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Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5446526
03/05/16 01:38 PM
03/05/16 01:38 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,561
Northern MN
Dale Torma Offline
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Dale Torma  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,561
Northern MN
White spruce is softer in comparison to black spruce, though I am sure it would be fine for cabin logs.
I have only used it for lumber, and it is easy to mill.the white spruce around here has a fairly fast taper, at least most that I have seen.

Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5446566
03/05/16 02:16 PM
03/05/16 02:16 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 32,189
McGrath, AK
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white17 Online content

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"
white17  Online Content

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"
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Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 32,189
McGrath, AK
Almost every cabin I am aware of is built from white spruce.I know of one cottonwood and one birch cabin.

Black spruce that I am familiar with wouldn't even make a 2x2 let alone a house log.

As an aside, IMO white spruce when sawn into lumber leaves a lot to be desired. It is terrible at holding a nail. A guy almost has to use hot dipped galvanized fasteners to get it to hold.

But for cabin logs they work just fine.


Mean As Nails
Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5446571
03/05/16 02:20 PM
03/05/16 02:20 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,561
Northern MN
Dale Torma Offline
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Dale Torma  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,561
Northern MN
Our black spruce in northern MN can be up to 9 inches thick, but most are 6 inches and smaller. Some are 160'years old and not 2 inches thick, it depends on the swamp or bog its growing in here. Our white spruce can be 26 inches or more thick at chest height.

Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5446680
03/05/16 04:30 PM
03/05/16 04:30 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,046
Homer, Alaska
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Spek Jones Offline
"FATHER"
Spek Jones  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,046
Homer, Alaska
Like White17 said our black spruce here is scrubby little trees that get about 4" in diameter, and not something you could make a cabin out of. Majority of the spruce trees on the Kenai is Lutz spruce, which is a cross between white spruce and sitka spruce. It's nice to have logs that are at least 12" at the butt to build with, but a person can build with smaller logs. Just takes more of them, and they don't insulate and hold heat as well as a larger log does. I prefer spruce, but I wouldn't hesitate to use any type of tree as long as I could get a reasonable length of log, with a workable amount of taper.

Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Spek Jones] #5446863
03/05/16 07:19 PM
03/05/16 07:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 86
Minnesota
Scanner Offline OP
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Scanner  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 86
Minnesota
Can we talk about methods of raising the logs onto the walls, without heavy equipment?


The day that you tarry, is the day that you lose......
Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5446912
03/05/16 07:45 PM
03/05/16 07:45 PM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 115
Michigan
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randyt Offline
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randyt  Offline
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Posts: 115
Michigan
I made a gin pole for one of my cabins, worked pretty well. Most small cabins the logs can be wrestled up or rolled up some timbers. I've used timbers with notches in them for a place to rest the log just don't trust it.

Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5447425
03/06/16 02:24 AM
03/06/16 02:24 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,046
Homer, Alaska
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Spek Jones Offline
"FATHER"
Spek Jones  Offline
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Homer, Alaska
What Randyt said. If you can, find somebody to help with the log stacking, it's safer with two people. You can lay a couple of poles up against the wall to roll the log up, then make a rope bridle, tie the ends off to the opposite wall, run the ropes over the other wall, then under the log, then back over the top to the far side of the cabin. From there you can hook a 4 wheeler winch to the bridle, as you suck in on the winch the rope will roll the log up the poles. If you have a remote control winch then you can be there to help guide the log as you winch it up the skids. Called a "cross haul", good for loading logs on a trailer too. First few rings you can roll them up the skids by hand.

Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5447428
03/06/16 02:44 AM
03/06/16 02:44 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,046
Homer, Alaska
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Spek Jones Offline
"FATHER"
Spek Jones  Offline
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Homer, Alaska
In theory, when you are building with natural round logs, every two rounds the top of your wall should come somewhere close to level, provided your logs all have similar taper. In reality, it doesn't generally work out so well. So, as you go up with the wall, measure every two rounds and see how it's setting. If one end of your wall is a couple inches higher than the other, then you can select your next ring of logs based on how much taper they have and use that taper to compensate for leveling the wall to some degree.
They don't HAVE to be absolutely level when you get to the top, but they should be within a couple of inches of level.

What does matter though is that you get your ridge pole level, and the eve line level. To do this you may have to notch in your rafters (provided you are going with rafters rather than purlins), along the outer wall and as needed along the ridge pole.

Last edited by Spek Jones; 03/06/16 02:45 AM.
Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5447494
03/06/16 08:36 AM
03/06/16 08:36 AM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 115
Michigan
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randyt Offline
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Michigan
for keeping things level or at least nearly so I use a water level made out of a long piece of soft vinyl tubing. I fill it with blue windsheild cleaning solvent, it's easier to see and don't freeze in my area. I eye ball the logs as they go up, as I get closer to the top I then use the water level to get the tops level.

Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5447578
03/06/16 09:55 AM
03/06/16 09:55 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,561
Northern MN
Dale Torma Offline
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Dale Torma  Offline
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Posts: 3,561
Northern MN
Tamarack would also be an excellent choice for building logs. It is heavy, intially though.
We have had a bunch of beetle killed tamarack, being cut for firewood, the sound logs would be good for building. It does not readily rot, and turns dark in the sun due to the varnish-like sap.

Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5447587
03/06/16 09:59 AM
03/06/16 09:59 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 34
saskatchewan
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saskamusher Offline
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saskamusher  Offline
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saskatchewan
so if you realize ur not staying level how do you correct it other than adding the extra depth onto your scribes on the next round , is that the only way or is there a better method .


trapping with dogs
Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5447593
03/06/16 10:03 AM
03/06/16 10:03 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,561
Northern MN
Dale Torma Offline
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Dale Torma  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,561
Northern MN
Measure your remaining logs, mark the diameters or height on the ends and use the logs that will bring you back to level. You could pre plan this by pre measuring and laying out your logs, per wall.

Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5447595
03/06/16 10:05 AM
03/06/16 10:05 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,561
Northern MN
Dale Torma Offline
trapper
Dale Torma  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,561
Northern MN
I am learning a lot on this thread, some things I did not think of. It is good to think about potential problems, and how to solve them beforehand. This thread is great!

Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5447641
03/06/16 10:40 AM
03/06/16 10:40 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 23,507
williams,mn
trapper les Offline
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williams,mn
The problem with the tamarac around my area is that it's hard to find any that's straight. And I've saved out quite a few for dock piling over the years. Tends to grow crooked, but looks straight for quite a while right up until you look it over real good. And tapers fairly fast too.But I agree...doesnt rot easily.


"Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not."
Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5447657
03/06/16 10:48 AM
03/06/16 10:48 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,046
Homer, Alaska
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Spek Jones Offline
"FATHER"
Spek Jones  Offline
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Homer, Alaska
Like Dale said, before you even start stacking , sort your logs and match them up as close as you can in pairs. Start with your biggest logs on bottom.

Generally you will have some logs that taper more than others and you can use that difference to your advantage to help keep things level as you go up.

I prefer to get the floor built first and then start stacking logs. Make the floor level and then measure off of it for leveling the walls and ridge pole. What Randyt said works too and is necessary if your planning to hang your floor with joist hangers. Many ways to skin a cat.

Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5447876
03/06/16 01:40 PM
03/06/16 01:40 PM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 115
Michigan
R
randyt Offline
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Posts: 115
Michigan
I use poles for building too.




my tools



a addition can be added, these logs look a little kitty wampus but after chinking they look good


Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5447890
03/06/16 01:52 PM
03/06/16 01:52 PM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 115
Michigan
R
randyt Offline
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Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 115
Michigan
I've have not built of a platform. I've always built off piers with the first log laying on the piers. The first cabin I ever built was built on large cedar piers and the floor joists were logs that were dovetailed into the first log. another one was built on flat rock piers and then rocks filled in the gaps. the floor was dirt for a few years and then a concrete cap was poured. The first few years the roof was plywood painted with roof coating, it is now insulted and covered with tin. The latest was built on piers and logs laid on the piers with a rim joist lagged into the first row of logs and joists strung across. just the way we did it

Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5448176
03/06/16 06:19 PM
03/06/16 06:19 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,046
Homer, Alaska
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Spek Jones Offline
"FATHER"
Spek Jones  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,046
Homer, Alaska
Nice job on the saddle notches Randyt. What did you use on that cabin for chinking?

I use pole construction quite a bit too, built this little hot house for growing tomatoes a while back. Now it's full of everything but tomatoes. ha. That's alright, I built it for her, she can plant what ever she wants in there, long as I don't have to weed it.



I've built a lot of camps out of them as well




I've lost count of how many of these camps we've made over the years, over twenty of them though, kind of scattered all over south central, from the Ak Peninsula to Montague island.

Some of them that are over 40 years old are getting a little dilapidated.


Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5448221
03/06/16 06:57 PM
03/06/16 06:57 PM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 34
saskatchewan
S
saskamusher Offline
trapper
saskamusher  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 34
saskatchewan
mr jones that is a genious idea frames like that could be built then show up at begining of season with tarp and stove and within a day winter camp is up , love it


trapping with dogs
Re: Log cabin logs [Re: Scanner] #5448235
03/06/16 07:11 PM
03/06/16 07:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 33,001
james bay frontierOnt.
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Boco Offline
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james bay frontierOnt.
We call those tent frames,popular with Indians (for fishing camps and goose camps) and hunters.

Last edited by Boco; 03/06/16 07:12 PM.
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