Building a real log cabin – 18 months on

As with all good building projects progress takes time! We are now ‘semi-finished’. The building work is long since complete. Fit-out of the interior is just about there (room partitions, doorways, wall lining, stairs, built in beds and storage, bathrooms, toilet cubicles, showers, and more). Plumbing….mmm tough one but it’s coming.

 

Square ‘Hobbit-style’ doors cut through the log walls

 

Bunk bed to the right of picture above

 

That square doorway from the other side. Stairs up to 3rd level.

 

Further to the left – toilet cubicle and sink. Stairs down to immediate right of window.

 

 

Off to a different room.

Bunk bed under dormer window

 

Same room – other direction

Now we play spot the beds – there are 5 you can just about see!

One bed in the opening above the draws – then there is a top bunk bed above that (hidden in this picture). Bunk beds to the right with draws underneath. That makes four beds. And the fifth bed – it’s flying overhead.

 

 

Including the fifth bed over head! (Built like this to customer specification)

 

With draws

 

Looking from the main entrance hall to the stairs up to the rooms inside. Doorways to the left up first flight and up second flight to the right. Split level design (nightmare).

 

And did I mention the plumbing!

 

 

 

Upgrading to a 50 KVA transformer

The ‘Davies and Daughters Towing Company’ just helped out ZESA and collected a nice heavy 3 phase 50 KVA transformer using the flat bed trailer. Then hauled it up and swapped it out with the 10 KVA unit.

 

Re-securing the transforming to the trailer part way through a bumpy ride

 

On site and waiting patiently until the old one is lowered down

 

ZESA starting to remove the old 10 KVA transformer

 

Arcing horns on the 50 KVA oil immersion transformer

 

Pulling up the new transformer onto a newly created platform

This thing weighs in somewhere around 550 kg including windings and oil.

Pulling up the new transformer onto a newly created platform

 

Thank you ZESA!

Tree House Number 2: The Porch

The porch foundations were a bit more complicated than the main tree house. The porch is supported by what I may call an inverted 3D roof truss which spans between two tree stumps. Below you can see Didymus balancing on the mid point of the truss (temporarily supported at each end).

Didymus balancing on the inverted 3D truss

Didymus balancing on the inverted 3D truss

 

To make matters more interesting you can see that the last tree stump (on the right – below) was way too short.

Inverted 3D truss

Inverted 3D truss

 

The last stump was too short

The last stump was too short!

 

Thus we used an “Alpine” style cross made of  simbi (metal) by Soko. This anchored the centre of the truss firmly into the tree stump with the help of some cement. So technically the tree house still doesn’t touch the ground (yet) – it just has a steel-cement support in one tree stump.

 

Metal cross inserted into hollowed out tree stump

Metal cross inserted into hollowed out tree stump

 

Cement being added into the stump

Cement being added into the stump

 

Now a well anchored inverted 3D truss foundation

Now a well anchored inverted 3D truss foundation

 

Porch floor and steps up

Porch floor and steps up to main house

 

Porch window

Porch window

 

Looking north through the porch

Looking north through the porch

 

Working on the stairs up

Working on the stairs up

 

Working on the stairs up

 The banisters

 

Looking north again - with roof in place

Looking north again – with roof in place

 

Porch roofing structure

Porch roofing structure and lintels

 

Its taking shape now

Its taking shape now

(Just in time for the phantom rainy season –  its a drought year)

 

 

Tree House Number 2: The Roof Goes On

Roofing continues with a layer of Alububble insulation followed by the fish scale tiling.

Edmore the roofer

Edmore the roofer

 

A roll of Alububble

A roll of Alububble

 

A layer of Alububble insulation goes on first

A layer of Alububble insulation goes on first

 

Yes that is a tree sticking out through the roof

Yes that is a tree sticking out through the roof

 

Rear view with Alububble in place

Rear view with Alububble in place

 

'Chimney' with green fish scale tiling

‘Chimney’ starts with green fish scale tiling

 

Chimney frame being hauled up

Chimney frame being hauled up

 

and lowered into position

and lowered into position

 

Chimney frame in position

Chimney frame in position

 

You get the idea

You get the idea

 

Looking good

Looking good

 

Tree House Number 2: More Walls and Roof

Edmore sighting his lines for the roofing trusses – actually the rafters. Its the foundations that are inverted roofing trusses!

Edmore sighting his lines for the roof

Edmore sighting his lines for the roof

 

Sight lines where the rafters will join the tree

Sight lines where the rafters will join the tree

 

In the tree tops with spirit level!

In the tree tops with spirit level!

 

Gouging holes for the roof beams

Gouging holes for the roof beams

 

More gouging

More gouging

 

Trees were harmed in the making of this production

Trees were harmed in the making of this production

 

Walls and rafters, and trees

Walls and rafters, trees and trusses

 

Fufura (giant butterflies)

Fufura (giant butterflies)

 

Roofing slats going on the the rafters

Roofing slats going on the the rafters

 

Trusses and rafters

Trusses and rafters

 

Roofers in action

Roofers in action

 

Roofers in action

Roofers in action

 

Didymus

Didymus

 

Is that a tree in your roofing?

Is that a tree in your roofing?

 

Nice view of the construction

Nice view of the ongoing construction

Tree House Number 2: The Walls Go Up

The foundations are in place, the floor is down so next the walls go up…

The floor to ceiling windows were made as units of four in the workshop then held in place until the walls are built to support them.

Tree house walls start to go up

Tree house walls start to go up

Didymus practicing building by interlocking planks at the corners (just in case we need to know this technique in the future …. stay tuned wood lovers…).

Interlocking at the corners

Interlocking planks at the corners

 

We layered shinda (string) in-between the planks to provide a first form of gap closing / draft proofing for where planks were not perfectly machined.

Placing string between each plank

Placing string between each plank

 

Front door frame with lintel

Front door frame with lintel

 

Delight and Edmore wall building

Delight and Edmore wall building

 

You get the idea now!

You get the idea now!

 

Tree house north wall at sunset

Tree house north wall at sunset

 

Back door frame facing west

Tree house back door frame facing west

 

Looking out of the window in Nyanga direction

Looking out of the window in Nyanga direction (west)