Thursday, October 24, 2019

Beginnings of a log cabin

A 2x6 treated bottom plate has been layed out and leveled up. This will be the footprint for the 12 by 16 log cabin.

The first round of logs will sit directly on the bottom plate so these logs must be hewed flat on three sides. We're making timbers now!

The door frame has been located and secured in place. There are a number of good reasons for this. In building a log cabin having a door opening is a handy thing to have as it allows easy access to the inside of the cabin during construction. Otherwise you will need to climb over the logs with a ladder and this will become a real pain as the walls get higher. Also because I have a limited number of logs I will be framing in the windows as I go to save logs. The corner joints will support the logs but the ends where the log meets the door or window frame need support. You could just peg through the door frame into the log end but that would not allow for movement as the logs shrink in diameter. So I cut a 2" wide 2- 1/4" deep dado groove in the door posts. The end of each logs will have a 2" by 2" tongue cut into it. This tongue and groove joint will make the wall stable and allow for movement as the logs shrink and the wall height lowers. After the logs have dried then the ends will be pegged and chinking can be done.

Now if you have been following the construction you realize that doing this the "old school way" there is a lot more to the processes than most people think. Many problems to solve along the way. One of these being after you select the log you want out of the rack how do you get it out to work on?
Handyman, planks, blocking and a couple of can't hooks will do the trick.

And now it is ready to peal, layout and hew. Snap!
Now it is on to cutting and joining the first round of logs for the perimeter.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Cabin #6 Planning

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.