Saturday, December 11, 2010


Our winter weather is finally coming on! About time, too. I'm tired of listening to old-timers at church explain about how the snow used to be a foot or more deep on Thanksgiving Day, "way back when." We have had a dusting of snow, but it's been cold several days in a row. We're starting to see things like the stream freezing up. It's gratifying to see, I must say. I'm tired of the lack-luster chill-but-not-cold of a played out autumn. As you can see, the freezing process is very beautiful, and it paints a lovely picture for those who pause to look at it.

The holes have been dug for my cabin, as I mentioned before, but I'm actually doing a bit of thinking before putting the corner poles into place. Wood (especially green wood) that's put into the ground just as it is will probably become food for either critters or bugs. Rot can set in, too. I have a variety of options, but haven't decided which one to use yet.

First, I could tar the ends of the poles where they'll go into the ground. that's what they do with telephone poles and it works relatively well. Nothing wants to eat it, and it'll probably repel rodents as well. This would also keep rot from setting in. However, it's also not so great for the soil and the environment. I'm questioning it.

Second, I could create foundation piers, similar to those pictured to the left (click image to enlarge). I could go the cheap route and put the sill onto flat rocks. I could make cement piers using a cardboard form extending out of the hole in the ground. I also could do a combination, of the wooden pole and the stone base pier, by putting my wood pole into the hole and then backfilling it with good quality gravel and fill. The sill would then go on top of the pole, or possibly be saddle bolted in place.

There are so many ideas involved in this whole process. I'm doing a lot of reading, because I am not interested in re-creating the wheel. However, I'm also not throwing out any ideas just because I can't find them online or in a book. My place is going to be so tiny that techniques that would be useless on a larger building might be quite practical for mine.

It's interesting. It's fun. I'm finding myself very involved in thinking it through and making plans. I'm actually contemplating making a little mock-up of the cabin using either small sticks or Popsicle sticks. This would give me an idea of what it would look like, and at the same time if I use a properly scaled size, will provide me with a good feel for the angles and spaces involved.