Winter 2001-2002 project

No new cabin this year. The good news is that the Moose Cabin gets indoor plumbing. Things are looking up here at Tustumena Ridge Cabins.

lucas mill

Bob with Lucas Mill

Well, here it is early January and I'm finally updating my progress with this seasons construction.

Susan and I scaled back our building plans. We decided to add a bathroom to the Moose Cabin and put off the larger cabin till next year.

I did a lot of head scratching to figure out how to add to the existing log wall without having to cut into it. I ended up scribing and lag bolting a 2.5"x10" spline where I wanted my log walls to intersect.


I also had to do some logging and sawmilling in order to get my building materials together. Snowstorms, ice, cold weather and lack of daylight really slows the building process.

My average work day this time of year is about 5-6 hours outside. I usually work comfortably down to about -10. When it gets much colder than that I'll head to the shop for some "inside" work.

log wall

I've finished the third round as of Jan 2, 2002 and hope to do two rounds per week. Check back, it will get exciting when I cut that window out for a doorway. I'm going skiing tomorrow at Alyeska. Yee Ha!

scribe lines
eighth round

January 24th and I've finished the 8th round of logs. It's getting harder to work the logs as the wall gets taller. I had to stop and build some scaffolding.

I Replaced the brushes in the electric chain saw motor. Also put a new belt on the power planer. Need to go see the neighbor and have him weld the drawknife handle. It was slightly below zero the other morning and I tapped the drawknife on a log to knock off some snow and the metal snapped.

Two more rounds to finish the walls and then on to the roof.

February 14th and the roof framing is complete. I ran to town and bought t&g roofing today. $200 buys enough 1x6 to cover that small roof area. I'll get the roof and the gable end covered and then will be able to get some heat in the building for my interior work.

I dropped my portable drill off the ladder and it smashed into pieces. The plastic casing was a bit brittle in the cold. One more for the power tool graveyard. I guess I'll shop for a tougher one this time...

bath roof

March 12th and things are progressing well. I've finished the roof, built and installed the door and cut out and built a window frame(window on order). I also have the shower installed and about half the wiring done including the overhead fan and light.

We made a trip to Anchorage and picked up bathroom stuff. Toilet, sink, faucets and light fixtures.

Things are getting crossed off the list and the excavator is coming in April to hook us up to the septic system.

April 15th and I am down to putting finish on the logs and the built-in cabinets. Susan would like to put another small window on the west side of the room. She wants an octagonal window... it will be quite a challenge to cut the hole out for that. Looks like this is on the bottom of the "to do" list.

We filled the system with water and everything seemed fine with no leaks. We are still waiting on Gus the Excavator. Winter still has a grip on us and we have just had a few days warm enough to start melting the snow and thawing the ground.

I still need to build a mirror to go over the sink, install the shower door, paint the floor, install the toilet and re-hang the door. I need a day over 40 degrees to finish the drain system. The exterior log finish requires some warmer weather also. Looks like this project will be done soon and it will be time to start planning the next one.

digging sewer line

May 10th and the ground has thawed enough to do the excavating for hooking up to the septic system. We are also revamping the electrical so that we have separate main disconnects for both cabins.

It is trying to be spring here. I saw a swallow the other day and the wood frogs have crawled out of their frozen winter mud and started "croaking" for a mate. The snipe that nest in our swamp are busy making that "whoo-whoo-whoo" that is part of their spring ritual. Huge flocks of geese, swans and sandhill cranes have been flying over the house for the last few weeks. The real sure sign of spring will be the first robin in the yard (update May 11th, I saw a robin this morning!). I love this time of year! My mouth is watering for some fresh king salmon

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