Saturday, October 12, 2019
After having built 6 other small log cabins of various designs and joints. I decided to build a 12 by 16 half dovetail joint cabin and hewing the logs for it myself. And after completing the proof of concept that I could handle the hewing I drew up the cabin and made a model to see how it would look. Unique to this one will be the double front doors. As well as a half loft above with stairs.
The windows and doors will be framed with 6 x 6's. The side rails will have a 2" dado groove cut into them to receive and hold the tongue that will be cut into the end of the logs. This will allow movement as the logs dry and settle. Height to the ceiling will be about 7 feet. Loft floor to ceiling peak will be about 6' - 6". Porch posts, rafters and floor joists will be made out of 6x6's.
The stairs to the loft will run against the wall and the loft will be open to about half of the cabin. Double windows on each end in the gables will allow for plenty of light. Roof boards will be covered with 2" of styrofoam insulation topped with a steel roof.
To try to get a handle on how much the walls will shrink I cut a 2" thick slice from one of the green logs. I have measured and marked the diameter at three locations. The disc weighs 14.6 pounds green. I placed the slice in my house to dry out and shrink. This should happen over the next month or two and give me some idea as to how much the logs will shrink so I can better cut the vertical window and door post heights. Vertical posts for the porch will have screw adjusters drilled into the bottoms.
So here is the 2x6 treated bottom plate, squared and leveled. to build on. The finished cabin will be disassembled, transported to its new home and reassembled on a floating concrete slab. This winter I will be able to look out at the cabin building progress as I go inside to warm up and have a nice lunch or coffee :-)
Now it is back to work on those pesky half dovetails and figuring out the different depth cuts to make so as to maintain a 1" to 2" gap for chinking while keeping the walls level and plumb.
Saturday, September 28, 2019
So What would you say if someone asked you if you wanted 20+ pine trees?
If you are reading this you just might say yes! Also, if you are reading this, I am guessing that you are one of few individuals that can "see" the cabin in these logs. You can relate to and appreciate what pioneers did with these logs and what it took to transform them into shelter.
I said yes! Sure I'll take them. Come along for the next year or so, taking the path less traveled as I transform these fine logs into a log cabin just like the early pioneers did. One log at a time.
Sept. 26, 2019
After the logs were dropped off on my land they needed to be racked so they were up off the ground and could be looked over, selected and individually worked up. There are about 40 logs. I numbered them and did some rough calculations. Looks like about 600 linear feet of log. Building walls with no windows would make a 14 by 16 cabin ten logs high. Building walls with a door/s and windows cut in would allow for a larger cabin. Something to consider.
Although I have built 5 log cabins before I wanted to do a "proof of concept" to see if I was up to the task as the birthdays are piling up on me. So the first step was to peal a log (as seen in the top picture). This went well and only took one Alive and and about an hour.
Since I am going to make half dovetail notches for the cabin corners the logs will need to be hewn flat on two sides. Most logs will be hewn to a 6 inch thickness. To do this first lines need to be laid out and cuts made to depth so that the wood can be chipped off both sides using a broad ax.
Looking at log cabins that were built 150 years ago I am always in awe at the amount of work that goes into hewing logs like this.
The next step is to turn the log and work the sides down to the line with a smaller hand axe. Takes about an hour to an hour and a half to do a log like this.
Sure all this could be accomplished by taking the logs to a sawmill but, then I would not "see" what I am going to learn over the next year as I walk along, "the path less taken."