Live Edge Wood Staircase in a Rustic Log Cabin | Working Alone

Live Edge Wood Staircase in a Rustic Log Cabin | Working Alone

(gentle guitar music) – There you are, chasing squirrels? What’s up? You get ’em? I’m cleaning off the roof because we’ve had a couple of
days of warm weather, including rain, like
scattered showers today. So all that snow on the
roof is starting to melt and compress and get
heavier as it absorbs water. And because the section of the cabin within the boundaries of the walls gets a lot of heat coming through the roof ’cause it’s not insulated,
gets to melting up there and then as it gets closer to
the eve where it’s unheated it turns to ice and then
creates a bit of a dam. With a shingle roof or something
it causes a major issue because then the dam, ice dam, dams the water that’s coming down the roof as it melts from the heat of the house and then that backs up and it
gets underneath the shingles. I don’t have an issue with this roof because it’s solid plank roof
all the way down vertically then under that I have
a waterproof membrane. So any water that does get
underneath these roof boards comes out underneath them. ‘Cause I’ve got some gaps
cut into the strapping so the water can escape but that being said, got a whole bunch of more snow coming in, maybe another six inches, 15 centimeters, tonight and tomorrow. So before that accumulates
into heavier snow I’ll see if I can at least
some of this water and ice off the roof today before
it refreezes again. Hmm. Nope. (ax thudding) (meat sizzling) Go on. Crazy. Brave but crazy. Got me a little nervous but she just goes running when she hears branches breaking but luckily it was just a tree
falling over from the snow. It’s just a good little rolling pin. Unless you want it. (Cali barking) (scratching) Hi Cali, you want in pup? (chuckles) You gonna try
to climb these stairs? (food sizzling) Hungry today. Can you give me five? Good girl. Other hand? Good girl. Now take that out. Oh, heavy. You want to take it outside? Here, no over here. Want to go out or you wanna have it here? You wanna go outside with it? I thought you might. Every morning I get up, especially on a, what is this Thursday morning today. So these frequent upload,
video uploads are interesting because I try to read
as many of your comments if not all of them as possible which means what I typically do, so I’ll put up a video one day, answer questions maybe for the first hour and then when I take a
break with lunch or dinner or like this just before breakfast while I’m having my coffee I
like to read the questions. One of the questions this morning was why don’t you get help? Why don’t you have help? I think the intent of it was why don’t you choose to have help, not why don’t you get
help, or can’t find help. I think what is happening for me is that I tried to do
this when I was younger and it only lasted three months, I ended up finishing the
cabin and had it for 10 years and used it as sort of a hunt
camp and a weekend retreat but my goal, my dream at that point was to live in the woods
like Henry David Thoreau (was my inspiration,
I guess, at the time). So I think what drew me to
this lifestyle back then is the same as it is now and
that’s that I don’t like the.. I think the limitations of the
rat race or typical society, I think the lack of freedom is probably my number one resentment and what wanted me, what drew
me to this lifestyle back then and like I said, and also now.. I don’t like having to
get up at a certain time, go to a job that I don’t
really feel passionate about, I don’t feel like there’s a connection, I don’t feel like it’s something that’s worthwhile of my time. And I think those kind
of jobs are hard to find. They exist and I encourage
everybody to try to find that because if you can it’s a
much more fulfilling life than one where you just
go through the paces and then hope that you get to spend some time on the weekends doing what you really love to do. But I think the alone thing,
the doing the building alone, and doing a lot of stuff
in the outdoors alone. First of all I’ve always felt
a deeper connection to nature when I’m out in the woods alone, or out on the lakes, whatever I’m doing. So I think that’s what
drew me to something, things like bow hunting and
fishing when I was younger is that it allowed me to, or forced me to become much closer to nature, pay more attention to everything because you had to get
close to everything, close to animals in order to have a chance at harvesting one for a meal. So when I was young one of the things I really liked to do with my
time before I became a hunter was to follow animals
around and birds and stuff and try to really get to know as much as I could about
nature and about wildlife. I started off by doing birdwatching, keeping a journal about
birds, learning their sounds, finding their nests to
see what kind of habitat they nested in and looking at their eggs. Getting close to nature just
forced me to really appreciate first of all that being alone allowed me to get closer to these animals and not having somebody else distracting me from my purpose there but also just pulling me off
in a different direction, so let’s say that I heard
a certain bird over here and the person I was with, like my sister I used to go out into the
woods with quite often, or sisters, and a couple friends. They might wanna go over
here and do this thing and you end up compromising
and maybe going there, I wanted to go here. So being alone allowed me to
focus on what I wanted to do and to I think learn a
lot more about myself and a lot more about nature by allowing me to pursue what
I was really interested in and what was worth my attention. So as I grew older and
reading Henry David Thoreau and Emerson talking about self reliance, I was inspired to go out and
try to do that full time. So it’s where I bought the
property up in this area, Central Ontario, very cheaply. I worked hard for it. And built that first cabin but actually before that log cabin I had a little island property, the first one that I bought
actually when I was 17 was a very cheap property, it was two acres on a large island in the middle of a midsize
lake in Central Ontario. And I actually built a
regular 2 x 4 cabin on that, covered it in sheet metal
because my dad was able to get a bunch of pieces of sheet metal, so a hideous looking
thing but very functional and spent two years boating to that island and building a fire pit
and all that kind of stuff and using that as a base camp to go out and hunt and fish and stuff. So that again taught me to be independent and a lot of times the
independence was sort of forced because people didn’t have
the focus or the determination to do that type of thing
with all of their free time. So even though I was heavy
into sports as a teenager, to hockey and soccer in particular and working out, going to the gym, a little bit of kickboxing
and judo and stuff like that. My real passion was the outdoors so every weekend I would
borrow my dad’s truck, amazing that my parents let me have, encouraged me and supported
me getting that property and then providing transportation, so I was able to go up
pretty well every weekend and any other time that I have off and work at that cabin and
spend time in the outdoors. So all of these things naturally I became independent because of it, became more self reliant and I got to the point
where I preferred it. Even though I am a friendly person, I do get along with people and I do have a fair number
of friends and family that I like to spend time with there’s still to me nothing like spending time in the outdoors alone. So I end up, and also
at this stage in my life and throughout my life
it’s rare to find somebody that has the time and again
the dedication or the focus on doing this particular thing when they have either
other responsibilities or other things that they want
to pursue, other passions. So I think that that fact, the fact that not everybody wants to do what I want to do all the time has led me to become independent but at this stage it’s just
become my preference as well. So even though I have friends and family and I spend a lot of time with
them when I’m not filming, that’s the reason that
I’m in Central Ontario instead of further way up north
back further into the woods ’cause actually that would
probably be my preference although I love the
landscape around here as well and the climate but I’d probably
be even much more remote if I didn’t have a family of course. I do spend a lot of time with
them whenever I’m not filming. That’s usually what I’m doing, I’m spending time with family. Now as far as the building’s concerned the same thing applies, not many people have the time to spend doing just this kind
of thing for themselves nevermind coming to help me
although I’ve had lots of offers and I really appreciate that but this place has become sort of a, I don’t know it’s become
my personal challenge, it’s become my legacy I guess, something that I want
to say that I’ve done. Not to brag and not to, not to impress anybody else but to I guess for me. I mean just for my satisfaction, for me to get closer to the end of my life and look back and see that
I did something valuable and that I did something that I loved and I had a fulfilling
and meaningful life, besides family being number one and that’s the most meaningful
thing I’ve done in my life is to raise two daughters
and have a fantastic wife. This would be the next thing
that I’d be most proud of is that I have been able to
build this place on my own without help and I’ve
rised to that challenge. And I think beyond that personal challenge it’s grown now to a point
where being able to share that with such a broad audience
and a large audience has made me realize how many people would inspire to do this kind of thing. To do something, to do
something with their lives that’s meaningful and fulfilling and oftentimes that means
doing something alone. I think for me I’m proud to be able to inspire people to
do something like this and to show that it can be done alone because most people will
find the same thing, it’s hard to find like-minded individuals whether it’s family or
friends or acquaintances that have the time and
effort and focus and passion to do exactly what you want to do. This is my way of showing
also too then to the world that you can put your mind to, you can do anything you put your mind to whether you’re alone or not. And I always think if one man can do, build a cabin and build a
home and build other things, and I’m by no means the
only man that has done this, it’s been done many
times throughout history and many people are doing
it still to this day. And I think anybody who is
showing that that’s possible can show that anything is possible and that there’s things
that then collectively, that you do together and you can create great
things and do great things. I think we have a responsibility if we are strong enough of
mind and body to be productive, to not be productive I think is a real disservice to ourselves, our families, our friends
and our communities. So I would say that beyond what I’m doing here
for myself and my family, that would be the message that I want to leave with this channel, on this channel with my videos is for people just to
be their best selves. Do what you can. Be strong. Be happy. And be caring. And you can be those things if
you’re confident and capable. And you’ve tested you’re limits and know what you are capable of and that you’re doing things
to your full potential. Well, so (laughs) that’s what I’m feeling this morning after reading comments. Tired actually, it was a
little bit warm in the loft, it was only minus four celsius last night so 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Cali. So 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Fire, I only had one small log on there from like 8 o’clock, 8:30,
went to bed early last night. Still over 60 degrees
Fahrenheit in here this morning so very comfortable. But a little bit too warm in
the loft for what I had on. I had full flannel sleeping bag or no a comforter thing that we use. Little warm. So I’m gonna make some
breakfast now I think and get to work. Little bit of cosmetic
stuff in the kitchen here and then get back out I think, start working on the sauna
while we have this mild weather. See if I can knock off several more courses of the walls on that. Once I dig the logs out of the snow. Anyway, thanks for watching guys, really appreciate it and I’ll
see ya at the cabin next time. Take care. (wolf howling)

100 thoughts on “Live Edge Wood Staircase in a Rustic Log Cabin | Working Alone

  1. Just found your channel. Just amazing and ALL inspiring. Thank you for making me think about working to be a better me. Best to you, Health and Happiness…

  2. I appreciated you honesty of your talk this morning as can see in what you do you love and then with that you can show to it to family.

  3. Cara é meu sonho viver assim, acho que o homem não precisa de muito para poder viver feliz. Seus vídeos são inspiradores. Abraços.

  4. The cabin is very nice now , are you selling it? lol , joke.Cli is a very good companion dog. what is important in what you are doing is your happy and enjoy it. I like to do the same but never have a chance. take care Bobby from Quezon City Philippines.

  5. Hi i love your video its like dream. but i always wandering when you cut the tree after that did you plant more tree overthere or not?

  6. Shawn, thank you once again for a great video. You have done a remarkable job with what you have accomplished so far. I plan on joining your backcountry lifestyle once again, hopefully in about four to five years, I really miss the solitude, helps me to stay more focused spiritually. Would like to see you spend more playful time with Cali, she looks bored sometimes, awesome dog, please bark just once. Keep up the great videos. Be safe and GOD bless you both.

  7. nice work alot of people espiacaly the young wouldnt be able to survive if they had to great video

  8. Its been almost a month since i start looking at your video's and i must say your my biggest inspiration, i really love that kind of living ,and the things you say after each video . The dog cally is really smart .
    I am going to college now and planning to have my own company and live a life just like that. I wish to have a visa to come stay for one week whit you in that house 😜 ,while coming back to my country will be like returning from the heaven 🤗😭.
    Greatings from surinam , god bess you friend 🙏👍🤗 . Keep it up never giving up 💪❤

  9. I'm impressed with your ability and know how but ''No Thanks" – give me asphalt and concrete and mass production. I couldn't stand living thru those winters and lousy weather almost year round. You're not a spring chicken and Lord forbid any medical problems arise. But, you surely have engineer & carpentry skills.

  10. That was a pep talk I really needed. Thanks. The cabin and everything you’ve done so far is fantastic. I would so love to have the health to do this right now. I own some land ,( grandparents left to me. Awesome land. Just not good health any more. Unfortunate. I’m enjoying living vicariously through your journey. I started watching your videos from the beginning and have just been binge watching. Lol. Keep it up. Beautiful place to be sure. P.S. if you get tired of miss Cali, I will gladly take her. She’s a great and beautiful dog. Love her

  11. Did that life work to work have the systems take you down . House Truck Own Company nothing left My real dream since childhood live free on property might get there some day . love your shows and your not alone people are dropping off the slave force by hundreds . God Bless

  12. when you are doing what you do ,do you ever encounter bear or other wildlife and what do you do to keep all safe?




  16. hey mr shawn your statement is amazing and fulfilling you re abviously a adedicated man with the values&meaning the word could contain and harbored as well a real-living example of what a spirited-minded human-beng can do thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts and amazing experience with us you re an inspiring personality barely we could find nowadays god bless your you and your family as well

  17. 👍😊🐶 Buen video, (mi esposo Chileno y yo Peruana )somos tus seguidores y tambien adoramos a tu perro…saludos des Perú, gracias por compartir videos tan utiles como los que nos das, exitos.

  18. Your show brings back my childhood memories of living in the country. I just love it! I live in California now and its just so busy and noisy. The life your livin is the best.

  19. I would like to say your cabin is beautiful, comfy and cozy…who wouldn't want to live like that…😊

  20. The food looks so yummy…I keep telling everyone that off grid you kill to eat not to take as a trophy and I think when you hunt for food it is healthier….

  21. I think it´s so generous on your part to share your life experience and your choice to stay away from the maniac city life. I find you absolutely sincere about your reasons to build that beautiful cabin and to live an outdoor life, good for you!. God keep you and the whole family. Greetings from Argentina!.

  22. Thank you for your personal thoughts about life and meaning. You're very inspiring. I find that I too seek solitude in nature. When I go camping, I go alone. My relationship with nature is important to me – down to every little insect. Many people are afraid of nature, and I find that to be so very sad. The biggest problem I've ever had while camping are with pack rats. They can cause some mischief. One ate through my pickup gas line! I finally found that blinking strobe lights scare them away and I now have a "rid-a-rat" in my engine compartment. Squirrels can be pesky too, but I find them very playful and humorous. I had one who liked to play around underneath my truck and in my engine compartment every night and when I opened the hood and tried to scare it away, it just sat there defiantly and didn't leave. Do the field mice or pack rats invade your cabin at times? I bet you have some good animal stories to share!

  23. Another great video and your explanation of what makes you tick at the end was inspirational.  I'm too old now to follow your path but it's fantastic to watch you taking it and allowing me to journey with you, at least from the comfort of my sitting room. Thanks again.

  24. Shawn it's a great accomplishment. Nature is the only place we are really free. Before long you will be able to call your property James town. Blessings, JJ

  25. You are a caring kind person that is what I have seen in YOU the way YOU treat the trees YOUR self THE DOG YOU ARE COMPASSIONATE it is the way of life for me also that is what I used to do for 2 weeks vacation up north in Wisconsin!!!

  26. i love the country life here in inthe out back of australia it gets very hot here i do not like that weather what you have dun they impresses me you go out and hunt for your food that stair case that you made is very good keep up the good work mate

  27. Excellent video. Can I steal some of your talk to explain why a high level professional chose to move to a farm alone in retirement. It is so quiet and you can hear yourself think. And, the peace is hard to explain to those who don't understand.

  28. You are the most skilled person I have seen yet. Working with wood, building, knowing how to use all those tools, including measuring correctly, and much more, plus you can cook. I'm pretty jealous of your life as I see it here. They don't teach us here in America anything about other countries so I don't even know if Canada has a military, but I was wondering if you were in the military at some time. Actually I should just start at the beginning of your videos because I came in randomly and don't maybe know this full story of how and why you are able to do this. Anyway you are a person after my own heart.

  29. Or were you a carpenter? But I was thinking as a woman, you might have wanted to make the cabin a little bit bigger for your wife. Women have things, and you both will probably want your space. I'm thinking you may be expanding. But you won't mind, you clearly love that work. You are a natural.

  30. Well, I know you won't be reading this because I'm not in sequence here but you just explained in your talking a lot about yourself. So interesting, about Thoreau who I love and being alone. I wish I had ventured to be alone more in my life. I would have done much more. But I did have three kids pretty much alone, so I did do that. But you are extremely healthy and I am not in your league. It's great to see such a strong, healthy person on this earth.

  31. I am living my fantasy through your videos….. not possible in sunny Qld Australia. Brilliant show. Thank you.

  32. ive watched a lot of yur videos… u are Amazing… keep up the Great work…. cant wait to see the next video on yur sauna ive watched all The series… U tRock man !!!! MUCH Respects & love from Nor Cal…. BBB

  33. Another observation re handedness, I was surprised to see you using the bit & brace auger drilling the stair holes you used your left arm as the driving arm when you use the right arm for sawing, is this your way of keeping even strengths in both arms?

  34. i used the same for my veranda? is that how you call it? and it'looks amazing and is easy to clean, i mean as a floor then hej… ok, i have to renew them in 5 years time but… i'm happy the way it is now

  35. I totally understand where your coming from your feeding you soul, with all these wonderful things that nature has to offer! Love watching your video it's like we are there with you, I love the quiet! Cali, lovely family that supports what you do! Thank You

  36. j aime beaucoup se que vous fais je trouve telement beau de fair sois meme et votre chien me fait rire et puis bravo



  38. Again another great video, and your sweet Golden Retriever. I've had two Golden's in my life, and miss them to this day. I also have built my on home myself that I still live in today, not a easy task. I have to say I like your commentary at the end of this video. Thank you for taking the time to record your efforts.

  39. I too appreciate your transparency. You are definitely living your dream. You have picked up from where you begin at 17 yrs of ago. And most importantly, your wife support you. I am quite familiar with the writings of Thoreau and Emerson. And I agree, that most times one can accomplish their best work “alone”. As a child, for the most part, I was fortunate to be surrounded by 90 acres. And I LOVED it!!! Still today, I LOVE it!! I look forward to catching up to your current postings!!

  40. Why don't the ash trees survive there? They are not native? Is the wood good quality? What tree's are you predominately using for your builds? Why do you burn before inserting in the hole? kill fungi/dry out log? Can you come to Australia/Thailand and build me a cabin? lol. Half serious…

  41. Lucky for you.. you worked you ass for that way of life…. so happy for you…. you are your own BOSS…… I am now 56.. and live in Florida…. i am to old to start to live this type of life….. you kid (pet) is your sole mate…. what a wonderful buddy…..
    never go back to the city….

    David Lyons

  42. I am watching your log cabin episodes for some time, you are one of those humans who want to live natural life. I admire and appreciate such attempt. Also you must read the book of Jim Corbett "Jungle Lore" which is talking about real jungle life and it's creatures. Mr Corbett spent most of his life in Indian Jungle and considered one of the most conservationist, however he earned respect hunting man-eater Tigers in the Indian jungles between 1907 to 1938.

  43. I live in Skerries-Co.Dublin -Ireland and just love watching you building your cabin and improving it every day–what a very talented man you are—well done Shawn! I am a 69 year old lady-retired now–but by watching you -I am reminded of lots of things I did myself–like making furniture for my home! XX G

  44. Shawn, I have gone back through several of your videos the last few days to find this… Its the ending message and i want to share with a certain person.. I knew I heard these words from you but lost track of which video.. Whats important to a lot of us today is we live in a trap. We think we or doing whats right and We don"t spend time alone to look at the big picture of who we or. I can go on and on with this but what I call the trap is so real and we as people get wrapped into its web so tight, we find it harder to change the pattern.. My advise in short to anyone is, Step back and look at yourself and your life.. Ask yourself if your really happy with what you have achieved. Ask yourself if your really doing what you like or believe in.. Does this make me happy or do I need to incorporate spare time to find a balance in whats real. I personally can just say, alone or with your partner in life find private time together, talk about life and your dreams more. set aside to achieve and for Pete"s Sake people, get out and be alone in the wild or the woods more and get a clear head. This world and country is crazy today. So clear your head, and be sure your doing whats right for you and your happiness. If your not doing YOU, you want be 100% for your partner in life or family.
    Maybe someone will pick this apart and make since of my thoughts.. You only live once they say but its never to late to LIVE twice.. Think about it.. I want go into my story of my life but it has not been all good.. Not all bad either.. Lot of memories and lots learned. I've at least stepped back and looked at the big picture recently. I see the crowd that has basically drug me down and some are still around and I learned to say NO>>> I feel better now.. and I want comment further.. Oh, take the advise young.. make it a learning and fun time talking to the older people.. You will be in for a great learning experience and some really good laughs. Use your head for more then a hat rack they say..
    Like you said, what you do isn't for everyone, But the message is.. Thanks Shawn
    NOT written pointing a finger at anyone but to a truth I have seen and experienced.. Just hope a thought and words help someone,..

  45. Shawn, your videos truly get me through tough times. Life in the fast paced high pressured world is a killer. Thank you for all you do. Wow! 🙂

  46. Shawn, who, when and where did you learn all these skills from? My dad taught me lots about woodworking and construction when I was a kid but you my friend are just beyond talented and knowledgeable. I do use my hands as I am a surgeon but I sure miss my woodworking days.

  47. I worked in the adm. bldg. of a mental health institute for the state as a Med. Trans. Sr, for 33 yrs. I typed the worst horrors of mankind at 4 AM and all day long. I was harassed by my boss for 7 years until the union stepped in and that boss was terminated. I earned everything I've got. I swore after retirement I'd never again have a boss Never do anything I didn't want to do. Never be forced to listen to the horrors on earth. I prefer the solitude in my woods and nature. I definitely not a city girl.

  48. In your next episode we will see your head lying on the ground after the grizzly rips you to shreds because you are so limited in firearms ownership in Canada. In South Dakota we waste the fucker if he gets too close.

  49. У меня такое чуство что заде мужика 7 02 била берлога медведя :D))

  50. Another excellent video: watching you successfully work with manual tools on self-harvested wood is inspiring, to say the least. Thank you for taking he time and trouble for the uploads. Cheers!

  51. Hi! I'm a disabled person from Denver Colorado! I enjoy watching the building process as your township develops! I can't see here…how many square miles is your property? How many miles to civilization? Well, my dad was a masonry foreman for many years, he started as a hod carrier and worked his way up… he always enjoyed woodworking when he was alive…I feel he is watching your channel with me! Good job Mr!:-)

  52. Would love to visit the cabin one day before I pass.
    I have been subscribed to you since the beginning and I feel very fortunate knowing I've been here watching your cabin grow from the ground up!🔧🛠⛏🔨✂️🗡✏🕯🎥
    You are a mans man Mr. James.
    Thank you for sharing your life with us.🤙

  53. I love it that you still can play with Cali. She has hair that is the exact color of your cabin. I just think that's awesome for some reason.

  54. The likely that the extensive game there is more enough reason for a lifestyle log cabin home living and location supplies enough to sustain

  55. I also enjoy my private time. I need to be alone at times just to recharge my batteries! Love your videos, love your talks! Thank you!❤

  56. God bless you Mr James with all your hard work nice to watch man with hard work ….👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

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