Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Quick Trip - floor down & window trim

My Disproportionately Hot Wife (DHW) sourced some Red Oak inexpensively and tasked me with installing it. Got er' dun!

I also installed the window trim. After a number of mock-ups (four) and stain tests (eight) we have a winner! My DHW gets the credit for style and color. I just build it. I think she has splendid taste.

We are very excited to get the wall finish on - it will be rough sawn fir but I'm still about 100 board feet short. It would be great to get it in this fall - the weather will be the deciding factor though. We've just had the first snow of the season down to 5,000 feet.

Took this picture today on the way home.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cabinets and such

Most of the inquiries I get are about the interior of the cabin. I haven't posted much because it is still a work in progress and the finish line is a ways off yet. I do have a few photos of some of the elements that I will share that I hope will keep your interest piqued.

Drawer fronts
We did a number of experiments before finding a style that we both agreed on. Rather than slabs I glued up the rippings and off cuts of the cabinet stock and framed it with a simple beveled backband. The goal was a rustic appearance - defects with mismatched contrast, not overly refined with a robust feel.

Here is another shot of the Cabelas' (love that place) hardware. They didn't have enough of a single style so we have a mix of Bear, Wolf and Deer tracks.

This is a shot of the unfinished interior window trim. Simple but labor intensive - milling, sizing and shaping. Eleven pieces for each window from raw quarter sawn Whidbey Island Douglas Fir 1x stock I purchased from the local sawyer. You'll have to pardon the alignment as it is only gravity holding it in position for the picture.

We were both inspired by this picture in Rachel Carley's book Cabin Fever and our window trim and door casing will be stained similar to this. Deb was adamant about NOT having any drywall and an all wood structure can be visually overwhelming. Our wall finish will be rough sawn fir vertical to a wainscot on the west wall and floor to vault on the south wall. The rest of the walls will be mainly covered by the cabinets, Murphy bed and other trims. The ceiling will be T&G pine though the orientation has yet to be agreed upon - translated means I'll do what she wants me to do once we get there, in the mean time I have to pretend I still have a say... LOL :^)

Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully I'll have some flooring to show you by the end of the month.


Next on the agenda is flooring. The flooring I had planned to use has turned out to be a lot more expensive than I expected. We have been debating vinyl - practical, inexpensive... - but heart really isn't into it. So... I'm looking to source some hardwood. I found a good deal on some Hickory but they only have about half of what I need. I'm also considering the laminated floors...

Hopefully I can get this done before the end of the month. I want to get another load or three of cabinets, wall finish and trim delivered and installed before the weather turns. Good problem.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A sad note

The wife of a good friend passed unexpectedly. She was quite a gal, all 96 pounds of her. In that tiny body was one of the biggest spirits I have known - unique, vibrant and strong. She recently battled cancer but the fight took its toll and left her body too frail to contain that amazing spirit. I don't have a photo but conjuring up the happy image of her flyfishing in a dress, fishing vest accessorizing with a Super Blackhawk (it was in Bear country) holstered crossdraw at her side makes me smile - even with a heavy heart.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More September Pictures

This blog's main focus is the destination, but the journey is pretty nice too...

The view just east of Washington Pass. This is the gateway to my little piece of Heaven on Earth.
One of many breathtaking peaks along the way.

This time of year the Elk Bulls gather up their harems. I stopped to get a few pictures of this band. I gave a few calls hoping to get him to come closer but all he did was stand up and bugle and chuckle back - he could see I was no threat to his girls and had none of my own that he could steal. A bit further down the road there was an even bigger herd bull with a harem of about the same size. He was a lot more agitated so we didn't stick around and let him go about his business. Just another part of why September is my favorite time of year.

Last month there was a 10,000 acre fire that burned right up to and across the Highway. The firefighters did a good job saving structures, orchards and livestock. There were a number of spots east of Loup Loup that the fire was very evident and spectacular. Would have liked to had more time to stop for pictures.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Just back from our most recent visit. The weather was AMAZING - more Indian Summer than Fall. I didn't get as much done as I had hoped - hurt my back on the third day, major bummer.

I did get the screen door installed. Its the roll up type, bought it at Home Depot ( ) and so far it has been Labrador and bug proof. Easy to install and looks good too.

One of the chores that has been neglected has been the underlayment for flooring, so I put that in before I get too many cabinets to work around. Next trip I plan to do the flooring.

We also hauled over and installed the Murphy Bed, I like that a lot too. I built it using the Create-a-bed hardware and it works as advertised. The directions are good and the construction very simple. Might try to jazz it up more if I had it to do over - the rush to get it over there before the weather changes limited the time I had to do it and of course, it was a top priority on the HDL. ;^)

Cabelas had some outdoorsy cabinet hardware. This one has wolf tracks but the picture doesn't do it justice.

Had to replace a post that had warped on the front porch. It went smoothly despite having to pull up some decking and framing hardware. I've found that any lumber that isn't dry enough or firmly anchored in multiple directions will twist-warp-distort into some pretty amazing shapes in relatively short spans. Fasten it securely or bundle it tight or end up with a bunch of wood better suited to build Viking ships.

I'll post more about this trip later. Can't wait to get back!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Keeping the Boss Happy

Building in a remote location has many challenges. Clearly defined priorities and a logistical way to make it happen keep things on track... This "goes out the window" when trumped by the dreaded "Honey Do List" (HDL). Even though it is a "recreational" property I have discovered I am still within the jurisdiction of the HDL. Despite my protests the HDL is the priority no matter what I think... Even after nearly 30 years together I didn't see that one coming... Dooh!

What is on the HDL? You know she's serious when she hands you a manila envelope that says "TOP PRIORITY" and there is a tape that self-destructs after I listen to it. Then it is up to me to figure out how can I get done in this amount of time? What will I need? Where will I get it? How do I get it there? How much can a take with me on this trip? This might be an angle to get a new (bigger) truck ... Hmmm.

I had hoped to have the exterior completely finished by now but it doesn't appear I'll have the opportunity to make much more of a dent on our next trip either. Probably get the Horizontal siding done to the top band, but shingling the gable ends is out. The post wraps and soffit trim? Nope. Finish the rail and build the stairs? Sorry...

It's a "good problem" and I will comply willingly with one stipulation -Caveman code clearly states I have to come up with some way to go fishing and leave at least one item on the honey-do list un-done. Any ideas? ;^)

Life is good!