Building a large log cabin?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ChristenaTN, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. ChristenaTN

    ChristenaTN Active Member

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    How many here have ever attempted to do it the old fashioned way? Hubby and I were chewing aroudn with the idear since we are looking for acerage. If we had enough timber on the acerage we might consider doign this if it woudn't take forever. My fil lives in one thats probably close to 200 years old and swears by them. Hes got the log house covered on the outside and a tin roof with sheetrock and paneling inside. So...wondergin if anyone did thier own place with the thick ole fashioned logs of bygone not the generic smaller ones the builders use:) Please share!
     
  2. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    logs are heavy, be ready to have a backhoe with a log jaw and a lot of rope.

    and insurance.
    in case a 2 ton log falls on your leg.

    Ive watcvhed people do it, its not as easy as it looks, and its really dangerous.
    those old timers who did it with rope and mule were really tough old cookies.
     

  3. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    You dont need a backhoe etc. I have built three. My first at 15. It was 30 x 25. I used the butt and pass method that eliminates the shrinkage problems etc etc. I could try and explain it all but will provide some links instead. Here is a good place to start. Two people can build a nice log cabin relatively easily.

    http://www.wolfenet.com/~kahle/log.html (bottom of the page click the ''step by step'' link)

    loghomebuilders.org or just do a google search for

    butt and pass or go to this one for a really good site

    http://www.ourloghouse.com/cgi-bin/olh.pl?00019

    All you need is a log set 4 ft in the ground in each corner and one set of chain hoists and you can easily build one alone or with two folks.

    I cut my logs, skin the bark with a spud and draw knife and had it built complete with a loft over half with a bedroom in four weeks ALONE. Had altogether about 2500 in it counting building tools. and rebar. I used the rebar much the same as you would for strawbale. I sold it and the acre when I got married and it has survived unharmed by the weather for 22 years. Tornado took a house next door and all it did was take a couple dozen shingles off the cabin. I credit this to putting rebar in the foundation and drilling holes in the bottom row and bending the rebar over once passed through the first pass. That effectively with all the other rebar placed on each level makes it almost indestrucible.
     
  4. ChristenaTN

    ChristenaTN Active Member

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    Thats was seme neato websites!!!!! Thanks for the info:) How cool is that to be able to say you built not one but three cabins! I loved the pics.
     
  5. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    cool website... thanks!
    thats the hard way... lol

    a backhoe with a log jaw on it would be a LOT easier...

    to each their own way. those are mighty big logs to drop on yer foot... lol
     
  6. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    I used to make my living building logs homes, primarily the full scribe method. When it came time to build my own log home, I ruled out any building style which used full length logs.
    The reason? I am of the believe that a crane is the only SAFE and suitable method of lifting full length logs.
    I have seen some of the death trap methods people have cobbled up which lift logs. I want no part of it. I know its possible to lift logs without a crane, and many have built log homes to completion without a crane. I also know how unsafe it is and want no part of it.

    Regarding Skip Ellsworth and his version of the butt & pass: I find this building style to be technically questionable and see Ellsworth as little more than a con man. His 2 day building course costs a lofty $795/person as of Jan 1. How much can a person learn in 2 days?
    I know several hard working individuals have taken the course and went on to build their own log home through their own hard work and perseverance.



    IMHO, anyone that says building a log home is easy, would lie about other things as well. It is a lengthy period of hard work and sacrifice.
     
  7. ChristenaTN

    ChristenaTN Active Member

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    Well.....I don't think building a log cabin to be unsafe since its like anything esle one does and must be done properly:) Actually, folks have been doing this for years aroudn here with great success. I doubt if I would be much help to my husband if I tryed to help but hed konw what I could do and what wasn't safe. We love that movie Wilderness Family ever seen it where they construct thier cabin? Family bonding fer sure! ACtually my fil and several others know how to build one without following any specific detailed plan but there are several ways to build one depending on where you live I believe they are built a bit differently in those pics. I do think it would be a hard process but mayhaps not as long as I was thinking. Who knows? Well, I'll be talking it over with hubs and see what his thoughts on this are and if hes up to taking anything like this on. Thanks for sharing with me the links and the expereince :)
     
  8. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    I wasnt endorsing that ellsworth fellow. I built mine before he was known. His site just happened to pop up when I searched some links for this thread. There butt and pass cabins all over this great country. I encountered several well over a hundred years old with no sign of decay. I would like to point out that what ellsworth says about log kit homes is right on the money. There isnt a greater rip off known to man except maybe the ponzi scheme.

    Calling butt and pass ''Ellsworths Method'' isnt exactly right. It existed long before he was hatched out lol. I personally got my lesson on the method of building butt and pass from an old log cabin that served as the home post office and barber shop in a neighboring county that right now is pushing 128 years old and has never had any repairs save a lil mortar here and there in the joints over the years. That building is livable to this day and it hasnt had heat etc in it in over 50 years. Just sitting next to the road in the edge of a field. In the 1950s a f5 tornado devestated the area and left three houses and the cabin out of a hundred or so homes. So something has to be said for the strenght of a properly constructed cabin. Although not tornado proof they are definately more stable than mobile homes and most of the new prefab houses.

    Here is a pic of a lil cabin just down the road from me that is still standing after about 120 plus years. Although it isnt butt and pass it is still and indication that log homes built by OLD standards and not kits will last a very long time. I am currently in negotiation to buy this and move it to my place a mile or so down the road as the new owners are considering putting their home right behind it and want to be rid of it (dang city folks moving to the country) The aluminium door has got to go lolol I am gonna use ut as a guest house for visiting relatives. It is bigger than it looks but is still too small for full time living for me anyway lol



    [​IMG]
     
  9. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    We cut our own 12 to 24" diameter logs, skided them back, fitted them, and rolled them up inclilned planes, NO CRANE. Slow and safe as can be is how you roll them up. In no time at all you have a log cabin.

    [​IMG]
    Four Year Old Gretchen At Tripod in this old re-touched photo, Used Tripod and Come-Along to Lift First Few Logs Onto Rocks or Foundation

    [​IMG]
    Two Logs Up Me With Cant Hook, Notch, and Poles. I Tied a One-Inch Rope Around the Log On the Ground, Fixed It to The Cabin, And Pulled From The Other Side, Each of Fifty Logs Rolled Right Up

    [​IMG]
    Six Logs UP, Me With Cant Hook


    [​IMG]
    Our Log Cabin Today, with Porches Front And Back, Raililngs at Back Are From Cut Logs From Top Deck French Door, Big Posts At Front Deck are From Cut Out Large South Window

    Good Luck, Go For It, No Worries

    Alex
     
  10. ak homesteader

    ak homesteader Well-Known Member

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    Nice job :dance:
     
  11. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's backbreaking hard work. Felling logs is dangerous. Lifting them up on the house, not so much, if you take your time and think everything through ahead of time and give the logs plenty of room and use ropes that won't break (and never stand directly in line with a rope under tension) -- the crane can be dangerous to work around also.

    It's backbreaking hard work. Repeat, it's backbreaking hard work.

    Also, the time factor is formidable when building with logs ...

    But they're nice when done.

    Leva
     
  12. ed/IL

    ed/IL Well-Known Member

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    Never tried building one. A small cabin sounds like fun a large cabin sounds like torture. If building large I would rather do post and beam or stick built.
     
  13. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    I must disagree about backbreaking work. We started on June 1, and moved in on Sep.1. We finished adding windows and 2nd floor during the following month.

    We did nothing else, well lived, and had a great time. Sure we got a little stronger after the first two weeks. But, we had no experience and were not real strong or big to start with.

    Just lots of steady fun times. Nothing too tough, steday though.

    Alex

    [​IMG]
    We Just Cut These 14" to 22" Diameter Sections Out of the South Side Wall - Because We Added A New Window 48"h x 10'-0" long. Ground them down, Sanded, and lots of Varnish. None of this is all that hard to do, if you are careful and take your time. Just good clean fun and will help keep you out of trouble.

    Poplar Posts and House Logs, T&G Cedar Flooring on Front Deck.
     
  14. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Alex,

    I can't see any of your pictures.
     
  15. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    Alex is that 1 person in a million that can throw water on my assertions. I admire his work and accomplishment. At the end of the day, though, I know Alex is the very rare individual that can somehow accomplish unrealistic goals.
    Frankly, I don't know how he does it.....but my hats off to him!
     
  16. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Hmmm, I can see the pics now! Great. Yes, Alex, you rock, I don't think I could have done that!
     
  17. ChristenaTN

    ChristenaTN Active Member

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    I lovethe pics!!!!! Something about a log cabin screams history in the making:) That little one looks like one of themany hundreds you can still see aorund my parts. Folks built them around here like it was'nt any big deal to throw one together.LOL! and I was sorry to see them quit actualy. I do attest a lot the older meathods being dropped becasue of the loss of gumption in todays youth. But I wont go on and on about what a real man who can work with his hands does to a womans heart :rolleyes: :eek:
     
  18. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    My hat too, is off to each of us.

    I also am thrilled to see so much of the good and capable in each of us.

    Now let's build that cabin, and enjoy our wounderful lives.

    Thank you.

    Alex
     
  19. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

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    One question, is this a butt n pass or dovetail cabin? It looks from the pic to be a version of a dovetail (but I have 40+ year old eyes and I could be very wrong)