by Frank Mielke
*Updated with interior photos and more details
This cabin was built with “skinny-D” (my term) logs, cut on site, laterally down the center, to make two logs. The cabin is twelve foot by twelve foot, and the log work was done in less than six days. From standing timber to a log set in the wall takes an average time of one hour per log. If you are in a remote location, and have good timber, this is about the cheapest way to build a small cabin. This cabin is located about two miles off the Yentna River in Alaska.
You can see that the Skinny-D logs give a nice flat surface, and can be made smooth with a planer and sander, but I have left it rustic. The wood stove is made from a 55 gallon barrel with the middle section cut out and re-welded. The chinking is primarily with a regular latex caulk, and a few areas are stuffed, but gaps are less that 1/2 inch. The logs are attached with 4″ self tapping screws driven at an angle from one log to the upper and lower log. The top logs are pinned with 1/2″ steel pins and 1/2″ hardwood dowels. The roof is an 8/12 pitch, with 2 x 4 rafters on 24 inch centers with 90 pound mineral roll on the outside.
The loft is 8′ x 12′ and can sleep three. There are two bunks on the main floor, plus a small dinner table, a kitchen area and some shelves. Access to the loft is by a ladder at the end of the bunks. Lighting is from a 12V system with 3 8 watt fluorescent lights power by a car battery that is charged with a Black & Decker jump starter unit that is good for about 3-4 days in the winter.
We have stayed nights when the temperature dropped to -25 F and stayed plenty warm. Two people is max for comfort, although it will sleep 4 without being crowded.
In the summer we go by boat about 35 miles from the closest launch in Willow, and then ride the half mile from the dock by ATV. In the winter we go by snow machine, right to the cabin door.