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Author Topic: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?  (Read 2479 times)

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Offline jake pogg

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"Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« on: May 30, 2021, 10:49:18 AM »
As a separate issue but also related to the topic https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=115500.0

Sometimes on a half-lap/square-lap corner notch a "lug"-a square male/female detail was carved to prevent the air infiltration of a joint.

(i seem to not be able to insert photos here...the only thing it'd let me do is to create an album in my "profile";and i tried that,and have (i think) a photo of such a joint in there somewhere).

My question to the community is:Was a similar device ever carved into a sloped joint such as half-dovetail?

I seem to remember seeing photos of one somewhere,but my (feeble)research has so far resulted in no info;also,having carved a hal-dovetail to show the client as an example of the possible corner joint,i'm failing to see myself,even having it right in front of me in 3-D,just how it could possibly be done... 
"You can teach a pig anything,it just takes time;but what's time to a pig?"
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Online Don P

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2021, 08:12:23 PM »
Well, something ate that post  :D, try again. 

B.A. Mackie's "Notches of All Kinds" has a good selection and instructions on a number of corner notches.

This was a factory cut air dam on a dovetail kit, It was pretty wimpy but I liked the concept, I've seen right outside along the verticals on several dovetail homes as the logs shrink.


 

I was playing with the concept and a french dovetailed cog, this is the idea but the french tail is way too big, it weakens the relish beyond, there is a happy place in there somewhere.


 

In notch and pass corners I've done a vertical slightly wedge shaped drop in french dovetail before that worked pretty well. Didn't take any pictures.

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Offline jake pogg

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2021, 10:03:17 PM »
Thanks so much,Don,that's very interesting(taking place in the horizontal plane, i didn't even think in that axis!).

Very interesting concept(-s),and Very neat work.Wonderful.
(i get a feeling those twin lateral ridges were not made with a plow-plane :) )
"You can teach a pig anything,it just takes time;but what's time to a pig?"
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Offline jake pogg

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2021, 10:39:36 AM »
Since i discovered how to post photos i thought i'd abuse it a bit...

The order of photos is still challenging,so the first one is my treatment of the "bark-",the last remaining round side of a D-log. It'd taken down about 3/8" to 1/2" deep using Makita 1002BA:




And this is my first experiment with half-dovetail(the lug situation is still hazy,but this does help in thinking):


 



Next is the treatment of the Face,the flat side that'll be the finish surface inside the house.
The planer i use on this(i believe in All wooden surfaces to be finished with a sharp blade,abrasives of Any kind are an abomination,and are to be resorted to only in an emergency),is Makita 1806B,the width of cut is 6 3/4".
That face is 8" now,but i'll cut a chamfer on each edge(for acrylic sealant),and this will bring the overall width to where i can cover the entire surface in a pass:  


 


And finally just a shot of my lovely work-site.We build on pilings here because of the fairly regular flooding.The pilings are 6" sch.40 pipe that go down 16' to the permafrost.
The H-beams on top are 10" tall by 8" wide flange/1/2" thick.
12" BCI joists and 1 1/8" underlayment,screwed&glued...Everything pretty much according to Hoyle:


 

 
"You can teach a pig anything,it just takes time;but what's time to a pig?"
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2021, 10:51:13 AM »
Jake you are doing well. the pick goes where you leave the cursor in the post.  It is good to give a couple spaces between the photos, and you can go back and put comments between them.  you can back space and remove a photo just like words.  If you save a post, you can go back and modify and redo stuff, such as photos and repost.  for a long post, it is not bad to save it then modify to add more in case you are worried about loosing all your work.
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 jake pogg

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2021, 11:01:59 AM »
Jake you are doing well. the pick goes where you leave the cursor in the post.  It is good to give a couple spaces between the photos, and you can go back and put comments between them.  you can back space and remove a photo just like words.  If you save a post, you can go back and modify and redo stuff, such as photos and repost.  for a long post, it is not bad to save it then modify to add more in case you are worried about loosing all your work.
Thank you,Sir,that's very kind of you.
I'll try to mark this post somehow so i can refer to it in the future.
I'm not sure if i'm not being a bit long-winded here,if that detailed of information is of any interest to anyone.
However,part of it is that at present i'm in a sort of a hiatus,up against making a number of decisions absolutely crucial to the future of project.
Once i get going on this in earnest i'll probably not have the time to post.
(the work-crew on this project is me,myself,and i,and if i don't stretch tin over this by early November at the latest i'll be performing seppuku...(so then i'll definitely not post,although i can try to ask someone to video it...wonder if this site will allow that though?:))
"You can teach a pig anything,it just takes time;but what's time to a pig?"
Mark Twain

Offline doc henderson

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2021, 12:35:25 PM »
I think for video, you have to have a you tube account and then link to it.  @Jeff is not only the chief bottle washer, but an expert (owner) on the site and video posting.  after you use it a time or two, it will seem intuitive and come natural.  at first I did not want to screw up a post, but then I experimented and can get a better fluid post.  we like pics, and more details is usually helpful, or you will get answers to questions you did not ask for.  when I first joined it was from work, and I did not have time to mess around.  Now it is a daily habit, good or bad!
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

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2021, 04:28:34 PM »
Mackie calls it a locked dovetail notch, I googled this morning and saw a different one in a short video.

Tangential vs radial shrinkage will make the flat face convex. Run a 3" power planer up the center of the bottom to leave a wide, shallow relief which will throw the bearing back onto the 2 outer edges.
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2021, 05:34:30 PM »
Thank you guys,and that below is one heck of a valuable tip.


Tangential vs radial shrinkage will make the flat face convex. Run a 3" power planer up the center of the bottom to leave a wide, shallow relief which will throw the bearing back onto the 2 outer edges.


And thank you,I'll see if i can find Mackie's info somewhere on internet...(of course i don't have his book..most foolishly...:(...).

I've met Alan Mackie once,at a log-building conference in Fairbanks AK.
He struck me as the mildest,most well-mannered man that i possibly ever met...I remember feeling embarrassed afterwards at how patiently he listened to some nonsense i was spouting...Also remember discussing with him a very old deal of building in a pocket-mortise filled with rock-salt into every log,for it to(supposedly,as the myth has it)dissipate along the grain preserving the wood....Good Lord,i believe it was in the previous century that it all happened...:( 
"You can teach a pig anything,it just takes time;but what's time to a pig?"
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2021, 07:39:23 PM »
His daughter has links to the book here;
BOOKS | B Allan Mackie
I have several they published or reprinted back in the day. We were holed up in a camper on a seriously subzero jobsite for a winter but a kindly neighbor gave me a stack of his magazines for the long winter nights.

I've not done that style of D log but have done double round flat on flat. It is worth the time to make certain the upper log overhangs the lower a small amount, drip edges rather than water catching ledges. Big over or underlaps are not pretty. We would trial set the next log and scribe to remove offending ledges and blend the diameters better, using drawknives. That power planed finish is not lovely. I think I'd either drawknife or get an Osborne brush or similar and engage in some abrasive abomination to break up or blend those lines better.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2021, 11:19:06 PM »
That power planed finish is not lovely. I think I'd either drawknife or get an Osborne brush or similar and engage in some abrasive abomination to break up or blend those lines better.


Ah!...I think my heart is breaking!...Is not my 1002BA finish decent?!!!
(but wait,i've TWO(!!!) brand-new sets of HSS blades for it,i was just too stingy to swap them out yet!THEN you'll be impressed:))

Seriously,do you think that that rounded part would be better drawknifed?

And i'm afraid i'm not at all familiar with Osborne brush...I'll look it up,my internet data account gets recharged tonight,on the 31-st/1-st of each month(btw,i'm in a remote,roadless village,and all comms here are sat-based).

Thank you very much for all this most constructive info,i'm isolated here,do not work professionally,and really am out of the loop;and so really appreciate any and all criticism.

It was very good and conscientious of you to mark off and deal with all those "ledges"(good term for it).
That's yet another incurable,really,downfall of 2-,or 3-sided logs...Matching them in profile will Look better,for sure,but will it solve the seepage,the wicking-type action of water capillaring it's way about?...(No,Sir,i do not believe it will,alas and alack...:(...).
"You can teach a pig anything,it just takes time;but what's time to a pig?"
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2021, 08:17:08 AM »
Just my opinion but long faceted lines is not going to look good. Either a fair curve or a drawknife texture will look better. If the power planer has knives rather than inserts I have ground convex and concave curves in the knives and extend them out as far as possible without hitting the case, round the corners to avoid leaving lines. If its those narrow disposable inserts you're stuck with just using it for initial hogging the junk off.

I saw Mackie's daughter has a site that lists his books and videos, that is a good one for the bookshelf.

This isn't meant to offend just something to think about. It isn't full scribe nor is it trying to be, it is a different form of construction. I'm seeing what looks like the wrong attitude going in, that doesn't lead to your best work or anyone being happy in the end. A friend told me one time as I was regretting things said and going on at work "I've learned that if I'm behaving badly I'm in the wrong place, its time for a change". There are certainly jobs I've regretted taking. Screen what you take. We all grouse, I'm whining about being a mole under a house now and would have preferred to burn this one down and recreate it, but I adjusted my attitude to their desires as much as possible. I do bring some level of expertise, at least relative to the client, and have to do things right but am respecting their wishes as well, pick the ones where you can shine. A fail is not a referral, meeting a tough challenge and prevailing is a big one.

Capillary... what is the capillary limit? The strength of a hydrogen bond. Trees don't have pumps, that is natures best capillary. A redwood is within a very few feet of the theoretical limit of the ultimate strength of that bond. Don't fool yourself, detail to prevent wicking. A friend who was really conscientious used a dremel to create drip edges similar to a window sill detail on an appalachian style chinker, wow. He was kicking the water off at every course rather than allowing it to flow down the wall and trying to keep it out.

We abandoned spikes after using them on one house and went to 3/8x10 lags. Prebored with a 1/2" bit through the upper log and counterbored a couple of inches deep for the washer. Deep well socket on an impact for running them in and spaced every 2-3' to pull down tight. You'll still need to chink after dry but it'll keep everything flat and in plane as much as possible during drying. Dead on vertical holes, divergent angles will hang it up. There is less settlement in this style of construction than in full scribe, there is no slumping or compression.

We fashioned a C shaped head that would reach over the course. A long handle with a foot that engages the fixed course below allows a helper to bow the logs into plane as the lag is run in. We could work bowed logs into a flat plane.
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Offline jake pogg

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2021, 10:14:43 AM »
I'm amazed,Don,that someone doesn't find long/faceted planer marks appealing-amazed and glad,as obviously this has been a blind spot on my part,and i'm happy to know of it's existence now.

All the technical stuff you describe relating to building with "sided" logs is Very valid.Technically,(although of course under specific conditions or working with different species all that is subject to adjustment),but more importantly-it makes it obvious that you're a Thinking builder,which is the ultimate quality in this very creative field.
Good for you,good for your clients,and i'm honored to have a chance to converse with someone like you.

Thank you for those Mackie books link,i really should get some of these for our local school library here.(i've lost all my paper books in a severe flood we had in 2013,and decided to not keep real books any longer-too heavy to load up each spring when i prepare for ice break-up and possibility of a flood).

What you write about a friend carving drip-edges into logs with a Dremel reminded me of a book i looked through many years ago now-it was a dissertation of an older friend's granddaughter,an architect,on the details of Norse architecture in something like 9th-10th c.c.
Here's an amazon link to the book:https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/norwegian-wood--a-tradition-of-building_christian-norberg-schulz_jerri-holan/434657/item/10077971/?gclid=CjwKCAjwtdeFBhBAEiwAKOIy50mP_qiyZCUqGfMmKo7Us_lZ44JbBAYmay2iBMvi-ei7RPDUGRRdqhoCSncQAvD_BwE#idiq=10077971&edition=6890947

But in it she describes and has diagrams and photos of beautiful bored and carved channels and little drain holes,to drain all kinds of dados and other nooks and crannies resulting from those curious architectural details...

So good on your friend-he's following in a ancient noble woodworking tradition! 
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Offline jake pogg

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2021, 11:45:21 AM »
This isn't meant to offend just something to think about. It isn't full scribe nor is it trying to be, it is a different form of construction. I'm seeing what looks like the wrong attitude going in, that doesn't lead to your best work or anyone being happy in the end.


Don,do you mean my ill-natured grousing about the sided logs in general?

If so i'm sorry,i may've misrepresented my attitude to this whole project.

I'll try again,in hopes of making it a bit clearer:

I live in a remote community not connected by road to any place(air and barge traffic in summer only).Originally a WWII "lend-lease" AFB base(now closed),it was the place where many Native families have moved to in search of work.Most people here are Dena' Athabaskans,with (Wikipedia tells me:) 29% of non-Native population.

We don't have "reservations" in Alaska,but in some ways this is not dissimilar to some of the rez environment in other states,many people are poor and disenfranchised,and the local "architecture" reflects that.
Black Elk,the Lakota medicine man of the mid-1800's had an older mentor,a man who himself has not encountered white people.And long before the "contact" he had a horrifying vision,in describing which he said,in part:"...and i can see my people,they're living in square houses,and they're starving...".

This is a`place where these two Very dissimilar economic systems meet-that ageless one of Nomadic hunting&gathering and the Cash economy.Actually they're the Opposites of each other,so much so as to be mutually exclusive,and they do not meet as much as they clash together.

A Log Cabin is a powerful romantic symbol for very many,both the indigenous people and the ex-europeans.
It's best to not examine this too closely,as in reality it'll be found that most of our ancestors lived in soddies or wattle&daub dwellings and so on,and likewise on the indigenous part of the equation where the people did not live in permanent solid structures at all.
But here we have it,it is a Myth,and a powerful one-everyone loves a log house(even those that prefer the reliability and comfort of the more modern materials often have a soft spot for a log-cabin even just hypothetically).

So the kind of log houses prevalent here is that D-log kind. I Am indeed prejudiced against it myself,especially to the manner in which it's most often executed here-unfinished on the inside logs of 6" on the flat very crudely stacked together,fiberglass exposed in every seam(in a ray of sunlight coming through the window,if you stomp your foot on the floor,you can see glass dust billowing out of the wall).
Those that could would fur the interior walls out and insulate them additionally and then finish them(turning the thermal envelope into a nonsensical mess).
It was,and though less often now but still is,the Log House for the Poor.

I myself came here nearly 30 years ago as a penniless,homeless stray.
This community has taken me in,warmed and clothed me for all these years,treated me better than one of their own.I could not possibly describe the degree of kindness and helpfullness and respect with which i'm treated here.

The gratitude and the appreciation that i feel towards my fellow villagers is Immense,and one of the ways i express it is by crusading against this sub-par dwellings.
I do so by means of education,if asked for info,and i volunteer my labor on projects such as this present one.
(I no longer work for money at all,on principle,my time is way too valuable;and my needs are few and satisfied mostly by harvesting local resources,with help from others as far as the more technological means for that).

So,my objective is to Demonstrate that one CAN,indeed,create a quality dwelling from logs,it just needs to be done in a certain Thoughtful manner.

You scribe logs together because it's Economical,not because it's "fashionable"-it saves nearly 1/3 of the wall height from same number of logs handled.
You use local resources because it demonstrates(especially to the young)the Deliberate choice in living here/vs being stuck here 'cos you're a poor indian.
And you put that dwelling together in a Quality manner,because the architecture is a Language,that surrounds you(today we spend vastly more time inside then in the past),and speaks and affects you in numerous significant ways.
And i'll NOT have it speak to my beloved neighbors and friends of poverty,and second-class-ness!!!

My present "client" is a Very bright,progressive-thinking young lady,who's very much on the same page with me on all this.

It's a Quixotic quest on both of our parts-in spite of glaring lack of monetary resources,manpower,equipment et c.,we'll build her a Superlative house,and so in every possible way:Aesthetically,Thermally,in terms of longevity,it's "value" as far as modern economy is concerned-the whole enchilada:).

It's to be a statement,a very important one.
(it's also not my first rodeo,i've a few other such,scattered about the lanscape).

So you see,my attitude about D-logs is not just sour apples.   
 
"You can teach a pig anything,it just takes time;but what's time to a pig?"
Mark Twain

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2021, 07:16:09 PM »
I'm glad. What I was concerned with was a contempt for the job, which because we are on a job for so long, always rears its head. When I've had jobs fall apart it affects me for some years, I guess forever. What I've realized is the mistake has never been in leaving a job, and most we have found a way to muddle through, it was in taking the job, there was never a meeting of the minds. I can lay blame in some instances but in reality I've always in hindsight looked back and realized the clues were always there. Even though this is Appalachia and I am also no stranger to financial poverty I've learned that it is fine to say "no thank you" to work that I shouldn't be doing for whatever reason.

It's funny Mackie came up. I was working a job in winter, we had gone far afield for work, living in a frozen camper in serious sub zero long nights. A huge articulated loader had pushed us up the mountain in November and a dozer lowered us back down in Feb. We never saw the ground, young and bulletproof  :D.  A neighbor brought by a stack of his magazines which got us through the long nights. You sound much like him.

So back to the notch. What started the vertical cogs and dovetails I showed earlier is draftstopping. Although folks think dovetail corners self tighten, they do not. As the timbers shrink a gap opens in the vertical part of the notch and the light and wind come through. Not saying I'm showing the ideal solution but your joint is not yet complete, something needs to be done there.
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Offline jake pogg

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2021, 08:41:52 PM »
I hear you,Don,oh,i  Absolutely do,on all of the above...:(

We,as Builders,are not slaves,and betraying your craftsman's dignity is unspeakably foul,and being caught between that and betraying your family,in terms of financial support,that is something that cripples one for a lifetime...:(

Alan Mackie,bless him,was by nature a philosopher and educator,and has inspired so many along the way,i'm glad that fates brought you together...

But yes,back to the notch...I've been busy playing with my new toy most of the day,avoiding thinking about this unresolved issue.

 

I'm just ridiculously,moronically happy about having a tractor of my very own,until the end of this job!!!
And what a sweet old Allis Chalmers critter it is,i'm in love!:)

But yes,here's what complicates my decision-making further yet:I dont Need to draft-dam the corners(nor ought else).See,the nature of climate,and accepted building practices here,dictates that at least one side of the house(preferably both)be sealed with this acrylic-based compound("Perma-chink" or one of it's clones).
If we're on time(before it gets below +45F) we may do the inside even this season.
So the draft-proof joinery is a belt-and-suspenders kind of a deal.
As well as(originally hoped for by me)a visual detail,yet another indicator of Quality.
But i cannot for the life of me conceive of it in a manner visible from the outside.
Blind-yes,a few different ways;probably the crudest would be a plunge-cut with a saw and a corresponding thickness bisquit of some sort,but other ways a bit more gracious as well.

There two issues here,the draft,and the resulting gap that ends up uninsulated.
That second one,the insulation,i've a bit of a story about that you may find curious.

 

 

Last fall i had the pleasure of traveling with this same young lady who's project this is,and her son and her father(my whiskey-drinking partner) to a cabin 90 miles up the Nowitna river,that her grandfather has built.
He was an old bush pilot/mechanic/adventurer,who built that cabin in the late '50-ies to hunt in the fall and spring,he'd land nearby on floats or skis.

As we were cleaning the old place up we had a discussion about chinking.The cabin,over the years,was chinked and re-chinked with about every material known to man-fiberglass,old rags,polyurethane spray-foam,newspaper and cardboard,and of course moss.
All of the chinking has failed pretty much catastrophically except one kind-you guessed it,the good old Sphagnum moss.
In pulling it out of a few spots and examining it we found it to be intact,not falling apart at all,and still having Very great elasticity.
Now i wonder if you know,or can guess why that is?

I found out myself not too many years ago,in idle beer-drinking discussion at a party with a friend who,it turned out,was a biologist researching moss.
Turns out,Sphagnum never dies!:) Well,maybe it does not live forever,but for a number of centuries it does(more than 3,as according to old Norse sources one replaces the birch-bark under the sod roof every 300 years,but the moss is by then still good:))

Without moisture it goes dormant,it hibernates...It's cellular structure remains intact,thus it's springiness,it's gap-filling magik.

But it's beyond our means and timeline to insulate the entire place with sphagnum,it's located quite far from here,and not easy to get to,we've discussed it already.
I wonder if i can try to talk her into using it on just the corner joints,that may actually be doable... 
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2021, 11:23:04 AM »
I am a definite fan of draw knifing the logs vs. planer or a milled finish! My home is stack log with two bark surfaces.
That said, I can probably draw knife a "D"-log as fast as a hand power planer for starters. FWIW, I bought my first power planer to do the log bottom thing to localize season cracks in my own build. 

 When I first saw your plan to use the planer on the bark my mind immediately questioned why you'd do so in Alaska's climate? Aside from the esthetics notion which is important for me.   
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Offline jake pogg

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2021, 12:25:54 PM »
 When I first saw your plan to use the planer on the bark my mind immediately questioned why you'd do so in Alaska's climate? Aside from the esthetics notion which is important for me.   


Sorry,i don't quite get the question-why use a plane on "bark"?(i drawknife the bark off,and use the plane on the layer of sapwood below).

In general,the White spruce only have a living tissue in about the outer 1 1/2"-2" of it's outer sapwood.

That layer,especially the portion right beneath cambium layer,is So saturated with sugars and starch that NO matter what you do,the bacteria will come and destroy it structurally.

So that layer has gots to go,and as deep as you can manage.

In the process,why a Blade of some kind is so important(vs abrasion):Wood fibers are too soft to resist abrasives,they do not provide enough resistance to the cutting edge of carborundum et c.
Think of trying to shave some very soft hairs with a dull razor,they'll just bend...Another way of looking at it is the burr that's formed on the very tip of an edge being sharpened,at some point the material gets so weak/soft it just bends away from abrasive.

So any abrasive creates Fuzz,that combined with moisture from the air will make a meal for the critters.

As opposed to all that a sharp blade does two things:It shaves the fibers as smoothly as possible,and it Planishes the wood(to use machining term):






Planish definition is - to smooth, toughen, and finish (metal) by hammering lightly.

The pressure of the drawknife(or long ago of an axe or an adze,in some cultures,like Suomi,the severely weighted down axe-blade of a very special finishing axe called Piilukirve).

It presses the fibers down,and even to some extent momentarily melts the lignin,"gluing" the fibers flat...It most probably does so with resins,on resinous species.

It is my belief that the rotating blades of an electric plane further emphasize these effects,by kinda beating on the wood in their action...(touch the wood after some planing passes,you can feel a degree of heat...).

All that is to preserve the surface,for longevity of the outside of your structure.Making it as impermeable to bacteria as possible. 
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Offline jake pogg

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2021, 12:33:28 PM »
P.S.

I know it's about metal,but just as food for thought:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnishing_(metal)

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Offline kantuckid

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2021, 07:54:49 AM »
FWIW, I am a lifelong woodworker so no need to explain cutting wood no matter how it's being done. Metal I know pretty well as well as I am a well trained pro mechanic of several types. 

My point was that once the outer bark is gone, that in your climate I figured what's left wont deteriorate as it does in my humidity down here in KY? I have a booklet from the AK forestry or university folks-I forget which and they include a recipe for a log wall finish which would never survive in the humidity of the warmer areas of the lower 48. Maybe global warming has made for more log prep or is it moistly the look as in esthetics?
 That's what i was thinking, not wood fibers, etc.. 
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Offline jake pogg

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2021, 10:39:10 AM »
Sorry,i didn't mean to come off "preachy" like that.

Good question,as you're quite right about "Alaska"(Alaska is huge,and has all these different climates,some are technically a rainforest,but my area here-the Middle Yukon valley-is so dry as to be often called an "Arctic desert").

Yes,it's very dry here.The 50-some year old cabin that i posted a photo of above had the bark left on the logs...To no apparent detriment,as only some length of tails have rotted off,the ends that protruded beyond the roof overhangs.
(and that roof was poles and moss,for most of it's life,only in the last decade or so someone has casually thrown some tin over it).

The logs Will deteriorate if any moisture is ever added to them:Recently i was hired to remove and replace a part of a log wall that was located behind a fuel tank next to the building.
The drip from the roof was deflecting off the rounded tank surface right at that wall,and the wood was completely gone,you could take chunks out of it with your fingers.
So any driven moisture will make your wall-logs go away.

So a very good question-why bother with the surface,if it's all only the matter of protecting the logs,i.e. strictly the roofing issues.

I have no clear,maybe not even a rational answer...:(

It's some type of a chip on my shoulder issue...Competing with all those synthetic materials,vinyl siding and other crap?

Not that they're any challenge in a Practical,functional sense,it's the Perception of it all that i guess i mean...
Trying to fight that prejudiced views that would have all of us in the (roadless)Western AK villages as poor and shiftless and 3rd World?

That,+ a builder's vanity?..."Pride of craftsmanship",if i tried to hide behind something loftier-sounding?  

Yes,a Very good question indeed.   
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2021, 11:22:41 AM »
Denali NP actually meets the criteria for a desert precipitation wise. 
I bought the DeWalt power planer to use on my wall logs underbelly. I went for the higher amp version off an ebay buy vs. the more common box store DeWalt. 
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2021, 12:03:07 PM »
I bought the DeWalt power planer to use on my wall logs underbelly. I went for the higher amp version off an ebay buy vs. the more common box store DeWalt. 


"Underbelly"-as in the bottom contact surface?

And do you mean something that Don P mentions elsewhere-running a relief on center of a flat surface,with a 3" plane,to allow for better contact?

Good for you though,sounds like a nice tool,hope it serves you well.

Speaking or aridity,it's raining pretty steadily here for second day in a row.Me and the tractor had to build a tarp-shelter,to hide under to plane,as wet shavings`stick in the plane's exhaust shute,really annoying cleaning them out every couple minutes... 
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2021, 12:30:46 PM »
Not just contact, it helps focus the drying, i.e. season cracks in an unseen area. 
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2021, 12:07:07 AM »
Not just contact, it helps focus the drying, i.e. season cracks in an unseen area.
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Offline jake pogg

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2021, 10:27:26 AM »
I screwed up the above post,sorry.
What i meant to add is that kerfing of whatever sort to direct the future checking is a very good idea.

Unfortunately it is yet another instance where the D-logs prove to be a misbegotten concept:The way they're cut to begin with already does that-directs all checking toward the inside of the house. 




 
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Offline jake pogg

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2021, 10:02:49 AM »
 

 

As the project advances i discover yet more nonsense about D-logs in general.
The latest-and most destructive by far-is that a D-log wall will always tend to lean outward.
I should've foreseen that,obviously the round side of a timber cut asymmetrically and with heart left in will shrink more than the opposite side,tangential shrinking,duh...

I'll probably wedge the outer seam temporarily while building,and after the tin is on will have to resort to some form of medieval Eastern European method of chinking,something along the lines of a hemp rope....Beetle and chinking iron,the works...
(i'll to forge the irons,no problem with that,just feels ridiculous already.....). 



 
<>

My solution to covering up the butt-joints is working ok,incites a lot of questions,i'm learning to get creative in inventing all sorts of exotic reasons for that.
Some of the outrageous lies that i've invented so far have began to actually seem interesting,like loading and using these somehow,i may grow them out towards the inside in an arch towards the top of the wall and throw a beam across...

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Offline kantuckid

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2021, 12:37:13 PM »
Jake, I thought about your D-log concerns with checking to the heart and for a good bit since. Given my EWP source for D-logs is dicey at this moment I was looking on FB Marketplace and have made a few calls to logger/sawmillers near me.

My own log home is YP, built green 40+ yrs ago, 6" thick & 8.5 to 12" dia. with two peeled sides.
 I may do a survey on interior and exterior log ends and tally them up for heart cracks where.  

In looking on FB I see at least 3 sellers with a pile of D logs and several others with sawed timbers. Hardly scientific but 2 piles are milled T&G EWPO so more likely to be KD. Then I've looked at more than a few dried logs myself over the years. The tendency seems to lean heavily toward the crack appearing on the side where the surface is closest to the heart- IMO, of course ;D 

On that crooked wall opinion I'll defer to more experienced log builders. My own challenge was decidedly not that but rather given the 6" thickness being straight off a circle mill (even with a very experienced sawyer!) so height at the corners was a constant check item, while plumb didn't come to hard.  
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2021, 07:27:17 PM »
The major check does tend to follow the path of least resistance which is the face closest to the heart.

I have had to resort to power planer and laser (or a transit would work with a helper) to re-establish a flat plane when the wall is trying to roll. We even had dealings with one milled log home company that I found out finally from a driver was trying to nurse a worn out molder bed. The logs were out of square so began a roll as you stacked. I found a light setting on the planer running it down one side of the bottom and then the relief down the middle bottom kept it plumb, tight and flat. All depends on how much fussing you want to do. As well a checked face is shrinking but is not changing in overall height, the shrinkage is mostly happening in the check not in the timber's overall dimension. The unchecked face is shrinking and is losing dimension. So aside from the radial/tangential issue there is a checked and unchecked face issue piling on as well.

We would set up story poles in the corners that were plumb and braced in both directions for D logs. I would tape measure across them and record the measurements and diagonals on the poles and check them periodically to make sure we were coming up plumb.
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2021, 01:44:04 AM »
Thank you,gentlemen,all the info above is very edifying and reassuring.

Kantuckid,i believe you're very right about the check running the shortest path heart to outside...Many a full-scribe guys kerf their logs in part based on that assumption

That bit about checked/unchecked dimensionality is brilliant,Don,i wish i was organised enough to take notes of important data like that...

And yes,reference posts/knees are very handy,i'll end up using some devices of the sort,now that i know that i must watch these sticks like a hawk.

It's been very tough,a one-man crew to do everything to these logs that they need.
And i'm in a race against the time as well,before say mid-October i Must have the tin on,even in the rudest/most basic config.
12-14 hr days is all i can squeeze out of this wreck of a body,and so far it's not looking great-maybe a course in 3-4 days.
My boom-truck is late in coming over to the site,so far has been moving everything on the platform by hand.the 20'-ers are not exactly pleasant to handle,even as aged as they are.

Hoping to survive until window height where i'll start burning up the badly twisted ones in short sections.
Once i get through that i'll be nearly done with this set of logs.
It'll be a mixed blessing-milling my own will bring much more control over quality,but will add time and work.

The totally unusable ones i'll take to the mill to make small dimension lumber for trusses,in effect trading these awful,several year old sticks for the greener ones i caught drifting(very poor drift run this year,on top of everything,but i did get a few,maybe even enough to finish this project.

I absolutely Love fussing about with wood in general,but can ill afford too much of that at present juncture,so sadly,no draft-dam on the corner notches,nor a few other niceties i kinda hoped for.
For pegs i settled on 1 3/8" sq. i re-saw on the tablesaw from my greenish lumber in a 1 3/4" hole,half in the bottom/half it top log,trying to orient the grain of the peg with that of the log to help prevent eventual splitting.
Hope springs eternal(alas our summers here don't).   
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2021, 07:36:18 AM »
Cuss D logs all you desire as you chase the AK weather horizon, but the fact remains that the relatively flat surface on the inside wall is kind of handy to keep plumb? Lots easier to hang a picture too! Or fasten cabinets onto... etc. etc, etc,... :D
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2021, 09:52:41 AM »
Oh YES,:)
i loves them Vertical flats,they're wonderful.

Everyone who Could do so,did- flattened the inside and the outside,for a myriad reasons,all of them good.

8 years ago i built a place with a friend,we 2-sided timbers to 8" thickness and scribed them,came out very decent.
(wonder if i got any pictures left anymore...?).

So decidedly yes,but only on the vertical-seems literally crazy to do so on bearing surfaces... 

Some of my catch from a couple weeks ago,a few decent trees in there,i may have about 3 dozen+ good size ones for the mill...

It's a crying shame to mill these to 8" height-wise,as stacked and scribed the rise at each course would amount to nearly a third more...

And still perfectly flat on the inside and outside.





And here's a photo of a place i built 20+ years ago,"russian"-scribe,at the client's wishes.
What we mean by that is simply that the notches are round-not the best way to join round logs as the one inside the notch will always shrink,and the fit at the notch form a gap.
However the reason they did it that way over there is that there was this general tradition to make all joints-notches and lateral-open out,wedge-like,to the outside.
That was so a specialist chinking crew can come behind the builders and literally caulk all seams,boat-like.
They caulked it so tight that often,in consequent chinking(it was a periodic maintenance procedure,done once every 20-30 years),they actually levelled the building with it,adjusting the position of whatever logs they chose.  

 

    
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Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2021, 10:40:14 AM »
I am also in the process of building a cabin with D-logs.  As they are drying in the pile I am finding the top and bottom surfaces aren't staying parallel.  I left an extra 1/4 inch of thickness to be able to put each log back on the mill once dry to do a clean up cut.  But I have also considered using lots of shims to keep the walls going up straight and even.

Because the d logs normally have so little space for chinking I am thinking of using twine for calking it.  But if I end up using shims there may be a large enough gap to use a cement based chinking.  I am going to have 10 foot eaves all the way around the cabin so I can be less concerned about weather resistance than if I had normal eaves.

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2021, 02:41:39 PM »
I used what was a new at the time product on my home in 1979/80-Norton Sealants, log foam strips. They are now in widespread use. and I'll do a similar product again -if i ever get some logs... Corr-Tenn in Knoxville has several choices priced right. 
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Offline jake pogg

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #34 on: June 21, 2021, 12:43:04 AM »
Because the d logs normally have so little space for chinking I am thinking of using twine for calling it.  But if I end up using shims there may be a large enough gap to use a cement based chinking.  I am going to have 10 foot eves all the way around the cabin so I can be less concerned about weather resistance than if I had normal eaves.


We all so often include Everything in a word "chinking": Weather resistance/air-infiltration,insulation,and with these darn "D-logs" now the structural element to shim the wall straight...

Instead of cement-based mortar that you mention you may consider one of the latex-based products.Water-based,it sticks to the logs very well,and has a very great degree of elasticity.It can last many years without the maintenance that cement mortar mixes would require(though it's comparatively costly).

I used what was a new at the time product on my home in 1979/80-Norton Sealants, log foam strips. They are now in widespread use. and I'll do a similar product again -if i ever get some logs... Corr-Tenn in Knoxville has several choices priced right. 


That sounds interesting..I wonder if it's akin to the so-called "backer-rod",made in varying diameters of a soft,open-cell foam?
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #35 on: June 21, 2021, 07:16:48 AM »
The foam gasket kantuck is talking about is an air infiltration gasket that goes in the relief groove. It is too far in to act as a backer rod.

A backer is just behind the caulking/chinking. Ideally that joint is adhered to the upper and lower log and is tooled thin over the bond breaker of the backer. This 2 point adhesion and thinner non adhered center section creates a joint that can stretch with log movement. The typical "pump it full of goo" caulk joint has what is called 3 point adhesion. It is thick and stuck to everything so when things need to move it really cannot stretch and has to tear loose somewhere. On stuff too tight to backer even a strip of mylar tape will create that bond breaker and create a 2 point joint with a stretchy area in the middle.

On cement, portland based cement doesn't allow drying so tends to create rot. The old lime based chinks and renders usually behave better with wood if you want to go that route. Usually that is for wider jointed chink style buildings though. Personally I've never shimmed flat on flat logs, i think it works better to remove the offending high stuff and get things to sit down tight.
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #36 on: June 21, 2021, 10:02:42 AM »
Thanks,Don,that's very interesting about the modern sealing systems.
Portland cement as well.
That wide-seam/dove-tailed style common in S.E. US is very attractive,and practical.Always wanted to try it out,and don't understand why more people,if they must have two-sided sawn logs,don't do That with them...

As far as shaping the flats to fit-if they shrank differentially once,then what's to keep them from doing so again?

Possibly,humidity inside relative to outside  et c. differs across the country,but here,and with the woodstove heat especially,even the most "seasoned" logs will not attain that degree of shrinkage that they will later,once the house is closed in and heated.

So maybe only some form of over-scribing would work...(sounds even weirder than wedges tho...)...  
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2021, 10:11:53 AM »
P.S.

Apropos of nothing in particular other than chinking in general,
i helped a friend last year to build a tiny,8'x12' sauna.
We milled a bunch of cottonwood(Balsam poplar) for the walls,and i nagged him out of using any synthetic crap in it,plywood or plastic or anything that'd off-gas as it'll get hot.
For chinking i made him order that wool "rope" stuff,always wanted to try it.
At $150 per 10# box it sounded very expensive,but turned out there's a Ton of it length-wise,we never used a quarter of that box...
I fell in love with the stuff,it just felt Lovely...And was incredibly sturdy-you could Not rip it by hand,insanely tough stuff,and evenly shaped,and Everything about it was uber sexy...(no idea how it's used and by whom...). 
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Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2021, 12:42:02 PM »
Because the d logs normally have so little space for chinking I am thinking of using twine for calking it.  But if I end up using shims there may be a large enough gap to use a cement based chinking.  I am going to have 10 foot eaves all the way around the cabin so I can be less concerned about weather resistance than if I had normal eaves.


We all so often include Everything in a word "chinking": Weather resistance/air-infiltration,insulation,and with these darn "D-logs" now the structural element to shim the wall straight...

Instead of cement-based mortar that you mention you may consider one of the latex-based products.Water-based,it sticks to the logs very well,and has a very great degree of elasticity.It can last many years without the maintenance that cement mortar mixes would require(though it's comparatively costly).

I am not a fan of the looks of the latex chinking.  And if it was cheap I would probably go that route, but it expensive and ugly(in my opinion) so I want to avoid it.
I want to play around with using twine to calk it like old wooden boats were calked with hemp. 

Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #39 on: June 21, 2021, 12:44:16 PM »
P.S.

Apropos of nothing in particular other than chinking in general,
i helped a friend last year to build a tiny,8'x12' sauna.
We milled a bunch of cottonwood(Balsam poplar) for the walls,and i nagged him out of using any synthetic crap in it,plywood or plastic or anything that'd off-gas as it'll get hot.
For chinking i made him order that wool "rope" stuff,always wanted to try it.
At $150 per 10# box it sounded very expensive,but turned out there's a Ton of it length-wise,we never used a quarter of that box...
I fell in love with the stuff,it just felt Lovely...And was incredibly sturdy-you could Not rip it by hand,insanely tough stuff,and evenly shaped,and Everything about it was uber sexy...(no idea how it's used and by whom...).
Could up put up a link to the type of material you are talking about?

Offline jake pogg

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #40 on: June 22, 2021, 12:47:21 AM »
Could up put up a link to the type of material you are talking about?


This stuff right here:https://www.loghomestore.com/product-category/sealants-and-chinking/insulation-wool/wool-rope-insulation/

And i hear you on synthetic goops and putties,i'd prefer to not mess with them if reasonable alternative was practical.
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #41 on: June 22, 2021, 01:00:59 AM »
P.S.

Looking up that wool chinking this has popped up:
Amazon.com: Sioux Chief Brown Oakum (963-15PK2): Garden & Outdoor

Seems kinda weird-$23 per lb?...(not that i've any earthly idea of how far oakum would go in an average log seam...).

By sheer accident the gal i'm building for has come up with,completely out of the blue, a roll of hemp/manila cordage.
It's a 1/4"(so about 3/8" dia),3-strand twisted stuff,and looks about Ideal for the outside seams that i'm ending up with...
I may try an experiment,but maybe wait another course or two,to give the logs above some mass to counteract the forces of wedging this stuff in there.

Wonder if such oakum-ish stuff was also soaked in oil,or ...? It'd make a good matrix to hold something oily or sticky...
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Offline kantuckid

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #42 on: June 22, 2021, 08:08:44 AM »
To see a large number of re-located old hewn log buildings in one spot, visit- The Museum of Appalachian, just off I-75 in Clinton, TN just N of Knoxville, TN.
It was established by John Rice Irwin some years back. He essentially rescued many old log buildings, barns, homes etc., and placed them on the property. Most all represent superior original craftsmanship and have been setup using hand rived shingles, old style mud chinking and have rived rail fences around them with livestock inside. There is a museum building full of Appalachian cultural items which is very well worth your time besides the outdoor items.
We used to visit yearly for the October Fall Festival which had days full of music, sorghum mill, fence making, apple butter, etc. displays, crafts booths and food, but now discontinued. Over the years I met and enjoyed the many people who came each fall to help put it on-many are gone now along with their skill sets they displayed. An old sawmill was operated each year during the festival onsite too.
There's still a restaurant on site with a retail store still operating.

From my many visits there it seems that the old mud chinking is fairly durable?

Check out their website: Home - The Museum Of Appalachia to see the place.
 
Just down the road from my home here in KY the Daniel Boone NF has a smaller setup of some old farmstead buildings at the Gladie Visitor Center, near Stanton, KY. other than the interpretive main bldg, the buildings were moved in from the NF off of old farmsteads and fully restored. I used that location to provide gifted & talented kids from my school with programs related to their culture and brought in local arts & crafts people, plus myself and a few other school staff. Neat place, especially if ya like old buildings! 
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #43 on: June 22, 2021, 09:21:55 AM »
To see a large number of re-located old hewn log buildings in one spot, visit- The Museum of Appalachian, just off I-75 in Clinton, TN just N of Knoxville, TN. It was established by John Rice Irwin some years back. He essentially rescued many old log buildings, barns, homes etc., and placed them on the property. Most all represent superior original craftsmanship and have been setup using hand rived shingles, old style mud chinking and have rived rail fences around them with livestock inside. There is a museum building full of Appalachian cultural items which is very well worth your time besides the outdoor items.


That sounds like a Wonderful place,how i'd have loved to visit there...Especially if one was to ever try to build in this style...Sounds like an incredibly valuable resource.
(i've met a man once,long ago,who built like that commercially,(in a small way,with just his wife as crew);i believeve he said he spaced everything to where the timbers rested on a 2" thick polystyrene foam,then that space got screened and chinked).
  
And separate Thank you for participating in hands-on educational programs.I don't believe there's anything more valid or important than the passing on of old understanding of materials,through use of hand-tools and other ways.
I've done a little of that too,as the occasions came up,mostly forging,and most often for the young...
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Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #44 on: June 22, 2021, 11:45:12 AM »
;i believeve he said he spaced everything to where the timbers rested on a 2" thick polystyrene foam,then that space got screened and chinked).
  

I had thought of doing something similar to that as well.  I doubted the Styrofoam could hold up to the weight of the cabin above without crushing long term.  So then I thought I could put wooden blocks the same thickness as the foam along the length of the logs.  But then I still need to account for tapering shrinkage of the logs and leaving room for chinking would mean the strips are a ways back and would maybe cause the logs to be more likely to tip outward.
By the time I gave it some real thought I figured it got so complicated it wasn't worth bothering with.  On the bright side it would allow me to get by with 3 or 4 less rows of logs because of the added thickness of the Styrofoam.

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #45 on: June 22, 2021, 11:55:41 AM »
Is there a reason other than look you are hiding your butt joints where the ends of two logs come together not at a corner?

My main plan is to avoid butt joints as much as possible.  I have about a dozen full length logs for below and above doors and windows and I hope the short logs will work in the smaller spaces between the doors and windows.  But I still figure I may have as many as 20-30 butt joints.   I plan to stagger them so they don't end up near each other.  Other than that I plan to just spike them together and leave them exposed and eventually chink that gap as well.

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #46 on: June 22, 2021, 05:58:37 PM »
I have a few butt joints in my home and never an issue other than if the builder doesn't like to see them when finished. They are always staggered and always not where an opening needs several logs for support or nearby an opening edge. 

I saw an interesting ad on FB in MI. The seller/producer had white cedar in natural round, hand peeled logs, ~10"dia original, that had a double T&G on them. No price given but would take trailer load to me and ~750-800k down here one way. I don't suppose EWC is any more resistant than ERC in the round? 
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #47 on: June 22, 2021, 10:39:21 PM »
I'm not understanding how you can have a molded T&G on a hand peeled random width timber ???. No sapwood is decay resistant. That is pretty big for northern white cedar.

The logs in an Appalachian chink style are full length but it is not uncommon to see wood blocks between logs helping to support the logs. Usually when I've run into old clay chinking it has been home to various critters where the old slack lime/ river sand chinking was not a hospitable home for them.

The backer rod here was organic  :D. You can see the remnants of the first clay chinking... Now some folks would call the corn cob the chinking and the clay the daubing, so we nicknamed this one cob and daub. The white crumbles are from the next remodel with lime/sand chinking made with a "hot mix" of unslaked freshly burnt lime, lots of pieces of unslaked course limestone in it. The final rechinking was from the 70's in modern mortar, poorly detailed, it funneled in and trapped water, by '02 there was lots of damage.


 

I think old time oakum for boatbuilding was treated with thinned pine tar for both stickum and preservative. At least on the decks it formed a dam in the cracks, then hot pine tar was poured in each seam.

If you plane to regain bearing now the logs will shrink more as they dry but there will be less overall gapping. One thing most folks don't think about is that shrinkage begins at the fiber saturation point. The entire amount of shrinkage happens between around 28%, the FSP, and whatever the equilibrium moisture content ends up being. And then it is common for folks to think about the FSP as something that happens to the wood all at once, it is a cell by cell thing. The outer shell may be well below FSP while the core is green as a gourd. When the core begins to shrink there is a stress reversal, the core that was in compression goes into tension. Dry wood is about twice as strong as green, so even though there is a stress reversal within the timber the stronger dry shell resists most of that reversal.
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #48 on: June 23, 2021, 07:57:58 AM »
Obviously I miss-spoke on the hand peeled cedar being milled as well cause they wouldn't feed into a machine that way. I looked at the picture a bit too fast. :D 
The guy has 12" EWC raw logs and selling 10" & 8" milled logs that he apparently makes himself. The guy shows half round, milled corner notches.
In my own experience red cedar used outdoors is a mixed bag exposure wise. The concrete spring box where we got or home water supply for over 30 years had a ERC heartwood top covered in newsprint alu sheets that stayed perpetually wet and still intact. For the outdoor, exposed deck I built on my timber frame LR addition- I used ERC hand peeled poles as rustic railings and it was rotting away and removed within only a few years. It had the rustic look I was after but simply didn't last even when used as railings.
Corn cobs for backers sounds real inviting to critters. Those old builders just did with what was at hand and had very few mfg type materials other than a sawmill board. An old farm house we rented for 6+ years had a footlocker sized wooden crate in an old chicken house that was full of old bent nails-maybe 75 pounds of them. Makes you love store bought stuff to build with.

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #49 on: June 23, 2021, 09:15:17 AM »
If you plane to regain bearing now the logs will shrink more as they dry but there will be less overall gapping. One thing most folks don't think about is that shrinkage begins at the fiber saturation point. The entire amount of shrinkage happens between around 28%, the FSP, and whatever the equilibrium moisture content ends up being. And then it is common for folks to think about the FSP as something that happens to the wood all at once, it is a cell by cell thing. The outer shell may be well below FSP while the core is green as a gourd. When the core begins to shrink there is a stress reversal, the core that was in compression goes into tension. Dry wood is about twice as strong as green, so even though there is a stress reversal within the timber the stronger dry shell resists most of that reversal.


This is Very important stuff,and put very well,too.I stared at it last night after work trying to internalize it and apply somehow but failed,so far(for "free" time i've only a few minutes at night before tipping over and a few over the first cup of coffee,the rest of my thinking has to be done during the duller phases of carving them logs...).

When i check the weather on internet i often note Ambient humidity,in winter it often ranges from upper 60-ies to lower-/mid -80-ies.

Inside,in a Log,woodstove-heated home...i dunno...Want to say that i've noticed,when visiting friends with that electronic Temp/Humidity?et c. readout thingy on the wall somewhere in mid/upper 30-ies.

I don't own a moisture meter,and with heavy section timbers or logs it's weird anyway...I hear that you can drive a couple of 8d galvies in and put the electrodes to them,but never tried that...

I mostly build sopping green,as in go logging,come back and start building.
That place 8 years ago,8" two-sided used on the Vertical&scribed,shrank enough on the inside to break the Perma-chink in places(across the middle of compound,the bonding held to wood).
On the outside the scribe-lines remain tight.

In regards to planing:I'm about to start doing so.Just finished the 3rd course,and the twist in some timbers will necessitate knocking the top surfaces down.
However,i can't very well conceive even the planing tgo eliminate that outward-sloping deal,i've 150'+ a course,6"+ wide surface area,it seems like an insane amount of work...   
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #50 on: June 23, 2021, 09:48:16 AM »
Is there a reason other than look you are hiding your butt joints where the ends of two logs come together not at a corner?


Joe,the answer to that is kinda right there in the question:When we try to do our best to avoid,or blend in as best we can,et c.,those joints-it's because we Feel like it's somehow not ok,right?

The building surrounding us affect us,mentally,if we like it or not,if we notice it or think about it or not.
We're visual predators,with excellent eyesight,an ability to see gazillion shades of any color and detail.
We constantly crunch visual data in our heads,with a certain effect as a result.

It Matters to us what surrounds us.Look at how highly valued a log-home is-it's not for any practical reason that people choose to live in a log or timber structure(that costs half again more to build than a frame too).

So it's just somehow not Right or something,a type of joint that stops your eye and says:"Wait a minute...trees don't do that..that line is Off,somehow..".

Having written all that psycho-babble i must add this:
(btw,i'm an entirely unschooled dolt,never made it through 7th grade,and failed to pass for GED twice...so please don't think me coming like a conceited psychologist nor any other professional,you're talking with an old,not overly bright river-rat here)


The two cross-walls that are so far entirely fake are located in the middle of the two long outside walls.Once above head-height i May start growing them out towards the center of the house,eventually capping them with a solid beam right across.So they'll together form an arch.

That beam may serve as the main support for me to put a half-story on top of this structure,it'll carry one end of floor beams that'll span from it to the back wall,breaking the joist span to allow for a good solid floor that is not overly thick(may also add that pleasant Tudor-ish feel inside underneath).

In other words these goofy cross-walls make for a significantly strong points to transfer weight,sturdy and versatile.  
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #51 on: June 23, 2021, 08:38:43 PM »
 :D I wrote that after a similar day, the last foot of the dig was jackhammer and shovel work. Just off the top but fairly close, from those relative humidity numbers your equilibrium moisture content is going to want to be around 14% outside and 7% inside in winter. The tangential grain outside is going to shrink twice as much as the radial grain inside. It's looking to me like if you start out tight you won't end up too bad in the end. Great in theory, in the real world knots and abnormal grain get into the mix.

Checking, or, severe checking is the shell drying over a still green and swollen core. If the client can live cooler for the first winter till the core is shrinking that internal stress reversal will help keep checking from becoming severe, it begins pulling on the shell.

If you drive bright nails in, I suppose galvy's would work too and hook the meter to them it will read the point of lowest resistance, the wettest place along the nail, which is probably the tips. I have insulated 3" prongs that only have the metal on the tips exposed so you know where the reading is coming from as you drive them in. I can see the moisture gradient as I drive them in. I think I have an old pic in my gallery..


 
Pretty bad pic but it shows the slide hammer and probes. A couple had bought this kit and asked us to build it. The logs were cypress, supposedly kiln dried to 17%. The first few cutoffs let me know that was a lie, the core was obviously still above FSP. I didn't have to hammer the pins in far to peg the meter. Running a lag in squeezed water out, dead green. I took those pictures just in case anything happened but they were happy with it.
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #52 on: June 24, 2021, 02:58:30 AM »
:D I wrote that after a similar day, the last foot of the dig was jackhammer and shovel work. Just off the top but fairly close, from those relative humidity numbers your equilibrium moisture content is going to want to be around 14% outside and 7% inside in winter. The tangential grain outside is going to shrink twice as much as the radial grain inside. It's looking to me like if you start out tight you won't end up too bad in the end. Great in theory, in the real world knots and abnormal grain get into the mix.

Checking, or, severe checking is the shell drying over a still green and swollen core. If the client can live cooler for the first winter till the core is shrinking that internal stress reversal will help keep checking from becoming severe, it begins pulling on the shell.

If you drive bright nails in, I suppose galvy's would work too and hook the meter to them it will read the point of lowest resistance, the wettest place along the nail, which is probably the tips. I have insulated 3" prongs that only have the metal on the tips exposed so you know where the reading is coming from as you drive them in. I can see the moisture gradient as I drive them in. I think I have an old pic in my gallery..

(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)
 
Pretty bad pic but it shows the slide hammer and probes. A couple had bought this kit and asked us to build it. The logs were cypress, supposedly kiln dried to 17%. The first few cutoffs let me know that was a lie, the core was obviously still above FSP. I didn't have to hammer the pins in far to peg the meter. Running a lag in squeezed water out, dead green. I took those pictures just in case anything happened but they were happy with it.

Don,the extent of your knowledge and understanding,And your ability of telling it so clearly is Outstanding.
I can't thank you enough,and want to make sure that you know that it is greatly appreciated.
(i don't understand the internet none too well,but i think these kinds of forum topics often come up in searches,and so this will benefit a very large number of people).

I'm sure you're right about the planing.
I had to plane today,finally,to  knock the twist down on two logs.
With an 1806(6 3/4") it was very fast and painless.

The scary part is that i can actually See planing All top surfaces right after the logs go in place.

Even scarier-logs can be placed/planed flat on top/inverted onto a straight surface and bottom side planed in plane with the top!:)

But it'd be a crazy amount of time and effort...

There's a forging term,a "one-armed smith",i don't know the woodworking equivalent...
In the forge working alone changes Lots,some actions require special tooling,or cannot be done at all,without a striker(or two, or five:))

Log-building site is similar,of course.I'm not building no 5000' sq. palace,but ...By my rough estimate i'll be on the walls till end of August.
That's including milling the 2+(maybe more) courses of 8" D-log that i'm missing.
That'll leave +/_ 6 weeks to mill,assemble,and set-up all roof trusses,stringers,and everything else for the roof,gable ends,the works.

The windows will be visqueen(way warmer than glass),but that tin Must go on.

Then a barrel stove gets stuck in the and-magically-i've a Shop!!!

Tons of stuff to do inside there during the winter,taking care of the interior of the logs first and foremost,but also building lots of stuff for the house.
Our tin has been paid for,and delivered by barge,our budget is now nonexistent-this is It,the siege is on!:)

Just out of pure contrariness alone i'd like to see just how much i can do inside the place with driftwood lumber alone.
Kitchen,for sure,but lots of other stuff...(in place of closets many nice Scandinavian-style blanket chests along all walls:))

My strength here is the ultimate versatility-i can mill Anything i want,and have some wonderful trees to do it with.
I just need the brain to plan it correctly,with sound strategy there're no limits.

I've all sorts of evil ideas(not necessarily plans for this house,but,who knows).Things like a edge-set&bisquited&glued 3"x3" or so flooring...
Or one like in some Swiss chalets-t&g 2x12's angled slightly fan-shape,with a central master driven in from outside,through special through-mortise in the wall...(Where it protrudes outside,you set your pot of begonias on:)...and on the wall next to it hangs a mallet for regulating your floor..). 

But,for Any of that fun-i Must get closed in before end of October.
Once you no longer capable of handling a fastener with bare fingers or -20F,is pretty much a done site...
 


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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #53 on: July 28, 2021, 09:26:32 AM »
 

 

Still alive,in the middle of 8th course now(out of total 12,+ the pony wall/half-story of some sort,possibly framed).

Milling my own timbers since the 5th course.
An insult to injury,as i'm finding more and more things wrong with "D-logs",and now not only have to use them but actually produce them myself(wasting all kinds of lovely round logs to do so,producing this piddly 8" of wall-height,+some ultra-low quality lumber as byproduct,for reason of cant being parallel not to heart but to one of the bark sides instead).

But the show must go on.

Working entirely by myself,a worn out old fart and a half-century old Allis Chalmers 500-series,it takes me about 4 days a course,plus a day and a half to mill enough for it;with pegging and splining(splining as i go)about a week a course.
It's raining every day now,the platform is pretty well flooded.

Due to all surfaces being planed the mold has only just began,on the outer,north-facing wall,on the outside of it.
Will eventually fight it with glycol(if it ever stops raining),or bleach of whatever strength if i must...

 

That beautiful new LT40 never came on line,still flogging a friend's old Norwood that i've abused for over 20 years now...

 

Were i a real construction company,i'd use that old Hunter S Thompson quote as the company's motto:
"When the going gets weird the weird turn pro".

Speaking of "Timberlocks" or similar "log fasteners"(in the other thread):I abhore those,and only use them in extremis.
On this project so far i punched in 14 of these,pre-drilled with a 3/8" bit(for 1/4" fastener),and countersunk a couple inches down from top surface.
Believe them to be much misused,many here rely on these as primary fastener,with woeful long-term results.Wall logs get hung up,and many buckle later...  
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #54 on: July 28, 2021, 05:13:15 PM »
So, what stack wall fastener do you like? My home was pre-long timber screws and I used 100d, i.e., 12" x 3'8" dia common nails. I pilot drilled a 5/16" dia hole that allowed for settling later and a cutoff 6# sledge that I used today as a matter of fact. I was beating on the end of a heavy steel tube to adjust the length of my old wagon gear I bought to fabricate a 14' hay wagon ala wall logs etc. building material wagon. IN the heat last few days it was brutal, swampy humidity combo'ed with 90's temps it's about all I can stand. Your rain might be the better place?
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #55 on: July 30, 2021, 08:41:21 AM »
So, what stack wall fastener do you like? My home was pre-long timber screws and I used 100d, i.e., 12" x 3'8" dia common nails. I pilot drilled a 5/16" dia hole that allowed for settling later and a cutoff 6# sledge that I used today as a matter of fact.


I thought about your question and the answer i'm afraid is "i don't know..."...

My mind is admittedly uneasy about this,yet there it is.
I've just completed the 8th course on a 40'+ x 30' building not fastening any of the logs to one another...(i've used 14 timberlocks so far,in problem locations).

I wanted to through-fasten the entire 8' of these walls with 1" dia all-thread,but didn't have the hardware at the crucial time and it's now too late.

The first course is through-fastened to the H-beam below with 1/2" all-thread,at about 4' centers,the rest of the logs are only pegged and float otherwise.

Again,i'm far from easy about this in my mind,but could not think of what else i could do.
Timberlocks are skinny and flexy,their thread flats areas are entirely wrong for soft woods such as spruce,so they contribute neither the holding power nor stiffness,but only increase the risk of logs hanging up in settling,so they were a poor choice,i felt.

I've seen some vastly superior helical fasteners in a u-tube video of a trade show/expo in Germany,but nothing like that is available anywhere i 'm capable of accessing...    
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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #56 on: July 30, 2021, 11:30:11 PM »
You don't have a continuous load path and low shear strength.

Most of the D logs we did were 3/8x10 lags in a prebored countersunk hole. The timber screws hadn't taken hold yet, I think we did one and I went through a bucket of my lags. I prefer to draw things down at assembly, which is why I say dryer is better. I don't think allthread can pull a stack down as tight as I can get it layer by layer. I've also drilled as we stack and installed allthread full height. That is a more positive load path and can be set up to tighten more later. I think I would at a minimum timberlock the header row to the stacks below and then whatever rows are above that up to the rafter plate.

Predrilling the upper log for the timberlock would allow some degree of room for divergent angles. The lag hole, although 1/8" oversize doesn't allow for much of that. And then twisting or bowing logs are pinching on the holes to whatever degree as well. No free lunch  :D
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline kantuckid

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #57 on: July 31, 2021, 07:49:48 AM »
Don P- have you constructed a stack log wall using log construction wall jacks (as sold by log building suppliers) to allow future wall height adjustments? 
A local FT sawmill owner who also was formerly in the EWP log home business (materials and the construction too) used them in his own home. 
Many years ago I visited a kit log home in N KY that used all-thread and milled stack logs. 

jake pogg- check out Montana Log Homes | Amish Log Builders | Meadowlark Log Homes - Meadowlark Log Homes to see their version of stack log construction. They are an Amish group who build in MT commercially. They have a bit different approach than any other I've seen, especially their corners. 
Kan=Kansas;tuck=Kentucky;kid=what I'm not

Offline jake pogg

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #58 on: July 31, 2021, 10:25:12 AM »
Great info,Don,thank you.
Sounds like a very sound plan,to fasten the header course,i think i'll do that(and maybe the next one-which will be the last-to that).

I pre-drill the upper log for 1/4" timberlocks with a 3/8" bit,and countersick with a 1 3/8 forstener bit a couple inches down,for the large washers i use with it all.

Kantuckid,thank you;i looked at that link,and i'm sure those are sound,solid cabins,but those "butt-and-run" corners,and the random vertical joints in walls is just how folks build around here,and it's exactly what i'm going through all this trouble to avoid!:)
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Offline jake pogg

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #59 on: August 28, 2021, 10:35:02 AM »
 

 

I'm finally at that 11th,the header course.The first clear night in...weeks,i think,the first time i've seen the moon and the stars since May.
My perpetually-flooded platform is covered by about 1/4" of ice,the time is running out...
The mold issue,that i've been attempting to battle with ethylene glycol is getting the upper hand...Everything hangs in the balance,and with the dark and the cold looming,one feels it more urgently.
That's how it goes,for all the effort i may well end up with a tarped-down moldy ruin...
"You can teach a pig anything,it just takes time;but what's time to a pig?"
Mark Twain

Offline kantuckid

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Re: "Lugged" half-dovetails as cabin corner notches?
« Reply #60 on: August 30, 2021, 04:39:20 PM »
Our home I began on log walls just before my school job kicked in for fall and got the walls up but no roof before KY winter set in. It just happened to be a near record snowfall year of over 4' which meant I was shoveling snow off the subfloors and pumping water when I could from the basement.
 Next spring after the roof was laid down I washed mold for days off walls. Wasn't AK but was a nasty thing to deal with overall.  
Kan=Kansas;tuck=Kentucky;kid=what I'm not


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