Author Topic: Vertical Log Cabin  (Read 39111 times)

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Offline desdawg

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Vertical Log Cabin
« on: December 01, 2006, 05:24:39 AM »
Has anyone here ever tackled a vertical log building project? There was an article in a recent issue of Fur-Fish-Game magazine about one. Dorthy Ainsworth built one, it burned to the ground and she built it again. Tough girl. It was featured in Backwoods Home Magazine some time back. Here is a website that hasn't got much information but a picture.
http://www.alaskacabin.net/
This would seem like a possible option for someone like me with smallish trees. Not large enough to render good building logs but 8 footers would be no problem. Placed vertically they could be a smaller diameter. Lots less labor than cordwood. Hmmm..... The one thing you never want to hear me say is "I've been thinking...."  :-/
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Offline NELSELGNE

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2006, 06:05:17 AM »
see also:
http://www.countryplans.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1133390162

From — Jackie Clay BACKWOODS HOME MAGAZINE

There are many advantages to building with vertical logs. First, a single person can build quite a large home alone, with no mechanical help. The logs are only eight feet long, or less, depending on the style of house. Most folks use a log of about eight inches in diameter, so the weight is not excessive, compared to a 1,000 pound, 40-foot log in a horizontal log home.

Another plus is that there is much less settling in a vertical log home than in the horizontal home. Also, by using short logs, you can take advantage of less-than-straight trees, discarding crooked sections. Some species of trees, such as smaller ponderosa pine often taper quite rapidly, making finding enough perfect trees for a horizontal log home difficult. With the shorter logs in a vertical home, this too is overcome.

But, like any other construction, there are a few drawbacks. First of all, the overall look of the finished home is not as popular as a horizontal log home. I won’t say as “attractive,” as I’ve seen many very beautiful vertical log homes. But others feel that the “only” log home is a horizontally-built one.

It does take a little more fussing to get the logs together, with no air leakage between in a vertical log home. With a horizontal log home, the sheer weight of the logs tends to compress insulating material, and even the pressure from one log to the next forms a seal. Vertical logs must be fastened together by a spline of plywood, or better yet, two splines, with an air space between them for added insulation. Just nailing them up and chinking the crack does not often suffice to keep the interior warm during cold weather.

There is a book, which I haven’t seen yet, but intend to order, on vertical log building. It also includes plans. It is available from Alaskan Cabins, HC1 Box 6107X, Palmer, AK 99645. The price is $15.

I would certainly consider a vertical log home, if it seems to suit your needs, ability, and soul. Good luck, and keep an eye on BHM for more details on construction.

LINKS:

http://www.stockadestyleloghomes.ca/

http://www.logandtimberworks.com/canadiana_vertical_log_homes.htm

http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/119401982dXMcdX


Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2006, 07:00:22 AM »
I think Amanda has either vertical logs or vertical log siding on her barn.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

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Offline desdawg

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2006, 10:41:23 AM »
Good links NELSELGNE. Thank you.
I will have to give this some thought. Oh oh, now it is out. I have been thinking........
A dimension lumber top plate would tie all of the wall logs together at the floppy top. You would be limited to flat ceilings I suppose. No way to vault a ceiling unless you used exposed cross beams periodically. A dimension lumber floor would tie all the log bottoms together if you attached the rim joist inside the logs rather than building a subfloor below them. Use 9' logs instead of 8'. What about shear? Thinking, thinking....I just don't know yet. Sounds kind of unstable.
I have done so much with so little for so long that today I can do almost anything with absolutely nothing.

Offline John Raabe

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2006, 11:52:55 AM »
Thanks for the good research NELSELGNE

Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer has a beach house on Whidbey island. It is vertical log structure and has lots more glass and open airy spaces than a horizontal log would allow. I did the energy analysis for it. A friend, Mira Jean Steinbrecker did the design. She doesn't have a picture of that house on her site but it is very handsome (as you might expect with a nearly unlimited budget  ;D). Mira is the most experienced person I know using the system.
None of us are as smart as all of us.

Offline olypen

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2006, 11:38:13 PM »
I did a 12 x 16 addition to a log cabin this way in Colville, WA about 16 years ago and we build a 16 x 20 cabin using the vertical logs too.  We stood them on a regularly framed floor.  First we set and braced the corners.  The top and bottom plates were 2 x 8,  2-60p spikes in the top and a lag into the bottom thru the floor.  Plus the logs are spiked together with 60p polebarn nails(ring shank).  We would tack a log in place then run a chainsaw down between the two several times till we had about a 4" flat spot that we filled with fibreglass insulation.  Then we drew the logs up tight and spiked them.  There are 8" poles tieing the walls together then a sort of W "truss" we made between some of the rafter poles.  The gable ends were stick framed.  The only long poles were the 8" poles from wall to wall and the ridge pole and the two poles on the ends to hold up the ridge.  The ridge is 30' long.  We pulled that up with a couple of hand winches like the ones on boat trailers.  The purlins and rafters are 4" Lodgpole Pine.  This cabin is also way back in the hills of NE WA.  All the logs came off the property.

Offline desdawg

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2006, 04:30:20 AM »
Hey olypen you just answered a lot of questions that have been running through my mind. (They didn't have far to run). I suppose it would be too much to hope that you had a few pictures of a job done so long ago? I appreciate the info. Since I will have a little mill I could put the flat surface on the logs pretty easy before starting to rassle them. Fiberglass sill sealer sounds like a natural between poles. The natural taper of the logs could be managed by alternating one up, one down. Sorry to say I don't have anything as nice as lodge pole pine to work with. Wouldn't that be nice! There may be some not too far away though. I will have to check on that.
I have done so much with so little for so long that today I can do almost anything with absolutely nothing.

glenn-k

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2006, 08:08:19 AM »
Thanks for the details, Olypen.  Welcome to the forum.

Amanda_931

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2006, 03:38:18 PM »
Oh, yes.

The guy in Alaska who sells the "book"--booklet is more like it--has it for eight bucks if you down-load it.  He does, IIRC, mention landscape screws:

http://www.alaskacabin.net/

We mostly used landscape screws.  I thought we were going to have to use very long ones, but mostly 4" (down into the plate above the concrete blocks) and 6" ones worked, if they were countersunk a good ways.  And then nails from a 2x8 plate on top.

But good grief, peeling logs is a pain--unless all the logs are poplar (don't know about pine--that's what that Ainsworth did twice--I assume it's easier).  I think it's why the 4th wall never got finished.  I'd hired someone to do this, he eventually wimped out.  Alma and I have been peeling a couple of slabs to do trim on some parts of it for a few days now.  Oak and hickory and something I'm not at all sure of.  A lot harder, even with appropriate--or semi-appropriate tools, although probably partly because they weren't very green when we got them from a sawmill waste pile.   Draw-knife, carpenter's hatchet, machetes, kindling froe, adz, ax roughly the shape of a miniature broadax, etc.

But three good-sized (8-10") poplar logs in the corner made a really secure-feeling corner.

Handful of pictures here, from the original construction a few years ago.

http://groups.msn.com/ap615/spring2003.msnw?Page=2



I thought it was just soooo cool to build this way, mentioned it to everyone I ran into.  Found two more--bigger--buildings in the county.  One person, I think had had his logs peeled and cut on two, maybe three, sides at the sawmill.  The couple was cleaning up after a tornado.

glenn-k

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2006, 08:24:25 PM »
Cool pictures, Amanda.  That looks like a house to me. :)

Whenever playing with logs and you need a way to fasten them together, don't forget that rebar makes great gripping spikes.  Drill a hole the nominal size of the rebar then drive it in with a sledge hammer.  I cut mine 16" long and used a 16" screw point auger and a big drill.


desdawg

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2006, 08:31:41 PM »
I'm sorry, I don't know what a landscape screw is. I'm just a country boy and God did all of the landscaping.  :-[

Amanda_931

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2006, 06:23:10 PM »
Gee, our Ace Hardware carries the 4" and 6" ones.  And it's an awfully small Ace Hardware.

Bigger around than deck screws, but not by all that much.  And I think kind of brittle.  Decidedly the fastener of choice if you wanted to make a planter out of landscape timbers (those PT jobs, smaller than railroad ties that stores sell by the zillion every spring).

these are the brand Ace carries.  Awfully small picture, though.

http://www.osmose.com/wood/worldwide/america/english/fasteners/timbermate/



maybe a better picture here--when they start showing them, although they are threaded a good way up.

http://fasteners.hardwarestore.com/19-75-landscape-timber-screws.aspx

British page here, giving strengths--shear and pull-out.

I would not agree about the no-pre-drilling, but then we were using mostly hardwood--and cordless drills.

http://www.bunnysbolts.com/screws/timberlok.htm

Quote
No predrilling! Even with large pressure treated beams, the TimberLok® zips right in.

Self-Countersinking Head design!

Removable! Just put the drill in reverse and back it out.

Ideal for virtually any wood construction including:

Retaining walls/Garden walls
Ledger boards
Fencing
Stairs/Stringers
Rafters
Carrying beams and more
 
 
Physical data:  
Minor Diameter: 3/16" (.187)  
Major Diameter: ¼" (.250)  
Lengths: 100mm, 150mm, 200mm, 250mm
Headstyle:  5/16" Hex Head  
 
 
Average TimberLok® Ultimate Shear Strength: 2995 lbs
Average TimberLok® Pullout Strength: 1450 (100 - 250mm)

Straight shank spike = 345 lbs
Spiral shank spike = 425 lbs
Installation: For best results, use a ½", high torque, low rpm drill (450 rpm).
For shorter TimberLoks® ( 4", 6") you can use a cordless drill.

« Last Edit: December 03, 2006, 06:34:32 PM by Amanda_931 »

glenn-k

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2006, 06:33:30 PM »
Ryobi has a little impact driver that would make quick work of those.  I used mine today - won't break the bank at around $69 without batteries.  Others have it too but usually cost about twice as much.

desdawg

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2006, 05:54:30 PM »
Thanks Amanda. Just one of those things I never bumped into in my travels.
This forum amazes me. I threw this topic out there knowing not much and so much good information has come back. I appreciate you all!
« Last Edit: December 04, 2006, 05:57:35 PM by desdawg »

Stockade_Style_Log

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2006, 04:10:10 AM »
Hello I believe vertical or (stockade log) homes have several advantages over the traditional horizontal log homes. However both are beautiful homes if they are constructed in proper manner. I have worked in the log home industry for over 10yrs now and constructed a vertical (stockade) log homes for myself. I was so impressed by this style of house I researched all the information I could find on building one, and to my surprise I didn't find any log home company that offered stockade style log homes. I have since started my own Log home company called Stockade Style Log Homes which is linked to your page. We offering both style of handcrafted log homes and show you the advantage of both styles of log homes. We will do the best to answer any of your log home question that arent already answered on our web site. There is also picture galeries there to view both styles of houses. Please contact us if you require any additional information. Web site www.stockadestyleloghomes.ca E-mail stockadestyleloghomes@ns.sympatic.ca

thank you Joel

jraabe

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2006, 06:28:11 AM »
Welcome Joel:

We have to discourage advertising links on the forum, but it is not a problem in this case. Your website is a valuable resource and you're doing some interesting projects. Best wishes with your business.

« Last Edit: December 12, 2006, 06:32:51 AM by jraabe »

Amanda_931

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2006, 04:14:28 PM »
Nice looking.

Especially the way you've put in the tops of logs generally.  

desdawg

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2006, 07:15:07 PM »
Thanks Joel. Lots of good information on your site. I think you need to slow Santa down a bit though. The old bugger is going to be plumb worn out before Christmas.  :) I take it your vertical log home is designed to be built on a conventional subfloor or slab. A subfloor would seem better for installation of electrical wiring. Are the logs where outlets or switches are to appear routed out and bored for installation of romex? Or are the spline grooves deepened to allow the wire behind the plywood spline? Wiring in a log wall would seem a bit challenging, but then I have never attempted it. Got any tricks to share?

Amanda_931

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2006, 06:31:41 PM »
Run wiring down from the ceiling--made sense to me.   Rout out enough to put in electrical boxes.  Every thing else up in the ceiling.

The inspector approvable way to do it would be to use that metal stuff that comes in coils with the wires already in it--don't remember its name.  A straw bale house I worked on had that, because a) it was easy for volunteers under the supervision of an electrical contractor, b) protected the wires--from the concrete plaster that house used, and moisture.  

Looks like there's enough space between those logs for backer rod.  If so, maybe also that bendable conduit like stuff.

glenn-k

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2006, 06:37:47 PM »
Yeah, Amanda.  Armored cable.  I run it here wherever I don't want to mess with hiding it.  Gives the place that cool industrial look... :)

desdawg

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2006, 06:41:41 PM »
Is that how Bilbo Baggins wired his house?

Amanda_931

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2006, 06:47:52 PM »
I thought he was completely off-grid.

desdawg

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2006, 07:09:56 PM »
Quote
I thought he was completely off-grid.
;D

glenn-k

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2006, 07:46:19 PM »
Bilbo and I are both completely off grid - we share trade secrets. :)

Bilbo's off grid - I'm off my rocker. :)

glenn-k

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2006, 10:05:03 PM »
Here is a nice little vertical log (or at least first cut - barn near here - looks pretty old.