We are still on deadline to do everything that could possibly involve the ceiling before the insulation contractors show up in a few weeks. Today we crossed another big item on the list – wiring up all the ceiling boxes, and if our busy work schedules including three work trips didn’t get in the way, we could finish up in no time. We will get it done…before the middle of April. 


Blech, ugly patched ceiling. We will be happy when it’s all covered up with lovely spray foam.


That one in the middle is a super-cool new fan mount box that has a gasket to keep air leaks at bay. Thought we’d give it a whirl. 

Rod & Todd

We managed to order the steel rods, with custom threading, just in time to put them in yesterday, before our break week ends. The steel shop didn’t have curved washers, so we called around and found some at a local electric company supplier (they make them for telephone poles). At 59 cents apiece, I think they were the cheapest part of this operation. They – and the nuts we got to fit the rod – will eventually need to be sanded and painted/treated to darken them. That’s a job for later, when we’re not on deadline for the insulation.

They look amazing, and with these additions, we crossed two things off our list: installing rafter tie logs, and collar ties (which ended up creating part of the structure that holds the rods, with angle iron on top through which the rods are threaded).  We also finished closing up a few more pesky holes in the structure. A few more small jobs (like pulling all the ceiling electrical) and we are ready for spray foam!

Lincoln Logs for giants

Over the past month or more, we’ve been obsessing about these two big logs. They were 18 feet long, still covered in bark, and we needed to figure out how to get them into the cabin, above head height, and and solidly fastened as rafter ties. K took the lead on fastening, and took a hint from timber-framing: he had a local metal fabricator make gigantic steel U-brackets that we planned to slip over the beams and pin the logs to, with big bolts.

Sounds easy, but everything happening in giant scale and with very tight tolerances (oh, and under the edge of the sloping roof) made every step a bit slow and nerve-wracking. We finished yesterday, just as a big storm rolled in, and are glad to have the logs in and looking like they grew there, perfectly organic to the structure.

Next (tomorrow, our last day of vacation) we will pick up some custom steel rod to hitch them to the ridge area, keeping them from sagging long-term. Then on the the next challenge!

Cold, snowy, dark, and AWESOME

We have been working on the cabin – but in fits & starts. I’ve been away for work a good bit, and it has been cold. But, we now have a contract with an insulation company to come spray foam in the ceiling in April, so we are moving along with all the prep needed there. Nothing like a hard deadline!

Last Friday, it was warm! Like, 36 degrees or so, and projected to stay warm all night. So K picked me up from the bus after work with a completely loaded truck – everything we needed to go winter camping in the cabin. Right down to the hot plate, tea kettle, and instant espresso. So off we went.

The warm temps had made the snow all come crashing off the roof – perhaps more than we expected (and we got to hear the epic crashes for a bit during the early part of the evening). We will have to solve this problem before next winter, but for now we are just thinking it’s amusing. Here’s the snow level outside the window on the rock side of the house:


Of course our buddy came too, with his many sweaters and blankets (and ended up in our bed anyways; luckily, it was only a one-dog night).


Too cute, as always. He loved the big inflatable mattress (and managed to not pop it).


The bar was simple but adequate, as were the couple of slices of pizza we ate while listening to the rain (rain! in February!) on the roof and music on the radio. A lovely night at camp. And what’s more, no leaks.