Video Log of Log House
December 27, 2022 2:16 PM   Subscribe

I like to complain about kids these days, but after watching this I STFU.
posted by storybored at 2:17 PM on December 27, 2022

posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:32 PM on December 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

Didn't finish yet but it's so well-shot and edited... combine that with the skills he has or has acquired, and tasks he has done in the last three years make it all pretty mind-blowing.
posted by chaz at 2:48 PM on December 27, 2022 [3 favorites]

I suspect the appeal of living by yourself while making a cabin in the woods (or, more realistically, watching videos about other people doing so) is the same appeal as vanlife. #vanlife previously on metafilter.
posted by AlSweigart at 2:52 PM on December 27, 2022

Saw the link text and immediately thought "I bet this has strong Dick Proenneke energy" and sure enough, he cites Alone in the Wilderness as his inspiration!

Every single time I pass that movie airing on PBS I drop everything and watch it. It's just so relaxing.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 3:11 PM on December 27, 2022 [11 favorites]

A tree fell in front of the house and one of the kids insisted I saw a log off of it. It took me an hour. I'm doing mental multiplication now.
posted by phooky at 3:13 PM on December 27, 2022 [3 favorites]

i hate to be the one to point this out, but wielding an axe by yourself in the woods is not a good idea - accidents can happen and who's going to help him if he's seriously injured?

always have a watcher with you
posted by pyramid termite at 3:16 PM on December 27, 2022 [3 favorites]

Oh, this is terrific! Also you get to watch his puppy grow up!

RonButNotStupid, I'm right there with you with the Proenneke. I desperately wanted him to be my grandfather.
posted by mochapickle at 3:21 PM on December 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

This is interesting - I remember watching the original long-form building video a while back, which is longer and less polished. More time spent on the wood processing and learning how to do things - but equally quiet and contemplative. I'll be interested to see the more compact wrap-up, roof and all.

It seems he's making good on his YouTube follower count and doing a little more eye-catching and easily watchable stuff. Good for him! Hopefully he's getting some scratch out of this as well as callouses and a cabin.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 3:25 PM on December 27, 2022

Previously? I feel like I‘ve seen something about this before and it must have been via metafilter. Pretty amazing, but also hard not to see this as an explainer video of “this is what privilege looks like.” Or, more generously, perhaps, a commercial for UBI?
posted by snofoam at 3:55 PM on December 27, 2022 [4 favorites]

Fun to watch. His axe work improves dramatically the higher up he gets.

I was cringing as he was lifting the big rocks out of his root cellar. His back is going to remind him of that in about 15/20 years! Hopefully he was at least wearing steel toed boots for that bit.

I found it interesting how he mixes modern and traditional building techniques. He uses dimensional lumber for the roof and floor framing, and the whole thing is resting on concrete piers. The root cellar is made out of concrete blocks. There are modern wood fiber insulation panels in the roof as well as some kind of foam/plastic vent channels, and the tongue and groove roof sheathing is covered with some brand of modern tar paper or similar.

There was a previously at the two year mark.
posted by rockindata at 5:17 PM on December 27, 2022 [2 favorites]

I've found this stuff very soothing and wistful I first saw Alone in the Wilderness on PBS. I'm currently watching the early video posted by BlackLeotardFront. I appreciate the break to show him sharpening the axe. All I could think of through the first 17 minutes of that video is that he must spend a lot of time sharpening those tools, and that my hatchet is very dull.
posted by mollweide at 5:38 PM on December 27, 2022 [2 favorites]

I went through a rough patch in middle school and I spent a few months getting through it by building a tree house. I used pallet wood that I salvaged from the free pile at the fencing place down the street. It was mostly oak though, and I didn't know anything about pre-drilling nail holes so I ended up taking quite a bit of my aggression out when hammering.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:43 PM on December 27, 2022

Previously? I feel like I‘ve seen something about this before and it must have been via metafilter.

Yes, sort of.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:58 PM on December 27, 2022

And on preview, that was linked already.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:59 PM on December 27, 2022

Also three years of therapy would have prepared him for life a lot better than replicating the subsistence farming methods of his Swedish ancestors

Ehhh... Heritage craft skills can be an incredibly rewarding field to work in, on both a monetary and more spiritual level, at least in the Nordic countries. There are still a lot of old houses, log cabins, etc, around and they still need maintenance. The skills to do that maintenance can be very niche, and can demand good compensation. So it's not necessarily as useless as you might think.
posted by Dysk at 8:42 PM on December 27, 2022 [12 favorites]

Yeah, a tripod would have been a better way to lift the stones out from the basement area. Simple machines are helpful!
posted by eviemath at 9:23 PM on December 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

It's nice when someone talks about having "built their own house" or whatever and they actually mean they themself constructed it, rather than that they got someone else to and then claimed the credit.
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 4:06 AM on December 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

It's nice when someone talks about having "built their own house" or whatever and they actually mean they themself constructed it, rather than that they got someone else to and then claimed the credit.

My aunt and uncle built their own house in this literal sense. They used modern power tools, granted, but, they milled the lumber themselves, quarried stone for some parts. Designed and built the whole thing by hand more or less without plans. First they built a ~1000 sqft "mother in law suite" which they lived in while they built the rest.

It's crammed full of interesting features and hand made touches that no builder would bother with. Like they made all the door latches themselves and each one is unique. The bedroom is in a 3-story tower with windows that look in every direction out onto their farm.

I tell everyone who will listen about it. I got to stay there for a week a few years back and I loved it.
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:28 AM on December 28, 2022 [8 favorites]

Watched it all with great admiration. Teared up a little during the celebration at the end.

Thank you for sharing this, storybored.
posted by darkstar at 11:51 AM on December 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

Yeah this is the stuff, especially during this quiet holiday week in early winter. Hopefully he does a voiceover video in the future going over everything from a practical perspective, especially where and why he chose modern methods, tools and building products.
posted by MillMan at 12:50 PM on December 28, 2022

Some friends and I had plans to purchase some forested land and use it for camping. I figured we'd have to cut down some of the trees on occasion and it would be a source of wood for projects but that also we could use it to build a couple of structures on the land as well. Nothing as involved as a cabin, more like a small shed or lean-to we could store stuff we didn't want to take back and forth all the time. All of which is to say that I really like this kind of stuff but am also aware that I'll never have the time (3 years!) to do anything like it.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:45 PM on December 28, 2022

This is beautifully done (I haven't watched all the way through yet). I have an interesting split reaction to this and things like it. First, he obviously put in so much work to learn the skills and do all the construction and I have tons of respect for the project. At the same time, seeing each carefully composed camera angle makes me think of the artifice of the whole thing. I think it's especially hard with projects ostensibly about using traditional methods like this one.

That second thing is a real struggle for me, because I don't want to be the kind of person who sees a work of art and asks, "sure, but did they do it the right way? Did they make all the paint themselves from natural materials they also harvested themselves? No? Well, then it doesn't count."

Clearly this was done both for the joy and satisfaction of learning and hard work, but also to make a point. And that's OK! Good, even! Maybe great! I just wish that I could watch it for the first thing without constantly noticing the second.

(This is all obviously more about me than about the project. Apologies.)
posted by that's candlepin at 5:50 AM on December 29, 2022

Fans of this video might also like ONE YEAR | Renovating Two Stone Cabins in the Italian Alps by Martijn Doolaard - this one is 3 hours of footage split into 39 chapters. (3.7 million views on this , I note idly).

There is a style of videography, on display here, which I've first noticed on Youtube. It is often produced by people who have spent a long while in wilderness areas: the hallmarks is that the video is left to do the talking: just like the creator, we are left to take in the weather and the views. We are left to make the connections about what is going on. For example we see Kim and Del - known as "Going the Whole Hogg" with their account of a walk on Scotland's West Highland Way - silent for the first 45 minutes.
posted by rongorongo at 6:14 AM on December 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

The video is tagged “ASMR” which is a clue to the attraction of the genre I think.
posted by Rumple at 12:29 PM on December 29, 2022

I’m sure he didn’t start it, but the no-speaking video style for construction projects definitely got an enormous global boost from John Plant of Primitive Technology fame. Though there were moments in Proenneke’s documentary that definitely prefigured the style.

The beauty of this style, aside from letting nature and the process speak for itself, is that it’s universally accessible regardless of what language you speak. And in primitive construction projects, it’s also universally accessible regardless of your familiarity with technology. And it speaks to one of the most archetypal, fundamental projects that humankind has been engaging in for a long, long time: building a comfortable and secure shelter.

For that matter, anyone from pretty much any culture, in the past 10,000 years of human history could have understood and appreciated what Plant is doing in his videos.

(Granted, they would have freaked out at seeing it in video on a hand-held electronic device, but you get my meaning.)
posted by darkstar at 1:21 PM on December 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

For that matter, anyone from pretty much any culture, in the past 10,000 years of human history could have understood and appreciated what Plant is doing in his videos.
I think they would also have appreciated the “help” provided by his dog - that is also timeless.
Nice to see the friends and family invited over for a meal at the end.

Why does he scorch the wood in several instances?
posted by rongorongo at 5:24 PM on December 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

In many bushcrafting videos I’ve seen, folks will often scorch wood that will come into contact with the ground, such as support posts, because it makes it less susceptible to rotting or pests. When they do that, they don’t tend to scrape off the protective carbonized layer.

You can also fire-harden wood, such as the tips of arrows or spears, by scorching/charring it a bit.

However, in this video, scorching the wood seems to be primarily an aesthetic touch, to provide a nice dark contrast in the wood tones, which is why he scrapes most of the char off to show the wood tone underneath.
posted by darkstar at 8:20 PM on December 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

As another example, in this video (YT, at the 14:12 mark), Alex Wild is similarly scorching the fascia boards on the front of his bushcrafting dugout cabin for the aesthetic effect. It can really bring out the wood grain and add character to the design.

Wild’s is a much less ambitious project than the FPP-linked video. And he uses an electric chainsaw to do a lot of the big cutting, and nails instead of augered holes and pegs and saddle notching to hold the large logs together. So it’s a LOT less effort. But that’s the difference between building a bushcrafting hut vs building an heirloom cabin.

Still, I love all of these kinds of construction videos.
posted by darkstar at 10:46 AM on December 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

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