It is late fall here in the mountains. At 4,300′ elevation, most of the leaves have fallen from the trees and temperatures drop below freezing almost every night. Some days the weather has gone from sunshine to rain to sleet and back to sunshine within an hour’s time span. Facing our first hard freeze last week we disconnected the RV, our home for the last five months, and Susan volunteered to drive it to Florida. I have stayed on with house building duties because there is much to be done to get it closed in for winter.
The cold weather is not bothering me near as much as the harassing phone calls from the beach in Florida. After dipping ten thousand(may be a slight exaggeration) cedar shingles in stain and hanging them up to dry, I guess Susan deserves a little beach time, but does she have to rub it in?
My days are spent staining the rough-sawn knotty pine siding boards that will be used to make our board and batten siding on the lower levels of the cabin. One coat of stain on the backs and sides and two coats on the front of 288 boards takes a while. Also there are trim boards to be painted. I’ll spare you the painting photos because who likes to watch paint dry.
Our stone mason has finished one of our two fireplace chimneys and we really like the way it looks. Unfortunately, the second chimney has to wait for our mason to return from a hunting trip.
Our carpenter crew is busy finishing the upper level of the cabin with cedar shingles so the metal roof can be installed. The wall shingles go on first because they are working from the porch roof decks. The metal roof will be attached to the 2×4′s seen on the roof decks.
These three small windows were not in the architect’s design for our home. Susan and I added them to bring more natural light into the upper level of the cabin and to add some architectural interest to what would otherwise be a cedar wall.
After several heavy rains we came to the conclusion that water dumping off the large central porch roof on to the uncovered sun deck was not a good design. So this is a photo of a remodel of the remodel. We decided to cover the sun deck with a roof(lower porch roof on the right). In order to get the porch roof to line up with the dining room room, it required us to tear off the dining hip roof and change it to a shed roof. With the tall trees surrounding the deck it wasn’t going to get much sun anyway. We hated spending the additional money but we knew this was going to be one of those things we would always regret if we didn’t fix it right the second time.
You can see some of the grey siding boards I’m painting leaning on the wall to dry. I’m sorry, did I just write about paint drying?
The carpenters didn’t frame in the kitchen’s bay window when they framed the rest of the house, so for the last couple of months we have had a 12′ wide hole in the kitchen. It’s been great for the masons to bring rock and cement through the house, but there are drifts of leaves inside because of the large opening. Today they started framing in the opening and it is changing the whole feel of the kitchen. It seems so much smaller…
To prepare for the kitchen bay window I worked on support blocks to go under the window over the weekend. Using a Douglas Fir 4×12 I made a couple of sample blocks to determine what might look the best under the window. While the block on the left is similar to the design of the exposed tail rafters I thought it would be good to change things up and went with the curve on the right.
Evan has been working on a Little Journey’s Table off and on all summer. Saturday he came up and finished the last details and put the table together for the first time. With it’s mortis and tenon construction and tusk tenons held by wedges, this little table is great for learning much about building furniture. While I gave him some instruction, Evan made every cut on his table. He is going to use wipe on poly to finish the quartersawn white oak table. In the background you can kind of see the finished front door of the cabin.
There is one big job I must finish before I can go South to sunnier climes. Evan and I took out the flooring and beams holding up the second floor of the cabin. The floor was very unlevel, almost crazy fun-house unlevel, and the beams were undersized making for a springy crossing of the room. In the photo I am taking a short cut getting the beams out with a chainsaw. I’ll reuse these beams somewhere in the ceilings of the new construction. A new floor needs to be installed this fall so we will be ready in the spring to install the HVAC, plumbing and electricity.
Even though there is much work to be done at the cabin there is always time to stop and smell the mountain wild flowers. Susan got a call from friends since high school, Mary and Judd to come visit them at their cabin near Waynesville. We packed a picnic lunch and hiked up the Appalachian Trail to Max Patch bald enjoying the fall colors.
More fall colors from near Max Patch.