Winter has arrived.  A lot of things in the critical path are on hold due to weather and frozen ground.  Wait a minute, that’s right, window openings on the first floor can be cut.  This will require operating the dirtiest of the dirty tools – the chainsaw.

For the window and door openings, an electric chainsaw was used.   A Makita 16-inch, 15 amp electric saw.  At 11 pounds, its safer, lighter and easier to manage for all the cutting that happens above your head and at odd cutting angles.  At my age, light is safe.  I can operate it for a long time.  I also have 3 gas saws in the wheelhouse.  I use them mostly for felling trees, bucking, and cutting the wall logs to length.  With gas saws, it takes three to keep one running.

Great Room View of Rabbit Ears Rock
Great room window cutout. The view is of Rabbit Ears rock.

The window rough openings are laid out from the architectural drawings, then field fitted to avoid rebar pin conflicts.  For this style of butt and pass construction, there is a vertical rebar pin 24″ on-center, every course of wall logs.  The larger the window, the more rebar conflict opportunity there is.  Up to this point in the build, the farthest a window has been relocated is about 6 inches.

The Accutech Micro Mill chainsaw attachment enables the cuts to be straight.  The Micro Mill is secured to the saw bar and floats on a plumbed-up rail, in this case, a 2×6 piece of dimensional lumber.

Micro Mill Demo
Plumb as a Bob with the Micro Mill

The location of the horizontal rough openings is a function of the log spacing.  The section of vertical log removal is the minimum number of logs to achieve a rough opening greater than that required by the window frame.  After the vertical cuts are made, the rebar pins are cut.  These are done from the inside of the wall using a Sawzall.   The top rebar pins are clipped first, then the bottom.  When performed in this fashion, the section of wall logs can be pushed from the inside of the house to the outside.

Cutting vertical rebar pins with Sawzall

For safety, the section of wall to be removed is wedged from the inside at the bottom rough opening log.  This ensures an outward lean so that when the rebar is clipped, the logs fall where you want them to.  The logs stay together as a unit due to the rebar pins.

Great wall window logs falling outward

If everything goes according to plan, the log wall section falls outward.  The logs will be re-purposed for a portion of the deck construction.

Until next time,

Doug Jobe/Prosper Junction


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