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Author Topic: Vertical split log construction  (Read 538 times)

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Offline HermitGirl

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Vertical split log construction
« on: January 17, 2020, 05:50:44 PM »
Greetings! I've been invited to live in a little handmade cabin unlike any I've ever seen before. I need professional help from experienced folks & I'm hoping I'm in the right place. Perhaps you can be of assistance or point me in the right direction. Thank you in advance.

The cabin is built of ponderosa pine logs, split & arranged vertically, inside & out. Conventional wood frame floor, mounted on whole log posts on piers. Conventional roof in apparent good shape. Between the exterior split logs & interior split logs is a tyvek type wind/water barrier. This barrier is exposed to the elements because of gaps of 1" or more between the logs. Lots of them!
Which brings me to my current situation. The cabin builder is not readily available, there are no plans, & any info I can get is second hand at best.
My most pressing concerns are about the vertical split log siding:  am I to be worried about the gaps between the split logs? Do the gaps need to be filled? Could an additional layer of split logs be placed over the gaps to assure a solid wood exterior? Does the exterior need to be sealed?

Any assistance you can offer is Greatly Appreciated. Thank you very much.

Offline Woodland Dave

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Re: Vertical split log construction
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2020, 06:34:46 PM »
Any chance you can post some pictures?

Offline Don P

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Re: Vertical split log construction
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2020, 07:05:37 PM »
Just for a bit of interesting history, start on about his pg 29 of this thesis on log construction;
vertical log construction

It wouldn't hurt to chink the gaps using something like Perma Chink. That won't be cheap, not sure if it is feasible from the sounds of your situation.
In the old days chinking made of quartered saplings was not uncommon and is better than nothing but doesn't do a whole lot to block the breeze. Tyvek exposed to the elements, well, tyvek is not supposed to be left exposed to the elements. 

The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline HermitGirl

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Re: Vertical split log construction
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2020, 07:11:19 PM »

Thank you for your response & the link.
Even tho I'm experienced in commercial real estate development & construction, this old retired girl is getting an education. I appreciate your help. 

Offline HermitGirl

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Re: Vertical split log construction
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2020, 07:13:22 PM »
Sorry no pics. I'm not at the property just now.

Offline Don P

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Re: Vertical split log construction
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2020, 07:37:06 PM »
Ahh, if you still have contacts. The concrete joints in commercial slabs and tilt wall work is often chinked with NP2, two part polyurethane. That and a bulk loading gun would work if you have an inside source. Typically with any of these use something like mylar tape, tyvek tape or similar to make a bond break down the center back of the chink joint and apply the chinking over that. the edges stick to the wood and the center of the chink joint is free to expand and contract as the wood moves. 3 point adhesion tears, if you just goop the joint without a bond breaker at the back it sticks to everything but cannot move much at all so tears as the wood moves.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline HermitGirl

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Re: Vertical split log construction
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2020, 07:48:21 PM »
Point of fact: I was in management. I never wore a tool belt. I used the phone & knew who to call to get the job done. That's why I'm on this forum seeking expert help. I need it!
I've built tilt walls on concrete slab so I understand using NP2 & I was thinking tyvek tape would come in handy. Thanks for explaining the detail it so clearly.
I'm now thinking the cabin builder left before the job was finished ...


Offline Don P

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Re: Vertical split log construction
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2020, 08:02:54 PM »
Sounds like something happened anyway, might have just been a hideaway. This is a good article on chink joints and backers/bond breakers, no affiliation but good folks;
https://www.loghelp.com/services/backer-rod-and-chinking-log-homes.asp
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline HermitGirl

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Re: Vertical split log construction
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2020, 08:38:49 PM »
Thank you so much for the links to more info.
I'm up to pg 110 on the thesis & learning alot. Will do my homework on chinking next.
The quarter saplings as chinking have aesthetic appeal to me too.
This little cabin is one-of-kind, but needs some TLC. It's in the middle of a ponderosa pine forest that has thankfully been thinned by property owners I know & trust.
CA wildfires have forced me on my way twice in the past 5 years. 
I'm hoping & praying for a safe home this time.
Thank you for helping me.


Offline Don P

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Re: Vertical split log construction
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2020, 09:05:16 PM »
Tweren't nothing :). I'm sorry to hear of the fires, what an ordeal. Holler back if you need anything else.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester


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