Thorough Thoreau...Part 2

Puzzles can be fun.  As a child, however, I got bored with flat cardboard puzzles easily (I sported a very limited attention span).  The puzzles that kept my interest were the three dimensional interlocking ones, oh, and Legos.  This last weekend, I got to partake in the assembly of a monster puzzle... and it was awesome!

Oak Timbers In Housed Dovetail Form

The cabin in the woods was disassembled a little over a week ago, and shipped from its original construction site to her final resting place.  With no time to waste, we started Friday night by assembling the long sills, short cross sills and housed dovetailed main joists.  Fortunately, my friend and his father are very adept at using their arsenal of hand tools and did an amazing job fitting all the joints the first time around.  As a result of their careful work, the pieces all but assembled themselves.

The raw awesomeness of the project coupled with good friends, meant that there were enough hands to make light work (a bunch of people showed up to help).  The telescopic boom forklift was also a huge help as none of us own draft horses or the ability to hire a team of forty Amish men.  Additionally, the oak timbers  had lost a lot of water since I first tried to lift them last year so they were considerably lighter.  We stood the basic skeleton of the cabin in one long day.  The days to follow (plus a weekend in the very near future) were used to build the necessary infill walls and skin the cabin to dry it in for the winter.  The spring time should see some siding and roofing go on, as it gets too cold to do much work at the site in the winter.  

Setting Sills

Just Use A Bigger Hammer
Lift With Your Knees!

Once the sill was set on Friday, we cleaned up and had some beverages.  We started Saturday on full throttle by assembling and raising the three bents, followed by the top wall plates and then we swung trusses.  Nylon lifting straps quickly became essential tools, as did the enormous commander.  The jig we used to hang the trusses was rather ingenious.  Each set of rafters were pinned at their top joint and then lifted by an A-frame support mounted to a pallet (which allowed the forklift to pick it up) and held together on the trip up by a temporary collar tie.  This method worked so quickly, safely and efficiently I have filed it away for future projects.  Once we finally got the basic frame up it was getting late so we called it a day and had some more beverages, and some home made shredded pork....mmmmm pork.

I am putting together a quick time-lapse video of the construction process and some sweet action shots which I'll post once I get it together.  

Timber Frame Fuel.
Temporary Floor/Giant Workbench

Swinging The First Bent

Top Wall Plates Set
Rafter Jig In Action

Setting Trusses At Sunset

Group Shot


  1. Thanks for all of your hard work, guidance, and for posting this so others may enjoy. Can't wait to see the rest of the pictures.
    Ol Man Dan

    1. Colin Good Job Love the site
      Thanks Warren & Barbara (Dan's parents)