Bringing In The Big Guns!

We are finding ourselves in the final 2 layers of logs. I can’t believe it. The telehandler and Jeremiah leave us in a few days. We are busting a move to get the logs stacked and rafters up before we lose them.

Now back to log home updates! The title of this posting is called Bringing In The Big Guns. On Sunday, Steve and I came out here to stack logs. We are getting closer and closer to the stacking finish line. This got him thinking about the Ridge Pole log, that goes across the house, from RPSL to RPSL (it will sit on top of those two vertical logs and hold up our roof).

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We had a dilemma. If we are going to use T-Rex (our WONDERFUL telehandler) to lift the huge log up, over the wall, and extend all the way out, and as high as it can extend, to reach the tip-top of the vertical logs….would the enormous weight of the log cause the telehandler to tip and fall?

Hmmmm. Here’s the log in question. The longest one in the picture.

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The diameters are 24 and 18. It’s 43 feet long and weighs a little less than 6000 pounds. Loblolly Pine.

After much thought and a very unsuccessful pre-test (nearly destroyed the telehandler and scared me half to death), Steve determined that it was just too dangerous to risk it. There is one other log that is half the weight of this big one, that could work, but it wasn’t as straight or pretty.

About this time, Charlie brought another friend of ours from church over. Arthur Locke. Both men have building experience.

Conveniently, Arthur used to build log homes.  (What have I been saying about the Lord’s guidance and timely provision?). These men did NOT know about our status and dilemma over the ridge pole log. They were only coming out for a “random” visit (but God sent them).

Steve told them the problem, and after the three of them put their heads together a while, they told Steve to rent a crane. In Steve’s mind, this was a great and the easiest solution… but how much would it cost??

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Equally as “convenient”, our neighbor Jacob came by right then. They told him about the dilemma and crane idea. He said that he had a good friend who rents cranes! (SERIOUSLY??  God’s timing!)

Steve was excited, but still wondered how much it would cost. $500? more??
Though he’d likely do it no matter what.

Jacob called the next morning and told us it would be $220! Done!! The crane is coming Wednesday (tomorrow, Feb 20th) at 2:00, for any of you who might want to come watch the Ridge Pole go up and see the crane in action. Of course, if you can’t, you know I’ll be taking zillions of pictures and will wallpaper the b-log with them!

Before I sign out for the day, I thought I’d add a few minor things. Here is a picture of our Pines just after being peeled:

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After air gets to it, they turn a striped brown:

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After we are done erecting the walls and roof, we will use a power washer to strip all the brown off and get to the core whitish color.

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They will get sanded for smoothness, and then we will treat the logs with a solution for bug and moisture repellency (is that a word?).

When it dries, we will stain the logs inside the house and out. A warm honey color. Ideally, the exterior color will be like this:

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The inside will be the same. Ideally stained something like this:

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We are almost there! Patience, Gretty. Patience.

Right now, I am the “Feet On The Ground Girl”. They are so high up…

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… 10 courses (layers) up (the total will be 12), I have to retrieve and send up tools, plug them in, throw water bottles up, extra rebar, run the telehandler, check the wood on the smoker (TOP priority!) for our lunch, etc. and most important, sit and wait for my next chore while blogging….which is exactly what I’m doing now.

The guys are still fitting in time to practice their Olympic Log Home Builder sporting events practice.

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As I was typing this, they retrieved the Ridge Log. It’s time to trim down the RPSLs (vertical logs) and peel the Ridge. To give you a better idea of its size, look at these pics….

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I shot the boys up in T-Rex to lop off the unnecessary tops of the RPSLs.

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Then Steve shot Jeremiah and I up as high as T-Rex would go.  In a few of these pictures, Jeremiah and I are way above the Oak trees that are taller than our house.  The walls of our house are 25 feet.  The roof even higher.  The trees…even taller.   I LOVED it!!!

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20130219-170438.jpg Can you see Steve in T-Rex?

Before I wrap up this post, I want to pause and express my (our) deepest gratitude. Please bear with my gushiness for a second, but I want these individuals to know how appreciated they are.

First off, after re-reading the last post, I saw that I failed to mention Gina and Charlie in the final paragraph of participants on Saturday’s work day. Though they didn’t labor that day, they have been unbelievable since day one of not only this log building process, but since day one, literally, of buying this land.

Through providing endless wise counsel every step of the way, providing many meals, snacks, and desserts, and drinks, and giving up whole days to lay piping, clean up the work site, helping with plumbing and electrical (of the McGuire House), and more random visitations filled with smiles and encouragement (and bringing visitors with them) than I can count, “thank you” just doesn’t seem enough. They are pure gold, as human beings, and it is my wish for all of you (in your various corners of the globe…7 countries that I know of so far…reading this right now) that you know them. They redefine the word “friend”. They and Dixie, Steve’s mom, have been invaluable parts of the backbone of Cottonwood Creek since its birth 2 years ago.

In my car-lessness (is that a word?), Dixie has gotten my kids to church, piano lessons, dance, home, and has even given over her vehicle. (My car needs a new motor…a $3900 set back. oh well.). She has had tons of hot meals and desserts ready for our evening arrival after long days of work, which has been particularly handy when I’ve had no car to take grocery shopping, nor have been able to get home to cook.

Can’t wait for tomorrow!

click here for the next post: “Rain and Crane“…

Or, if you’re new to this blog, click on “What is Cottonwood Creek” to learn what this is all about.   Or, click on “Welcome to Cottonwood Creek” to read the beginning of our story, and when we built our 130-year old Bed and Breakfast.  Or, you can start at the beginning of our log home building project by clicking on “What to Vegas and logs have in common?” 

5 thoughts on “Bringing In The Big Guns!

  1. Hi Annette! Thank you! Unfortunately, I can’t change people’s email addresses. In fact, I don’t receive them. When a person chooses to follow the blog, WordPress handles the email addresses. I don’t even know how to look them up. So you might need to re-follow us using your new email address. So sorry for that inconvenience. But I thank you for reading and for the encouragement!! Gretchen

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  2. I would like to change our email address to: japhillip64@gmail.com for some reason it will not change the address. I also think your home is WONDERFUL, it is so much fun building it with you.God Bless Ya’ll Allene

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