36: cutting a way in

Monday, Abel as usual came to inspect my late-evening progress on the cabin. It has been my habit to get home, pull on Carharts and boots, grab a wooden tool box full of sharp things, stick the buck saw under my other arm, and slog up the trail. That evening, I'd added some logs, and suddenly, it was tall. So tall in fact that getting my tools to the interior began to seem a challenge. Tall enough to require the use of an eight foot stepladder outside and a six foot ladder inside.

Abel arrived with a cold beverage (good boy!) and news that my presence was required at "our real house" -- dinnertime! Of course, he couldn't leave without conducting a full inspection, so he started up the ladder. "Dad, I'm scared!"

He should be. I'm glad he's willing to climb, but scared enough to be careful. A fall from up here would break something for sure. The problem is, you should never stare toward where you don't want to go, whether it's an undercut rock on a river, some other guy looking for a fight, a prideful dog who just might bite, or the abyss. He's transfixed by the ground.

Me: "OK son, hold on, and I'll pull you over." I grab him under the arms from the other ladder.

Abel: "WAIT DAD!" ...and he's over the top. "oh thank you Dad. It's tall!"

This won't do. That afternoon, I stopped by the hardware store to pick up a new, sharp chain for my saw. I could use the crosscut saw for this, but my policy of applying the right tool for the right job is licensed by the quasi-accurate inclusion of the descriptor, "postmodern," in the project title, right? Anyhow, I tacked up some scrap one inch board, drew a plumb line, stuck the nose in, and created an aperture suitable for access and egress. I think I'll keep it hobbit-sized too, but before I frame it in, I'll cut down into the bottom log to create a threshold and up through one or two more logs to increase the height a bit.

Here, Abel and Angus check it out for the first time.

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I use this blog to chronicle certain aspects of my life near the Smokies. I'm building a cabin. I kayak. Sometimes I bike.