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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:


Building w.s. – Dormer windows covered

August 21, 2017

The summer is only a faint memory by now (no wonder because there wasn’t much summer to talk of) and the autumn is moving in (too) quickly. Therefore, I continue my roof building marathon as long temperatures allow me.

I managed to cover now also all 6 dormer windows with the underlay which had to attached in temperatures above 10 degrees (because of the glue holding two lanes together).

Next up in my To-Do list is attaching as much of the tar shingles as possible. Officially, one is not supposed to leave the roof covered with only the underlay during the winter. Only the tar shingles give the required strength. I don’t think that this is the case for any kind of winter and any kind of roof but as more I get done before temperatures drop below 6 degrees highs during daytime the better. 6 degrees is the minimum temperature to attach the tar shingles.

The sandwich includes metal sheets covering the edges of the roof, a straight tarpaper piece and on top of that the actual tar shingles.

Within 6 hours I managed to attach 9 rows of tar shingles, moving the scaffoulding 3 times from left to right and from right to left the entire 14 meters in width (I wish I would have a proper scaffolding around the entire roof!)

 The next lanes require me to work on the dormer windows first again. But I got another side of roof with 9 rows to go…

While the workshop is now protected from above from the elements I do have another problem: The sides are still wide open…

Before the first snow I need to do something about the openness on the sides…

Building w.s. – All covered

August 6, 2017

Running out of vacation (and even-half-decent weather), the roof works come to a sudden stop after three weeks of progress. The worst summer ever! in Finland made constructing a roof not much easier. The constantly changing weather conditions, from little rain to a lot of rain to rainforest monsoon, slowed things down considerably. But after a bit more than half of the vacation half of the rood boards were attached.

The extended scaffolding came in handy several times and – when secured against the wall for more stability – actually felt quite safe. Without attaching it to the building, the climb up to 6 meters standing on loose gravel did not feel like “you are going to live a long and happy life”.

After another 10 days, all roof boards had made their way up the building. Not all the underlay has been attached because the last four days of rainy conditions made that impossible. I simply didn’t feel like attaching the underlay on top of wet roof boards.

So, the building is now mostly covered, at least with roof boards, but the dormer windows are still wide open and it’s raining through that gap all the time. Closing the dormer windows is the next job to get done, but that’s for another time…

Building w.s. – Topping out

July 25, 2017

“May god bless this building, the people living and working here!”

More than half of the summer vacation is still left (glass half full principle!) and we are able to pop some sparkling wine and celebrate the topping out of the workshop roof.

The triangles, which form the top of the roof, have been assembled on the roof and therefore the load-bearing structure of the roof is ready. The lifting of the triangles was a little complicated. 16 pieces, each weighing some 25 kg, had to make their way 6 meters up. The primary option was to call our friendly helper with his multi-purpose tractor. But at 65 Euro an hour I thought whether there was another way to lift them to the top of the roof. I opted for an electrical winch from Biltema:

This simple winch set me back 149 Euro and it can lift up to 200 kg vertically. Instead of lifting them up vertically however, I pulled them up on the side.

The final step was to attach the beams extending 1 meter over the edge of the building.

Building workshop – framing the dormer windows

July 10, 2017

Summer. Sun. Sisu.

Finnish Sisu* is what it seems to take to build the mansard-style roof with 6 dormer windows. After another weekend, I  only managed to complete on roof of a dormer window to make that side of the roof weather-proof. 5 dormer windows still to go. And I have attached only the minimum underlay. The tar shingles and all decorative plates and boards are still missing. Well, I did also some other stuff this weekend, not to mention that I completed the last bit of the roof that remained undone last weekend.

The dormer windows are very much constructed from scratch from long boards. On the photo below you can see the basic frame that is all cut to measure and screwed in place.

to be continued in two weeks…

*more about sisu