L-4 Extended Rafter version
(1936 to 1954)
R.H. SPRAY, April, 1995

 


L-4 Extended Rafter version       Many lookouts will tell you that the design of lookout cabins began to go downhill with the introduction of this version of the L-4. In an attempt to secure the shutters better than with the usual 2 x2 prop poles, the rafters were extended two feet on all sides and provided with bolts to which the shutters could be fastened. Although this did secure the shutters better, it was all but impossible for the lookout to raise and lower the shutters alone. It was a particularly terrifying task when the L-4 was on a tower or the edge of a cliff, and the lookout had to brace the heavy shutter with his back while standing on the catwalk railing in the wind and secure a nut and washer to the rafter bolt. I also believe the ceiling was raised to the normal eight-foot height in this version although I have not confirmed that this was a standard design change.


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