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Old 05-17-2010, 12:14 AM   #931
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Gulf Island Building.


When we first got here, my wife was deathly afraid of any of the gas powered chainsaws. But she decided that she just had to try cutting down some of the small arbutus trees.

So, next thing you know, I have bought her this tiny electric chainsaw. She just loves this little thing and still uses it today.

Here she is playing lumberjill.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:18 AM   #932
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Gulf Island Building.


Many of the logs I milled with the Alaska mill were not off the property. Sometimes I would snag one from the ocean, bring it up on the beach at high tide, then cut it when the water receded.

I would then use the trusty old B & D super sawcat to do the ripping.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:24 AM   #933
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Gulf Island Building.


In the above pic you can see the Alaska mill behind the log. I don't seem to be able to find any other pics of it, except this one, otherwise I could show you how it was built.

I used some steel shelving stuff that I got from the re-cycler in about 1997. I also used some of it to build the crane you have seen here a few posts back.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:28 AM   #934
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Gulf Island Building.


You can actually get pretty decent wood using a chainsaw mill, it's just that it's a lot of work.

Here's one of the piles I have a shot of...I would guess it took all day to mill that. But the price was right.

Incidentally, that long log was one that I used to build the lift track with. It's 27' long and still in daily use.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:31 AM   #935
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Gulf Island Building.


Sorry for kind of jumping around so much, but it depends on what photos I find.

Here it looks like the first floor walls of the cabin are up.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:33 AM   #936
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Gulf Island Building.


Not a very good picture, but most of the second floor walls appear to be in place here.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:34 AM   #937
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Gulf Island Building.


Here's the home made trusses.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:37 AM   #938
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Gulf Island Building.


Looks like we are pretty well closed in here, with the roof on. This would have been early September of 1997.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:44 AM   #939
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Gulf Island Building.


I remember when we first started to build this place, we went over to Ladysmith in the Pelican and bought 100 studs for .99 cents apiece, plus the 2 x 8's for the upper floor joists.

The OSB came from the House of Pot up in Nanaimo and cost $4.78 for the 3/8" and $5.48 for the 7/16".

The windows were all re-cycled, and for the bigger windows, I just used some 34 x 76 sheets of tempered glass at $18 a pop. Framed the walls to fit the glass.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:56 AM   #940
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Gulf Island Building.


Looks like I omitted a few details about the above pic.

Let's start with the tugboat hawser which you see in the foreground. It is tied to a massive old Douglas fir which was leaning directly towards the neighbours' cabin. The tree was just off our property, but it had a pretty serious lean to it, and if it had gone over it would have been bye bye cabin.

The only way I could see of getting it down was to winch it directly backwards. Obviously this was a job for two people. By a stroke of good fortune, there was a faller doing some work for a good friend of ours across the bay, and I enlisted his aid to do the cutting, while I worked the winch. It took awhile to get the tree to start to move backwards, but eventually it did as it was told.

I was in the line of fire of the falling tree, but luckily, there was another huge fir very close to where I was winching from. I tucked myself in tight to the tree when the other guy came down.

Let me tell you, that was some experience. Lots of noise, big wind and mini earthquake when the tree hit the ground. No wonder fallers get killed if they get hit with one of those things. Talk about instant education.

The floor framing in front of the cabin is for the wife's studio. We decided to get something up to use as storage because we were forking out for a storage unit over in Ladysmith every month. The studio is still the storage room!

The extensions from each side of the cabin are a covered deck on the left and a generator shed (which you can't see), and a plastic covered greenhouse of sorts.

You probably spotted the wind generator, right? More about that in a second.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:04 AM   #941
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Gulf Island Building.


For awhile we tried to use a wind generator to assist with our electricity. Not a successful venture.

The first place I put it was up against the cabin, and as you can see I used the crane to hold it up. Might as well get some use out of it as its' crane days were over.

The wind genny was a Southwest Windpower 500 watt unit. Nice piece of equipment, but the best we ever got out of it was around 320 watts. When it was on the cabin, we very seldom got enough wind to do anything. Later I moved it out towards the bank on a crazy tower I built from logs. Not sure if there is a photo of that...haven't found one yet.

It got more wind there, but still not enough to be worthwhile.

I eventually sold the genny to a friend at the other end of the island. He lives right at the top of the hill and has a far better wind regime that we ever did. You really do need to make sure you have wind before you buy one of these things!
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:16 PM   #942
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Gulf Island Building.


I may have mentioned the name Ted Long before in this thread, not quite sure.

But Ted, who billed himself as a Luddite, was a character and a half. He came to the island about 5 years before we did. He lived on an old sailboat in the bay by our place while he built his cabin. This little chore took him 3 years.

Funky, heck yes! Well built, not a chance! But somehow it managed to stay standing. He used such things as 3" saplings for floor joists.

He used to take seaweed from the beach up to his place and put it on the garden. To do this, he made himself a small wagon with wooden wheels! His garden was a real veggie producer while he was here.

When we first met him, it turned out that he came from a spot in England just 14 miles from where I was born. Small world.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:22 PM   #943
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Gulf Island Building.


Awhile back, my wife and I were watching a PBS series of an old "salt', up in Alaska, and how he built a cabin..etc. and your 'epic' is very similar except with a 'newer' tone. Hope you one day put 'it' all together in a volume, for others who want to learn and follow your lead! Just great to follow and watch!
Cheers
Syd
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:23 PM   #944
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Gulf Island Building.


Take a good look at those doors on the front of Ted's cabin. Each one is made from a single piece of western red cedar.

It seems that in 1975 there were hurricane force winds that came into Herring Bay. Just beyond the head of the bay stood a massive cedar. The hurricane took it out, and apparently, for many years, the tree just lay across the pathway.

The root is still there, on its' side.

Ted, being the resourceful guy that he was, got a section of the tree cut out, and rived those two pieces of cedar you see in use as his front doors. He also made up some massive hinges to mount the doors with.

While he was about it, he made himself some really gorgeous shakes for the cabin as well.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:27 PM   #945
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Gulf Island Building.


Quote:
Originally Posted by scoggy View Post
Awhile back, my wife and I were watching a PBS series of an old "salt', up in Alaska, and how he built a cabin..etc. and your 'epic' is very similar except with a 'newer' tone. Hope you one day put 'it' all together in a volume, for others who want to learn and follow your lead! Just great to follow and watch!
Cheers
Syd
There's just one catch to that Syd. You have to be at least a little bit off the wall to do this sort of thing. Not too many people are interested in stepping off the world and doing something like this for themselves.

I can't say I haven't enjoyed the ride...it's just that it would be nice to reach the destination sometime soon. Hopefully by the end of this year.

Btw, when are you coming over to visit?

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