Tuesday through Thursday.

There was quite a bit of snow on the road going over the pass. The sign at Monroe said that chains were required but by the time I got there, the restriction was lifted except for trucks. It was slow going but I made it without chains. A couple miles from the property I had to wait for a tractor to pull a garbage truck out of the ditch where it had slid off the road.

There was about sixteen inches of new snow on the ground and the driveway hadn't been plowed. I arrived at about noon and it took me until 12:30 to shovel out a parking place in the driveway. Bert and Ernie came around during the process but since I didn't have any dog biscuits with me, they got impatient and left after a while.

I shoveled off the concrete stairs and then used snowshoes to make trails from the truck to the trailer, the cabin, the privy, and to the pile of wood I had cut from the ponderosa log. I lit a fire in the wood stove and then went into the trailer and had my lunch.

After lunch, I carried the pieces of marble we had set aside and loaded them into the back of the truck. Then I drained and put away the hose we had used for water on the porch. Then I dismantled the OSB table I had set up on the porch and put the parts away. The cabin was clean and cozy and I spent some pleasant time just sitting by the fire and enjoying it.

I did some work, though. I went up in the loft and tucked the electrical wires in the Grid E1 corner and held them back in place with nails and small pieces of wood. The wires will be covered with a layer of fiberglass insulation and then a layer of mortar. I just wanted to make sure that the wires stayed well inside where they were supposed to be. I also did some nailing of the seams in the loft.

On Wednesday it was about 34 degrees outside. I spent the morning making a video showing how I insulate and nail seams in the log walls. Unfortunately I learned later on that I couldn't load the video into my computer. I think it was too big. I decided to make it all over again but in two smaller parts.

Next, I mounted the broken drawknife up on the wall where the scouts and dads had told me it should go. I took a couple pictures of it. Then I went back to work in the loft. I insulated and nailed the Grid E1 corner and I nailed a few more seams on the Grid E wall.

I hauled a few sled loads of the ponderosa firewood from the pile and stacked it under the eaves by the crawlspace door. I kept the fire going in the wood stove and spent quite a bit of time just sitting by the fire and enjoying it. I didn't feel like working too hard this week.

On Thursday morning, I built another fire in the stove and while I was relaxing in front of it, I decided to see if I couldn't make a replacement pawn for the one that was lost. I decided to use my cordless drill as a lathe and turn the piece from a little piece of 2x4 that was about the same color as the other chessmen. It took me a couple hours, using a saw, a couple rasps, and sandpaper as tools, and the result looks pretty close to the other pieces. The major difference was that the other pieces were varnished, so I got out a can of varnish and varnished the new piece. I'm eager to compare it with the others next week when it is dry.

Bert and Ernie visited me again when I went in for lunch and to pack up for the trip home. I left for home at 1:30.

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