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Author Topic: aspen for cabin logs  (Read 13495 times)

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Offline craigc90

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aspen for cabin logs
« on: October 31, 2004, 05:30:07 PM »
   I have read on the board befor of people using Aspen for cabin logs. Aspen is a weed tree here and has no value. So I was thinking about harvesting the larger ones. Squareing them on 2 sides and using them for a cabin. As long as I keep them dry I think they will work. I was thinking of putting a 12 inch overhang on the roof. Any thoughts on if this will work would be appriciated.

Offline Minnesota_boy

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2004, 06:15:38 PM »
Don't put them too close to the ground and make that overhang on the roof 24 inches and I think you'll have a cabin for a long time.
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Offline bighoss550

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2004, 05:34:01 AM »
in my (and others form books) opinion, any kinda tree that is straight, has few big branches, has minimal taper, is a softwood(for R-value and workability), and is somewhat bug resistant is a great tree to put in ur wall. aspen, or "quakin-asp" as its called here, is one of the few deciduous that fit the bill:)
good luck

Offline Timber_Framer

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2004, 11:51:33 PM »
I've grown to like aspen in the last few years. It has similar strength characteristics as white pine and is most often logged and turned into toilet paper so it is less expensive. Ax you said its a weed tree in your neck of the woods as well as mine and Im not complaining because I get a lot of it for the cost of moving it!
As Hoss and MN=boy said give em some eve to keep the water off, seal em good and you should have a house for quite a while
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Offline Minnesota_boy

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2004, 04:15:48 AM »
Most of the time I want fresh cut logs to saw as they saw easier and smoother.  With aspen, letting them lay for a while seems to work out well.  The fresh cut aspen will often have lots of stress and the boards warp either right off the mill or in the pile as they are drying.  The ones that I've sawed that had been cut and in a pile for a year seemed to have no stress at all.  Just my expeience.
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Offline craigc90

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2004, 05:54:05 PM »
Thanks for the replies. I am going to try and do this over the winter. I will try and post some from the stump to the mill and into a cabin pics as soon as things start happening.

Offline redpowerd

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2004, 06:08:55 PM »
wondering if you get them logs cut, sticked and stacked and coverd, how long can they sit before you have to use them? when can you get the bark off and how dry will they be? i know that stuff dries up real tight, and id hate to think of notchin....
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Offline Minnesota_boy

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2004, 04:53:16 AM »
If you are going to peel those logs, you should wait until spring to cut them.  The bark will come off real hard in winter, but when the sap starts flowing it practically jumps off the log.  Even winter cut logs peel easier in the spring, but you haven't as much time to get them peeled before it sticks tight again.
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Offline bighoss550

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2004, 05:22:11 PM »
be careful peelin em in the spring, especially if u cut em in the spring. it may be easier, but the problems of staining are much harder to confront than a little extra elbow grease in the cold:)

ur call, but ifn ya go fer the easy route, then borate em as u peel em this spring

and dont let em dry for long before u fit em in. aspen (i think) is a little more finnickey about the stress checks. make sure u have em in the wall with the proper long groove kerf(top o the log) to allow em to check inside ur joinery.

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2004, 06:49:36 PM »
"". make sure u have em in the wall with the proper long groove kerf(top o the log) to allow em to check inside ur joinery""

bighoss
Interesting about the kerf, and wonder why the top and not the bottom? Seems the kerf on the bottom would limit the possible intrusion of water, whereas at the top, it would possibly 'catch' water seeping in between the logs.  I guess filling that top kerf with borax would help over the years prevent some decay if it did get wet. :)
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Offline Jeff

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2004, 06:33:50 AM »
Lots of experience with aspen and bark. bighoss550 is right. The bark will slip off like a sock in the spring but the problem left is molding and stain. BIG TIME. It will start within a day.I have wondered though, if the logs were power washed afterwards if this might retard the stain.

I have thought about cabin building with aspen as it is so plentiful here. I think though, if it was me, I would use winter cut and debark with a draw knife to get that "look".
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Offline pappy

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2004, 08:02:14 AM »
I have a friend who made two cabins using "popple" logs sawed two sides (I'll try to get some pics).  He had them cut and peeled and cribbed piled then covered in the early part of summer. They built the first camp the following year.  The logs did turn gray and had to be washed using bleach.

Jeff we cut and peeled a couple black spruce logs for the cabin outback. We washed them with Lestoil and pressure washed them right away and they still turned gray.  Jennie washed them after they were in place and have stayed white.

Draw knifing is a lot of work but it gives you that unique ax peeled look.
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Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2004, 02:14:35 PM »
I'm wanting to hear the answer to beenthere's question-----why put a kerf on the top of the logs rather than the bottom?  How wide and how deep should the kerf be?
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Offline bighoss550

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2004, 05:07:22 PM »
sorry guys, i forgot to check back on this thread :-/

\ok, the kerf on top is only when u are cutting the long grooves. this way the kerf opens the top of the log...... the outside of the bottom log's long groove pushes out and up on the inside of the groove on the bottom of the top log.......hahahahah. seriously!! :D it keeps ur joinery tight, and also there isnt a chance of water intrusion since the long groove on the bottom of the top log overlaps far enuf out and down on the top of the bottom log.

with the kerf in the bottom of the log, the joint opens up and allows the log to "slouch"...adding even more to the pain of shrinkage.

if ur doing a chinked wall(without long grooves) then the kerf better be on the bottom cuz cracks in the seal will fill er up quick ifn its on the top :o

and the kerf is just the width of ur saw chain.

Offline bighoss550

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2004, 05:13:43 PM »
anyone even remotely interested in log constructionshould own the book "LOG CONSTRUCTION MANUAL: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUILDING HADCRAFTED LOG HOMES"

get it:) Robert Chambers is a GREAT teacher!

i was thinkin about the staining issue..... since aspen is such a light colored wood to begin with, i dont think a soakin of 25% clorox would hurt and would def hold off the stain. maybe not, but its a thought.

and Jeff, u are right, the "look" of a well draw-knived log wall is the best. it is worth every bit of extra effort to really slice em with a sharp drawknife. the stain will really bring out the beauty in the log that way.

Offline sherwood

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2004, 06:32:32 PM »
Bleach straight from the jug is what I used on the 4 aspen  log buildings  I have put up. Just put it on with a paint brush while wearing rubber gloves and eye protection.  Some logs were almost black with
mildew. Sometimes it would take 2 applications of bleach.
Below a pix of what is now our living room going up in 1980.



Pain in life is mandatory. Suffering is optional.

Offline craigc90

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2004, 07:21:38 PM »
this is great. keep the pictures coming. I get to learn all the tricks without all the headach.That living room must be b-e-utifull

Offline sherwood

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2004, 01:59:53 PM »
Carpenter ants and powderpost beetles have been our worst problems with our log home and our other log buildings.
With carpenter ants our best remedy has been to sprinkle diazinon granules around the base of the buildings. If they find a way past that we get out the Terro ant poison.
With powderpost beetles we missed our best chance at dealing with them because when I found we had a problem with them we had already put a external finish of CWF on the logs. This would not let Bora Care ( a treatment for powderpost beetles) to penetrate into the wood. So we just put up with them.
At the rate they are doing there dirty work I do not think they will do any structural damage in our life time or that of our grand kids.
They just make a mess mostly when the weather is hot and humid as you can see below.


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Offline sherwood

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2004, 02:33:46 PM »
In 1982 we needed some bedrooms. So here we are making that addition. I find it hard to figure out where the time as gone, that little
guy pulling in a log with a come-along is now a doctor of pharmacy.

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Offline TN_man

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2004, 01:18:20 AM »
Nice little detail on your facia board there Sherwood. That adds a pretty neat touch. My compliments to ya ;)
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Offline Timber_Framer

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2004, 09:35:06 AM »
Very nice!
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Offline junkyard

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Re: aspen for cabin logs
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2004, 08:17:57 AM »
When I cut Popple (Aspen) pulp Peeled in the spring and Left the top on. The leaves would come out and draw the sap out of the tree. IAugust or September when it came out of the woods it was like handling feathers. Lots better than handlling green hardwood. Still a taters n gravy job.
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