Cabin Logs

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ChristenaTN, May 12, 2005.

  1. ChristenaTN

    ChristenaTN Active Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    TN
    Hi there folks :)

    My hubs and I did find almost 10 acres in the country with a creek running though and a small cabin ....

    we've been so busy with settling things here and whatbnot I've not got to visit the board in several weeks:(

    Now, we've moved in and want to use some timber that we have on the place for an addition on the side of the place since what we have is just under a thousand square feet and plainly not enough room for our large family.

    My question is about the first step and cutting the trees we wish to use.....how long after we cut them down do we need to wait to hew them out and start stacking them????

    I wonder if we need to weather them or treat them or just use them fresh cut?

    Some of ya'll have built cabins and I kinow the wisdom is here so I"m looking forward to gleaning all I can and sharing this with dh.

    Thanks and God Bless!
    Christena
     
  2. SouthernThunder

    SouthernThunder Well-Known Member

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    192
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Location:
    OK
    What kind of trees are you planning on using? Are you attaching this structure onto an existing log home or onto a stick frame home? Are you going to scribe fit them, chink them, or plane them? What diameter are they? Use no logs smaller than 8".

    Its generally best to use them green and make room for setteling. Scribe fitting them and using saddle notches is the best method in my opinion. If attaching them onto an already constructed house you are going to have to allow for setteling and so cannot just simply build them into the existing walls and expect them to stay where you put them. Even letting them dry for years will not prevent this. You will need to construct special joints that allow the logs to pass by the frame walls as they come to rest in their places.

    Should you treat them? Well most likely yes, but I am currently building a house out of western red cedar that I am not treating... it depends on the kind of wood and the environment. You should make sure the logs are at least 18 inches off the ground and that you have a pressure treated seal plate at the very bottom. You will also need an termite flashing to prevent the critters from eating your house. You need your roof overhangs to be at least 2 foot for a one story house to prevent water from splashing onto the logs. It is VERY important to keep them dry.

    If you plan to use them fairly soon... I would peel them as soon as I cut them. Then construct and set of sawhorses to keep them up off the ground and be sure they are supported in the middle or they will bow out when they dry.
     

  3. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Wisconsin
    All logs used for cabin logs should be harvested in the winter months when their sap content is at its lowest. Logs cut in Dec, Jan, Feb are best.

    First, you need to determine which building style you will be using. Full scribe log homes are indeed the Cadillac of log homes. However, each log needs to be moved 5 times and few homeowners have a crane or some other piece of heavy equipment capable of lifting 40'+ logs. In short, the logistics of the full scribe log home are such that it IMHO, is not the BEST choice for the typical owner/builder.
    I wouldn't advise the full scribe building method unless you have the equipment and are very handy or know someone with full scribe building experience willing to assist you.


    If you know what you're doing and know how to make allowances for settling and shrinkage, it is best to work with green logs. Green logs are easier to cut. Thousands of log home building professionals use green logs on a daily basis.


    If you are using a flat on flat (logs milled flat on 2 or 3 sides) building style, it is imperative that the logs season for at least a year. The remaining side(s) of these logs need to be peeled.

    The vertical log building method is yet another option. No doubt the least common method of log building but IMHO, the most owner/builder friendly.

    All logs should be decked on cribbing that is approx 2' above the ground.


    Volumes have been written on preparation of logs for log home building.

    Personally, I think the 2 biggest problems of log home construction evolve around 1. the logistics of handling logs and 2. dealing with shrinkage/settling
     
  4. ChristenaTN

    ChristenaTN Active Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    TN
    hmmm.....well I asked hubby if he knew bout this stuff and he said yes. He just hasbn't shared all the info with me LOL

    Think he said we'll use poplar trees and hes gonna make his rounds of the place to see how many we have to make this happen....and he said we would use them fresh .

    Well, the owners called this place a cabin but its stickbuilt with that fake log siding......

    we want to make it into a real log cabin:)

    Now, I love the cabins with the sqared logs cut so they fit like a puzzle together on the corners....but we shall see what hubs has in mind:)

    I"m just excited and trying to understand what our otpions are here and encouirage the hubs to go for it.

    The real logs are so nice ......and the heating and cooling are so much eaier with nice logs to insulate...I'll try to post updates as we begin but they will probably come slow since we are taking our time to do it right:)

    thanks for the idears on how to use the logs.....I love to picture them all in my head and can imagine a nice log structure.