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#1727564 - 01/11/10 07:39 PM Need help building trapper cabin
snareman1234 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/18/09
Loc: Fraser Valley, British Columbi...
I plan on building a cabin. I build lots and build lots of log furniture too. so it should be fun, I have lots of help!

I have 2 main questions.

What to do about the foundation?
I have seen people put the cabin on rocks, on cinderblocks or even on a full cement foundation
I want a dirt floor so I dont have to build a wooden floor.
Dont want tooo big of a project b/c this will be done on weekends.

I plan on making it about 10x10 around there, with a bunk and wood burner, going to use it for hunting too

How long would a log last if I just sat it on the ground? what if I treated the bottom logs, say with sikkens.

I plan on cutting a small quad trail into the cabin, but dont want to bring in too many extra man made supplies, like cinder blocks, metal roofing etc.


For the roof I was going to place small poles every foot and cover roof with 10mm poly, then try and cover that with moss, or dirt and grass seed, sound good? any suggestions?


Edited by snareman1234 (01/11/10 07:47 PM)

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#1727590 - 01/11/10 07:42 PM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: snareman1234]
Pittu Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/09/07
Loc: Alaska
Unless your talking about an 8 x 8 cabin or something, I would think the amount of work required would make a wood floor worthwhile...Bury some railroad ties as posts and build a floor on those...

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#1727632 - 01/11/10 07:52 PM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: Pittu]
yukon254 Online   content
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
I have built many cabins and buildings, a lot of them can be seen at www.grizzlycreeklodge.ca I wouldnt do any of the things you are talking about, dirt floor, sod roof. Logs and moisture dont go together, it doest take long for them to start rotting. I build PWF pads and build up from there. remember this, your building is only as good as the foundation and roof. It doesnt take long to build a small cabin right, so why build one that wont last? In my mind if its worth doing its worth doing right. Sorry for this tirade! I like well made cabins! much easier and enjoyable to spend time in and I have spent my share of time in ones like you are describing and I will take a tent anyday! Get Tom Walkers log building book, its the best ever written.
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#1727644 - 01/11/10 07:56 PM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: yukon254]
Pittu Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/09/07
Loc: Alaska
yukon said what I was thinking,...only better smile

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#1727670 - 01/11/10 08:01 PM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: Pittu]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
Ditto! Ditto ! Ditto !
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#1727809 - 01/11/10 08:30 PM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: white17]
snareman1234 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/18/09
Loc: Fraser Valley, British Columbi...
I agree, I was just hoping what I thought was the right way to do it was overkill, and that sod roof and logs on the ground would be ok

So, what is this PWF pad

and is it something I could do way back in the bush?

What about cinder blocks every 6ft or so?


What would you guys recomend on the roof then?

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#1728102 - 01/11/10 09:38 PM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: snareman1234]
Boles Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/24/06
Loc: Revelstoke BC Canada

Tin roof if you can get it to site
Rectangle is more handy room wise than a square building of the same size
Good luck on the project rewarding when you have yor feet up in a well prepared/built cabin
Dan'l


Edited by Boles (01/11/10 09:39 PM)

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#1728137 - 01/11/10 09:44 PM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: snareman1234]
martentrapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Loc: Moved to Fbks, Ak.
For a cabin that will last a long (longer then you) time, the other suggestions are relevant.
If you want to do something fairly quickly, with little help and expense, your original idea is fine. I've stayed in several dirt floor, sod roof trapping cabins in the past. Once the floor dries, they are workable. Sure, the logs will rot over time.
One thing tho. Your roof poles should be close together, as in side by side. Then cover with poly tarps and then sod, dirt, moss, etc.
Dirt/sod roofs are more prone to catching fire. Have the stove pipe go well above the center pole.
mt

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#1728188 - 01/11/10 10:00 PM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: martentrapper]
snareman1234 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/18/09
Loc: Fraser Valley, British Columbi...
Ok thanks very much marten trapper!

I was thinking after watching and reading about dick proeneke

He used gravel, I could build the cabin near a stream and make where my logs will sit I could dig a trench and fill it in with gravel, that would maybe slow the rotting

I also have an alakan mill and big saw, going to have to make a door to


Edited by snareman1234 (01/11/10 10:09 PM)

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#1728243 - 01/11/10 10:16 PM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: snareman1234]
EurekaTrapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/01/09
Loc: Interior Alaska
Streams are bad! Overflow in the winter can fill your cabin.

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#1728314 - 01/11/10 10:45 PM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: EurekaTrapper]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
Stay away from the water. Get up on a knoll where the water will run away from the building.

A lot depends on the type of soil you are dealing with. Is it gravely, or silty or permafrost or..........??


If you have a mill and a good saw, cut some 1 inch boards for a floor and a roof. For the roof you'd only need a ridge pole and two purlins overlaid with 1 inch boards. For a place the size you're talking about you could get by with 8-9 foot inch boards for the roof. Plenty strong, especially covered with metal roofing. The roof should provide more than adequate coverage of your log corners. If you can keep them dry the cabin will last a very long time.

If you have access to gravel, here's a suggestion. Haul in 1 or 2 bags of cement and make some pier blocks to set your sill logs on. OR, take your fuel in 5 gallon cans. As they empty, cut the tops out and fill with gravel to use as pier blocks. Be sure to punch holes in the bottoms so they drain.

Think bigger. 12x16 is ok for two people and easy enough to heat. Have you thought about windows ? Shutters for the windows ? Bears like windows.

_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#1728355 - 01/11/10 11:01 PM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: white17]
Ol' Blister Offline


Registered: 03/18/07
Loc: McGrath, Alaska
Here's something to think about: maintenance.
My first fall at the trap line, we arrived only to find that a wolverine had dug down into the sod on the roof, almost getting through the planks underneath - almost into the cabin!
I had to remove loads of moss and dirt in order to replace the ripped tarp. Then I had to put all the dirt and moss back on the tarp.
After all that was done, I had to clean up all the dirt, pine needles, moss, and debris not only off the floor but from all the logs inside and the kitchen shelves. Messy!
I LOVE it when White catches a wolverine!!!

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#1728359 - 01/11/10 11:04 PM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: white17]
snareman1234 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/18/09
Loc: Fraser Valley, British Columbi...
Thanks so much white!

I have read lots on the subject and have done lots of woodwork and chainsawing so the notches and such should be good, and I will have 2 other guys my age around 20, to help me.

Yea a tin roof would be best hey

Once the logs are dropped and peeled and seasoned, what sort of timeline would you guys estimate, 3-4 guys working, I was thinking about 10 days, to get it all built, but none of the inside done, like stove installment or bunks

Could probably forgo the windows if the bears would be a problem!

The soil is pretty gravely, in the interior of BC

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#1728785 - 01/12/10 08:08 AM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: DHAHN]
yukon254 Online   content
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Loc: Yukon
Snareman PWF is just pressure treated lumber, with your alaskan mill just make your own lumber then treat it with a preservative. I have used a variety of foundations for cabins and this way is pretty fast and if the pads ever need replacing its easy to do. Just get your sill logs off the ground. I use my alaskan mill and flatten one side of the sill logs, then my floor boards get nailed to them, after the floor is done,(2 days if you have the logs handy) my log walls go up on the floor, this part can take some time if you are going to full scribe, (i dont anymore as most cabins need to be chinked anyway) for a "chinker" by myself the walls on a small cabin would be done in 5 days IF THE LOGS WERE ONSITE! the roof would take another few days. With the help you will have it will go much faster. Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
_________________________
do unto others as you would have them do unto you

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#1728802 - 01/12/10 08:17 AM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: yukon254]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
The soil sounds like it will be ok. I asked that to get an idea of how much bearing it would provide.

Don't build a place with no windows. You will want light and lots of it. Just plan a way to bear-proof them with boards and lots of nails on the outside when you aren't there.

I would suggest you build a door that opens out rather than in. I know everyone will tell you to make it open in because of snow. I have never had snow keep me from opening the door. However, a door that opens out can't be opened by a bear leaning on it.
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#1728829 - 01/12/10 08:32 AM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: white17]
3 Fingers Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/22/08
Loc: alaska
And maybe think about how wide your snogo is when making the door.

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#1728932 - 01/12/10 09:34 AM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: 3 Fingers]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Loc: McGrath, AK
Absolutely !! Good point.
_________________________
Mean As Nails

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#1729248 - 01/12/10 12:18 PM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: white17]
snareman1234 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/18/09
Loc: Fraser Valley, British Columbi...
3 fingers, what is a Snogo?

White 17, thanks so much for that valuable info, especially the door!!


So how about this? I really like the criticism, if the logs on the ground is absolutely dumb please say, but it would save lots of work

I will get a few loads of gravel in with the quad, just to help keep a little more moisture away from the logs. I will treat the bottom logs with a sealent, maybe sikkens. build up my walls, cut a door and window, have door open out.
Then build gable ends put up ridge log and purlins. cover these with 2x12's cut with alaskan mill. Then tar paper and metal roofing

Should the chimney go through the roof? or through side of cabin, any ideas on the jack?

For the 2x12's
should I cut them and stack them with stickers to let them season just like the logs
or should I just fall a good tree for it, let the tree season and then cut the boards when I start building?

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#1729280 - 01/12/10 12:32 PM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: snareman1234]
3 Fingers Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/22/08
Loc: alaska
snogo, snowmachine, snowmobile, etc. All the same thing.

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#1729294 - 01/12/10 12:38 PM Re: Need help building trapper cabin [Re: 3 Fingers]
3 Fingers Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/22/08
Loc: alaska
If I was gonna build one with logs on the ground I'd make the next row of logs longer so you could get a jack under if you have to replace the bottom logs. Personally I don't like a dirt floor but I suppose it depends how much time you spend there.

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