Friday, April 5, 2019

0 Bear Teeth Cabin Vol. 4 - How to Build a Kids Cabin

In this installment, we'll be talking about the overlook, bunks & hatch.

The overlook was an important part to me. Everyone likes to get up off the ground and be able to look out over the land - and being that this cabin is on a hill, it's even cooler to look out and see the house and road below you in the distance. When I got the windows from my uncle, covered in Vol. 2, I also got three round fence poles. They were absolutely perfect for lookout supports. 

I started by drilling holes in the deck to put in dowel screws that I'd originally bought for the stairs project, and threaded the poles onto those.

I then built a deck of 2x6 treated boards, supported them with the three poles and toenailing in deck screws, and then added live edge boards I'd bought a while back as the decking.

This is the way it stayed for the winter, having no idea how I was going to do the railing.

Moving on, I focused my attention to the bedding inside. The original plan was to just do two L-shaped beds, one ground level and one up above, but the more I thought about it, I wanted to do a full platform on the top with a hatch, so I built the lower L with 2x4 boxes, and then focused on creating the upper platform.

With the framing in place, I cut 3/4" plywood sheathing panels to size and attached them to the bed frames. With this configuration, you could easily sleep 6 kids, or 4-5 adults.

Next, I needed to figure out how to make the hatch safe so someone could stand on it yet light enough for the kids to lift. First, instead of a solid piece, Oliver actually had the idea of making it "like a jail" so that the light could filter through to the main floor. I used leftover balusters and other 2x2 boards to create exactly what he was thinking, and attached it with some old door hinges.

I thought at first I'd use some sort of rope and weight system to lift it, because it did end up VERY heavy. Around this time, I'd also replaced Becky's hatch lift arms on her Volvo, and suddenly it hit me - that could be used for this as well! I moved the hinges to the long side and added a cheap gas-filled lift arm and suddenly it was super easy to lift, and prevented anyone from dropping it on someone's head or fingers.

In the next post, I'll cover the railings, door, wall coverings and more!


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