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Old 07-26-2011, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Murphy, NC
3,223 posts, read 9,637,028 times
Reputation: 1456

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Today in my county library I got a book on how to build a log cabin with no money (only the cost of tools, land, hardware). It's a great book and shows how possible it is to build your own log cabin even if you have little to no experience building anything. The first half of the book talks about selecting the ground to build it, the tools you need, and choosing a size and type of foundation. Then the rest goes on about the walls, roof, and maintaining the floor, etc.

So lets say when SHTF you want to relocate to somewhere but you have no home there, but u want to stay there an extended period or permenant - A log cabin looks very practical for living not only off the grid, but with little to no technology, the way our grandparents and greatparents lived.

The easiest quickest way to move into somewhere on a budget is to move a trailer in, but if this trailer has no air conditioning or furnace and you live in the wild or country, wouldn't you prefer a nice log cabin?

As a teen I once built a fort 5x8x5' and it was waterproof (palets were the floor and junkyard metal panels were the roof) with a roof and extremely solid planted 2 ft into the ground. A log cabin or something similar is nice even to have in the back yard to get away and be alone.

Anyone ever built one? What size, where, and how did you make floor? There are a couple books out there that show how to build one with very little money. But then I start to wonder about zoning laws.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:56 PM
 
4,918 posts, read 22,697,401 times
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Ifa trailer wont do, a log cabin may not do neither. If you build it in a very cold location you will need heat so why can't you just install a wood stove in a trailer? It's not like anyone will be concerned with building codes. Same goes for any shanty you build, the need for heating and cooling still may be something you have to deal with be it a log cabin, corregated metal or cardboard and tarps.

An even better choice is to stick build from on site lumber. On many Pacific Islands you'll see people using logs that are cut into stick lumber using a chain saw and some contraption that saws it into board strips that they fasten like boards to other strips. They get so much more material than leaving the log as one big piece.
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:07 PM
 
90 posts, read 171,863 times
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Ah but that takes gas.

The cabin is a cool idea but a hell of a lot of work. A canvas tent will last a long time wile you figure out a permenat location.
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:30 PM
 
19,023 posts, read 25,986,655 times
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Who says you can't put a air tight wood stove in a trailer? I did and lived there for 3.5 years.

I built a cabin 16x16 (inside) too. I used a chain saw, but I didn't have too. I have handtools for that now and did then, but it was October when I started and the only things you could get on the site were backpacked in. Just before i was going to move in a really big storm came and blew down a big red oak roots and all, so I never slept in the cabin once over night.

The floor timbers were laid in the round, and the chain saw flattened them, but my adz sure could have. An adz is a sideways axem ade to level timber.

There was 0 metal in that cabin, not 1 nail. Instead red oak tree nails were driven into hand augered holes in the logs to pin each log in place. Trunal's is what a nail made of wood is called.

All the help I had was me and my wife and some logs were 22" at the cut. Since the site was uphill from where the trees were, I used 2 oak Y shape timbers locked to be an A frame and with 60 feet of chain and 4 come- alongs dragged logs long enough to be 2 logs on the cabin walls at one time.

What the Y's did was raise the logs up, and when the Y's were straight up the log I was moving would fall forward 4 feet. Then it was shorten everything and start all over again.

While doing this work we both lived in a tee pee, and that was year 3, but only year 1 at that location on Fedral lands
What zoning?
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:25 AM
 
2,878 posts, read 4,636,359 times
Reputation: 3113
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanu86 View Post
Today in my county library I got a book on how to build a log cabin with no money (only the cost of tools, land, hardware). It's a great book and shows how possible it is to build your own log cabin even if you have little to no experience building anything. The first half of the book talks about selecting the ground to build it, the tools you need, and choosing a size and type of foundation. Then the rest goes on about the walls, roof, and maintaining the floor, etc.

So lets say when SHTF you want to relocate to somewhere but you have no home there, but u want to stay there an extended period or permenant - A log cabin looks very practical for living not only off the grid, but with little to no technology, the way our grandparents and greatparents lived.

The easiest quickest way to move into somewhere on a budget is to move a trailer in, but if this trailer has no air conditioning or furnace and you live in the wild or country, wouldn't you prefer a nice log cabin?

As a teen I once built a fort 5x8x5' and it was waterproof (palets were the floor and junkyard metal panels were the roof) with a roof and extremely solid planted 2 ft into the ground. A log cabin or something similar is nice even to have in the back yard to get away and be alone.

Anyone ever built one? What size, where, and how did you make floor? There are a couple books out there that show how to build one with very little money. But then I start to wonder about zoning laws.
If your land has clay, it will be VERY cheap to build a cob home. In general, the cheapest homes are the ones built with materials abundant at the building site.

OD
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Murphy, NC
3,223 posts, read 9,637,028 times
Reputation: 1456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfish57 View Post
Ah but that takes gas.

The cabin is a cool idea but a hell of a lot of work. A canvas tent will last a long time wile you figure out a permenat location.
What takes gas? a log cabin or a wood stove the guy above mentioned? U mean to haul the wood and drive to the building site?

Canvas tents don't qualify as shelter though like a trailer or cabin, I guess u can still put a chair in it. Maybe a super tent thats big and completely weather proof will be more homely, then put a wood stove or something in it with a pipe or chimney that goes up through the middle of the tent...... or a tee-pee. Creativity. I guess I don't like the idea of not having a permenent location. I like to know the future.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Murphy, NC
3,223 posts, read 9,637,028 times
Reputation: 1456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_Muz View Post
Who says you can't put a air tight wood stove in a trailer? I did and lived there for 3.5 years.

I built a cabin 16x16 (inside) too. I used a chain saw, but I didn't have too. I have handtools for that now and did then, but it was October when I started and the only things you could get on the site were backpacked in. Just before i was going to move in a really big storm came and blew down a big red oak roots and all, so I never slept in the cabin once over night.

The floor timbers were laid in the round, and the chain saw flattened them, but my adz sure could have. An adz is a sideways axem ade to level timber.

There was 0 metal in that cabin, not 1 nail. Instead red oak tree nails were driven into hand augered holes in the logs to pin each log in place. Trunal's is what a nail made of wood is called.

All the help I had was me and my wife and some logs were 22" at the cut. Since the site was uphill from where the trees were, I used 2 oak Y shape timbers locked to be an A frame and with 60 feet of chain and 4 come- alongs dragged logs long enough to be 2 logs on the cabin walls at one time.

What the Y's did was raise the logs up, and when the Y's were straight up the log I was moving would fall forward 4 feet. Then it was shorten everything and start all over again.

While doing this work we both lived in a tee pee, and that was year 3, but only year 1 at that location on Fedral lands
What zoning?
16x16 seems like a good size, for two people, bigger than that I imagine is to much work than its worth, do you recommend rectangle or square? It's ashame you didnt' sleep in it even when it was mostly done just to see how it is? Where did you get those wooden nails?

You're a lucky man if u have a wife that would stay in a tee-pee. Not that I've ever stayed in one. Some of them from the movies look kinda cozy. I'm concerned with zoning in general because even in the country there are busy-bodies who will report something like a log cabin not built to code and I'd hate to build something I'm proud of only to have to destroy it.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Murphy, NC
3,223 posts, read 9,637,028 times
Reputation: 1456
Quote:
Originally Posted by ognend View Post
If your land has clay, it will be VERY cheap to build a cob home. In general, the cheapest homes are the ones built with materials abundant at the building site.

OD
Where is clay soil found for building a cob home? I'm just now seeing it on google images for the first time.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
6,757 posts, read 8,594,523 times
Reputation: 14972
I have built a couple of log cabins, and while the basic tecniques are not difficult you do have a couple of things to keep in mind that usually aren't mentioned in the books.

1) log cabins move and flex with humidity changes and heat, so you need to use bucks when installing the windows and doors or your frames will warp and jam. It can break glass in the windows too.
2) make sure you have gone all the way down to solid bedrock or use gravel and forms to make your foundation, (rock or stone, concrete, blocks or brick), or the cabin walls will buckle and move even more.
3) cabins made correctly are HEAVY, so solid foundations are an absolute necessity to prevent the cabin from sinking into the soil.
4) floors can be made using bare earth, (not reccomended), concrete pads, (can be covered with tile or hardwood to make them more liveable and attractive) or you can use standard floor joists and put wood planks over the joist as subflooring. One old option was to cut logs in half and place them on the ground with the flat side up, but I do not reccomend that as they can rot and let in insects, plus it takes a lot of wood.
5) logs are not good insulation so massive is better. The larger the logs are the better they will insulate and provide thermal mass in cold climates. Because logs are round, where the logs lay on each other your wall will only be a couple inches thick, so squaring the top and bottom of the log will make for a better fit and be warmer. Also the flats will mean the logs can lay on each other with less twist and warp so you don't need to use as much nails or wood pegs to secure them. Use good chinking at the joints such as a good interior/exterior silicon caulk or commercial rubberized compounds to account for the flex. Traditional chinking including mortars will crack, break and fall out over time, so doing it right the first time will save on upkeep.

Most of the old trapper or settler cabins built around here were made to the size of the trees the builders had, or to meet the standard set for homesteading, (8x11) so many cabins were 8x8 or 10x10 because that was the size of the trees that were close and the builder could handle on their own without cranes or lifting equipment. They could lay a couple poles up the wall at an angle and roll the log up and into place instead of lifting them.

The current cabin I am building is 20x20 and has a half story loft for sleeping quarters.
For joist and rafters we are using 6 inch logs cut in half and are laying the flooring and roofing on the flat sides. Works well and is very solid.
We cut the logs on the land, skidded them out with work horses, cut the logs and all the lumber used on my fathers small Bell Saw sawmill powered by a tractor and a belt drive.
Most of the work in seating the logs and cutting to length, sizing etc was done using axes and adz's. We only used spikes to connect the logs at the lap joints at the center of the walls.(the joints are staggered just like brick or cinderblock construction for stability).

Log cabins should also have a good roof and sealant on the exterior walls to prohibit rot and insects as logs are prone to that kind of deterioration. The bottom log should also be above the soil level to prevent wicking of moisture from the ground. Good drainage is essential to prevent rot as well.

Built right, a cabin is very snug and a joy to live in and will last for a very long time. Built wrong and they are an endless headache.

Good Luck.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:50 PM
 
19,023 posts, read 25,986,655 times
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I made the wooden nails with a hatchet. We both lived in a tee pee for 3 full years.

If you look real hard above us and between us and the tee pee you can just make out the cabin wall. The cabin wasn't half way up in this only shot I have scanned and on line.

The tee pee had a cracked pot belly wood stoce as the back reflector of the fire pit. The stove had just 2 sections of stove pipe apx 4 feet.

A tee pee IS a class act tent, as it has a cover, a inside liner which helps create a draft and in that one I made a ozan, which is a inner roof like structure much like a smoke shelf is in a fire place.

The bad part about a tee pee is the weight. You can ditch the poles and lug the cover and other parts, but they are all one man can lug.



A canoe can lug a tee pee and pole appear to float! To lug an 80 pound and canoe and a 80 pound tee pee isn't in my bag of tricks at the same lug. One must choose which is lugged first.

I am in the act of making more poles as I type. 4 peeled today, but not for a tee pee,exactly, but a both eastern and western histocial hunters lodge.

I would only live in one of these 3 seasons long term. It looks like a A Frame, but with 2 belled ends.

So looking from one end it looks like a small tee pee. The beauty is a fire anywhere in the center line, and both bells can be rolled to a snug bundle, and both long ends can be raised for shade if one wants, or any and all canvass can be closed on a whim, as is desired.

This lodge takes a lot of poles too, but can be less that a tee pee, and the poles are shorter. There is no poles inside at the ends like a A Frame pop tent has, but at each end is a tripod, then with the canvass pinned once at each end of a ridge pole that pole with the canvass just draped is placed on a tripod, each.

All that holds the canvass out is wooden stakes. At that point I add a 4th pole to the bell ends, and one more pole tied to the bell end lift pole for these 2 canvasses. The last of the poles is 6 in number and each is apx 9 feet long and very slender to keep the canvass from sagging inwards.

These simply lean on the ridge pole, and all the inner poles are handy to tie line on and then support any items I want to store.

At events items tied up are feather fans, drums and other musical instruments.

I made steel hooks you wind and unwind on a line that hold my flintlock long guns up and out of the way. Some of our clothing is usually hung up, as we have more articals of clothing than we can wear at one time. I often switch from one character to another in the same day anyway.

That can be very ammusing as I can get in trouble and hear someone whine about it, with a totally different look.
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