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Thread: Adding a porch and ramp to our log cabin

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    Adding a porch and ramp to our log cabin

    (part 1 of 7)

    As described in the thread: http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ad.php?t=25176, my brother-in-law Jeff and I installed a set of French doors in our log cabin this July. Not wanting them to be "mother-in-law doors", I next needed to add a small porch and a way to get from the porch to the ground.

    As usual, I will desriber the project using extract from my weekly journal.

    2011, July 24:

    My next project was to build a small porch outside the new French doors. After consultation with Jeff, I decided to build a porch of roughly this shape:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 01 -Laying out the approximate location and shape of the porch -small.JPG 
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    with some very wide steps at the north-west corner and a gradual ramp extending from the left side along the cabin to the east and ending at a spot about as far to the east as the existing steps into the cabin.

    The first step was to remove the portion of the lower skirting board that is under the doorway. The easiest way to make the necessary cuts was with a (very sharp) chisel:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 02 -Part of the bottom skirting board under the door is being removed u.JPG 
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Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 03 -Part of the bottom skirting board under the door is being removed u.JPG 
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    Then I had room to nail a pressure treated spruce 2x4 to the beam and to “sister” another 2x4 to the first one with some galvanized spikes:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 05 -A pressure treated spruce 2x4 being nailed to the beam under the do.JPG 
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Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 06 -A second 2x4 being sistered onto the first -small.JPG 
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    Mum used to have a small rock-surrounded garden in a spot the will be underneath the new porch. Over the last 50 years a lot of roots have invaded the spot. I had quite a time removing all this to get down to bedrock:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 08 -This tool is ideal for digging in soil with lots of roots and stone.JPG 
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    I cut lengths of Sona tube with a hand saw:

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Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 09 -Cutting lengths of sona tube -small.JPG 
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    Because I was on my own, I cut them slightly longer than needed. Then, I filled each tube to a spot somewhat lower than needed and concentrated on getting the tube level. Once that had dried a bit, I drilled two small holes through the tube at the desired height, stuck two small nails through the holes and filled the tube with more concrete up to the level of the nails. Once the new concrete had dried, I cut off the excess cardboard
    with a jigsaw:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 10 -Tube is filled with concrete to level marked by a couple of nails t.JPG 
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    Here, a beam is in place on two of the posts and some joists have been installed between the new ledge on the cabin and the beam:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 11 -One beam and some joists in place -small.JPG 
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    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 10-04-2011 at 03:09 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    2,332
    (part 2 of 7)

    2011, July 31:

    I'm back in Toronto for a short visit and it certainly has been a very busy week.

    I worked all day Monday and part of Tuesday on the porch at camp and now have all the support in place for the porch itself.

    I developed some plans for the ramp. Unfortunately, the location of the base is in the lowest spot radiating from the porch. In order to make the rise as small as possible, I decided to construct a platform at the base of the ramp and, later on, build an additional ramp to that platform. I will build the platform out of timbers that I saved when I replaced our raised herb garden in Toronto. Below is a photo showing the approximate location of the platform and the ramp:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 13 -Planning for a ramp up to porch -small.JPG 
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    The surface of both the platform and the ramp will be build out of the rough-sawn spruce planks that were used to build the stage for the Hearst Public School reunion and that I was given after we tore down the stage.

    Even with the platform, the rise of 14 degrees is more than I would like. But, I simulated that rise in a temporary ramp that I built in Toronto during my brief return later in the week, and Margaret thought that it would be OK.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 12 -If done as per previous photo, the slope of the ramp would be 14 de.JPG 
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    I used some left over concrete to pour a flat base that I will eventually use for one of the ramp’s support piers:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 14 -Base poured for future pier in spot where the bedrock has steep slo.JPG 
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    I needed to cut quite a few 45 degree bevels on the end of 2x6 and 2x10. My Festool TS 75 saw cuts very accurate bevels:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 15 -I made the 45 degree cuts in the 2by lumber with Festool circular s.JPG 
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    I tried the saw both on and off the guide-rail and, in the end, found this task easier to do without the rail.

    So that I was not having to reset the Festool saw all the time, I made to 90 degree cuts with my Makita circular saw:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 16 -I made the 90 degree cuts in the 2by lumber with Makita circular sa.JPG 
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    Here are a couple of pictures of the completed porch under-frame:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 17 -Porch framing complete -view from inside -small.JPG 
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Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 17 -Porch framing complete -view from outside -small.JPG 
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    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 10-02-2011 at 01:11 AM.
    Cheers, Frank

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    (part 3 of 7)

    2011, Aug 7:

    I am back at Pellow’s Camp, this time by myself. I drove back from Toronto on Wednesday.

    Thursday morning, I was up and at at work before 6:00. I did a number of odd jobs about the place and was at the landing waiting when the co-op delivery truck got there a little after 9. Here is a photo of the cedar decking boards arriving at Pellow’s Island:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 19 -Boat load of 18 foot long cedar decking boards -small.JPG 
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    Right after unloading the boards, I went into Hearst. I came back about noon, had lunch, and put a coat of stain on the backs and the sides of the decking boards:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 20 -Staining the edges and underside of the cedar decking boards -small.JPG 
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Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 21 -The stain used on the decking boards -small.JPG 
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    Then, it was back to town again to handle some unfinisihed business. After getting back from town, I found that the decking boards had dried sufficiently to relax with a beer on the deck:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 22 -I couldn't wait to use the deck -small.JPG 
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Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 23 -I couldn't wait to use the deck -And what better use than drinking .JPG 
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    It was 32 degrees out, but comfortable on the deck (with a beer).

    I next worked on the crib for the platform that the ramp from the new porch will attach to. I made the crib out of timbers that were in our old raided herb garden in Toronto. The bottom layer of timbers was notched using a reciprocating saw:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 25 -Notching timbers with reciprocating saw -2 -small.JPG 
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Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 26 -Laying out the bottom layer of notched timbers in the approximate p.JPG 
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    A second layer of timbers was spiked to the first then the crib was positioned and aligned to the porch and cabin:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 27 -Completing and placing the crib for the ramp's base platform -small.JPG 
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    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 10-02-2011 at 04:10 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    (part 4 of 7)

    2011, Aug 7 (continued):

    I gathered about 25 rocks and placed them within the crib both this did not come close to filing it. Some other fill was also needed. When I dug the hole for La Bécosse in 2007, I piled up a great deal of clay behind the building. This stuff packs very very hard so is perfect for the job. These photos show the clay being extracted:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 28 -Obtaining clay to help fill the crib -1 -small.JPG 
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Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 29 -Obtaining clay to help fill the crib -2 -small.JPG 
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    This photo shows both rocks and clay in the crib:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 30 -Filling the crib with rocks and clay -small.JPG 
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    Here, the crib is almost full and water has been poured over the clay:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 32 -Water has been poured on the clay in the almost full crib -small.JPG 
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    Saturday morning, I slept in until 7:30, having slept for a little more than 10 hours. I started reading in a chair in the living room about 21:00 Friday night and, the next thing I knew, it was 2:15 Saturday. I then went to bed and fell asleep again right away.

    I didn’t do much work on Saturday becuase I was attending a wedding in Hearst. The only work worth noting being a start on the decking on the porch:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 32 -Four decking boards have now been screwed into place -small.JPG 
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    and on the platform for the ramp:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 34 -End board and two top boards have been screwed to the ramp platform.JPG 
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    On Sunday, in spite of getting to sleep very late the night before I awoke a little after 5;00 this morning. My reward was a magnificent sunrise. I took this picture eastward over the lake a little after 6:00:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Pink lake a little after 6 on the morning of August 7th -2 -small.JPG 
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    Again, I spent most of the day socializing, but did mangae to instal and to sand the rest of the decking boards on the porch:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 35 -All the decking boards have been installed and are being sanded -sm.JPG 
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    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 10-04-2011 at 04:08 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    (part 5 of 7)

    2011, Aug 14:

    I am still at camp, now with my daughter Kathleen and family.

    On, Monday, I applied a coat of stain to the decking boards in the morning:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 36 -Applying first coat of stain to the porch decking -small.JPG 
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    and that’s the only work that I got done all day.

    Tuesday afternoon, I completed the pier that is to go under one of the ramp beam and poured the base for the pier for the other beam:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 37 -Support pier for one ramp beam now poured -small.JPG 
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    While the concrete was still wet, a saddle was placed at an angle in the pier:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 38 -A saddle was placed at an angle in the pier -small.JPG 
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    About two hours after pouring the pier and the base, we had a violent thunderstorm that lasted about an hour. That certainly stopped work for a while. After the storm had moved on, I cleared out some trees and brush north of the ramps location to be used as a new pathway to the north side of the cabin. Here are before and after photos:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Tree removal beside ramp -before -small.JPG 
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Name:	Tree removal beside ramp -after -small.JPG 
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    On Wednesday, the weather today was truly miserable with a constant temperature of 12, constant rain, and high winds at times. The only work that I did was to pour the last pier that I need for the ramp. I did that about 8:00, covered it with a piece of plywood, then stayed inside and read the rest of the day.
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 10-02-2011 at 05:26 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
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    (part 6 of 7)

    2011, Aug 14 (continued):

    On Thursday, the weather today was the exact opposite of Wednesday what with a high temperature of 22, clear skies, a no wind. It was a perfect day to work and that is what I did for about 13 hours. My objective was to complete the ramp. I came close, but about another 3 hours is needed to complete the job.

    The ramps were in place by noon:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 39 -Ramp beams installed -View from side -small.JPG 
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Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 40 -Ramp beams installed -View from porch -small.JPG 
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    I’m building a rail along the outside edge of the ramp. It is necessary to notch some of the boards to fit around the post for the rail and, since this is rough work, I used a reciprocating saw:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 41 -Rough work so I cut the notches with a reciprocating saw -small.JPG 
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    Here is a photo of the ramp at the end of Thursday's work:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 42 -The ramp at the end of the day on Thursday -small.JPG 
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    On Friday, I worked very hard getting everything ready for the arrival of the Harris family and I was quite tired by the time that they arrived at the Marina (a little before 18:00). As well as cleaning up, I finished enough of the ramp that it could be used.

    On Sunday morning, I finished building the ramp. Here are a couple of photos:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 43-Finished ramp from the east with Ethan and Jonathan on the porch -sm.JPG 
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Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 44-Finished ramp from the north with Jonathan on the porch -small.JPG 
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    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 10-02-2011 at 05:38 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
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    (part 7 of 7)

    2011, September 8th:

    This is my last full day at the island this year . I have been here for a little over a week with my brother John and our friend Chris Lewis. We have had great weather except for last Sunday which was miserable. That day we mostly read, talked, and played cards, but I did take time to decide on the size and location of the steps for the new porch and used a few boards to simulate their location. Here are a couple of photos:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 45 -Approximate position of the steps -from the deck -small.JPG 
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Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 46 -Approximate position of the steps -from the ground -small.JPG 
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    I decided to build a base platform for the wrap-around stairs on the new porch and then to pour concrete in places to provide a level base for the platform. The ground is uneven and the geometry of the stairs is complicated, so I think that this will work out better then pouring the concrete first. Here is a picture taken when I am just starting to lay out the platform:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 47 -Laying out the bottom level of support for the steps -small.JPG 
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    The parallel cracks on the porch are a big help.

    Here is a photo of the frame after a bit more progress:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 48 -Almost finished the bottom level of support for the steps -small.JPG 
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    On Wednesday, I leveled the base platform for the steps, to determine where concrete piers should be placed, and to poured three of those piers:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 49 -Levelling the step base platform & determining where to place concr.JPG 
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Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 50 -The first 3 piers for the base platform have been poured -small.JPG 
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    Today, was mostly a day to pack up and close up, but I did take time to place the stair platform on the three piers that I poured yesterday:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Porch and ramp for cabin 51 -The stair base platform is resting on first 3 piers as well as some.JPG 
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    Next year, I will pour a few more piers, build the stairs (they will have cedar treads and risers) and cover up the pressure treated wood at the edge of the porch with cedar.
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 10-02-2011 at 06:15 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
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    Man Frank you really kicked it on 4,5,6,& 7............
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

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    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
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    6,098
    Frank, I am glad to see you took time to enjoy the sights, sounds and glory of Pellow Island. You have had me concerned that you are to busy to take the time to stop and smell the roses so to speak. I had never heard the term mother in law door before, understood the meaning but had never heard it before. Looking great so far!!!!!!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  10. #10
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    Sure looks like a beautiful and peaceful place.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

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