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Thread: Tools needed for remote cabin build

  1. #1
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    Default Tools needed for remote cabin build

    I've been search threads for two days now but haven't seen anybody discuss a tools list. We will begin building our dream cabin to live in 6 months out of the year completely off the grid on Kodiak Island. Obviously I have to be buttoned down since we can only get to the property buy boat or plane.
    Has anybody compiled a list of tools/equipment that I can compare to my own? I done a small amount of construction but by no means have I ever tackled a project of this size. Any help anybody can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akbig1bear View Post
    I've been search threads for two days now but haven't seen anybody discuss a tools list. We will begin building our dream cabin to live in 6 months out of the year completely off the grid on Kodiak Island. Obviously I have to be buttoned down since we can only get to the property buy boat or plane.
    Has anybody compiled a list of tools/equipment that I can compare to my own? I done a small amount of construction but by no means have I ever tackled a project of this size. Any help anybody can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Hey Akbig1bear,

    How big of a cabin are you building and are you building out of logs or a stick-frame cabin?

  3. #3
    Member alaska4ever's Avatar
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    Which 6 months are you going to live in it?
    JOHN

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    If you are stick framing you can get a tone of your work done with:

    Hammer
    Mallet
    Hand Saw
    1/2" chisel
    1 1/2" chisel
    Dewalt cordless drill w/ standard bit, spade bits and screw attachment
    Generator
    Circ saw (Worm Drive) w/ cross cut, rip and metal blades
    jig saw
    Chalk line
    4' Level
    torpedo level
    Framing Square
    25' Tape Measure
    100' Nylon Tape
    Folding Utility knife w/ pack of 100 blades
    Stapler
    Large and Small size caulk guns (the hand operated cheap kind)


    Passlode cordless framing hammer w/ Butane fuel cells (this is a controversial choice, because this isn't the most durable or reliable tool. You could easily end up being stuck driving your nails by hand, but I still prefer my Passloade cordless to dragging an airhose around a remote site.

    Belt sander (besides using it as a sander, you can build a stand for it and turn it upside down and use it with a fine grit to sharpen tools.)
    You might also, at some point, want a random orbital sander, but between a belt sander and hand sanding you might be good.

    Set of nail punches (I think that's the term, to countersink finish nails)

    Chainsaw w/ all necessary chainsaw tools.


    You need additional tools for:
    Foundation
    Paint
    Sheetrock
    general site maintenance (shovel, wheelbarrow, machete, pickaxe, etc.)

    A cheap, light tablesaw isn't necessary, but sure is nice. Ditto for a router and router table. A compressor an pneumatic staple gun can be nice for siding and flooring. If you get a compressor, you can consider a pneumatic nailer.

    With that list you are most of the way to what you need. But, everytime you order materials think very carefully about what tools you will need for each material that you are purchasing, and make sure that you get those tools. For example, if you order a bunch of 3-inch deck screws, make sure you know what the head pattern is. If they are torx or starbit screws, you might need to order a couple extra bits. Don't buy those right away, just be very diligent about buying them with the materials that they are needed for.

    I'm not a professional, but I've built a couple houses on the cheap. My toolbox has a bunch more stuff than I've listed, but the above list is most of what I actually use, except for what I forgot to mention.

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    Also, you need all the tools to maintain the aforementioned tools.

    Wrench and socket set, 12-in-1 screwdriver, mini-screwdriver set and tool oil gets you started.

    Also, I forgot to mention electrical tools, both for wiring the house and repairing equipment.

    You will build sawhorses on site.

    I also forgot to mention a chop saw. Get a decent quality chop saw if you get one. I'd be just as happy using my wormdrive saw instead of a low quality chop saw.

    You will need a way to level foundations and check floors for level. A surveyors level has some value, but you also can simply use a long length of clear tubing that you fill with water and check level by on two corners by seeing of the water level in the hose is the same height at both corners, if that makes sense.

    Also, think carefully about your toolbelt. You will want a big toolbelt, such as what professional use, but I get tired wearing a big heavy toolbelt. I always want a second toolbelt that is small. Just one pouch on the side. If I wear that with my Carhart overalls (bunch of pockets and hammer loops on the Carharts) I don't need to lug around the big toolbelt.

    Also, don't forget PPE. You of course need ear protection. But think about eye protection. I'd bring 10 pair of those $3 safety glasses and store them in a protected place. The last thing you want to do on a remote site is decide that your safety glasses are too badly scratched so that you stop using them. Off the road system is no place to get a stick in your eye.

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    I didn't see a ladder listed or lots of your favorite bug dope.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
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    I would think that you would need the same amount and type of tools to build a house on the road system as the same on a remote cabin. With the exception a generator. You may also need some sort of means to transport the material from the boat to the site.

    Sweepint
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  8. #8

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    Ax, Bow Saw, Come Along,Sledge Hammer, Post Hole Diggers,6' steel pry bar, Handy Man Jack,Shovel,Pick Ax,Several pieces of 6' chain with hooks on both ends, Some heavy duty rope, Splitting Maul and some wedges, Tie Wire,then there will be a need for all types of nails, screws , nuts and bolts, even with the list that everyone comes up with your first 30 days there you will have a 6 page list. You can always do things with less but it depends how much labor you are willing to expend by not having the proper tools.

  9. #9

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    There is a saying out there ,If you want a friend buy a boat, if you want to see who is your friends build a cabin.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bend View Post
    There is a saying out there ,If you want a friend buy a boat, if you want to see who is your friends build a cabin.
    That's a classic Big bend! Haven't heard that one yet. I'd give you a rep if I could.

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    Bushwhack,

    This will be a 24x32 stick-frame cabin.

    Thanks for asking

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    John,

    My goal would be to spend April thru Sept up there so that I can get plenty of fishing and a little bit of hunting in.

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    HikerDan,

    Thank you very much, certainly a few items you mentioned that I had not thought about previously. If everybody contributed one or two items that I had not thought about then I would be set. LOL

    Thanks again, very much appreciated!

  14. #14
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Extension cords and multi outlet strip, thermacell with plenty of refills, drill bits, handful of screwdriver tips for the cordless.
    Step ladder in addition to the ladder already mentioned.
    Make sure your generator is compatable with your dewalt chargers, some tend to eat chargers due to a modified sine wave (or vise versa....don't remember) but I our lil honda 2000 is just fine to chargethe batts.
    A radio is nice too on site!
    Bk

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    Thanks to all for your input! I can't tell you how excited and ready I am to get this started and even more excited to get it finished to a point that I'm sleeping in it!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akbig1bear View Post
    Bushwhack,

    This will be a 24x32 stick-frame cabin.

    Thanks for asking
    If that's the case you will probably need a nail gun, air compressor, generator, ladders, tool bag with all your ordinary hand tools (hammer, string line, speed square, cats claw, etc.), Skilsaw, Sawzall, Chopsaw (optional but definitely makes life easier), a few power cords, cordless rechargeable drill, sawhorses, framing square with stair buttons, level, caulk guns, and laser level for your foundation, and that's probably most of what you'll need. There are probably a few other things that I forgot to mention and would be nice to have but you can probably build a cabin with what I've mentioned.

  17. #17
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    Spenard Builders use to sell cabin kits and ship them to the bush communities.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    I didn't see a ladder listed or lots of your favorite bug dope.
    2 extension ladders with jack stand extensions to support working platform- so helpful since they fit on either side of the ladder and make life much easier than moving a ladder constantly. Plenty of marking pencils (always drop one when you need it). Rope to tie yourself off when doing roofing or pull supplies up. A good 5 gallon bucket is indispensable for so many things...

  19. #19

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    I forgot to add wall jacks to the list. Those would be very important. Especially if your 24 x 32 is a rectangle and your exterior walls are continuous. If you build the exterior walls in smaller sections you might get by without them. How many stories will it have and what will be the pitch on your roof?

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    How about a weather port to live in while you are building...fuel drums to keep the air comp/generator going. Heating oil for the WX port...

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