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Bunk Room

on July 23, 2015 with 1 Comment
in The Cabin

I apologize for not posting in such a long time. Working on the house, running in the woods with the grandchildren and playing a little pickle ball leaves me ready for bed by the time the sun disappears.  I’ll try to do better, but no promises.

With everything there is to do to finish our house, where do we start?  The kitchen?  No.  How about our bedroom? Negatory there too.  Maybe it should be the living room so we have a place to welcome guests? Again not a top priority.

Susan and I decided the most important room to finish first would be the bunk room for our grandchildren.  It’s a room above the log cabin living room that measures 18′ x 24′, contains a bathroom and has a 21’6″ vaulted ceiling.  Our idea is to make this a fun, indestructable space for our grandchildren to build memories in.

Last year Evan and I installed the beginnings of a loft in the  bunk room with some locust logs scavanged from our lot.



This summer I found friend Phillip Steen was available to help me with work on the bunk room.  One of many neat aspects about getting Phillip involved in the cabin remodel is that he helped Susan’s father build our cabin the first time when it was under construction thirty years ago.  Phillip has hand built several log homes and a lot of furniture since he worked on the cabin the first time, so he’s not only helping me with his hands, he is also helping me think through all the challenges of cabin building.

Here we are letting the balcony floor joists into the locust log with a chisel.  As a hardness frame of reference, chiseling locust makes cutting oak feel marshmellowish.

After letting in the joists we installed a sub floor of t&g pine.



It took a little fine tuning with the adze to lay the sub floor board next to the locust log.  I really was working on this project even though the photos don’t reveal it!



After the sub floor we installed oak flooring.  You may remember we are using a character oak floor, 4″ wide and cut from several species of Florida oak that we brought to NC from a little sawmill in Eustis, Florida.

Also shown in this photo are the added locust posts that will form a railing on the loft.  We don’t want our grandchildren falling 9′ to the floor below.  A ladder will be installed in between the two posts on the right.



After the loft floor was installed we paneled the bathroom walls with barn board that used to cover the back part of our house before the cabin remodel.  This barn board originally came from a barn in Grainger county Tennessee.  Before the barn in Tennessee the boards were standing timber in a virgin forest.  Because of the tight grain, these boards are sound and straight even though they have been exposed to weather for more than 100 years.

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Next came the ceiling.  We decided on using rough sawmill cut white pine planks for the ceiling of the bunk room.  Since the boards are not planed, there is variation in thickness that can be seen in the photographs.

At the time this photograph was taken we were installing a row of can lights.  Because of the 14/12 pitch of the ceiling the can lights ended up looking like portholes and was detracting from the rustic look we are going for so we took them out and went in a different direction with lighting.




Reaching the top of the ceiling required filling the room with scaffolding.

Fifteen feet above the floor we used some rough-sawn recalimed pine and hemlock 2×6’s to form fake trusses. Since we used timber loc screws to install the trusses they end up being structural.  Instead of can lights we settled on four pendant lights in a wire cage that have an industrial look, unfortunately they are on back order right now so you are seeing bare bulbs.


Truss detail is a stylized arrow.



Son Evan and daughter Joy Lynne had to test the new loft…which caused problems with the grandsons because we would not let them on the loft without a handrail.  The clock is ticking for me to get a hand rail up.

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Granddaughter Meg loves the woods.

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We are pretty happy with our RV, but on a recent trip to Illinois we saw a home-made camper that made me struggle with envy.  I followed this truck into a restaurant parking lot to get to talk to the driver.  Even though the truck looks crusty, it has been sensitively restored.  The camper part he bought on Craig’s List.  I caught the owner on his way to Colorado.  Cool truck!


We’re Back in the Mountains

on April 27, 2015 with No Comments
in The Cabin

Yesterday we arrived back at our mountain cabin for the season.  We always feel a bit like the Clampetts unloading our two vehicles and vowing each year to find a way to move fewer things back and forth from Florida.  After three hours of unloading the vehicles I walked around with my camera taking a […]

Rocker David Payne

on April 22, 2015 with 6 Comments
in The Cabin

David Payne is a third generation rock star from the mountains of Western North Carolina that most of the world has never heard of.  Please don’t get confused here, I am not talking about someone who strums guitar strings for a living, David is from the original guild of rockers and has laid stones his […]

Goat Panels

on February 24, 2015 with 7 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 […]

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 […]