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Our Family cabin in the woods.
This is an album about our family cabin. It was out by the road, behind the newer home and was in pretty bad disrepair when dad got ownership from his Father. The cabin was the original house and when they decided they wanted a newer, bigger home, they just built in front of it. They left the cabin there and used it as a wash house first, then as a storage for coal. Dad decided he wanted to move it back into the woods and repair it for family get togethers and such. Dad and I worked to clear the small brush and junk trees from a section of woods. Let me be clear on this. Dad did most of the work himself. I helped when I could along with our longtime neighbor who put a good bit of time in as well. He was Dad and I's wood cutting partner early on as he had a truck. Other friends pitched in for a few things as well but the credit goes to Dad. He was retired and enjoyed the process so here are some pics along the way and the finished result. Some of the pics may not be the best quality but they are scans and all we have of it. This was over a span of a few years and you'll see the seasons change as progress was made.
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Here is the cabin as it was when Dad got the property. They had wood sided it at one time and he took what was left of it off.

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It was sitting on rocks on the corners and had slipped off on the one end. Slowly rotting back into the ground. Looks like it is in quicksand doesn't it?

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We have deeds back to 1830 but don't know how much further back it was. This was the original house for a rather large tract of ground. My grandfather got the place in 1937. It was a settlement with money lost in the 1929 stock market crash. Bank repaid 10 cents on the dollar in land value back to him.

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Dad wanted to pull the logs out and keep the whole roof structure as one piece. Everyone tried to convince him not to but he had his mind set. We knew we'd have to get some new timbers for the ones rotted away but the farm has 40 acres of woods.

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His plan was to jack the roof structure up and take each layer of logs out, one level at a time and slowly lower it down onto a trailer. Then move the roof back and jack it up in reverse order.

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He started by cleaning out between the logs. They used small pieces of wood and a mud /mortar to fill it all  in. Some call the wood daubing and the filler material chinking.

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Log were number and set in order for reassembly. Chains and cables used to tie the roof together and bottle jack and such used for raising and lowering. here it is almost ready to back the trailer under.

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On the trailer and using a tractor to slowly pull it back to the woods.

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Here you can see how the newer home was built in front of the old. We worked about 2 years prior to starting this to get the woods cleared out for the cabin. Dad and I sawed the unwanted trees and brush and dug the small stuff out by hand. We burned all the brush as we went.

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Heading down the lane for it's new home.

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A guy Dad graduated with, Ray Neitman, came over for another set of eyes while he took it back.

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Hard to see everything with this wide load!

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Made it to the woods. Dad, me and our former pastor, Jim Whorton, had poured a slab in the meantime for it's foundation and floor. No more slipping of the rocks or dirt floor now.

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With the floor poured we started hand hewning the logs that needed replaced. Got some logs from the trees in the woods and started doing them. We did cheat some as we ran 2 strings on opposite side of the log. Nailed the laths on and stretch the strings. Then used a chainsaw to make relief cut close to the strings. Then popped the 4 to 6 inch chunks out with a mattock or adz. Then finished with an adz or broad axe.

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Here's the original puzzle pieces waiting their turn.

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Dad's in the backhoe and I'm setting the new bottom timbers.

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They had a get together once we started and people are "inspecting" here.

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That's my grandmother there in red, Dorothy House. You can see one of the logs that will be whittled down, behind her.If you look close you can see the chip pile around it.

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Slowly but surely.

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Starting to come up here. Camera stayed in Dad's truck too long and messed up the film so these pics are kind of low quality. Can't go back though!

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We got one level of logs in place then backed the trailer in. Then started the jacking up and placing them in. This is the original Raisin' the roof!

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Slowly getting there and another Winter has come.

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Just a few more to go.

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Dad wanted 2 doors in it and wants a laid chimney in the back for a fireplace and cook stove.

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Finished height here and He found some old windows with wavy glass to keep with the period look. He is making the doors himself.

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This is the backside and the chimney will go in this opening.

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Greening up in Spring and the Head inspector, Mom, is on the scene. she deserves a lot of credit as she helps by feeding and doing the girl "stuff" . Allowing the work to get done quicker on the project.

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She fits in the door so we're good to go!

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Dad and our neighbor, Billy Joe Preston. He spent many a day with Dad cleaning bricks and working on the filling in.

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Putting the end boards back on here. Beginning to look like something now.

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Lots of nice trees here and it's a great setting for a cabin.

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Starting the process of filling in here. Chinking. Dad reused all the original stuff he could and made up a bunch of new as well.

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It takes a good bit of time to get it all in place.

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He will add upper windows in the peaks for the loft so there would be natural light up there.

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Original spacing on these had some pretty big gaps. Kind of stuck there with what he had.

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Pretty much all ready to start now.

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When putting the mortar in you slope it out so the water drains away. You don't want it flush on the top side as the water would wick inside and freeze in the winter, busting it up.

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Another phase is done.

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Getting ready to start the chimney now. Had to trim some branches to make room.

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He'll be using some fired block/bricks that came from my place. I tore down a rather large chicken house and he'll recycle them for this project.

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He poured a footer and is ready to start.

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Starting to lay here and has a ways to go.

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These brick have a real nice sheen to them and water beads off so they will work really well for this.

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Here's Billy Joe cleaning the old mortar off for Dad. Takes many hands and makes it go faster.

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Quite a pile building up.

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Got the windows in the end.

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Also got the multipanes on the door side.

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Gable end windows in now as well. Another Winter has arrived.

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Our little cabin in the woods is becoming a reality.

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Dad doesn't let much stop him. He built a cover so he could keep going.

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Temporary flue is in place so he can have a fire to keep warm keep the mortar from freezing on the colder days.

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Warmer days mean more progress.

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Slowly tapering it in.

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Ruth Black came over for a visit.

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Ruth, Dad, Billie Joe and Dave Black.

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You can see dad's home barrel stove here that they used to keep warm while cleaning bricks. He's got the fireplace insert set in here as well.

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He used the rock surround it came with and laid more rock from the farm above. You can see how he split a rock and gave it a butterfly in the middle.

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Here's is a better shot.

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Made up a mantle and a stone hearth as well.

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Chimney is done on the outside now too.

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Next is a front porch with an overhang shelter. Poured foundations for the posts first.

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Then dug the dirt out so a gravel base could be put down. easy to level and will wick moisture away.

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Using more of those fired brick here.

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Even getting the grandkids involved. Beth, Jamie and Daniel.

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Filled the gaps in with sand and swept even. Billie Joe filling/leveling dirt here.

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More grading work.

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The Misses has to have flowers!

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He put a sweeping side walk in as well to the driveway.

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For the posts, we got some Tulip Poplar from the woods. and for the rest it was just straight trees that had the length needed. Going for the rustic look here as it will stay exposed from underneath.

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He is going to use standing seam roofing like what was on the cabin.

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Putting the nailers on here.

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Once again, he reused some roofing from a building that we tore down, Fits right in with what was on the cabin.

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Had to straighten all the edges up again before placing them back up. Time consuming but the price was right and reusing some history again.

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Painting it to match.

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Got a bow in but that's character. One mistake we made was pouring the floor square and putting up the logs plumb. When we got the roof to the top it was then we found the roof was WAY out of square originally when the metal roof was put on. This caused some buckling when we pulled it right.

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Another step near complete.

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For the loft he got a smaller log and ripped it in half with a chainsaw. Then ripped more logs for steps. Makes a nice touch.

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Every cabin needs tire swing in a tree.

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The flower collection is growing.

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Dad wanted a little storage building nearby to keep things safe when we weren't around. I had a small building at my place I had to move so he decided to use it.

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Set some forms and will do a monolithic pour for the footer and floor.

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This building was the original Smoke house on my place. It was built like a barn with mortise and tenon so we popped the tenons out and disassembled it. Moved it and putting back together here. Another heritage move between the 2 families.

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It was quick building!

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Ready for the roof now.

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All done.

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Repainted it and those crazy flowers keep coming.

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Invasion of the Mexican bean beetles!

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Dad had to have an outhouse too.

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For the roof on the outhouse he used bias ply tires. Cut them mid sidewall with tread down. Then put another layer straddling the gap to make it basically leakproof. Hey, it works!

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Nice fall scene.

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This cook stove was my grandparents and it was saved when she redid her kitchen. Sat in the shed and we pulled it out to use in the cabin.

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Pipe ties into the chimney.

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Dad added a railing to the stairway. he made it of of trees from the woods.

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This is the loft. We had Christmas over here a few years and the whole family stayed over night. We were told that the original owners raised 8 children in this cabin. I bet they never fought either!

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Railing going down.

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Railing joint and you can see the steps are dovetailed in the siderails.

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