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Author Topic: Building log cabin with green logs  (Read 1346 times)

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Offline Nsp0005

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Building log cabin with green logs
« on: December 24, 2018, 11:30:59 PM »
Hello everyone, I知 about to start building a log cabin and would like some advice on what to do. I知 going to be building this with green white pine. Has anyone ever used green pine to build something like this? I have a woodmizer saw mill and I will be millling 3 sides to form a 泥 log. My plan is to get log cabin weather strip lay it right down the middle of the logs and culk each side. I then will stack with the butt and pass and apply long screws every two feet and finish by culking the outside and inside. Is this a good plan? What do you all recommend thank you all in advance. 

Offline Andries

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2018, 12:11:33 AM »
There will be a lot of log shrinking and checking. 
- Shrinkage is dealt with a lot of "settling" room above windows, doors and interior walls. Design their frames to use dadoes for the walls to shrink down to their EMC.
- Checking is controlled by ripping a 1 1/2" kerf down the entire kength, on the bottom side of your D shaped log. The checking will localize in that kerf, leaving the log looking Purdy. 
From green logs to final dry can take up to 3 to 5 years; let it happen slowly and the building will behave better than if you close the place up and crank the heat to high. 
Best of luck, and pictures always are welcomed! 😆 
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2018, 07:44:27 AM »
I have built many log homes out of green white pine logs.
Do as Andries has said and you will be fine.
Use a good guality log sealant and chinking.
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Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2018, 01:10:16 PM »

- Checking is controlled by ripping a 1 1/2" kerf down the entire kength, on the bottom side of your D shaped log. The checking will localize in that kerf, leaving the log looking Purdy.
Excuse me for asking maybe a silly question, but is that kerf deep, or wide?  Banjo
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Offline barbender

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2018, 01:52:44 PM »
Deep. Just a single vertical kerf with a chainsaw. On flattened D logs, you could just as well use a circle saw.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Don P

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2018, 06:01:29 PM »
What you're doing there, a check usually forms along the shortest path from heart to bark, you are scoring a weak line to help it form on the bottom hidden face.

One other thing I've done is to take a power planer and make a couple of passes down the center of the bottom. The flat sawn faces dry convex. By making that relief swath down through the middle of the bottom it helps the timbers bear on the outer edges rather than bearing on the bellied middles.



 
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Offline Escavader

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2018, 06:18:51 PM »
I have seen the walls shrink so much the trusses are held up by the interior partitions.its called truss lift.im not against a green cabin,ive milled alot of them at my previous company.
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Offline Don P

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2018, 09:33:00 PM »
The usual way of building for settlement is to think through anything that might hang up when the logs shrink and settle. Interior walls should be built lower than the log walls and then another top plate is attached above them to the ceiling, there is a gap between the wall top plate and the ceiling plate at least as large as the settlement allowance. Then vertical lags, timberlocks, long nails, some form of smooth dowel, is run through a loose hole in the wall plate up to the ceiling plate to hold alignment of the wall. As the log walls settle the gap closes. The upper plate is wide enough to carry a trim piece that slides over the wall finish material, so if a 2x4 wall is covered by sheetrock the ceiling plate is a 4-1/2" wide. 1/4" per foot is a typical settlement allowance for green white pine.

Window and door openings need that allowance as well

A 2 story building gets more interesting, any second floor support girders need to be supported on adjustable screw jacks, plumbing drains need slip joints, stairs, well stairs don't work, they can either slide on the floor and go out of level or slide at the upper deck and lose height at the top riser, better to build the finish set when its done settling.

The triangle up in the gable ends is much easier if framed and sided rather than trying to do in green logs.

There are more details like where the frame walls intersect the log walls, window and door bucks, etc. most has been discussed in other threads or ask if you need more. The main thing is think through every instance where the settling logs confront something that doesn't settle. Caulk is an adhesive, consider that in vertical trim.
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2018, 07:13:28 AM »
My home was built with green red pine.  My logs are natural with just the bark peeled and thejoints were scribedo the next log.  The log walls were originally 10 high and shrunk about 5 over 10 years.  I have allthread running from top to bottom.  In the basement there is a big spring and nut to tighten every so often.  That keeps the log tight as they shrink.  I had to lower interior posts every so often.  As said, you have to plan door and window openings to be able to to close up.  
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Offline ppine

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2018, 10:39:08 AM »
Building with green logs is as old as the hills. 
There will be a lot of settling.  Account for it. 
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Offline Nsp0005

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2018, 09:39:10 PM »
Thanks everyone for the replies! If I use screws and put lord down the middle how could expect my logs to settle? Will the entire wall shrink as one unit or will after time they space out I知 using long log screws every two feet. Also I壇 like to add the cabin will be about 1000 square feet. 

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2018, 09:56:19 PM »
I would drill about an inch hole with a paddle bit first and recess your screw in there.  That way when the log shrinks the screw will not lift up on the log above.  I would count on at least a half inch of shrinkage per foot of log height.
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Offline Nsp0005

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2018, 12:16:06 AM »
That sounds like a good idea! So if everyone could pitch in and tell me if I知 understanding correctly. I知 going to mill a D log I will make 1-1/2 cut down the middle I then will lay my strip and caulk on both sides drill a minimum of 1/2 inch and  recess a screw to leave room for log shrinkage. 

Offline Nsp0005

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2018, 12:17:03 AM »
I will provide a set of my plans on the morning to see what everyone thinks. Thank you all! 

Offline Greyman

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2018, 02:51:45 AM »
I'm planning on something similar (8" D logs).  We built our family cabin back in 1972 with Douglas Fir logs that were literally trees the day before.  We had to stop and go help the old timer with his big circle sawmill at times and I wouldn't be surprised if some ended up in the building the same day they were felled.  We used 10" spikes with a drilled hole in the top log (6" D logs), about every 3 feet.  Just pay attention as others have noted with things like posts, doors, windows, chimneys, etc.  We have a concrete fireplace/stove pad in the middle with steel posts so it sags down some to the walls but it's not noticeable unless you look for it.  It is on piers though, so we've been able to tweak the leveling to compensate to come degree (i.e. jack the perimeter piers up) over the years.  Everyone keeps trying to talk me into a solid concrete perimeter foundation but I like having the piers for that reason.
We didn't cut the relief or anything like that - just flat with a bit of pink insulation in between that probably doesn't do anything.   The pic below is the best one I have that shows the interior - almost all logs have a crack in the center but I don't think that is bad myself.  Hell, I just watched one of those "log home buying" shows the other day and a $380k log home had cracks like that and the realtor said it added "authentic character"...   :D    



 

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2018, 06:35:06 AM »
here is my option. i built a cedar log home from a kit almost 40 yrs ago. 15 yrs ago we added on. that time i bought the cedar d shape with tongue and  groove. you need that. then 10 yrs ago i bought a repo house to flip. that was pine log. never again. after replacing some rotten logs, several. i put 2" of blue board on the inside then t&g pine. that was the cheapest way to tighten it up. if its just a camp it may be fine

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2018, 09:32:31 AM »
Some of my logs are over 40 feet long and maybe 20 diameter at the big end.  There is almost no visible checking anywhere in the house.  That is because of the saw kerf that is run down the middle of the joint.  I would look for a foam gasket that has adhesive on one side.  Place that close to the inner edge and close to the outer edge.  When the house is done, use a caulk like Big Stretch and run a bead along the outer seams and you should not need it inside.


 
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Offline Nsp0005

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2018, 10:12:43 AM »
Thanks everyone! Would anyone know about the shrinkage in that? Like would my logs individually separate some or would the entire wall just shrink together? I really appreciate all the positive feedback! How would I go about putting my roof on if the walls shrink and windows etc.? Again thank you all!

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2018, 10:13:29 AM »
I’m thinking about 1 foot logs for anyone who was wondering as well. 

Offline rjwoelk

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2018, 02:46:58 PM »
I did dovetail joints also screwed the logs down. was not a good idea as the logs shrink in width they could not come together in the dovetail because of the screws and has caused some gaping, which will be closed up with chinking next summer.

 
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Offline barbender

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2018, 03:17:27 PM »
I don't like the idea of screws as they can cause settling problems. If you provide relief for them, unless you have springs under them they're not providing any "hold down". On hand scribed log homes, wooden dowels provide the lateral resistance. So will the window and door backs you install. If you want something that will resist uplift, threaded rod that goes all the way from the top plate to the bottom plate is the way to go.
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Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2018, 03:31:36 PM »
And if you are like me and too cheap to spring for the whole threaded rod, you could do this...top and bottom.

bottom is hilted in with epoxy.  Banjo
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Offline Don P

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2018, 05:10:35 PM »
Thanks everyone! Would anyone know about the shrinkage in that? Like would my logs individually separate some or would the entire wall just shrink together? I really appreciate all the positive feedback! How would I go about putting my roof on if the walls shrink and windows etc.? Again thank you all!

Some things to think about. It's going to sound like I'm being fussy but bear with me for a minute and think about what is going on. Shrinkage and settlement are not the same thing. Shrinkage is the wood shrinking as it loses moisture. Settlement is the logs moving downward, in response to shrinkage. But settlement can be caused by more things going on. In a scribe fitted home like firefighter's there are a few more things causing settlement, compression of the thin edges of the scribed lateral joints. Those edges are bearing on tangential grain which has about twice the shrinkage of radial. The coped laterals spreading as the check forms in them, also called slumping. For anyone interested you can find all of this described in more detail in the log home standard.

The 1/4" per foot I mentioned is from the prescriptive radial settlement table in that standard, for a milled white wood log in a warm humid climate drying from fiber saturation point, green to dry.  Can you go more, in most cases it doesn't hurt anything. During the development of that code a number of us wrote in to disagree with the logic behind that table, in the real world the settlement is actually less. Why. First, the settlement allowance is based on shrinkage data from the USFPL. Those shrinkage numbers were based on very thin radial and tangential samples, free to move in response to moisture changes. A full sized timber doesn't shrink as much as a piece of veneer because it is somewhat bound internally by differing stresses and rays. Second, when a check forms the wood has indeed shrunk but the dimension of the timber has not changed as much as the amount of shrinkage. Part of the shrinkage is in that check.

Will your wall shrink uniformly, all together and remain perfectly tight or will there be some separation. There will probably be some separation. For one the shrinkage numbers are averages, each log is an individual and will shrink somewhat differently. Not all will be straight grained, some will twist to a greater or lesser degree. Some will have knots, ever notice in a dried board that the knots are proud, longitudinal grain perp to the axis of the board.

To settle around a fastener, any fastener, the rows of fasteners need to be plumb. If they wander around at divergent angles nothing is settling. If a log twists as it dries it is certainly going to put friction on the fasteners before allowing any settlement. Can a 2500 lb spring overcome the twist and bow of a large drying timber? Can you stack an entire wall of such timber and then successfully tighten it all? Will all members be in plane? One group of chink builders intentionally builds log homes that do not settle. They drive rebar at opposing angles from row to row to lock the height. The logs shrink individually but are hung in place on the opposing pieces of rebar.

The roof springs from the top course of the log walls, assuming it is only bearing on the logs, as they settle the roof is simply along for the ride. As long as the logs settle somewhat uniformly and that it isn't tied to something that doesn't settle, like a chimney, the roof remains in plane.

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Offline Nsp0005

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2018, 07:19:07 PM »
Yeah that痴 why I知 doing butt and pass method to avoid that. 

Offline pappy19

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Re: Building log cabin with green logs
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2019, 07:34:58 PM »
Why not just use standing dead? I used standing dead Idaho white pine and have lived in our log home for 18 years. Swedish cope round logs, 3 stories and no movement whatsoever.
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