Don’s Ash Cabin

by Kent Griswold on April 11th, 2014. 33 Comments

Update new photo below 4/11/14

Don Richmond wrote me the other day about his cabin project and I wanted to share it with you. Here is Don’s story.

I was stunned by the similarity of the House of Fallen Timbers story to my own. I live in rural Southeast Lower Michigan, and my 2.25 acres has been ravaged by the ash borer problem. So last winter I had quite a few dead ash trees to cut down and clean up. Like David, I had plenty of burning wood, and I was afraid they would start falling down and causing (safety) problems, and I was also tired of how bad they looked, as well as having to clean up all the shed during windy conditions. But I got to looking at them, and at how many “straight” sections of log they had in them, and I thought “Hmmm…crazy idea, but I wonder if I could build a small log cabin from the straight pieces.” I also had seen Dick Proenneke’s PBS special, and was impressed that a single person could do that.

So on January 2nd of 2010, I started cutting down trees. A friend helped me, a guy who burns wood for heat, and I told him that if he helped me cut them down and cut them up, he could have all the crooked stuff to burn. It took a while, but we got them all cut down and stacked the straight ones in drying piles, and he got quite a few loads of excellent firewood out of the deal, which I helped him cut to burning size pieces and load onto his trailer. He was happy, and so was I.

Making a long story short, it’s 11 months later now, and I have ended up with an ash log cabin. The only thing I have left is to install the stove pipe so I can burn wood for heat in my Grandfather’s 1887 wood stove that I have in there.

The costs for building were minimal, as I attempted to (and took great pride in) using resources and materials I had already laying around or could recycle from other sources I could find. I did buy some things, like the USB sheets for the roof and floor, 3 insulation rolls to stuff between logs, hinges/handle for the door, but that’s about it. It was a great project, and I learned a lot, and gained great appreciation for the pioneers who did this type of thing for their families to provide them with shelter. I also pretty much did it solo. Besides the friend helping me cut down the trees and stack the logs, one other friend came one Saturday and did some odds and ends – peeling some logs, doing some notching, etc… – more because he was excited about what I was doing and wanted to learn how to do some of those things than out of necessity. Other than that, I did the rest myself, including the nut-busting-back-breaking moving around of VERY heavy hardwood logs. Luckily, I got through it without any big accidents, though not without some scary moments, particularly getting the real big logs up to higher and higher levels.

So I just wanted to share some thoughts and ideas on our projects. Congratulations on your own completions. I share and understand your efforts, and give you credit for all your work.

Sincerely,

Don Richmond
drichmond (at) altair.com

New photo of patio below.

new patio

Tiny House in a Landscape

by Kent Griswold on December 7th, 2013. 9 Comments

This weeks Tiny House in a Landscape is another Montana Mobile Cabin. Destination to be “Cabin in the Woods.”

cabin in the woods

Here it is ready to load and go down the road. Watch for us next week on the highways and byways of Western Montana.

ready to go

On the road again!

on the road again

Over the river & through the woods…

through the woods

Glad to have this one in the record books. Ole Man Winter tried to keep us down, but we prevailed!

happy cabin

Happy cabin in the woods!

This cabin was ordered as pictured; no kitchen, no bath; it is what we call a dry cabin. The owner is planning on using it as a bunkhouse with a stove & a couple of bunkbeds. We don’t always get the pleasure of seeing the cabin furnished.

cabin interior

cabin interior 2

Tiny House in a Landscape

by Kent Griswold on November 30th, 2013. 16 Comments

Today’s Tiny House in a Landscape is from Fred Beal in Helena, Montana. My wife and I spent our first two years of our marriage in Helena and it is one of my favorite places.

Fred is an expert with the Log Dovetail technique in building log cabins. He has built this little 11 foot by 15 foot log cabin and is currently living in it full time.

Fred has designed a jig that makes it easier to cut the dovetails in the logs, thus making it more accurate and an easier process. You can learn more about the technique by going here. http://logdovetailjig.com/

Following are some photos of his cabin and a short video of the building process. Enjoy!

log cabin in a landscape

stove and interior

sleeping area

desk

close up of cabin

Tiny House In a Landscape

by Kent Griswold on August 23rd, 2013. 8 Comments

Dan shared this weeks Tiny House in a Landscape photo and says: My two brothers and our dad made to a road trip through New Mexico and Colorado last month and ran across this tiny house in South Park, Colorado its was located in a restored recreated old town for visitors to relive the early days of the gold and silver rush.

It may not look so comfortable but considering the climate in Colorado it looks pretty good to me.

old log cabin

interior of log cabin