The summer is here and we are back at work on our tiny cabin!
It was a long winter and we weren’t able to get out to the cabin until the beginning of June. Our first weekend out there was spent entirely ridding the place of mice. What a job. Two days of cleaning and disinfecting and driving laundry home to be washed. Ugh!
We’ve been to the cabin two weekends since and we’ve managed to pull together some of our smaller projects that we’d had planned for quite some time. You know, the little jobs that always get pushed aside to make room for bigger ones, like insulating.
Well, this is our year to make some real progress.
We bought a Cubic mini wood stove (more on that when it is installed). We turned our double bed with the sunken mattress into a queen sized bed with simply a firm futon on a piece of plywood over the original frame. Now, not only do we NOT roll into the middle of it, there is also enough room for our Spanish Greyhound, who is a total bed hog. I hung the snowshoes in the 2nd bedroom for some backwoods decor. We took a lot of crap to the dump. Bob stained and put together another Adirondack chair. The place already feels more put together than it ever has.
I also – FINALLY – made a wood storage idea that I had been thinking about for a long time. I had been looking all over Pinterest for something that would be quick and simple to make to hold our kindling and tinder outside. For the past few years, the tinder has been stored in the big bedroom like this:
What I envisioned was a stand that would hold the large, awkward chunks of wood that we stored outside as well as a section at the top that would store all of this tinder and smaller kindling pieces. They needed air circulation and to stay relatively dry outside. To keep out the rain, it would have a top on it that would double as a shelf/tabletop and it would fit perfectly under the window by the cookstove. This window has a removable screen and the idea was that we could pass food through the window and set it on the tabletop in order to serve it outside.
I showed my idea to Bob and he found some pallets behind the shed and got to work dismantling and cutting the pieces to size.
I’ve never actually built something like this before. I’m more of the designer and decorator of this operation. But I had been thinking of this for several years now and decided to just see what I could make.
- 4 vertical pieces to the height of the window ledge
- 4 long horizontal pieces for across the front and back (top and bottom)
- 4 short horizontal pieces for the sides (top and bottom)
- 2 long 2×6’s for the tinder shelf
- 2 short pieces to support the tinder shelf.
- 3 long 2×6’s for the tabletop
- 2 short pieces to join the tabletop together
- deck screws of a variety of different top sizes.
- recycled window screen
It was an interesting project for me, not having built anything from my head that had to be weight-bearing before. I made several mistakes that made me take everything apart again. I put some screws too close to the edge and split the wood. It wasn’t level at first. I felt like the girl in Ashley Spire’s The Most Magnificent Thing.
After I built the wood structure, I found some old screen in our shed (I’m sure if I looked hard enough I’d find Jimmy Hoffa in that shed) and I stapled it to the inside of the top part of the structure to create the “walls” to contain the tinder.
Here’s what the base of it looked like.
The 2×6’s were untreated pine so I had to stain them. I chose Cordovan Brown semi-transparent stain and I found that it matched the weather pallet wood almost perfectly.
The shelf is only about 10″ deep so two 2×6’s would’ve covered it. But I decided to use three 2×6’s instead of two to make the top look more like a bar table. I completely forgot to take a photo of the construction of the top. I simply screwed the 3 planks to two smaller pallet pieces cut to fit snugly into the top of the shelf. The idea is that these two pallet pieces not only hold the three together but also hold the tabletop in place on the shelf since they fit perfectly within the structure.
And here it is all finished:
Now the back room in the cabin is tinder-free and starting to look a bit more habitable. And I can say that I actually built something! The next time I have an idea of something to build in my head, I won’t be as nervous to try creating it. I am very happy with the way this “pub perch” turned out. What do you think?
Total cost? Free. Everything was recycled or leftover from previous projects.
Next project? Making two campfire seats and a side table out of old tires.