Lee Valley Tools Woodworking Newsletter
Vol. 1, Issue 5
July 2007
The Log Workshop - Part 3

The 5"x 9", 22' wooden ceiling joist spans were unsupported, which allowed the second floor to bounce like a trampoline. To reduce the spring in the floor, I erected a wooden support column straddling two joists on the main floor. I buried a strong metal I-beam in the straddling portion of the column to provide strength without sacrificing aesthetics. Because I wanted to add further reinforcement to the second floor, but didn't want another support column on the main floor, I hung one of the joists from the main roof girder using an eyebolt, large cable and a turnbuckle to tighten the cable. To match the aesthetics of the log walls, the support cable on the second floor was shrouded with an old hand-hewn beam that hid the cable and provided a hollow channel to route wiring.

  Support column
Adding a support column on the main floor reduced the spring felt while walking on the second floor.

Joist support
The plate and ring bolt support this joist, hung from the main roof girder.


Hand-carved risers
The author hand-carved a quotation into the risers to serve as a permanent reminder to herself.

  After years of accessing the second floor by ladder (usually while carrying armloads of building materials), Dad and I considered ourselves worthy candidates for the next Cirque du Soleil casting call. This situation may have persisted for years, but the dog did not seem to tolerate our mid-air gymnastic maneuvers. I hunted far and wide for 15' white oak planks to serve as stair stringers and for someone to mill the wood that was too long to manage in my shop. It was not difficult to construct the solid, wood-housed stringer stairs, but the rush to assemble them before the glue set was unnerving. As a final touch, I hand-carved a quote in the stair risers to give Antoine de Saint-Exupéry the last word, "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." A much-needed reminder for someone who never knows when enough is enough.

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