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Building w.s. – 3 dormer windows

February 4, 2018

True winter in Southern Finland! It was snowing 20 to 25 cm from Thursday to Saturday. I decided to take a day off from my office job and work on the dormer windows.

The beauty of working with wood is that one can work almost in any temperature. As long the compressor runs to power the pneumatic nail gun and as long the saws are co-operating, there are no limits to the creativity of the builder.

Even that I had the scaffolding available I decided to work from the inside. After attaching the windows and filling the gaps with polyurethane (the winter edition), I built the supporting structure for the wind proofing boards.

The view from the windows is nice but unfortunately one will not be able to enjoy it often because there isn’t any floor on that level of the workshop building.

I built one dormer window already at a previous weekend. On this extended weekend I built another 2 dormer windows. I planned to continue on Sunday, but the temperatures dropped from -8 degrees on Saturday to -18 degrees. And that is simply too much for me. I anyway can’t work yet on the sides of the dormer windows because there is a bit too much snow around, but it would have been nice to start with the three dormer windows on the other side of the building.

Meanwhile, winter is settling over Villa Linnea blanketing everything in fresh snow…


Building w.s. – Sun from the South

December 31, 2017

The Southside of the workshop its two windows for more light into the building. With the North recently completed I took on the challenge of paneling the Southside during the Xmas break and New Year.

The frame structure was naturally already such that I could insert the windows once the paneling was completed.

I assumed that the paneling of the Southside would be slightly more complicated than on the Northside because of the windows. But because I didn’t need to cut the boards to exact measure it was actually a bit faster to do. The cutting of the wind proofing board and the log-style panels along the window opening turned out to be destructive in regards to the sabre-saw. I was reminded that cutting with a blade designed for wood one shouldn’t cut through metal. When I cut through one nail which I accidentally placed too close to the window frame I ruined the blade. And being a bit remote in the countryside buying a replacement blade for my Bosch sabre-saw was a bit inconvenient. I continued with the blade designed for cutting through metal which is a bit shorter than the one designed for wood. Because that one is shorter I managed to hit the frame with the front of the blade which ruined that one as well. Well, the rest I cut with good old manual power.

Once the windows were attached (which takes a mere 30 minutes) I required pretty much a whole day to cut the covering boards and the window tin. For the polyurethane I used the winter version which works until -5 degrees. The ready wall completes another phase of the workshop building project.

Building w.s. – Log-style paneling

November 26, 2017

On a rainy November day, nothing is nicer than nailing panels 5 meters above the ground. Well, this weekend I finally finished the paneling of the first side of the workshop. The log-style panels (175×20 mm) are nailed onto the vertical spacer boards that allow the air to flow between the panels.

The first panel is the most difficult one because it should first snugly on top of the last log creating (at least theoretically) the impression of one massive log wall. I cut those boards 4 times before I was about happy with the fit (I will still try to improve on the other side of the building).

I chose to nail these panels with twisted nails that are about 45 mm long. The “twist” should prevent that they loose over time while the nails itself are not that thick. I hammered the nails flush with the surface of the panels and from below you can’t really recognise them.

It took a total of three days to do the paneling of one side (well, I’ve gotten lazy because of the weather). But cutting each panel to size at the slope of the roof does not exactly promise quick progress.

I was satisfied to see the final result:

While one can recognise clearly the difference between logs and the panels that is mostly due to the fact that the panels are already painted once while the logs aren’t yet. I painted panels in the last days of the autumn, one by one. Painting the panels once attached has the risk of revealing unpainted areas once the panels dry and therefore shrink.

Another side closed off…

Building w.s. – Drive-Through Ceiling

October 15, 2017

Last weekend was dedicated to attaching the ceiling boards under the drive-trough.

This time we ordered pre-painted boards. For the Villa we ordered regular boards (95×20 mm) and painting turned out to be a major pain in ar?e. Until today, there are still places of the Villa’s terrace where we have painted the ceiling boards because painting over the head is cumbersome and with sawn boards slow compared to planed boards.

The job of attaching the ceiling boards is again one of those where one would need that magic third hand. One hand holds the board, the other one the pneumatic nail-gun (4.5kg!), and the third one adjust the distance to the previous board. And even when you have a helper the co-ordination is not exactly trivial on a limited space on the scaffolding. Well, the job got done within a day (6 meters times 3 meters) and the result looks very good.

Building w.s. – Side walls contd.

September 30, 2017

With the days getting shorter and winter knocking on the door soon, the focus of the workshop project has moved from actual building to preserving the unused materials. The entire family worked on moving several packages of materials from the yard into the workshop building. This time we moved the support boards for the indoor ceiling panels and the remaining wind-roofing boards into safety.

The remaining time I spent on continuing with the side walls. I cut the beams and built the frame for the windows.

I also attached the spacer boards on top of the wind-proofing boards which are supposed to let the air float behind the wooden panels and the wind-proofing boards.

Overall, this strengthens the structure of the side wall giving us better chances to get dry through the winter…

But when will winter come…?

Building w.s. – Sides closed

September 10, 2017

With rain falling all weekend, work efforts shifted from roof works to closing off the sides of the building. While the first 3 meters of the workshop are made of massive logs, the last 2,5 meters are designed to be built using a frame structure.

The first step to building the 5 layers of the wall is to attach the 70×42 mm beams to the roof trusses. The manufacturer suggests to attach them with four 3,4mm thick nails but I used four 6 mm screws instead.


Next up are 42×45 beams between the top and the bottom of the roof truss. A bunch of 75mm nails shot from the pneumatic nail gun do the trick nicely while cutting the beams for a tight fit required some try and error approach.


The 12 mm wind-proofing boards close of the structure. Again, 75 mm nails every 10-15 cm should do the trick.


The wind-proofing boards should get me through the winter. They can get temporarily wet as long there are some periods when they can dry again. But maybe I get around to attach still the missing 2 layers before the first snow comes…

Building w.s. – Doors

August 28, 2017


I installed the doors: three storage room doors and the garage door (above is the photo shot through the hole for the lock of the garage door.

We purchased the doors already a while ago in Hämeenlinna at the Suomen Ylijäämävarasto. We haven’t prioritised assembling them because it was raining still from the top. But with the roof covered, we could also plug these “holes” in the walls before the first snow is coming…

The doors itself are ready (however the lock mechanism came separately), but the door frame had to be assembled first before it could be screwed into place:


The holes for the screws attaching the frame to the logs had to drilled. I’m used that these are ready made in the door frames but that’s something missing for these slightly cheaper doors. Few screws and a couple of polite touches with the hammer later, the frame is ready.


Installing them in the log frame is a part which I don’t particular care for because of the endless procedure of adjustments of the 6 screws until the frame is both horizontally as well vertically in the right place.

The garage doors had to be lifted in by two persons (the other half coming in handy here) due to their weight. I still need to attach the lock and bolts to keep them in place:



I installed the other doors myself. Attaching the doors is a thing of minutes. However, attaching the handles and the lock turned out to be a 2 hour project…

I probably made all the possible mistakes one can make for such a small project: I took the locking mechanism for the left handed doors (unlike the doors the locking mechanism is not symmetric) instead of the right handed one. I also measured the depth from the door frame to the locking mechanism on the wrong side of the door which meant that the lock cylinder was too deep for the key to turn. Hence, I had to first disassemble the whole thing to switch the locking mechanism and then later half of all parts again to put the lock cylinder into the right place. Well, the next time it should take me an hour less, but there is still plenty of cutting with the grinder to be done to customise all screws and other parts to the required length.


The door handles are 25 Euro pieces from K-Rauta. The locks are typical Finnish Abloy locks. We decided to use the same key than we use for the sauna also for the workshop building. Having made 4 additional locks for existing keys set us back 560 Euro. I really wish somebody would be break that semi-monopoly of Abloy apart one beautiful day.


The large window has been in place already for a while. The window you see in the above photo is actually the former window of the living room of the Villa (and the window which was delivered with the workshop is now in the Villa). We decided to swap the windows from the Villa to the workshop because we did not want that big beam in the middle to block our view to the lake anymore (we also decided later on to remove the decorative crosses in the Villa for an even more undisturbed view to what I call my log home-TV (simply looking out the large window).

Next up, closing of the sides of the workshop…

Update: Below a photo of the replacement window in the Villa: