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Goat Panels

on February 24, 2015 with 2 Comments
in The Cabin

Finding a solution for the back porch railing for the cabin was even more important to gaining occupancy than the front porch, because the back porch provided greater opportunities for falling lethal distances.  After spending several weeks weaving rhododendron branches on the front porch I was looking for an simpler solution as well.  Since the back porch provides the best views of the woods and mountains we also wanted a railing system that provided the best visibility possible when sitting down.

My first thought was to use stainless steel air craft cable to keep our guests and grandchildren from falling, but the cost turned out to be pretty expensive and keeping the proper tension was a maintenance issue I wanted to avoid if possible.

Agricultural Goat Panels turned out to be a great solution for us.  Goat panels come in 4′ x 16′ sections and are made from stiff 6 Ga. galvanized wire with 4″ x 4″ squares that meet code.  Tractor Supply or almost any local farm and seed store carry these panels in stock.

Using stained Western Cedar 2×6’s and 2×2’s connected by stainless steel screws, I quickly filled in the empty spaces between the deck posts with secure, see-through railing.



The day after I got the back deck railing finished it snowed, making the safety of railing all the more welcoming.  We are enjoying seeing the mountain ridges appear through the bare trees of winter.  If you look though the deck railing I think you’ll agree there is very little view blockage.



My plan is to screen in the section of the porch behind the master bedroom, which is the narrow section on the right hand side of this photograph.




On a construction site there are many places one could lose life or limb without much effort.  After going up and down stairs with no railing for months, one tends to forget about the danger.  Our building inspector reminded me there had to be stairway railing before we could gain occupancy.

Since I want to take my time to build a proper railing I threw up this 2×4 1970’s post modern architectural nightmare to keep the building inspector at bay.  Within a couple of days of having the railing up we wondered how we had managed without it.

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I used the same lovely 2×4’s and architectural styling to fence off the stairway opening upstairs too.

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Even though the building inspector did not require it for occupancy, Susan was rather anxious to gain a bathroom door.  So compromise creeps into our interior finishes.  It had been my goal to build all interior doors,  but with my glacial speed as a finish carpenter, I went in search of “cabin” type doors that would work with our other finishes.  I found a big stack of pine panel doors in a warehouse in Asheville  that will do the trick and bought enough to fill all the door openings on the second level of the cabin.

The door frame was made from reclaimed pine so it is a little darker than the door.

We are finishing what will later become the guest bathroom first.  We have a laundry room on the first floor, but since we have the small washer/dryer unit from our pre-remodeled cabin we thought it would be nice to offer laundry in our guest bath and created the laundry closet you see on the left of the photograph.





I don’t think I’ve shown you this before, but here is the finished shower in our guest bathroom.



The Wormhole

on January 14, 2015 with 2 Comments
in Traveling

During the fall I found myself in a Barnes and Noble Bookstore doing a little free magazine reading when I came across an article that purported to list the top fifteen coffee shops in the US.  Two of the shops they profiled were in Chicago, and since I go there four times a year, I […]

“Working Kitchen”

on December 8, 2014 with 2 Comments
in The Cabin

When we began our house remodel last year, we talked to Neal our building inspector about what we needed to have completed to get an occupancy permit.  He told us all we had to have was a working kitchen and working bathroom.  Susan, suspecting it might be a long time before I had the cabin completely finished […]

Work Camp

on November 25, 2014 with 2 Comments
in The Cabin

For the third time now since we’ve torn down our cabin and started rebuilding it, friends Scott and Suzanne have called to say they are coming up for work camp.  When get a phone call from Scott it usually goes like this: “Hey Lloyd, we’ve got the weekend of the 27th open and want to come […]

Cabin Porch Railing

on November 9, 2014 with 7 Comments
in The Cabin

Back during the summer I was having an end of day staff meeting with my friend and electrician Tim Donovan.  As we sipped our micro brews and discussed events of the day, the words of our friendly county building inspector were weighing heavy on my mind.  To get an occupancy permit I needed to have […]

Chain Saw Windows

on November 5, 2014 with 7 Comments
in The Cabin

If you live in a log cabin and want to let more light in, just crank up the chain saw.  There are no worries about where the wall studs are or the need for headers, just start cutting.  Susan caught this view of my chain saw artistry as I was cutting holes for a pair […]

What’s in That Barn?

on September 9, 2014 with 7 Comments
in The Cabin

I’ll bet I’ve passed this barn a thousand times and never pondered the question “what’s in it?”  The barn is located just three tenths of a mile from our cabin and years ago was used as stables for Wolf Laurel.  As I have come to find out in recent weeks, since the stables closed the […]

All I Do is Copy Other’s Work

on June 13, 2014 with 5 Comments
in The Cabin

If you’re a writer and copy other’s work you are called a plagiarist, lose your job and have all kinds of nasty things said about you.  However, if you are a woodworker replicating other’s work, you are called a craftsman.  Good thing I chose the path of woodworking and not journalism because I look for woodworking […]

Getting Back in Fighting Shape

on May 15, 2014 with No Comments
in The Cabin

After a sedentary winter, the first few weeks at the cabin are always physically challenging.  We arrived on April 25th and have been running hard since.  Susan and I have been the building project’s clean up crew, so when we left in late fall and the contractor continued to work through January, we found mountains […]

Reflections on Owen’s Life

on April 30, 2014 with 6 Comments
in Family Stories

  “Owen Thomas Parker went to be with Jesus on April 7, 2014.  Born to Brian and Allison Parker of Lawrenceville, GA on February 23, 2014, Owen lived his short life in Egleston Children’s Hospital, Atlanta where he was being treated for a congenital heart defect known as Shone’s Complex. While on this earth just […]