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Author Topic: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated  (Read 1038 times)

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Offline kentuckylogger

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      I ventured into the forest this fall with brand new Stihl chainsaws, my tractor, and a log wizard. I was knocking down pine trees left and right. Now they are laying on the ground rotting.
 
     I had just returned from a Butt and Pass log cabin class in Washington. The class was great but I made a monumental amount of mistakes.

     I am building everything from the foundation up myself. I have arthritis even though I am only 32 and a fake leg. I don't let those things stop me but I found out using a spud or draw knife is just not a possibility. I bought a log wizard and it seemed to just shred up the log and cut very unevenly.

     I have decided to still build a butt and pass log cabin but it will be square logs instead of round, natural logs. I just feel this is the best option since i have no way of peeling logs. I intend to buy a wood-mizer and mill the logs out and stack them. As many of you know a butt and pass doesn't have to be cured and this is my easiest way of getting done in a timely manner. If I tried it the way I was taught then I would have a lot of logs full of bugs.


I plan on just buying a manual mil and a bunch of bed extensions to cut my 40 ft pines into the logs.

After I get my house done I intend to buy a molder and start building D logs to build portable buildings that are real, portable log cabins for deer hunters to sell.


If any of the experts would just like to offer any advice I am willing to listen. Whether it be what machinery to buy, ways of peeling logs, decking boards, flooring etc then it would be GREATLY appreciated.

Best Regards,
Matthew Sparks

Offline thecfarm

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Re: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2013, 10:12:03 PM »
kentuckylogger,welcome to the forum. Must be in KY. I peel my logs in the early summer. Like in June and July.They peel real easy. I take my saw and I run the bar down one side of the log. I put the chain on the log and walk the saw down it. It leaves a mark as wide as the chain. Than I work my spud into that line and peel the bark off.I have no idea about what kind of pine you have,but some can be a sticky mess.
And good luck with your plans. It sounds good.
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Offline kentuckylogger

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Re: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2013, 10:21:13 PM »
Thanks so much for the reply. I am in Western KY. We have loblolly and white pine here. People consider all pine trees as complete trash and good for nothing more than pulp per ton price so it is really easy for me to buy pine trees cheap.

I am willing to try new things and I will try this. I would much rather have round logs than square logs but my joints are shot in my whole body. I am just too stubborn and too poor to do it with hired help. I was told the bark just falls off in the spring, but these trees are huge and just don't know if I am man enough for the task of peeling

Offline thecfarm

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Re: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2013, 10:30:31 PM »
I feel the peeling part is the easiest. All the stuff that comes after that is the hard part.  :D There maybe a few tricks to make it easy,but after a few logs,you will get the hang of it. If you are peeling saw the limbs off as close as you can. If not,the bark will get caught on the knot. You will also need a cant dog or a peavey to turn the logs. check out Logrite,they are a sponsor on the left. there is a place on the web site to help you decide on a cant dog or peavey too.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline kentuckylogger

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Re: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2013, 10:38:13 PM »
Well your giving me the correct advice. I want peeled logs. I was taking the lazy way out. I guess I just need to suck it up and get it done.

 I guess one other reason I wanted to do the square logs is my peeling window would be much longer than a couple months. I wouldn't have to peel and could just build year round. However, this is supposed to be my dream home so I better do it right.......

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2013, 05:51:54 AM »
I sawed some D shaped logs for a cabin out of larch.  You leave one side rounded and saw the other 3 sides to dimension.  You don't want real large logs for that. If you split the logs, you may be able to get 2 out of one log, but those logs will bow.  Most times its best to have a boxed heart, especially for the long ones over windows.  Using that method, peeling one side should be easy, as the bark generally becomes lose and falls off.  It should eliminate the need for a moulder.  One the size needed to for cabin logs is pricey. 

I've sawn many logs for cabin stock.  I prefer them to have a boxed heart.  We sawed over sized, put them on sticks, then let them dry for 3-6 months.  Then we sent them to someone with a moulder to do sizing.  That way, we didn't have to tie up capital in a moulder that sits around most of the time.  We also had a product that was much easier to work with, as all logs were the same size.  You can alter the log face to meet your demand.   

We never used a log that was longer than 16'.  Buying 40' straight logs is going to be much more expensive.  They're going to be hard to handle, and hard to get onto your walls.  Any bowing or twisting in something that long is going to be hard to get out.  There are several methods to butt your logs together that keeps air out. 

Peeling logs in the spring is much easier than any other time of the year. 
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Offline kentuckylogger

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Re: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2013, 02:20:08 PM »
Thanks so much for the advice. I am not too worried about bowing if I had a way to peel the logs. I am using the rebar attachment method and i am cutting logs well over 40'.

I do have one question though. If I were building a 40 x 40 cabin how would i use logs not any bigger than 16'? I only know how to do butt and pass with rebar or lag bolts and the same log is used from one end to the other. I never joined logs or tried to splice. A little confused.

Thanks so much

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2013, 07:03:52 PM »
I helped to build a cabin quite a few years ago.  We used the processed logs that had a tongue and groove system.  Bowing was always a problem on these, as you had to make everything match up, or you would have a draft problem.  We used a foam strip on both the outside and inside the tongue to help with the insulation and draft factor.  We drilled and nailed the logs in place.  Nails were about 1' long.  I've also seen where they used threaded rod from bottom to top, and they were placed every 2-3 feet.  Seemed like you had to really be good to line up the holes.

For ends, we simply caulked and used the foam strips.  We also made sure we had good, square cuts on the end.  Another reason that bowing can mess things up.  We used a pry bar to push the log into place, then nail.  Another method is to use a spline cut where you put a saw cut in the end of each log which is several inches deep.  The spline is put in there to reduce the possibility of draft leakage. 

We used a lot of 8' and 10' logs.  You will have a lot of doors and windows where you won't need a 40' log.  We also staggered all the joints.    We reserved the long logs for below and over windows.  We also used 4x8s to tie in the top of the wall that ran the width of the room.  Those were notched in and nailed. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline kentuckylogger

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Re: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2013, 11:39:00 PM »
so excited for spring. it makes me want to buy a woodmizer and start cutting wood for my decking etc... thanks for any and all advice guys. keep it coming

Offline Magicman

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Re: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2013, 07:45:41 PM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum, kentuckylogger.   :)
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Offline kentuckylogger

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Re: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2013, 09:06:24 PM »
Thanks Magicman! Got any good advice for me?

Offline Magicman

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Re: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2013, 09:25:43 PM »
Not really because I have never built a log structure before, but your remark about a Wood-Mizer sounded good.   :)
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

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Offline kentuckylogger

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Re: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2013, 10:15:08 PM »
Well I am lost when it comes to Wood Mizer. I wonder how fast i will tear it up? Haha

Offline Magicman

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Re: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2013, 10:34:06 PM »
Folks generally tear up stuff that they borrow.....not buy.   :D
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Offline strunk57

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Re: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2013, 11:01:22 PM »
Welcome to the Forum KYlogger, Good bunch of guys here. They are always willing to offer advice. Good luck with your cabin, keep us updated.
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Offline kentuckylogger

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Re: New to the website. A million questions. Any advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2013, 11:51:27 PM »
Thanks Strunk! I was just reading on kilns and drying. This is something I haven't even thought of. I have been designing everything around not having to cure my logs before I build, but since I am buying a Wood Mizer I am wondering about my interior walls, flooring, and decking boards. I sure have a lot of studying to do. I cant just throw up plywood. I have to have decking boards because my rafters will be natural logs and plywood doesn't lay on that so well but I dont want to put anything up that will warp because I didn't prepare the wood correctly.

Thanks again everyone for the advice. I really do want to do everything right the first time, thats not going to happen, but I am sure I will make a lot less mistakes thanks to your help


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