Log cabin repair experiences?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cashcrop, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. cashcrop

    cashcrop Well-Known Member

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    I have a 24' x 28' cabin my family built when I was 3. That was over 30+ years ago. I need to replace half of a spliced ridge pole and about 8 rafters on the back porch. Has anybody had experience with something like this? Do any of you have books you would reccommend me reading to help me accomplish my repair endeavor? I have at least 6 months to figure this out. Replacing spliced ridge pole has me the most intimidated by far! :eek:

    Katie
     
  2. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    More info needed.

    Is this a cathedral ceiling? Is the ridgepole milled flat on 2 sides? How is the ridgepole spliced? Butt joint? Half butt joint with bolts? etc? Are the rafters logs? What condition caused these items to need replacement?
    Is the ridgepole load bearing or decorative?
     

  3. cashcrop

    cashcrop Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure of the proper terms. So, I'll explain it to the best of my abilities! It has a partial loft which you can kneel in if you are an adult. The ridge pole is two balsam logs spliced together w/ about 6 inches on the end of each with half cut away. I suspect he used 16d nails but, don't hold me to that. I can email my brother and find that out! The ridge pole used to extend out beyond the roof structure and began to rot about 15 yrs ago. The cabin was built in 1969. In 1992 I finally convinced my Dad the part extending out beyond the roof needed to be cut off. I would guess the ridge pole diameter to be 5" - 6". I would like to replace it before I place 2" polystyrene insulation between furring strips on roof and cover w/ sheet metal so, I don't have to reroof it in my life time. Also, you should know the roof is supported by 8" - 10" W log trusses. I'm sure some think why bother replacing it but, I happen to like hanging deer & bear from the end and would like to again. I know that there are terrific preservative products for logs that didn't exist or weren't readily available to my Dad in 1969 or the 70's. Besides that I hate it every time I see that rotted end of the ridge pole when I look at the field stone fireplace chimney!!
     
  4. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    Depending on your roof structure, you may be able to cut out the old ridge pole. And then slide in a new one. Most likely the ridge pole does not hold up the rafters, if I get the idea of the roof structure right. On our log cabin, the rafters are supported by leaning against each other. The ridge pole was convenient originally, and held the building together along the length.

    But now, it would be possible to take our Poplar (balsam?) approximately 10" to 14" (varies) diameter ridge pole out (I would have to use a "sawsall" to cut the 8" spikes that go thru the 6" diameter rafters into the existing ridge pole first) and the roof would still be supported - in our log cabin. Then I could slide another one in (with a big crane) - most likely at the same time - remove some - replace some, etc.

    If I wanted to do it myself, I would roll a new ridge pole up on poles leaned agains the existing roof edge, and then roll it up the existing roof - that's how I got it up there at first - only I hadn't put the roof on yet. I used a big 1" diameter rope, fastened to the purlin on the far side, then wrapped it around the log on that was on the ground, and took the rope up and over to the other side and pulled with our little tractor, you could use a truck. It rolled right up real nice, just like all the other logs, with a little adjusting on each end of the log with a "cant-hook" to roll the log on one end so it was level.

    Next I would brace the existing rafters temporarily so I could cut out one side of the rafter, then cut out the roof at the ridge, cut out or roll out the old ridge pole, then roll in the new ridge pole, and then fix the rafters and roof, and then finally remove the temporary braces across the rafters.

    I do not think that I would splice a ridge pole - I would get a new one. Our cabin is 20'-4" x 28'-0" inside, two story, with a 45 degree pitched roof. We have about 4' over hang each end. Our ridge pole is about 36'-0" long and as I said about 10" to 14" diameter.

    We spiked our ridge pole into the ends of the cabin with multiple 12" long spikes. I also left our ridge pole and purlins sticking out beyond the roof 30 years ago - didn't know any better - seems so clear now that they can't stick out. Now I cut the off and coated the ends of all logs with a deck sealant material - its gray, I painted it on with a roller on a long pole.

    [​IMG]
    Ridge Pole, Purlins, and Rafters Leaning Against Each Other

    [​IMG]
    Ridge Pole And Purlins Cut Off

    Good Luck, Pretty big job.

    Alex
     
  5. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to help you out in this, but realistically, I'd need to know a lot more about the construction techniques used.

    Photos would be worth 1000 words. You can post them on the forum or email them to me at hoop@newnorth.net

    I seem to recall you live near Weyerhauser, no doubt in the Blue Hills. I'm about 140 miles due east of you.

    The insulation you are considering raises some concerns as to whether or not the roof is properly vented or vented at all. Metal roofs always are subject to condensation, when improper venting takes place.
     
  6. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    We put rigid insulation right on top of the 2x4s that we used for roofing. Then roll roofing on top of that. That worked fine. No condensation problems. However, this was a very inexpensive, "back-to-the-land" roofing solution.

    Metal roofing would be better - though the roll roofing lasted thirty years - we just replaced it two years ago. We liked the look of the wood from below, so that meant putting any insulation on top - we used 1" rigid - we could have much more insulation and the longer lasting (50 years plus?) type of roofing system that you are planning to install.

    If you put the insulation on top, and then the metal on wood spacers, then you should have a vapor barrier - like "tar" paper on top of the roof, then the insulation, and then an air space, then the metal. But that really wasn't your question was it?

    Please post pictures here if you want to show pictures. I would like to see them.

    Alex
     
  7. cashcrop

    cashcrop Well-Known Member

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    Alex,

    It was recommended to me that I place 2x4's on edge every 2 feet. Put 2" of insulation on roof. That would leave a 1.5 inch gap for ventelation. Put screen beneath roof cap specially suited to prevent insects such as bumble bees and wasps from burrowing in to make nests.

    Katie
     
  8. cashcrop

    cashcrop Well-Known Member

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    Alex & Hoop,

    I was told by putting 2x4's on edge every 2' covering with sheeting before attaching sheet metal I would aactually make the roof stronger. I will see if there is someplace around here I can rent a digital camara! I make no promises other than that.

    Katie
     
  9. cashcrop

    cashcrop Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend in the construction business who has built log homes & worked w/ sheetmetal roofs. Sometime this summer he is going to go down there w/ me and look to see if roof can sustain 2" insulation and sheet metal. I will just work on the walls this year. Going to use Wood Renew, Penetreate and 1010 chinking. So, between the cabin walls, the toolshed and replacing the sand point I should be kept adequately busy this summer!!
     
  10. puffdog

    puffdog Active Member

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    Seems to me it willl be a lot of time and trouble I suggest you just deed it over to me and that will free up a lot of time for you. :eek: