Sunday, September 25, 2011

When You Gonna Move In

How many times do I have to answer that question? Too many and at this point it looks like November. I did not realize how much stuff I still have left to do and I am working solo for the most part and well I am not just that good of carpenter. I have never done any finish work so if I have learned anything over the past 9 months it is measure twice cut once or in other words, take your time and make double sure you have it right before you do something irreversible.

So here is the "famous window" that I have been talking about. It mounted well and I am very pleased with it.
The new work space is going to work out fine. I have all the indoor space I need to continue to work on what is left on the punch list over the next several months. It will start a consistent rain in a couple of weeks I am sure so I need to get as much done as I can. I sealed all the windows and will be putting up trim some time in the next several days.

These boards above are cut down 2x4's to be 2 1/2 inches wide. I stained them and am going to use them at the top of the wall to separate the ceiling boards. They should provide a good transition piece. As you can see I have part of my deck done. I am going to put a roof on them that is a mirror of the house roof just a little lower. I am hopeful to have a dry environment on the deck so that I can set up my trainer for my road bike. I am eager to start riding again as I have give it up for 2011 to build my mobile cottage. Off the deck is the mini orchard, my view.

In the fore ground is out of control Rhubarb that might find it's way into a pie if I have time. I was able to spend a little time in the cottage and got the loft boards in. I am pleased with how much room I have up there. It is larger then I thought it was going to be. Plenty of room for my bed and some storage space.
The next "big project is building a catchment system prior to the rain, so I will have to start on that this week. Here is a picture of my catchment tank and my brother and his dog hamming it into my blog. Glad to have his house to finish this project and a place to stay for my first winter.
For those of you who are interested it is a Bushman 205 gallon tank. More to come on the catchment system in a later post.

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Mini Escape Window

As many have noticed I have a gaping hole in my cottage. It was in need of a window and I have made a move to get one. I just installed the Window for the bottom, pictures will come on it but I have the diagram for the little loft window. It is a tilt out so it will be an escape route as well.
I am very excited about the first window I had Mackenzie build for me as I installed it tonight. Sorry it was dark and I did not get a picture. In lieu of that I am posting the order I placed for the upper window. It will give a great look to the business end of the Mini Cottage.

Here is my punch list for the week through Sunday. It is getting dark by 7:30pm and I don't have lights at this point so gotta get the project moving.

Put up Trim on corners and Windows
Finish Deck platform
Roof structure for deck 1
Roof structure for deck 2
Cut and place the 2x6 lead loft board
Layout the loft plywood
Finish the 1st Floor T&G
Do the Ceiling T&G
Cedar Trim Board
Plugs & Covers
Plastic the upper loft Window (October 8th delivery)
Adjust the bolt lock

Sunday, September 18, 2011

On The Road To Phase III

Dundee, Oregon or bust. And as we dropped her off the jack stands I was really hoping it was not "bust". I had a couple of 4am wake ups thinking about blowing a tire, or trailer frame breaking. Yikes. I never had a fear of the cottage imploding since we built it as stout as you can build any wood structure. So down she came and up the driveway we went.

So the first big hurdle was accomplished. Now the much does she weigh. I had the trailer built for 10,000 pound capacity. I was really hoping for a 7 as the first number on the scale weight card. An 8 would be okay, a 9 is scary and a 1 would be a major challenge in having to find another way to move her around.

First stop on Sunday morning was the scale, with warm coffee in hand I stood at the counter and waited, toe tapping. We had a beer bet going and I bet on 8200, Stet was in at 8300, Bob my brother and chase car driver was in at 9300. Still more toe tapping while Sharon was playing with the key board on on the scale machine.
After what seemed like 20 minutes the verdict was in. I think everyone one owes me beers. Anything by Full Sail Brewing would be fine.
 The drive down I-5 went off without a hitch. The cottage was happy as a clam at high tide riding at 52 mph. At 55 she started to waggle a bit, we never got to 65. I stopped to check on things and let the dog pee. And NO it is not my dog it is Bob's. He calls it his chick magnet, from what I hear tell it worked great, he's running with a hot one :-)

 Well we made it and I have a lot of work to do. I am excited for the many places my cottage will live but this is a great first stop. To the left is a large garage and workshop. So don't think my blogging days are over. The punch list is long. I will be excited to share the next phase of My Mobile Cottage Building Journey.

A Heartfelt Thank You

At some point I knew the Mini Mobile Cottage was going to leave Olympia. The whole idea was a stretch for me. To think that I could build a "Tiny House of my own" since I had zero skills to bring to the event. It was more of a dream then anything I could put into reality. It took a community to make it happen but central to community was Stet, who was dedicated, insightful, and full of experience.
To look back at the beginning of this project, we had talked about the 16ft trailer for the cottage and after a bit of thought I knew I wanted it longer. I thought putting the porch on the trailer didn't make sense for me as I would be giving up living space. So when I showed up to the work shop with my new 24 ft trailer, 5 ft of tongue making it 29 ft long I got a bit of a stare from Stet. The work shop was 30. Not much room to work on the back wall.  It was the first of those moments of "what have you gotten me into".
The transition from trailer to cottage happened pretty fast, that whole building walls part was a hoot. It was easy to see progress every day of work. I could be a framer it is a lesson in instant gratification.

It is the milestone moments that jump out to me, moving the trailer in for the first time and seeing if we can close the door, the first wall, pulling it out to start phase two, putting the roof on, putting the door in. These were all great moments but there were those challenges as well. Having to run the propane heater to thaw the Liquid Nails, wearing gloves cause it is 10 degrees out, realizing the back of the cottage is not square due to it not being flat on the trailer.

This project never would have happened with out Lynne's support and insight as well. I can remember sitting down at the house for lunch and hearing Lynne and Stet talking through some minute detail with a great deal of passion. It was those times I will miss and am so thankful for. They cared and it was a joy to share those times.
Well the mobile cottage grew up and is out on her own. I can't say enough about how thankful I am to have friends like Lynne and Stet who have given so much to make this dream of mine come true.

I love you guys,


Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Moved Mountains But I Am Not Done Yet

It was a bitter sweet day today. I have finally arrived at the point where the Mini Mobile Cottage is going on it's first journey. While that will be a huge accomplishment that also means I am leaving the place of it's origination. I will create a separate post to celebrate it but suffice it to say today was a little awkward knowing I would not be driving the 105 miles up to Olympia next weekend to work on the cottage, nor the weekend after or the weekend after....That time was cherished as it is completely different from my 9 to 5 daily routine and it really exercised a part of my brain that I have let languish in the computer/internet world I live in day in/day out. I have learned a lot from Stet, more then I can share but it has all been good.

While I decided about 2 months ago that my dream of using a bowling alley plank for a kitchen counter was folly and really too heavy for what I wanted needed. So I conceeded on weight issues and moved on to a nice plywood counter and let Stet & Lynne use the bowling alley for their tack room in their barn. Boy did it look cool and fit in well...........hmmmm.

We did a full weight evaluation (still really have no idea what the cottage weighs, will know next weekend when I hit the scale on the way to Dundee) and came up far less then we expected. So with weight not the issue... I needed to re-think the bowling alley idea. I arranged to have another one brought up and guess what. I have a new really really thick chunk of bowling alley for my kitchen. Damn if that is not just too cool.
The door is secure as I put locks on it and took a couple of shots but it is still hot and sunny in Olympia and it makes heck of the photos coming from out doors. Sorry for the poor quality.

My next post it will either be a great celebration of the Mini Cottage at it's new home, the big first journey accomplished, with photos of the cottage sitting on Jack Stands in Dundee, Oregon. Or pictures of me along I-5 with a big pile of cedar and beetle kill pine fire wood and a mangled trailer. Here is to a successful journey down I-5 and beyond!

Friday, September 9, 2011


As far as milestones go, this one is huge. Putting up walls was pretty cool, the roof was big, but you know you are getting close when the door goes on. And what a great door it is. Sorry the pictures are a bit blown out but it was a 90 degree day and with the sun low in the September sky. This did not help the quality of the photos.


It is a dutch door and I have a little shelf I will mount on it. I also have the lock and handle that it will get, probably Sunday morning.

My Door Rocks!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rolling Along On The Week Of Vacation (working)

Well, life throws many challenges at us. It is how we handle them that really matters. While I have my personal agenda, finishing the mobile cottage on my plate, my partner Stet who has dedicated his time, resources, facility and knowledge to this project has had to face a personal family related medical issue that has taken his focus from our project (and rightly so). I wish him and his family the best. Thankfully, standing in for him during this time has been Norm. Norm probably has more building knowledge in his little pinky then I have gathered in my life.

This is really the last week of time I will have in Olympia working on this project. Next weekend will be spent moving so I am feeling a bit of pressure to really get as much done as possible. The first thing on my agenda was getting the electrical in and ready for power. I am there, it was finished yesterday from the electrical room standpoint. I will start working on all the plugs and switches as time allows but to my mind that is cosmetic. They at least have something to connect to.

As an explanation of the panel the bottom item is the Blue Sky solar boost, above that is my AC panel, above that is the DC panel with the two cut off switches, one for the Solar Panels, one for the Battery connects. The below picture show the 1500 watt inverter.

The next project was laying out the Kitchen counter. Here are some pictures of the carcass of the structure.

We set up camp today outside today, mid 80's and glorious in Olympia. The outside station was a great option and as you can see I brought in from my storage locker the last of the Beetle Kill Pine. What a great decision that was to buy that stuff. What I thought was cool on Craigslist was awesome. Here is our working station.

Here are some interior shots of the mobile cottage. They do not do it justice, I will be proud to call this home.

 These wheel well boxes have Norm all over them. I just never could have done this without him. They came out just incredible.
And as I promised on the last post here are two shots of my little chimney. I am pleased with our progress and am looking to lay the loft on Friday and to get the door installed. I will try to whip in a post before Sunday.