Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Square Pegs in Round Holes?

Real progress is being made now and I will have to change gears in my thinking as I plan and layout the half dovetail joints for the cabin.
You can see we have set the first round of logs for the cabin. Now comes the tricky part, the half dove tail layout. My goal will be to cut the notch so that there will be no more than 1" of space between the logs. This will allow for the chinking and a more traditional looking log cabin. The main floor of the cabin is 14' wide and 12' deep with a 5' porch.  Door frames are 31" wide and 6' - 4" tall (inside dimensions). The 9' - 4" high log walls will go up three to four logs above the top of the door frames. This will allow for an 8' deep sleeping loft above one half of the cabin. The ridge of the roof will run parallel with the porch. The rafters run from the roof ridge and extend over the porch. That was the reason to drop the porch level by 8" and keep a 6' + head clearance along the eave edge.
In the floor plan drawing above you can see the layout and location of the doors and windows. The cabin is designed to have the porch and roof facing South to catch the sun and for possible solar shingles if the buyer desires electricity. The double windows on the right end will face the East for good early morning lighting. No windows on the back or North side.

Square Pegs in Round holes? Glad you asked.
Most often a cabin like this is built as a "blank" using "full length" logs and then the door and window openings are cut in with a chainsaw after the cabin is rough built. With the doors and windows being in place during construction I can make better use of logs but must secure the log ends at the door and window openings. For a cabin built on site this is done with wooden pegs, called trunnels (tree nails).

Since we are building the cabin on "spec" and hope that a buyer can be found when it is finished I needed to come up with a solution that will secure the log ends but allow for easier removal than actual 7/8" Oak pegs. Trust me when I tell you that you don't just drive out a 7/8" Oak trunnel from an Oak log! These babies really hold once they are driven in.

So I figured, drilling a 7/8" (.875") diameter hole and then calculated (.875" x .707) that a .618" square peg would fit! I ripped some scrap pine making 5/8" square pegs to fit my round holes! They hold nicely and can be easily sawn off and driven out when I dis-assemble the finished cabin for delivery and re-assembly.

Maybe this is where the saying about square pegs and round holes comes from?    

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