Milling wood

The posts and some of the beams of our cabin were milled using a chainsaw mill which we set up on the island. Approximately 20 trees were milled altogether.
Local The logs were located just down the hill from us, given to us by a neighbour who’d cut them from their lot
Low-cost We did pay $5,000 for the mill and had to buy a new chain-saw but we still feel that for the quality of wood we obtained, we would have had to pay more if we’d purchased it.
Low-impact ( The logs were re-claimed from fallen trees. Our mill was able to cut pieces a larger mill might not have been able to.
Loveable/liveable: The beams are beautiful!
Long-lasting: We were able to use thicker than essential pieces of wood for most of posts and beams.
Logical: Logical is probably the trickiest one to assess. The milling took much longer than anticipated, and was fairly unpleasant work. Kevin had chainsaw hand (a numbness caused by the vibration of the saw) as well as allergic reactions to the sawdust. That said, there is something amazing and right-feeling about building the house from trees grown right on the island. Does that make it logical? Hmmm.

The looking back on the posts post

I recently found this piece of paper lying around the cabin. It’s a record I made of a milling session when Kevin was cutting the logs into posts. This documents the amount of time (2 hours) it took to mill 3/4’s of one post for the foundation.
Here are some more photos from that fun but exhausting time when we were milling and building the foundation.


Decking discs and divine dining

It’s been a great spring so far. We’ve had mint from our planters, good times on the green roof and of course the nearly completed exterior siding!
But even among great weekends this weekend was special.

In the work department, Kevin finished some milling and Mike and Malcolm started on the much -anticipated decking.

is that decking going down? oh my so it is!

lovely lovely decking

The work was great but the fun was even better. Saturday lunch was tacos and a fabulous homemade lemon cake that Mike brought. Afterwards we had a lesson in disc golfing on the course that Malcolm designed.  Dinner was some amazing halibut which Malcolm brought down from up north, Then Sunday we had cold smoked salmon, also courtesy of Malcolm and our first inaugural game on the completed 12 target course!

Halibut, collard greens, corn and roasted potatoes onions and fennel
With room for strawberries and homemade biscuits
Work it all off with decking and disc golfing!
Malcolm shows us how it’s done
Looking for lost disks
Watch out for the water trap
Somewhere in the distance is the 11th target!

Now Malcolm says I have bo excuse not to priint out the map and score cards. so watch for that soon!

So to recap where we are as of the middle of June 2013:

  • The exterior siding is almost completed and only awaiting the installation of a bathroom window to be done.
  • The decking in the breezeway and guest cabin area has been started
  • The green roof is mostly planted and growing nicely
  • The disc golf course is finished
  • Life is good!

June report

This past weekend was frustrating and lovely all at the same time. K spent time on the mill working to cut the facia that will go around the cabin but unfortunately the chainsaw gave him some trouble.

Last week’s addition of the french doors has really made it possible to see what the cabin will look like in its finished state. We also made some design decisions that have been hanging over our heads for a while including the roof of the guest cabin (same as main roof) the layout of the kitchen and the upstairs loft space.


From Jun 2011

The bird nests from the past few weeks all seem to be empty but the squirrels and woodpeckers are out in full force. Also spotted a medium sized pale brown spotted frog in the pond for the first time.

Bear rumours are starting to swirl around the island again, but so far no definitive sightings (thank goodness!)


July has been rushing by and we’ve hardly had a chance to catch up. But here is what’s new…

In the one step forward two steps back department our skookum new fridge is on the fritz. But in the serendipity department, it looks like we may be able to use a neighbours propane fridge for the summer. Serendipidty also got us a great new toolshed for use closer to the actual construction site. Thanks to our neighbours Andrew & Yaz and Nick and Janet for giving us a chance to give these items a new life with the L cabin.

Big thanks go out to Drew who helped out in June with the decking on the power tower, Maddy who brought energy and organic food in June and her friend Jordana in July. Their pickaxing and shovelling ‘made level what was not’ as Kevin put it, and made the new toolshed possible, and their patience in assembling it was commendable. ‘Chip’ aka Kevin N came back from his journeys away and wielded a chainsaw as well as helping build our first scaffolding. Pat brought real crab sushi (from fresh caught crab!) and blueberry scones, and if that wasn’t enough, taught us how to make shakes and split rail fences.

Milestones and highlights:

  • discovering we have a) enough posts and beams for the bottom floor and b) only nine left until we are done
  • Split rail fence 101 – very fun
  • Shakes 101 – hmm… maybe we don’t want to use shakes too much on the house….
  • new tool shed – so handy, so organized!
  • first scaffolding for construction
  • beginning of covering power tower teck
  • log pile continues to grow