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Author Topic: Log building  (Read 1093 times)

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Offline Mainecoast

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Log building
« on: September 26, 2021, 07:30:02 PM »
Howdy,

Iíve been interested in learning log building for years. I picked up a book by Allen Mackie. Itís pretty sweet and I havenít actually gone page by page and absorbed it all yet. I also learn very quickly hands on..is there anyone around Maine who is building one of these I could help with? Iím around the bar harbor area. Maybe I just need to put the sweat n blood (men donít cry right?) into my own small cabin to get this going. 

I built a timber frame pavilion a few years ago and I canít recall it being super challenging. Iím a builder/cabinet maker so I have some experience with being finicky.

Iím just curious if anyone has insight into this?

I grew up in a log cabin way up north. Chainsaw and axe marks all over the place. It wasnít scribed together or anything fancy. Just rope chinking and some chainsawed saddle joints. It was really cool as a kid and now when I go back I notice all those chainsaw marks and loose joints. 

Iíd really like to build the old time hunting cabins. Short walls, log purlins sticking way out over the porch. Figured someone would have some input.

Thanks!

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Log building
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2021, 05:39:14 AM »
sounds neat, and you are young enough to pull it off.  I do not have the knowledge you seek.  but others will chime in.  I will follow.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline Mainecoast

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Re: Log building
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2021, 07:21:49 AM »
I think Iím young enough! 32..weíre about to finish up our cabins down here on the coast...not timber framed or logs but simple artistic camps. Then weíre heading back north. 

Offline jake pogg

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Re: Log building
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2021, 11:22:36 AM »
I've been building with logs for a couple decades +,and been doing this current project since May.
It's the first time i use any sort of squared-off "logs",and do Not recommend it.
I'm far from Maine(unfortunately,i love Maine,and could really use some help:)),and am racing the season here,so have not much time for the internet.
But may try to answer some questions,if maybe you can be more specific?



 

 

This place is an L-shape,36'x28' main part,8'x14' mud-room on front.
I've been doing it all by myself,using a forklift,and lately a boom-truck,7-4T.
Can't say that it was easy,and yes,if possible,join an ongoing project before you start your own,if at all possible.
"You can teach a pig anything,it just takes time;but what's time to a pig?"
Mark Twain

Offline jake pogg

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Re: Log building
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2021, 11:40:30 AM »
But yes,like a friend(a Very experienced old builder)said:"To build with logs you just have to be smarter than a log".

It's true,it ain't rocket science.
BUT,you must Think,and do a good job of that,to plan and foresee things,and that'd be your most valuable tool.

"You can teach a pig anything,it just takes time;but what's time to a pig?"
Mark Twain

Offline Don P

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Re: Log building
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2021, 05:03:16 PM »
It looks like you're going to be dry before winter, good job!
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline jake pogg

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Re: Log building
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2021, 01:33:04 AM »
It looks like you're going to be dry before winter, good job!
Don,thank you,i SO wish you may be right!
But i don't hold out too much hope for it,the time is running out,and i'm ever so slow.
Two days ago i milled the last of my logs and remnants,but all my material is in 2x8's,and i'm edger-less,ripping everything to size on a tablesaw.
Also,there's been an expensive,time and materials-wise,redesign:I'm now raising the back half of the house by a 4'-5'-ish tall pony wall,and have modified my truss jig to the scissor config.
In short,a framed half-story on top of the back half of the logs.
It Is an indulgence,but a really humble one,the whole place is barely 1000 sq,and these extra couple hundred of attic,essentially,space is not extravagant by any means...But it'll probably sink us for finishing before winter.
I'm ok with that,as i've grown very fond of the project,and would rather see it done right-er vs sooner...
A few days ago,as i was starting on this first batch of trusses i  got a gentle reminder to wrap up...the first gentle nudge... 
 

  
"You can teach a pig anything,it just takes time;but what's time to a pig?"
Mark Twain

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Log building
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2021, 07:16:49 AM »
There are many ways to build log homes.  What will you be looking to do...full scribed, chinked, milled?  My home is full scribed with saddle notches, all done by hand.  It was built in Minnesota and then disassembled and trucked to Missouri where we re-assembled it.  I helped to put it back up, but I didn't have anything to do with the scribing and notching.  I then finished the rest of the project essentially myself with help from some friends.

There have to be some log home companies in the area.  Reach out to them and ask to come tour their yard.
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Offline jander3

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Re: Log building
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2021, 12:16:49 PM »
Built the Stump Ranch a while back.  1 guy, chainsaw and axe. Hand Scribed.

https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=33283.0


 


Offline barbender

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Re: Log building
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2021, 03:13:58 PM »
My log building was an epic "fail", did not complete. Let too many other things get in the way of the project and the logs went bad sitting there. So dont do it that way😁
Too many irons in the fire

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Log building
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2021, 06:29:56 PM »
Looks nice @jander3 Looks like red pine like my home from Grand Marais MN.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Log building
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2021, 06:37:51 PM »
Built the Stump Ranch a while back.  1 guy, chainsaw and axe. Hand Scribed.

https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=33283.0

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
How is the Stump Ranch doing? Some update pics would be great to see (or is this one ?). 
Enjoyed going along with you on that build back in the day.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: Log building
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2021, 09:19:36 AM »
In 1979-80 when I self built our log home I was 37 and a strong healthy feller. I had strong tool skills with wood but a log build greenie. Between books and other printed materials stolen from kit companies, and builder observations I pulled it off while working FT at my tech school with my wife entertaining three babies under 3 yrs old and a lack of MONEY! 
Fast forward to now and my off grid cabin is in slow motion between weather extremes, dead tractor, dying MIL, more bad weather, can't find any labor and my age and other realities. But I'm still pushing wood around and found a 15 yr old kid to try out soon. The one before him was afraid to climb a ladder, plus unsafe and so on. maybe this time I'll find a worker bee? A huge chestnut oak fell on/around my joists pile under a tarp and a huge branch/top section needs pulled away from a tree it lodged against but looks like it'll fall on a big hornets nest- life in the woods is interesting?  ;D
Have fun !

 
Kan=Kansas;tuck=Kentucky;kid=what I'm not

Offline Stephen1

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Re: Log building
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2021, 11:09:57 AM »
Mainecoast, Your young enough for sure. I was 3 years in my back yard scribing the logs for the cabin on the left. 15 years getting it all finnished, so that when my ex left me, I had a home to live in. It has a basement with washroom and sauna, a loft bedroom and 1 room kitchen living room dinning room. 
B. Allen Mackie is the go to books for "full scribe". He brought back the skill. A book by Dan Milne was my starter book, the pictures and description for scribing was what convinced me I could do it.   I am sure there area lot of other good books on it now.  And of course UTUBE. 
My place has chansaw and axe marks and then I discover the 4" grinder with a #30 grit sanding disk.
I did mine with a 170 STHIL and a 2" chisel, a good swedish axe,  and a Scribe from Lee Valley Tools. 
It took on average 8 hrs to scribe and set each log, so the bigger the logs, the less time spent. I have 55 logs in my cabin. 
Ask lots of questions or take a log building course. At each course there will always be 1-2 guys actually building a place that you can go help with. That is the other way you get volunteers to help build your place, take the course, meet like people and ask them to come help you build yours.
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Offline barbender

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Re: Log building
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2021, 03:02:23 PM »
Iirc I have a lot of pics in my gallery of my log shell/failed build. I would say the biggest considerations with a log building are time management, and moving things. Conventional building there isn't much you can't throw over your shoulder and carry. Not going to happen with a 50' 18" diameter log😊 Design your house so that it minimizes the need for really long logs. I had a wall with a 36' run, that required 40' logs. Once you get a string line on all of those nice straight logs you thought you had, you realize that straightness was an optical illusion😊 But by using shorter length walls in your design, and using shorter pieces between doors and windows, you can really cut down on the number of long ones needed. 
  If you look at log houses built around 100 years or more ago (or prior to the resurgence of log homes in the 70's) you'll notice that the logs they used were a lot smaller. That wasn't because they didn't have big ones available, it was because those were the size that could be moved by manpower. Just things to consider🤦🏻‍♂️
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Stephen1

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Re: Log building
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2021, 03:30:30 PM »
BB is exctly correct. My logs i could handle by myself,  but I couldn't lift them by myself. Parbuckle up to scribe, and parbucle down to carve, up and down . While I was building i remember reading the average log in a log home gets handled 17 times. From when it is cut down to finnally in the wall.
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Offline Coastallogger

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Re: Log building
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2021, 12:39:40 PM »
BB is exctly correct. My logs i could handle by myself,  but I couldn't lift them by myself. Parbuckle up to scribe, and parbucle down to carve, up and down . While I was building i remeber rading the average log in a log home gets handled 17 times. From when it is cut down to finnally in the wall.
I am avoiding the full scribe method mainly due to time and the fact that I donít have machinery to handle the logs for me, and I want to minimize handling and time spent on the project generally.
I am going with dovetail so nothing needs to be scribed or fitted. The notches are layed out with math. 
So in theory, I can fell the tree, cut it to length on the spot, mill the sides off on the spot with my edging mill, move it out of the woods, get it on a cart and hand tow it to the sawhorses, get it on the horse, peel it, and cut the notches, then hoist it directly in place, handling it twice only.

Would you say that method would save a lot of time compared to full scribe?
Building 20X20 dovetail log cabin off grid.

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Log building
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2021, 07:19:30 PM »
that sounds like more than twice.   :)  go for it.
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Offline Mainecoast

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Re: Log building
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2021, 08:17:08 PM »


Do you think a log loader or small crane truck would be best? Once in awhile I see midsize international crane trucks for sale around 6-9k..Iíd really like to incorporate some log building into my business. Thinking about building high quality but remote cabins way up north. So I could handle the logs with the crane load my tools, logs, supplies and my son and I head out to the forest for a while. Probably pre build the cabin at home. 

Offline Stephen1

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Re: Log building
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2021, 09:17:12 PM »
Most profesionally built log homes are built in the back yard/shop yard . They are then taken apart and moved to the permanent location. 
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