House of Fallen Timbers Update

David Lottes sent me a progress report for The House of Fallen Timbers and I thought you would enjoy seeing his progress. Here is the previous post if you are seeing this for the first time.

The walls are half way up now! I’m still on target to get under roof by August but I’ve had some real weather issues. We had over 8 inches of rain in June and the heat has been stifling for the last three weeks. This combination has led to a huge explosion in the mosquito population. I hadn’t thought about weather conditions being such a challenge.

Rain makes the logs slippery and dangerous and on dry days the extreme heat makes working long hours in the sun just as dangerous as slippery logs. We have had several cases of West Nile virus here in Illinois over the past few summers so this heavy mosquito population is no small threat to those of us living in the woods. I watch the weather much more closely than usual hoping for a nice dry morning with a good breeze to carry the nippers away come Saturday morning.

Thanks again for sharing my journal and have a great day!

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mike - July 16, 2010 Reply

Weren’t you supposed to raise that bad boy onto concrete blocks or something?

Looks sweet…

Dee - July 16, 2010 Reply

Great cabin! I grew up in central Illinois not far from New Salem. I spent many a day in the New Salem settlement that recreated the town where Lincoln had his general store. The vast majority of the homes were built with logs, just as you are doing. It was surprising how much cooler the interiors of the log homes were compared to the outdoors even in the middle of summer.

David - July 16, 2010 Reply

Good memory Mike
I just decided to let it ride. I know it would last a whole lot longer on blocks but for me it’s more about the journey than the destination. I’m kinda curious to see how long it will last without them to tell you the truth.

Thanks Dee
I’ve never been to New Salem, I’ll have to check that out! I’m planning a trip to Cahokia in August to see the old French timber construction buildings like the old log church. I’ll try to post some photos on the blog after the trip.

Cheryl - July 17, 2010 Reply

I like this way too and am strongly thinking this may work for me as I have some trees I need to remove and thin. Not sure of I could build it alone with no real building knowledge. But it looks very simple and rustic which is what I want. Would love any advice.
Encourage bats and dragonflies to help with mosquito control. So agree with watching the weather. Good luck!

David - July 18, 2010 Reply

Thanks Cheryl
I wondered why there were so many dragonflies this summer!
Don’t feel like you can’t do it because you have no experience. I had no idea what I was doing when I got started. Tiny House Blog is full of greaat ideas and examples to learn from. I put links to other resources I’m using in the sidebar of my blog. Goodluck and share your progress with us!

Lewis Headrick - July 18, 2010 Reply

After helping to tear apart and rebuild several pre-1900 log cabins and seeing how they were constructed I’m interested in your chinking plan. The oldest cabin (near Orcas Island, WA maybe 1870’s?)had spagnum moss, sticks and mud packed between the logs, then covered with thin boards that were apparently spilt like a shingle from old growth wood. The cabin in Montana used a combo of gravel sand grass and clay, which was then plastered 3/8″ with a lime/sand mixture.
The modern method seams to be to use a vinyl based chinking compound, which would seem counter to your intent, small, cheap and ecological. What works for chinking folks?

David - July 19, 2010 Reply

Hi Lewis
My plan is to wedge sticks into the large gaps and then fill in the cracks with mortar. A visitor just posted some advice for using mortar as chinking on my blog. He told me to put some small roofing nails along the logs for the mortar to cling to. I had planned to mix grass clippings into the mortar to help it bind together. Kinda like Moses mixing clay and straw to make bricks. There are several bags of mix that were left in the garage by the previous owner of the property. I haven’t dragged them out from under the work bench yet to see if they are still usable. I’m afraid they may have turned into solid blocks over the past eight years due to condensation etc. I’m putting off making that discovery until I’m ready to chink. If they are unusable I may follow some of your advice for alternatives. In any case I won’t be buying vinyl based chinking compound. Not in the budget.
Thanks for the ideas!

Cheryl - July 19, 2010 Reply

Thanks David for the encouragement and the links. I love this site and think its great. Was wondering about the chinking too. Anyone out there having road maintenance issues with your neighbors. I have an older 32 foot travel trailer I need to move to my place but can’t get it up the road safely as no one has maintained it at all. I wanted to live in it until I could get something more solid done.
I also have an old trash burner that would work great as a temporary heat and cooking source but can’t find ny info on them.

Cheryl - July 19, 2010 Reply

Thanks David for the encouragement and the links. I love this site and think its great. Was wondering about the chinking too. Anyone out there having road maintenance issues with your neighbors. I have an older 32 foot travel trailer I need to move to my place but can’t get it up the road safely as no one has maintained it at all. I wanted to live in it until I could get something more solid done.
I also have an old trash burner that would work great as a temporary heat and cooking source but can’t find any info on them.

David A. Lottes - January 14, 2012 Reply

The blog is now available in “Blook” format! 32 page 9″x7″ paperback with 15 color photos and selected entries from May through October of 2010. Available now at: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/house-of-fallen-timbers/18819577

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