Funny geese- hissing at me, while at the same time begging for food. I know some folks like this....

I welded this shingle elevator to lift boards and stuff up on the roof. So far, it's lifted about 17,000 lbs of lumber, foam, shingles, plywood, tar paper, nails and screws, 24 feet at a time. I hook up a 7:1 pulley I originally made for lifting logs, and 200 feet of 5/8" poly rope. I load the elevator with supplies, I tie the rope to the car, and back up. Then climb the ladder and unload the stuff onto the roof.


Shingling the roof of the cabin. 109 bundles of shingles. Roof dimensions: 57 feet long, 28' wide x 2. That includes 17 feet of overhang - 9' on the front, 8' on the rear (the front faces South into the prevailing winds). There is also 4 feet of overhang on the eaves.


Update on Cabin build- Done insulating the East side. Had some tar paper get torn up with the wind over the weekend, but no biggie. Discussing the ventilation holes and cap ventilation. Also will change from "built up roof" / "stepped roof" to just a thick roof with one layer. I won't insulate the overhangs, but the roof will look better from the ground. It'll also make it easier to install drip edge. Cost a little bit more, but that won't matter in the long run.


I discovered that my state says the roof must be insulated to R30 (I thought it was R40). This info changes my plans- I no longer need to shave these panels flat because I no longer have to get 9" of foam in place- I only need 7 or 8 inches- this gives me more vertical space between the foam and the plywood. It also means the thickness/height of the foam can vary more, so I don't need to worry about the foam being perfectly flat.

But I also need to fit a 48" wide panel in a 46.5" space (sleepers/ribs must be 48" on center to allow the plywood to attach). So I turned my foam cutter sideways.

Answers the problem not being able to measure how far to cut the roof decking while up on the roof. This would be easier with a man-lift, but with just one person and no man-lift, it becomes dangerous to try to lean out over the edge and measure how far the rafter is from the edge. Roof decking is now trimmed.


A demonstration of the foam cutter I made from Nichrome wire, part of my scaffolding, and a variable power controller. I have to cut 1400 cu ft of foam into uniform thicknesses to install on my roof as insulation. The decking on the roof is complete, the underlayment is in place. I have enough 2x10's to box in this foam. Just need this foam insulation, covered over by plywood / OSB, tar paper, and then shingles, and the roof will be complete!

Note: I'm just a regular guy building a log home from scratch. I have no professional construction experience. I'm just good at following directions.


pounding in rebar pins to the Ridge Pole of my log home. The rafters are pine, and the ridge pole is Sweet Gum, and the Gum is very, very hard. Blog:

How I ended up getting the decking up on the roof. Wasn't easy, but this is how I did it. Blog:

- I wanted to do 20 or 30 boards at a time, but this proved unfeasible. Each board weighs about 30-40 lbs, so 20 or 30 would weigh 600 - 1200 lbs. I didn't feel like the existing decking could take that much weigh dragging over it- would definitely tear up the edge.
- I thought about building a small crane, but this would've taken days to do.
- Also, with the above ideas- the roof can only handle so much weight concentrated in one spot- it's engineered to withstand about 180 lbs/sq ft. With the boards being 16' long, I can only get 2 stacks of them on the 58' roof and still have room to put more up (16' on one edge, 16' on the other, 16' space in the middle to bring more up = 48'.
- Along with this, I stacked them directly over where the rafters meet the walls for maximum capacity. This way, I was able to get about 60 boards ready to install at at time.

Prepping the 2x6 T&G roof decking for installation. 3200 sq ft, will be nailed to the rafters and will be seen when looking up to the ceiling from the inside of the cabin.


I put three clips together- installing a quick release pin, installing a rafter, and removing a quick release pin

Installing rafters with a narrow spreader bar- still possible, but much, much harder. Had to "launch" the rafters up over the wall with the leader rope and coordinating with crane operator

After installing the Ridge Pole, we had the crane operator release the pressure on it, and it immediately "rolled" a bit. This video shows how we rolled it back to center. Then I installed more rebar pins in it, and it is holding up very well. Blog:

installing rafters on my cabin using a crane and the correct spreader bar - 20 feet. Much easier than with a narrow spreader bar. Blog:

installing quick release pins on the straps from the crane for lifting rafters- saves having to climb up 30 feet to release the straps. The pins can easily be pulled out from the ground via a long string. Blog:

removing a quick release pin from a rafter while on the ground. Much safer than climbing up 30 feet.

I like this log as a middle RPSL. Has a neat crevice in it that will add to the "look" of our place. When you build it yourself, you get executive privilege on these kinds of decisions.

We hired a guy with a nice pretty crane to help install our Ridge Pole (RP) because the cost of buying stronger chains and heavier equipment was the same as paying him to do it, and he could do in a day what would take us a month. With winter coming on, we want to get this thing dried in ASAP. The plan was to install rafters and RP at the same time, but when he released pressure on the RP, the RP decided it didn't like its position and rolled to about "1 o'clock". Crane guy got scared, and pulled off the job. Told me to call him when I got the RP stabilized. Fast forward 10 days- after a week of rain, and making a new pair of rafters, stabilizing the RP with a chain hoist, shims and more rebar, we are now ready for the crane again. Didn't turn out like we thought, but it will turn out alright in the end.

cutting a rafter for my cabin with the Hud-Son Oscar 121 sawmill. The saw came with a 12 foot track, but I need to make 26 foot rafters, so I welded another 18 feet of track for a total of 30 feet of track, along with extra log dogs. a 4"x12"x26' rafter costs around $300 from the mill or lumber store, and for 28 rafters, that's about $9,000. I got this sawmill for a few thousand dollars, so I'm saving about $7,000 on the rafters by making them myself. This will help keep the total cost of this cabin down to about $20 per square foot - around $60,000 for a 3,200 sq ft log home. see my blog:

update on the build- cutting rafters, finding big enough trees, planning for a crane, marking the ridge pole

just a small clip of a picnic I played for this week with some friends. nothing special, but sure enjoy playing this type of music- guitar, banjo, autoharp, accordion.

I cut down this 56' long Sweet Gum last fall, and then couldn't even budge it with my tractor. It is 29" at the base, 14" at the tip, and it's estimated weight is close to 10,000 lbs. It will be installed at the peak of the roof, and hold up the rafters.

Using a 30' track I welded from 2"x2"x1/4" angle steel to extend the track for a Hudson-Oscar 121 sawmill I bought from a friend. I'll use this sawmill and track to mill my own 4"x12"x28' rafters from logs on my property. I need 28 rafters and they cost about $300 each, so that would be about $8500. This mill and track was much less than that, so I'm saving money. Made my own log dogs for the track, as well.


Using a MUT (Multi Use Tool) from Harbor Freight to peel a log for my log cabin.


unloading a shipping container- used for storing tools and equipment for my log cabin during the build. Even the tractor fits inside.

Blog post about purchasing the container:


Created 1 year, 4 months ago.

35 videos

CategoryDIY & Gardening

Subscribe if I tickle your fancy. It's more than a mortgage-free log home. It's declaring freedom and independence.

Video types you may see:
How to videos:
-Building a Log Cabin with block and tackle
-working with logs
-using a sawmill
-Using LHBA Butt & Pass method
-felling trees
-peeling logs

Other videos:
--Ukulele, Piano, song arrangements
-knitting videos

-Miscellaneous videos
--interesting natural things