Cabin building

Cabin Fortress

Unusually Secure Loghouse made with simple materials and tools

While watching movies like "Sign of the Beaver", "Little House on the Prairie", "A Few Dollars More", "Adventures of Robin Hood", and other depictions of olden times, I was impressed by how easy it was for an enemy to enter a log cabin or shoot someone inside. I thought most of the vulnerabilities could be overcome with the techniques and materials available at that time but just with more attention to security. These are my suggestions, but I don't claim to have built a log cabin myself. However there is an out of copyright (1919) book by a man named Kreps who apparently built a number of them. He gives step by step instructions for entire cabins including floor, roof, and built in furniture. The same book gives much more info on wilderness living. There's a link to the cabin building chapters in html near the bottom of this document.
  1. Windows are Vulnerable
    1. They provide easy entry for enemies.
    2. They provide a large opening allowing persons outside to shoot persons inside.
    3. They must be replaced to have security.
  2. Reflective Shutters instead of windows for daylighting and ventilation
    1. Under roofpeak (out of reach from the ground) light reflector shutters open outward from top with reflective inside (as cloth, whitewash, paint or mirror).
    2. Catching light from the sky and reflecting it to a light colored ceiling can be almost as effective as skylights.
    3. Blocked with:
      1. bars for big animals
      2. Screen for small animals
      3. mini louvers to block falling water
      4. glass, clear plastic, or Waxed paper for air.
  3. Peepholes instead of windows for Looking and Shooting Out
    1. in both walls of corners (2 people in opposite corners can see or shoot in all 4 directions).
    2. Bars to lock plugs in place when peepholes not in use.
    3. Handy mirror can allow observer to have complete cover from shots outside.
    4. Nail for hanging telescope loop.
  4. Door
    1. opens inward (can't be blocked by snow or enemy; makes hinges inaccessable); Hinge side closes over frame in wall to resist ramming.
    2. Made up of vert. 2x8s (5) inside and horiz. 2x8s (11) outside w/ Ti sheet between if available.
    3. 2x4s on inside of door form hinges w/ pins on one side of door, and are locked on other by thru wall bolted bars.
    4. "Talk Thru" door opens from top w/ stop to make it difficult to shoot someone from outside.
    5. Peephole by TT door.
    6. Half logs used for verticle framing
    7. A cord fastened outside and fed through a hole hooded on the inside, can be connected to:
      1. lift the bar to unlock the door
      2. trip a bell
      3. or even a device to repel potential invaders
    8. Limiters on door opening can be set to allow just one person, in a cage by the door, to come inside at a time
  5. Walls (logs)
    1. Each log is cut concave to fit the log below, and "roasted" to prevent rot and insect damage.
    2. Ends bottom half notched, leaves no grain exposed on top
    3. One material available (often as trash) now that wasn't long ago, is styrofoam. I believe pieces such as cups with bottoms cut out would make better chink material (laid between log courses) than any natural material I've heard of.
    4. Half logs can be made by sawing or in some cases splitting, and decrese the number of logs needed, as well as providing flat interior walls.
    5. Metal guide (such as rod or 1/2" black iron pipe) thru bores in half logs.
    6. Heavy whitewash or other fire retardant
    7. Solar or fire timber roaster to retard rot or insect damage.
  6. Trapdoor
    1. Hiding place.
    2. Fire refuge
    3. Possible escape tunnel
    4. Root cellar
  7. Roof mounted wind turbine powering inside jackshaft for Automatic or powered machinery:
    1. Lathe
    2. Ventilators
    3. Laundry
    4. Rotisserie
  8. Rock floor
  9. Rock terrace
    1. Fire prevention
  10. Bed "Who says you can't have (nearly) the comfort of home in the deep woods?"
    1. Stretched cloth (as a hammock) can support body weight without pressure spots, but to avoid middle sag, support from sides instead of ends, by a frame
    2. For base material, nylon has good stretch and strength. Lacking other material, small cord could be woven tightly across frame
    3. If you put a reflective "blanket" on the base, under a rabbit skin blanket (fur side up) they can give some cold protection and a soft feel. Cover with a sheet, such as cotton
    4. This image is adapted from a design on p.203 of John Wiseman's "SAS Survival Guide" pub. 2010 by Collins Gem: 10 E. 53rd St., New York,NY bed
  11. Water
    1. If the location picked is near a stream not too much lower than the cabin, a simple ram-pump can provide continuous running water using only the power of the stream
    2. The tubing or piping for the water may be buried and the pump hidden or disguised so that an enemy won't suspect your water supply
    3. There should be a cutoff in the cabin for security reasons
    4. Outgoing water may be piped to a garden area
    5. Provision can be made to disinfect and store water in the cabin...or if you have glass, you can make a solar still on the roof !
You can go to the html document giving instructions for building complete cabins by clicking this link: Woodcraft by Kreps, E. H. (Elmer Harry). It also has links to the epub edition of the complete book at The Gutenburg Project.

21st Edition
CS101 2012-2013