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Thread: How do I build a log cabin?

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    Default How do I build a log cabin?

    I know the general idea of how to build one. I want to know any tips or tricks you can tell me. Things to avoid doing.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Have you done any research on log cabins yet?

    1) Get your self a location and see if there is any codes allowing one to be built.
    2) Now get your self a lot of logs....or trees, but will have to process the trees.
    3) Lay out how big (plan)
    4) Deside what you are gonna put it on.

    When that part is done stop back and we will descuss how the next part goes.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Research it the same as if you were going to build a stick house.There are plenty of web sites that offer information on building as well as companies and plans. As Hunter said, local zoning and construction codes might be a good place to start.

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    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    The International log Builders Association is a good source of information including books and a thing they call a forum that discusses the subject.



    http://www.logassociation.org/
    Karl

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    Senior Member BENESSE's Avatar
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    I had this thread bookmarked...if only AS (one of our members) hadn't pulled the photos it would have been perfect.
    But the writeup is easy to follow and might give you an idea.

    http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...uction-Methods

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    Senior Member BENESSE's Avatar
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    Here's another thread that might be useful:

    http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...624#post266624

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    There are about a bazillion youtube videos on building log cabins, many of which are very detailed.
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    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    tips and tricks. I like to keep the bottom log up off the ground at least 18 inches if possible. If not possible use rot resistant wood like cedar for the first course or two. A generous overhang is crucial to keep the water away from the logs. The end grain on the logs should be sealed and kept sealed. Cracks should be down so water will not puddle and trap in the crack. If using a saddle notch the saddle should be on the upper log as not to collect and trap water. Long iron pins or pipe should be drilled in along side the doors and window and in the center of a wall longer than 12 feet. Allowances should be taken for settling. There are some notches that handle shrinkage better than others.

    here's a few photos of a recent build. I built this one from green logs. Some of the logs were even frozen. I started to put a skirt around the bottom. I put 4 inches of foam on the roof and roofing tin


    The start of it with a jib crane I made to help position the logs. Especially helpful as the walls go up.
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    inside as I was working on the floor.
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    roughed in and settling
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    door and lime mortar chinking after settling.
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    inside showing the loft.
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    decided I needed a addition.
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    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    here's the tool I used less the chainsaw. from left canthook, scribe, log dog, axe, and a big hammer. I could have gotten by using the axe instead of the hammer but felt it was wiser to be climbing around on the walls with the hammer rather than the axe. Green logs can be as slippery as a greased pig. For marking I use a pencil called "ink in a pencil" The log will need to be sprayed with water in order for this pencil to mark but it's a good mark to follow. Sometimes I had to use windshield washer fluid because the water would freeze.

    one thing didn't show was a water level. It's basically a long piece of vinyl tubing filed with water or wiper fluid depending on weather. This is very handy for leveling things up. maybe a 30 to 40 piece that way it could be used corner to corner. I mostly eyeballed the walls but as I came closer to the top I started to check for level and uniformity and made minor corrections.


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    Did you cut the handle off the cant? I've used plenty setting the cant on poles but I've never seen one that short.

    If you have a helper you might consider a 2 man carry. I think they are properly termed timber carrier but we called it a 2 man carry.

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    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    I have a couple timber carriers but I worked alone so wasn't beneficial to me. Years ago I cut a piece off the canthook because I needed a piece of hardwood to form a lead joint during my journeymans plumbers test. I needed it at the last minute but the shorter handle worked well while climbing on the walls. It was my dads canthook, he used it to help roll logs from the skidway to the carriage. Usually he used a hydraulic log roller but with small logs it was simpler to canthook them.

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    Senior Member RandyRhoads's Avatar
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    Randyt - Did you cut the logs yourself? About how many trees did it take if you did? What was the final cost of this build?

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    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    I cut all the logs myself. Dragged them out with a yamaha rhino and a old homemade tractor, mostly the rhino though. I'm not sure how many logs, probably 80 or so. Before the tin and foam roof I had 2000 dollars in it. It's mostly rough sawn lumber where lumber was needed, a railroad rail for a center beam. The floor came from a trade from a local mill. Lot of sweat equity and scrounged materials.

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    Senior Member RandyRhoads's Avatar
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    That's awesome. That's like my dream home but a little smaller. I think someday instead of paying to have one built i'll save the money for more property, and build it my self.

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    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    Randyt, Very nice build. Some thing I have always wanted to do. What materials did you use for the chinking? Did you let the logs season before chinking so shrinkage minimized issues with log shrinkage?
    Karl

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    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    I built it with green logs, I've built a few green log cabins. After the roof was put on I let it dry and settle while I worked on the floor system. It sat and settled for a summer. I started the cabin in the fall and had the roof on by early summer. Some logs shrink less than others, these logs are balsam. Chinking is a lime mortar mix held in place with strips of expanded metal. there is fiberglass insulation stuffed in the cracks and then chinking on the inside. There is synthetic chinking available such as perma chink, log jam and others but the cost was too much for my pocketbook.

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    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    Good, Although Green is heavier, it is easier to cut. I know that in timber framing many folks like to mill or hew green and season for 8 to 12 weeks before cutting the joinery. This minimizes shrinkage and gives better control actually causing the remaining shrinkage to tighten the joints without splitting or drawing away. Closing in too soon and heating the space causes the wood to dry rapidly causing checking, warping and twisting I suppose this would also be true in log building. Your building schedule is the same plan I was going to use.

    The log buildings here 1750 to 1780 use a lime mortar mix for the chinking with some sort of fiber mixed in over wedged in waddle or sticks and sheep's wool for insulation. The remodel of a friends place revealed large sections of intact chinking with most of the deterioration around the windows and door frames. It looked like water infiltration. That part of the house was 1820 to about 1840. The shoes found under the floor were determined by Williamsburg to around that time frame. Hiding shoes was a tradition that was thought to welcome good to the household.


    LOL, here is a link to the web page for the architect that designed my project. Ya, That would be me.
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    Karl

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artichowl View Post
    I know the general idea of how to build one. I want to know any tips or tricks you can tell me. Things to avoid doing.
    This is about the vaguest question I have ever seen as far as a big project goes.......Man, give us a starting point?

    Randy and Karl, y'all have really put out some good information, good enough I think this should be a sticky, maybe?....or at least keep it in a file guys so as to not have to type out everything?

    As it seems that stuff like this gets repeated over and over.
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    Senior Member randyt's Avatar
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    I like the idea of a sticky, it seems that I've posted photos of a few cabins a few different times. I don't mind but it seems a sticky would be simpler.

    other than a few pole barns made from poles direct from the forest, the following storage shed is the closest to a post and beam I've made. Log infill.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Consider the thread stuck.
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