Off Grid Log Cabin Built by One Man: Log Gables and a Bushcraft Mystery

Hello friends this is Max Egorov and
you're watching the fourth part of the series of short videos of my successful
attempt to develop a totally wild and secluded place you might have noticed I
was building my log cabin from extra -thick logs downed by a severe storm a few
years ago I decided to reclaim those 40 cm (15 inch) logs in this episode I'll
show you how I topped the side log walls with gables last year I've used up all
of the logs that were laying close by luckily because I chose to install two
doors I did not need any more full length logs it is a lot easier to
deliver the shorter log segments to the cabins construction site even if they
are further away you have to be extremely careful when cutting log
segments from a fallen tree the trunk of the fallen tree that is still
attached to the root ball is under a lot of stress I've had to root balls snap to
an upright position with a large bang when cut loose in other words working
with a fallen tree that is still attached to its root ball is a lot more
dangerous than when cutting a vertical live tree you can be buried under it I
always try to cut the top and the bottom limbs off of the trunk to reduce its
inner stresses which makes working with it more predictable if the tree trunk is
suspended on both ends you have to be careful not to get your chainsaw bar
stuck in the trunk it is better to make an extra few relief cuts to prevent it
the trees that I half-fallen are the most dangerous and it's best to leave them
alone however in my case such tree is too close to my cabin and I will have to
take my chances I cut the top off and tried to pull it down using a pulley
system but the roots proved to be stronger than me so I had to cut the
tree at the bottom and dropped it on rails so the log rolled to the cabin on
its own this log is not thick enough for the walls so it will be used for making
rafters and other roof members as you can see I prepared material for the roof
construction in advance there are three full layers of logs in the cabin now I'm
going to level the last layer on the side wall so that it can join with the
roof properly it is easy to use an improvised guide made of two boards
screwed to the log such method worked well for me note when you lay logs you
need to alternate the placement of the skinnier tops and thicker bottoms so
that all of the cabins corners end up being the same height as you can see my
last layer ended up being straight and perfectly horizontal it is important to measure everything
thoroughly before making a cut I used the guide to cut the gable for the lateral
log rafter that will support the roof the top part of this rafter will be
supporting the ridge log I don't know precisely where the ridge
log is going to be but it is an important three-way joinery and I have
to get it right the cabin's roof will be insulated with sod and the roof's pitch
cannot be too steep otherwise the sod can slide down so I had to lower the
ridge log a little and trim the structural members accordingly oh well
that's what happens when you don't have a blueprint of your house but
building it by-guess-and-by-gosh method of calculating mistakes are inevitable
then in the next episode I'll focus more on the roof construction and will show
you how I made the boards for the roof members from the harvested logs
meanwhile I'll use them as a scaffold as I can't install the logs from the ground
anymore I'm just not tall enough what made
things easier is I could carry the shorter gable logs on my shoulder I ended up tossing and replacing the
short section I'm carrying now because it was visibly skinnier than the other
gable logs it's a pity because I've already caught a tongue on it as I was looking for the right log
section it got rainy and I ended up using a
section of this stump once I debarked it I noticed some
superficial mushroom growth but the log itself is clean on the cross cut and it
will last for decades as long as the roof doesn't leak
I made a necessary diagonal cut right on the spot
now it will be easier to carry to the construction site I brought this spare
450 millimeter chain saws bar along with the standard 350 millimeter bar (which is
18 and 14 inch bars) just in case I need to cut out a bar from the log you would
just dis-attach the bar from the chainsaw and leave it in the log while using the saw
with a spare bar to quickly release it even though this section is only 5 cm (2
inches) thicker in diameter it is noticeably heavier than the first one my
gate is not quite as springy in the background you can see a blue tarp
canopy I was absent for only an hour at the cabin's construction site but found
the tarp torn through the reinforced seams a human couldn't do that a large
animal wouldn't be able to get through the fallen trees to the construction
site I didn't hear any noises the question is who did it
a bushcraft mystery the top gable log has the most complex shape before
installing it I cut the jamp and stop for the door from one piece just like I've
done it on the side jack studs I'm using a homemade log dog it has to be
long to be able to hold these extra thick logs this log dog has four butts
so hammering it in and out of the logs becomes a simple task as demonstrated before I will use a
simple guide to make two precise cuts for the doors jamb and stop it is easy
and safe to do it this way prior to its installation okay the last gable is
ready to be installed on the vertical jack stud's extra-long tenons because I
decided to reduce the roof pitch I will have to make another cut thus trimming
the tenons' length again that's what happens when you don't have a blueprint
of your house and building it as it goes the last gable's log is installed now
I will drill a hole for the door's pin hinge I'll have to lift this log with
the whole roof to install the front door later you'll see the power of a simple
carpenter's wedge in an upcoming episode There won't be much interior work done
with the cabin I will only smoothen the rough edges a
little it is such a pleasure to work with my draw knife and other hand tools
had the handsaw been half as productive as a chainsaw I wouldn't have used the
chainsaw at all unfortunately my summer vacation is only a month long and using
only the hand tools would prolong this project significantly the second gable
is symmetrical and having gained experience I've built it twice as fast the only difference this time is that I
made the door's cuts on the last gable log while standing on the ground which
was easier and safer to prevent the log shifting a hammered in wooden pegs in
every gables log while the medial ends of the gable logs joined the doorway
members by tongue-and-groove also the four lateral log rafters were pegged into
the top skewed gable logs to hold their lateral ends together I'm building an
extra strong log cabin in the next episode on my cabins construction I'll
show you how I made an old-time sod roof if you liked this video perhaps you
could share it with your friends that could people watch good videos this is
Max Egorov, St.Petersburg, Russia P.S.

Question What would you guys use to lift
the header and roof for my pin hinged door installation: a wedge or a lever?.

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