Sunday, September 21, 2014

Getting a log off the rack

In the process of building a cabin there are many parts of the process that may go unappreciated by those outside of the actual process. This post is to give one of those small but very necessary parts of the process credit. That of getting a 4 to 5 hundred pound 20 foot pine log from the rack to the actual cabin wall.

This log needed to be moved across the pile first. To do that a set of tie rods was used to stabilize the log and then the handy man jack raised each end until planks could be placed under the log.

With the log rolled across the planks into position and now onto rollers the log can be easily pulled from the rack on these rollers.

With the log pulled from the rack the log mover can be positioned over it.

The log mover is attached to the log at its balance point. Making lifting with the ice tongs a one handed job.

Then the log can be easily rolled into position for raising up onto the cabin wall using the rope parbuckle.

Run through this process just 18 more times and the walls will be complete! Note the rough opening for the door has been cut to allow entry to the inside for log work.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Lock Notches, Why and How

I have to say that log cabin building is not as straight forward as most would think. Get some logs cut some notches and pile them up. How hard could it be? Everyone did it 150 years ago and just with hand tools. No chain saws.

Well if you have been following the construction of cabin #3 you know there is more to it than meets the eye. Lock Notches are just that. Take a look at the picture below of the first one in this cabin.
Can you see it? Well lets take a look at the why and how of Lock Notches...

With the log sitting on the rough notch and the final notch scribed in orange you can see that if cut this deep (over 1/2 of log diameter) it would weaken the log at the notch. The solution is to cut a  Lock Notch. This will be a block of wood left in the notch. The orange horizontal line going through the middle of the notch shows the size of the block to be left in the notch. About 3 inches in this case.

With the log rolled over the notch is cut to the depth of the block to be left in the notch.

After being cleaned out the width of the block to be left is laid out. The material on either side of the block (marked by X's) can now be chiseled out as per final scribe.

Next the receiving notch for the block is laid out in the lower log.

Both halves of the lock notch cut and ready.

Walla! Now do you see the lock notch?