CountryPlans Design/Build Forum

General => General Forum => Topic started by: desdawg on December 01, 2006, 05:24:39 AM

Title: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg 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...."  :-/
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: NELSELGNE 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

Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn kangiser on December 01, 2006, 07:00:22 AM
I think Amanda has either vertical logs or vertical log siding on her barn.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg 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.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: John Raabe 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 (http://www.jeansteinbrecher.com/) 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.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: olypen 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.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg 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.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on December 02, 2006, 08:08:19 AM
Thanks for the details, Olypen.  Welcome to the forum.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 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

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fgroups.msn.com%2F_Secure%2F0WQA5D3Ia5rLfYy1vwrxs1o2kqlsp%21jNS1zIPZlbRUD6%2A6IbDOOE7HdBUXY9zT26lRsh05ON0ZMXCE%21e%21spiFHrGGkB4fNUypzzEfdwGYzPQUTmQKFJ9zNRsnY9Mb4qqnqzbNhMVdUVw%2FVik%2520inspects%2520the%2520log%2520room.jpg%3Fdc%3D4675418903238796299&hash=45e8b0a5b2b02fe28cc1e131a3851fa9e985a3c5)

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.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k 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.

Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg 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.  :-[
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 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/

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.osmose.com%2Fimages%2Fwood%2Fp_fastener_timbermate.jpg&hash=d370ff0fc2c78709428ca33ecc19c7eba249ec48)

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.

Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k 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.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg 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!
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Stockade_Style_Log 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
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: jraabe 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.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.stockadestyleloghomes.ca%2Ffront-window.jpg&hash=92f91588a6bc3ca3df6991aea7d8585bd81fba5c)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 on December 12, 2006, 04:14:28 PM
Nice looking.

Especially the way you've put in the tops of logs generally.  
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg 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?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 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.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k 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... :)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on December 14, 2006, 06:41:41 PM
Is that how Bilbo Baggins wired his house?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 on December 14, 2006, 06:47:52 PM
I thought he was completely off-grid.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on December 14, 2006, 07:09:56 PM
Quote
I thought he was completely off-grid.
;D
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k 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. :)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k 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.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi35.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fd184%2Fglennkangiser%2FP1010345_edited.jpg&hash=5cf8aa5c623de8146318f7bd2f116b2e3978a700)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on December 24, 2006, 04:14:21 AM
It would appear those logs were set directly on or in the ground. I have way too much termite problem to do that unless they were treated part way up. One of the problems I foresee using smallish trees is that on a small tree the taper comes pretty quickly. This could maybe be solved by alternating tops and bottoms. Also the smaller high desert trees tend to be pretty gnarly. Those logs look pretty straight but they did have a lot of low limbs. Milling two flat surfaces for the groove to allow the plywood insert may help with some of that. Having the mill will add some options for sure.
Temperatures up there are running from 20-50 degrees so I think I will sit here and talk theory for a bit longer.  :)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on December 24, 2006, 06:01:15 AM
I'm pretty sure those are thick first cut slabs and they are contacting the ground.  I think they are just siding and there is a post and beam frame inside.  I didn't want to snoop too much as the place was posted.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 on December 24, 2006, 08:52:46 AM
A plywood insert might add some more problems, unless you were using all the same kind of wood, nicely dried, roughly the same taper and size.

If I were doing this again, I'd probably try to mill the edges more or less straight up and down, then maybe caulk before I screwed them in, then put some kind of chinking in, as necessary.

From the way that barn is weathering, it's not too old, and is getting rain on the bottom foot or so.

(we put mine on a block foundation over a rubble filled trench, put the roof on posts that were a good 18" out from the foundation)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on December 25, 2006, 03:19:43 AM
Amanda, did you use native material for your rubble trench or did you have gravel delivered? Delivery at my site is difficult at best and probably pretty pricey. I have been trying to come up with alternatives that don't compromise the quality of the finished product. I have lots of native stone and have been doing some reading about stone masonry and design. But anyway I am curious about the rubble footing, the definition of rubble and how you feel about it having it in place for a while.
And I agree with you completely regarding the larger overhang of the roof. So far all of my experimentation has been with insignifcant outbuildings. When I finally get down to the actual home I want to get it right for certain.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on December 25, 2006, 04:44:28 AM
I'll add my .02 here also. :-/

Absolutely no reason not to use local materials (except corporate lobbied rules and  regs).  Native Americans did it and there are places still standing that are 100's of years old -- mostly under some type of protection.  A rock is a rock though.  You have to break yourself away from the idea that only corporate produced materials are usable for shelter.   Then you find a lot more to work with. The corporate advertising machine has been working overtime to make us think that only corporate manufactured materials are usable for shelter.   If you are in a regulated area that may not be an option. :)  I really think I could be a hell of a good bum.

In this area you can always tell where the old homesteads were - rock foundation or fireplace still standing after the house is gone.

Rubble can be about any thing you can carry.  I have done a rubble foundation around 1 bathroom and piers for the shop posts with rebar carefully placed in between rocks and concrete for strength.  I averaged 6" to 12" rocks on this stuff.

Ken Kern mentions rubble footings.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 on December 25, 2006, 04:16:15 PM
I bought crushed rock--fairly small--from a local quarry.

People told me that I wanted that specifically because of the sharp edges.  Otherwise I guess I could have gone down to the river and brought up rounded rock a bucket at a time.  People usually use a backhoe for that, but I wouldn't have had permission from property owners down at the river.

I take that back.  It wasn't the nearest quarry.  This was the stuff delivered by some poor guy who was shaking from driving his big and shiny new dump truck along the paved (that was before the biggish flood that took a hundred or so feet of asphalt out, and some local logging that did it for quite a bit more) 1 1/2 lane road.  Backing into my driveway didn't help his nerves at all.  He hadn't thought about the road being that horrible before because while some buddy of his is about my 4th nearest neighbor, but he'd never taken a "real" truck to visit him.

I need to get more gravel.  Probably go with the more local guys this time.

If I could get very sandy chert, I could probably have used that.  But frequently it's much more clayey than sandy.  There are a couple of chert pits around three miles away.  People take a backhoe, and just load it into their trucks with that.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 on December 25, 2006, 04:20:58 PM
The foundation seems to be OK after about three years.

But there's no heat in there, at least full time.

Maybe after we get a door and another window into the holes.

The roof is sitting on 4x6 posts, not the foundation.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on December 25, 2006, 08:07:28 PM
Actually I will have the ability to crush rock when I get my equipment up and running. I bought a piece of property last year that has a jaw crusher, a roll crusher, conveyor etc. on it. But it is old equipment and hasn't run in several years. I need to get it usable sometime anyway but that will take more time than I have had available. So I have the option of either using what is native on the property or spending some time on this. What I have available that is native would be more in the size range Glenn was talking about. The bottom line is I have too many projects and not near enough time. So the best thing I can do is.... start another project.  ;)
This crushing plant is about 10 miles from where I would build so not too bad for me to haul my own in my 6 yard truck. Batching concrete is not an option. Thus my consideration of the rubble footing. As for my permit status Glenn, I have determined that I would rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission. The big hammer the County uses is to pull your electric meter or to not allow you to get one to begin with. Since I am all solar powered and miles from a power line A) It would be a long time before anyone even noticed and B) Even the County doesn't have enough celestial influence to pull that meter. So I have been doing pretty much as I please up there. But I always try to stay pretty much to code just in case I ever have to beg for forgiveness.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg184.imageshack.us%2Fimg184%2F599%2Fcrushingplantvt2.jpg&hash=42e1ebb0fc8dbd2df7198c507fdf0321fb9efff1) (http://imageshack.us)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on December 25, 2006, 10:17:05 PM
I like your attitude, desdawg.  My kind of thinking. :)

Now we have a problem.  I would love to have a rock crusher and you already have one.  I have a buddy watching for one - he may even find one some day.  I try not to get in a hurry on things like that.  They eventually show up at a much better price than the hurry up price.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on December 26, 2006, 04:03:06 AM
This one came with 10 acres of dirt, an old POS Ford dump truck and a worn out Michigan Loader for about $28K. I have since purchased an additional 3 contiguous acres to go with it.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on December 26, 2006, 07:19:30 AM
Great buy, desdawg.  Did you get a mine or quarry included with it? :)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: jraabe on December 26, 2006, 03:53:51 PM
What a great project parcel. You're gonna hafta grow a Gabby Hayes beard and learn to kick things to get them started.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ftsbolton.com%2Fheroes%2Fgabby1.jpg&hash=bec610391905aebd498d6fb40a340631ad4974c1)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Sassy on December 26, 2006, 05:39:37 PM
Glenn keeps trying to grow his beard like that but I get him to trim it occasionally...   :-/
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on December 26, 2006, 07:07:51 PM
John, I already have the beard and everytime I try to kick start something I hurt my foot.  :(
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on December 26, 2006, 07:18:54 PM
Sassy thinks we may be relatives, desdawg.  Now we find out you have a great beard too.  I guess we're just a couple of great looking manly dudes. :)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on December 26, 2006, 07:27:44 PM
Maybe we were born under the same sign. Or maybe it was just a full moon. I am a Feb 3, 1948 Aquarius. Old guy. 58 going on 100. that's if I don't start anymore projects. I need that much time just to finish the one's I have going already. Finished project. Is that one of them thar oxymorons?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on December 26, 2006, 07:38:31 PM
I was born under an "Exit Only" sign.... or was it a "Do Not Enter" -- I don't remember which anymore.

6-29-51 You got me by a couple years but not much.  I always figured I'd be gone by 60 but maybe not-- like you , to many projects to take off yet.  Many of my relatives went into their ninety's - now that's something to look forward to.  40 more years of paramnesia.  Would someone hand me my brain, please.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on December 27, 2006, 05:07:15 AM
Nope, I wasn't born under either of those signs. I did have a street named after me though. Dead End it is called.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on January 11, 2007, 11:25:48 AM
Wow, I am so glad to have found this forum. I am now considering the vertical log building style. I hadn't given it much thought in the past. But, last summer, my boyfriend and I spent nearly 3months trying to erect a very large and heavy log gin pole wth which to lift and maneuver 26' long logs. this was a nerve wracking and stressful project. In the end, we got a chainsaw mill in hopes of milling each log flat on two sides before using the butt and pass method to put it all together. But, to be quite frank, I'm just not all that crazy about the butt and pass method. My current 12x16 log cabin is 3 sides milled butt and pass and its OK cause its so small. But, I think that when butt and pass houses get bigger than that they look sort of....manufactured or just plain old janky. The verticla og thing looks a lot cleaner and boy does it sound easier in terms of moving those logs around.
This is more of less what we've got so far...except that those logs have been notched to fit snug(ish) on the beams and havebeen milled flat on the top. (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg463.imageshack.us%2Fimg463%2F892%2Fsilllogsgg6.th.jpg&hash=a7a6c9aca7e811cb2669d0cec09e64acb31b5a58) (http://img463.imageshack.us/my.php?image=silllogsgg6.jpg)
Do you think that we'd be able to do vertical logs on this existing structure? And, if so, how would one rebar the logs together? I've already got a pile of rebar and would love to use that instead of plywood if we could since its already here and won't cost anything more. how would we attach the logs to the horizontal logs?

Any advice?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on January 11, 2007, 11:56:51 AM
Welcome to the forum.  

Yes. I think you could do it.  I assume you want to attach the vertical logs to the long horizontal logs in the picture.  Just cut the vertical logs straight on the ends leaving enough at the top for a bond beam - log of some sort at the top.  You may want to slope the sides of the existing logs a bit for water runoff and use wide eaves to keep more rain further away.

You can drill holes the nominal size of the rebar to drive pins into and oversize to set on a pin.  A nominal size hole is a tight fit with rebar.  Requires a 3 or 4 lb sledge to drive in.  I use screw tipped auger bits 16 inches long and 16" rebar pins to hold my logs together.  You can drill at a 45 degree angle also and drive pins in like toenailing.  You could straighten the sides of the vertical logs with your mill if desired - measure fron edge to center and drill a hole in the end of the vertical log then put a pin in the proper place on the horizontal log and set it on it---or simply put the vertical log in place - go up about 6 inches on the side and drill a angled hole toward the center of the vertical log where it meets the horizontal log and drive a 16 inch pin in to join the two together.  This requires a pretty heavy duty 1/2 inch drill that is reversing sometimes to get the bit out.  Reaming the hole a couple times with the same bit will help remove sawdust and make the pin go in easier -- put it in part way and pull it out while running to remove loose sawdust - continue until the hole is clean.  

By nominal I mean 1/2 inch bit for 1/2 inch rebar etc- rebar being deformed is a very tight fit in these holes.  Other sizes rebar similar 5/8 bar - 5/8 hole etc.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on January 12, 2007, 07:37:47 AM
Thanks for the speedy response!
So, I would use one rebar pin on each log to tie it to the horizontal log. How many "pins" do I use to tie each log to the vertical log beside it?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on January 12, 2007, 06:58:36 PM
Nothing official here - just what works for me, but I would probably angle one over at a 45 degree angle to each next one , then when a bond beam log is put across the top horizontally, put another one from it to each of the verticals.  Tying endwalls and perpendicular interior walls to the sidewalls and bond beam will add strength - posssibly a lap joint of sorts running a beam across the center - possibly to the other side.  Maybe bottom half of sidewall beam remaining and top half of interior wall or endwall bond beam then spike the lap together.  - Like Lincoln logs for the top beams.  

Each rebar - say 1/2 inch dia should have around 10,000 lbs shear strength - rough guess - so one is pretty tough.  Pull out strength is probably less but I lifted a 500 lb or so log with one accidentally once and it didn't come out.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on January 12, 2007, 09:03:40 PM
mountainmomma, looks like you are all done except for both ends and the middle.  :)
I think part of the beauty of using the plywood between logs is it would seal the horizontal opening between logs and provide a verticle chink joint backing as well as maintain alignment of the logs. Something to think about. You could still use your rebar pins top and bottom as Glenn said.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on January 12, 2007, 09:20:04 PM
Good thing someone is thinking around here.  I forgot all about that one , desdawg.  I think that could be done pretty easily with a chainsaw to cut the groove in the logs.  I did a couple places that way to get a board into the side of the vertical log to seal around standard framing.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on January 14, 2007, 11:31:30 AM
Hey guys,

I just wanted to sharethis picture with ya'll. We were trying to lift our 30ft. gin pole up using  a series of block and tackles eventually attached to my Ford F-250. The gin pole barely budged. But, this is what happened to the rebar that we'd pinned through the top if it. We had been hoping to hang the block and tackle off that rebar to move logs into place with. HA!
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg510.imageshack.us%2Fimg510%2F1176%2Fbentrebarqp6.th.jpg&hash=0a534f6106fd17c48e0fb577b622d788d5ccdf06) (http://img510.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bentrebarqp6.jpg)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on January 14, 2007, 12:12:03 PM
Looks like you may need a gin pole to raise the gin pole. :-/

Be careful. :)  Remember that anything under a failing gin pole gets kind of smashy.  I used a 25' one to stand my 85' wind generator but was always  (almost) on the safe side of it.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 on January 14, 2007, 05:58:31 PM
Logs are a whole lot easier to handle after they've dried out.

Rebar sounds stronger, but we used landscape screws, heavily sunk into the first log, spikes coming down from the top--but no very big logs--a few poplars around 8" in diameter.  and since we were dealing with 7' jobs, a small tractor with a boom pole worked pretty much just fine to get them set on the wall--then braced, then screwed to the next log.

It would have been nice to not have to have chinked--twice--all the spaces between logs.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on January 14, 2007, 07:23:29 PM
Eecheewawa mountainmomma! (Pretty poetic, huh? I been out here in the desert too long.) Back to the drawing board. Nothing really replaces the right piece of equipment. But then there is the budget. But if someone gets hurt the budget becomes insignificant.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on January 15, 2007, 08:03:23 AM
We got rid of the whole gin pole idea shortly after that picture was taken. We did, however, first install another smaller gin pole  to try to help us lift the bigger one. ALMOST. But, it was just too sketchy to keep trying.

You see, back then, we were working off the advice of a man who had initally promised to teach a butt and pass workshop at my place in order to get me a shell built for next to nothing. He gave us LOTS of bunk advice. So, we've now thrown out everything that he's told us which is what has led me to investigating simpler DIY methods that will make use of the materials we've already bought. So, here I am!  :D
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on January 15, 2007, 03:13:08 PM
What is the situation with chinking? I haven't seen a single picture of a vertical log cabin with chinking. I'd love if I could really go without since it would save me a LOT. But, I live in Alaska. Is this possible?

We COULD mill two sides of each log flat for a better fit.Those slabs make nice firewood and sometimes even nice siding. I built a shed using the slabs from a mill across the street and my boyfriend skirted in my cabin with them too.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg77.imageshack.us%2Fimg77%2F8674%2Fim001114zf2.th.jpg&hash=85f632c18fa7602ebc8fcd92ceef42ebd2279792) (http://img77.imageshack.us/my.php?image=im001114zf2.jpg)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on January 15, 2007, 09:11:04 PM
Did you understand suggestion by desdawg about using a strip of plywood to join each joint of the logs together?  I would flatten each side for a decent fit, then groove the center of the flat vertically on each side of each log.  I would think that and inch and a half each way would be good then slip a 3 inch strip of plywood between the two to key them and seal them pretty well vertically.  You could add a strip of fiberglass insulation in the groove first to stop drafts around the plywood strip.  You should be able to do this with a chainsaw or Skilsaw. Snap a chalk line down it to get it straight.  You will probably have to double cut then chisel out the center or take it out with the chainsaw.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on January 16, 2007, 03:59:08 AM
Somehow it would be desireable to seal against air infiltration. Milling two flat sides would be good. Keying them with a strip of plywood would be better. I was looking at this style of building because of the smallish size logs I have available and of course the smaller the log the more pronounced the taper is. I am just trying to learn about this too and consider it as an alternative to conventional log construction. I have also been studying up on cordwood construction. These are two potential methods for making use of my native materials which is my ultimate goal.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on January 16, 2007, 09:14:59 AM
I did see that info about the plywood. I can see how that woud add structural strength. But, I fail to see how it helps inslulate. There will surely be at least minimal gaping between each log, particualarly b/c I'm not yet an expert with my chainsaw mill. Even if there is plywood there, a little piece of plywood wouldn't do much for insulation. Ya know?

The guy that has www.alaskacabins.com shows us that he uses expanding foam.  :-?
URL=http://img235.imageshack.us/my.php?image=akcbfoam1092efsu5.jpg](https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg235.imageshack.us%2Fimg235%2F2679%2Fakcbfoam1092efsu5.th.jpg&hash=bfa0bc530ab4c058aa037687de33c461b6c92e17)[/URL]

Hmmmmmm
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on January 16, 2007, 11:13:44 AM
Oops, I goofed on that website address.
Its actually www.alaskacabins.net

I have been doing some more research and discovered that the Stockade Style log building compnay in Canado uses something call Energy Seal between the logs. Its similar to Perma Chink...though slightly more expensive.


The oldest wooden church in the world, by the way, was constructed with vertical logs!
http://www.beenthere-donethat.org.uk/greensted.html
They used huge logs.
Here's another example of an old vertical log home. At some point, it was covered in lathe board and plaster only to be covered with bricks. They put the logs together with mortise and tenon joints. This website describes the dismantaling of said house.Its pretty interesting.
http://www.bramhill.com/Ch03-1-12-BentHouse.htm
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on January 16, 2007, 11:16:58 AM
You are right, 3/4" plywood isn't much insulation. But it would provide a solid airblock and would provide backing for whatever else you decided to use there. I guess the same problem exists rather the logs are vertical or horizontal. If you mill them to provide some thickness and two flat surfaces you would be minimizing that gap or eliminating it. I guess I keep visualizing my small diameter tapered logs. I think you are working with some more righteous material than I have available. That is one of the reasons I am considering the cordwood method. But I like this simply because it would be much quicker to build which doesn't necessarily make it better. Time is a real consideration for me because I don't live where I want to build....yet. Kinda looks like I am going to have to gray out a few more hairs before I get there.  :)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on January 16, 2007, 12:30:04 PM
Hey Desdawg! Its funny, I used to be n a similar situation. I am really into the sustainable living thing. I believe in using the natural resources that are avaliable to us. But, when I first started looking into building my own home, I was REALLY into cob. I still am. I think that its gorgeous. But....its just not sensible in Alaska. It stores both heat AND coolth. And, here....it'd be staying COOL most of the time. I wonder if one could do radiant heat piping through the walls of a cob home to make up for that issue. Thats totally off topic though. Sorry.Thats me.

My logs are about one foot in diameter on average. They're decent size. Not huge.
What size logs have you been noticing around you?

I have considered cordwood several times and might still make SOMETHING out of it. I'm not SURE if I like the look yet though.Plus, it doesn't seem like the most practical method here where our weather varies so widely. Sometimes, it rains all summer...that'd make it hard to get the mortar to cure.

Where are you Desdawg?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: bayviewps on January 16, 2007, 02:54:05 PM
Ran into this Vertical Log Cabin (Pole House) . . .

http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/shelter/pole_house.htm

Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 on January 16, 2007, 06:42:14 PM
The alaska log cabin guy thinks that the minimum is about 4" logs--presumably after peeling.

This would work better if you were to finish it off the way the Bent house was--with little bitty twigs functioning as lath on the outside.  (it was rebuilt elsewhere!)

Somebody sent me a link to that Dan Beard vertical log building (I think it's from Shacks and Shanties) while I was still in a "it's soooooo cool" mood about mine.

Durned thing looks like a bank!  And is suitable for boy scouts to build!!!!

Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on January 17, 2007, 04:13:21 AM
Quote
Hey Desdawg! Its funny, I used to be n a similar situation. I am really into the sustainable living thing. I believe in using the natural resources that are avaliable to us. But, when I first started looking into building my own home, I was REALLY into cob. I still am. I think that its gorgeous. But....its just not sensible in Alaska. It stores both heat AND coolth. And, here....it'd be staying COOL most of the time. I wonder if one could do radiant heat piping through the walls of a cob home to make up for that issue. Thats totally off topic though. Sorry.Thats me.

My logs are about one foot in diameter on average. They're decent size. Not huge.
What size logs have you been noticing around you?

I have considered cordwood several times and might still make SOMETHING out of it. I'm not SURE if I like the look yet though.Plus, it doesn't seem like the most practical method here where our weather varies so widely. Sometimes, it rains all summer...that'd make it hard to get the mortar to cure.

Where are you Desdawg?
The building site is in an area outside of Seligman, AZ called Bridge Canyon. It is about 250 miles from where I live south of the City of Maricopa, AZ. A 16' tall tree is big in that area. Diameters range from 8-12" to maybe 22"-24" at most. Being in the high desert they can be pretty gnarly so getting a straight one is a trick. And being that short they taper down pretty quickly. Being pretty selective I could get 8'-10' of fairly straight log and alternate the taper up and down I could probably pull it off, at least for a small building. Cordwood is probably going to be the best option for a larger building but it would be quite a committment of time. Cutting 16" lengths would eliminate the "gnarly" concern and render the most usable material with the least effort. So I am still contemplating....my navel and other things. Soon it will be Spring and time to get back to it. Meanwhile I am hanging out in the low desert where it is warmer and getting better equiped than I have ever been with the Lumberlite bandsaw mill and another Bobcat for the mountains. I grew up in northern Montana, spent 14 years in Colorado and decided I didn't want to be that cold anymore. Mud, snow, frozen pipes, slippery roads, nah.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on January 17, 2007, 04:18:08 AM
bayviewps, looks like it is pretty simple. I am saving that link for when I have more time to explore it.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on January 17, 2007, 10:50:05 AM
16' tall trees huh Desdawg? Wow, I wish that I had that case when it comes time to fell trees. I hate felling those 50' trees. It gets scary sometimes.
Are you set of using trees as your building material?
There's a sort of new/experimental style of building called Earthbags. It would make use of some of that sand that you've got laying around. You fill sand bags with mixes of various things (such as sand and concrete) and spike them together with rebar. Some of these structures are sort of martian looking. Some are built like beehives. But, some of them look pretty dang nice. Its another method that I considered using here in Alaska but just couldn't figure out the whole insulation problem. Here's a few examples. (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.imageshack.us%2Fthumbnail.png&hash=057c9f3994bed232983081ee6a789c98f37365ef) (http://img236.imageshack.us/my.php?image=a01tha6bd009go8.png) (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.imageshack.us%2Fthumbnail.png&hash=057c9f3994bed232983081ee6a789c98f37365ef) (http://img277.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hh01tha6bd0d2wg7.png) (https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.imageshack.us%2Fthumbnail.png&hash=057c9f3994bed232983081ee6a789c98f37365ef) (http://img442.imageshack.us/my.php?image=sc13th6bd0e6eh5.png)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on January 17, 2007, 10:51:20 AM
I don't think that that worked. Here's a link to the site instead.
http://www.okokok.org/cases.php
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on January 18, 2007, 04:58:22 PM
I wish I had 50' trees. My uncle used to live in Washington state. he said the trees were so tall it took two people just to look at one. I don't have any sand, just a lot of clay. Besides I have done my time in the sandbag bunkers in SE Asia back in the day. I like wood and I have plenty just not the right kind for a conventional log home. I think the larger logs will get milled for post and beam and the smaller will become cordwood wall material. I may use some of the intermediate stuff for a smaller verticle log building. Foundations and some floors will be stone. Bedrock is pretty close to the surface most places. It is just all labor intensive type of building, no wham bam stuff going those directions. But that is pretty much what it has to be. LOL. So the biggest thing I have to budget is time.  :-?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 on January 18, 2007, 05:23:51 PM
Don't think I'm going to do them, but earthbags are really wonderful.

Might not be too great for Alaska, though.  Unless you did something like put a light clay/perlite coating on one side.  And then you have to put something that will take weather, or just living, on the inside of that.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: martyv on January 27, 2007, 07:42:29 PM
I should have chimed in on this earlier since I wrote the little booklet on Alaska Cabins.  I haven't logged in here in a long time but noticed the thread.  

The booklet is intended to show how to build a SMALL cabin using vertical logs.  Cabin in Alaska usually means a small structure without all the utilities.  Small logs can be used easily but in Alaska they are not very energy efficient.  It is real hard to make any log cabin very efficient.

As has been mentioned, using plywood splines creatly increases the strength and decreases air infiltration. It is a great method.  I used this just on a trial basis building a small cabin for my kids.  This little cabin has almost no screws in it at all.  It is almost totally held together by friction.  I wouldn't do this on something else but wanted to try it out.  Of course the rafters and roof are nailed and screwed but the walls only have an occasional landscape screw in from the top plate to some of the vertical logs.

I dovetailed all the bottom plates together and then cut a kerf in it with the chain saw and inserted a 1/4 inch thick by 3 inch wide plywood spline so that 1/2 was in and 1/2 was out.  Then I cut a kerf in the both sides and the bottom of each vertical log standing it up on the spline.  then I jammed a spline into the side of the log and set another log next to it, banging them together with a sledgehammer.  

I didn't have to make the logs fit together perfectly because the plywood spanned the gap and gave a good backer for future chinking.  All the logs were round and I just knocked off the obvious high spots.

I noticed after a few logs that they fit together so well that I tried it without screws or spikes.  If I were doing this "for real"  I would use glue and screws and if I wanted to add even more energy efficiency and more strength I would use double splines with an air gap in between.  

After all the logs were up I cut a kerf in the top just following a snapped chaulk line.  Then a kerf in the bottom of the top plate and a splined that whole section between the top plate and the top ends of each log.  The top and bottom plates were 6 inch three sided logs.  The up with the rafters from there.


Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on January 27, 2007, 08:25:02 PM
Welcome to the forum, martyv.  Great information.  It's really great to get someone in here commenting with experience such as yours.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on January 28, 2007, 04:47:55 AM
Thank you martyv. Sounds like you have been working to develop a good system for a while. As I stated earlier I have really been looking at this due to the small size logs that I have available. It seemed like a viable option and considerably speedier than stacking cordwood. The plywood spline idea really makes it seem more doable although getting the spline alignment correct on a less than perfect log might get a little tricky. Any pointers on that methodology?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 on January 28, 2007, 03:31:20 PM
I've posted that link various places for years--probably four by now.

Glad to meet the person who actually wrote it--at least on line.  

Finally  :o got the last of the exterior the windows in mine.   Next, the door!   ::)

It's only been four years!
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: martyv on January 28, 2007, 07:13:43 PM
desdawg, the spline alignment is not that difficult.  You just eyeball the center of the log on one end, hook your chalk line there and then stretch it to the center of the other end and snap it.   Then you run your chainsaw down the chaulk line.  You need to hold the saw at a really low angle to help to saw a straight line.  You also need to blow off the saw dust several times before you get to the end so that you can see the line.  Depending on the width of your blade, you might need to run over it a couple times wiggling the blade back and forth to make the kerf a little wider so that the spline will fit in.

You turn the log over so that the cut is on the bottom and make another kerf on the opposite side of the log, Then just join the two kerfs along the bottom of the log.  I waited until I had all the logs up to make the kerf along the top of the logs so that it would be one continuous line.

The splines should be the same length as the log minus about 3 inches, (1 1/2 inch for each end).  It's not that big of a deal to have a gap in the spline but the less the better.  Try a spline in each kerf before you put the log up to make sure they will fit.  Sometimes they are a very tight fit and you will break the spline getting it back out so for that reason you don't need to pound it all the way in.

It's also a good idea to make a mark on your blade with a permanent marker to make sure you are cutting into the log deep enough.  

The best thing, is to do a couple logs and you will quickly get the hang of it, it's really not very hard.

I've never built with cordwood but I really like vertical log, I hope to do another little cabin next summer.  I'm thinking about 12X16.

Amanda, thats great about your cabin, tell me more, where and how big....  But I suppose that you have already talked about it here, I'll go look.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 on January 29, 2007, 06:38:46 PM
8x10 room at one end of a pole barn--it mostly went up before the barn.  With electricity and what passes for running water at my place--tank collecting water off of the roof in a too small tank.

But I like it.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on January 29, 2007, 06:47:27 PM
Do you get rain year round, Amanda or have to carry part year?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: martyv on January 29, 2007, 07:30:46 PM
So is the pole barn the house and the 8X10 the bedroom?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 on January 29, 2007, 07:31:16 PM
We get rain year-round--although can be pretty spotty in July and August (although on average, October is our driest month)

Tank's full right now, although I've got the roof-washer opened up so it won't freeze (that won't drain the tank, but it's annoying to replace, especially since it's my fault).  I'm supposed to have a 500 gallon tank (actually I do have a 500 gallon tank, haven't quite figured out how to hook it up).

BTW asphalt horse fence paint does not last on plastic tanks.  I was hoping.

 ;)

I use tank water a lot more in the summer.  Drains via garden hose.
Title: Sill Logs
Post by: mountainmomma on February 22, 2007, 09:20:01 AM
I'm itching to get started but I am having a hard time trying to figure out how to do sosmething. I am planning on felling and peeling some standing dead (beetle killed) trees for my floor joists.  We have plenty right around the cabin site. My issue comes in trying to figure out how I'll attach them to the.....what do I call them?....stringers?

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg468.imageshack.us%2Fimg468%2F4119%2Fsilllogseg6.th.jpg&hash=8f142f8d3382b0ad38554b89dc1899ab5b2e7136) (http://img468.imageshack.us/my.php?image=silllogseg6.jpg)
In this picture, you can see the beams that I am trying to name. We have millled two sides of both of those logs flat. On the short ends of the house...we were thinking that we could actually put the vertical logs right on the beam/stringer. BUT, I was also thinking of notching those stringers to set in the floor joist logs. I don't think that I'd feel comfortable with structural integrity with all those nothces and then ALSO having a notch for the plywood spline somehow. Hmmmm...
 
Is it a bad idea to cut notches for the floor support logs? I was thinking about running about 4 short logs between each segment (in the same direction as those big monster logs). So,  overall that would be several notches. I don't know.....
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: martyv on February 22, 2007, 09:45:56 AM
If I understand you correctly, the two long logs are going to be the sill logs for the long side of your cabin.  And although those logs are round in the photo you have since made them flat on two sides.  

You will need to attach them in some way to your foundation beams.  If you cut very shallow notches in the bottom of your sill logs it doesn't seem that would decrease the strength too much.  Say maybe a two inch notch or less.    Now that you have cut them flat I'm not sure how thick they are.  Obviously round logs are stronger but woud be tough to work here.

A narrow kerf for the spline won't hurt too much either...especially if you glue the spline in with construction glue which I would suggest.  

Are your sill logs on the long end going to mean that your vertical logs will be shorter there than on the end because the sill logs will sit higher?  I don't think that will hurt, just wondering.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on February 22, 2007, 10:21:51 AM
Sorry. I don't think that I did the best  job of explaining myself.
The long logs have indeed been milled on two sides now. We were actually planning in attaching them to the beams with rebar pins. The short side walls would have longer logs. Yes.

The foundation beams (running width wise) are the beams I was thinking of notching for the floor joist logs. BUT, in the foundation beams that are on the outside, I see an issue. The two OUTSIDE foundation beams would not only have notches for the floor joists but would ALSO somehow have a long narrow kerf for the plywood spline.

But...as I am writing this, I'm looking back at your response and developing a new concept that I think would work. The cabin is only going ot be about 14 feet wide. Is that too far for floor joists to span? If it IS, I suppose that we could put another giant log in the middle of the two others for support and notch that too. Hmmmmm.....

Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: martyv on February 22, 2007, 10:44:51 AM
Why don't you just use 2x10s or somthing like that for floor joists with hangers.  Then you could more easily insulate your floor.  

If you use logs what will be your spacing, and what will you use for floor decking?  If you use logs for joists they will likely warp and twist and the cause your floor to be uneven.  But it IS a cabin and perhaps that is what you expect.  

If you have more time than money, logs may be fine.  I agree that there may be a problem with a whole bunch of notches in that outside supporting beam.  

Maybe John will enter in here, he knows more about structural issues.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on February 22, 2007, 02:20:10 PM
I don't see a problem using the logs for floor joists if you can get them straight enough to suit you.  8" logs are rated about 300 psf for the underground cabin roof.  Even at twice the span they should be well over the 40 lbs or so you are looking for on the floor.  

I don't know how big your stringers are but if large enough you could just cut a box out for the end of the joist with a chain saw -shim if not perfect.  An adze and drawknife could be useful for fine tuning.   The notch for the plywood key will be small so I wouldn't worry about it.  Pin all together with rebar.  Consider that the joist will want to rotate both stringers down inwardly so take the notches in a ways toward the center an a wide bearing area on the stringers will help stop rotation.  Are the stringers up off of the ground - If not their life will probably be pretty short, thereby ending the life of the cabin prematurely.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: martyv on February 22, 2007, 03:05:17 PM
Good point about the joists causing the stringers down inwardly.  I had never thought of that.  I suppose that would be true with standard construction as well?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on February 22, 2007, 03:11:21 PM
A bit but not as much as the joists are very near the center so there is no leverage to roll it down and the log is rounded on the bottom so will roll unless that force is counteracted by a wider flat on the foundation rocks etc.    If the beam end  is outside of the pivot point of the stringer log on the foundation it will cause the rolling force. There were some really neat pictures of Norse foundations with rather pointed or tapered short posts under the log stringers and on top of rocks if I recall - the taper made the water run off and allowed the post to dry.  May have been in a Lloyd Khan book.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on February 22, 2007, 03:26:21 PM
Log size and other calculators.

http://www.ls.net/~windyhill/Calcs/CalculatorIndex.htm
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on February 23, 2007, 07:35:09 AM
The foundation stringer beams are all attached to 6' deep concrete piers and are between 1' to 3' off the ground as the site slopes. All wood is OFF the ground.

Do you think that it would be a problem to notch the beams for the floor joist logs if I also use two of those beams (the outside two) for the resting site for a wall of vertical logs? I worry that the notch for the spline and the notch for the floor joist will meet up and kinda counteract each other by weakening the beam overall.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on February 23, 2007, 08:28:20 AM
Silly me - I just clicked on the photo - not realizing it was a link to a big pix before - and was able to see all of that.

I don't think there would be much problem even with full size notches but you could cut the ends back as below and still have the strength of the joist in the middle while minimizing the size of the notch and getting toward the center with the load point.

If using smaller log joists you could also run a center log of smaller diameter then block up under the joist with a short post.  I see you already have a row of center piers.

I don't think the spline notch will do much damage as it is small and not deep.

What are the diameters of your stringers and floor joist beams?  Just curious.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on March 25, 2007, 09:25:48 PM
Its been a long time since I've been here.
Its been hard to be excited  about our building project when the building site is till being covered in snow during the last week of March. "Sigh"
Anyway, I think that we got out floor joist issue figured out. We are, however trying to figure out if we want to use those manufactured I joists for our 2nd story floor. Anybody have any input on those things. Are they generally MORE of LESS expensive that milled lumber? What are the advantages?

We have a few other questions too. I'll keep it down to just a few at a time though.

When we're building with vertical logs and have one log up (the corner log), should we go ahead and put all the corner logs in first? Should we leave spaces for our windows and doors and then put in the small pieces after the cap logs are on? Like in this picture?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on March 26, 2007, 03:25:59 AM
I guess you will end up working it out one way or the other either way you do it,  but the way shown in the picture seems easier as things will be tied together and you can just fit and spike the short pieces.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 on March 26, 2007, 08:45:55 PM
Three biggish logs--corner and one each side of that makes a really strong-feeling corner.   They got temporary braces, but that may have been belt and suspenders.  
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on April 19, 2007, 08:16:47 AM
Someone with building experience in Anchorage (dealing with building codes that don't exist here) has recommended that we use K bracing under the floor of our vertical log cabin. He's also recommened putting all thread between all the logs vertically. These are to provide structual integrity for high winds and earthquakes. I am sure that Anchorage has high standards for Earthquke standards since 1/2 the city fell off into the ocean in 1964.


Anybody have any input on this?

We're all FOR building a strong house that will last a long time. However, I am concerned about cost as we are building out of pocket.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on April 21, 2007, 06:52:04 AM
new vertical log cabin pic!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/73/Bolduc-house.jpg

Interesting place in Missouri with a hip roof. Its kind of hard to really see the walls of the house though what with the big stockade fence all the way around. :)

Here's another link in case that one doesn't work.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Bolduc-house.jpg#file
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: JRR on April 21, 2007, 08:58:07 AM
Being very "mature", I usually seek a quick enery-saving method of doing things.  Often my concieved methods don't work ... so read further with caution.  There is NO experience on display here!

I've never even thought much about log cabins, always seemed like a lot of "fitting/joining" work.  But if I were to try one .... Rather than use any exact method I've read about or seen, I would use a "modified vertical" scheme.  Here are the (imagined) steps and features.

1. Split all log stock length-wise into half diameter logs.  For small dia logs a table saw might work.  Cut full depth on one side and turn the log over for cutting the opposite side.  A mallet and wedge could finish what the blade couldn't quite reach.  Of couse, biggish logs will require a chainsaw or other type mill.

2. Rather than use plywood inserts, use a complete exterior plywood diaphragm.  That means, except for window and door openings, all walls include an interior plane of plywood.  Whether the walls are assembled flat and then erected .... or, the plywood temp braced and the wall assembled in the upright position ... just depends.

3. The exterior side of the plywood wall gets a lapped layer of heavy felt or roll-roofing. Half-logs are attached vertically to the covered plywood using screws or using bolts... all on-center of the half-logs.  Fitting the logs tightly together isn't that important as the felt and plywood will do all the sealing needed.  Rainwater should easily find its way "down".  Debarking isn't a structural issue anymore ... let time do the job.

4. If the logs are well dried, the interior half-logs can be placed horizontally.  This would make a very stiff wall.  However, if much shrinkage is expected and to avoid wall bowing, the interior half-logs should be placed vertically opposite their exterior counterparts.  A good upper and lower sill would be needed to keep these wall sections straight. Foam insulation and a layer of drywall, or felt, could be included under the interior half-logs in either case.
..

What say ye, ... do I get to keep my Krazy Man title?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Amanda_931 on April 21, 2007, 03:17:27 PM
Possibly.  It sounds like an awful lot of work.

If I were going to split my logs--I think I'd put the split sides outside, fill the inside cavities with something.  Plenty of landscape screws, top (temporary) bracing, etc. holding the whole mess together.

After all the instructions for building one were for (pine tree areas of) Alaska.

(Which might be at least as warm in the winter as here.   ;) Oh, well, it sounded good! )

In one of the local buildings, the owner had two opposite sides taken off his logs, stuck those together.  I know the people who built it slightly, they didn't mention any kinds of little tenons or anything.  But even what we did felt really really solid.

Those pictures from Missouri have the logs split on at least three sides.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on May 06, 2007, 11:16:07 AM
Does anyone know anything about using all-thread in vert. log constrction?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on May 06, 2007, 08:17:01 PM
I have heard of building departments requiring all types of weird things.  Last guy I heard about them messing with on a log home told them to stick their requirements where the sun didn't shine and he did it per the design or his way as per plan.

What is your reason for wanting the all thread?  It can be used for tons of things.  I still just use rebar.  All thread I may use in a special fastening or bracing situation.  Every project is different though.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on May 07, 2007, 07:24:47 AM
The all-thread would, apparently be used to tie the top plate to the sill log
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on May 07, 2007, 08:47:31 AM
The all thread and Kbracing (which is apparently meant to be done between the 1st and second floors are intended to add strength for side to side motion such as that imposed by wind or earthquakes.
Have any of you heard stories about log homes being blown over in strong winds? How about toppling in earthquakes? How do they generally compare to stick frames?

I have yet ANOTHER question.....
We were working on our logs this weekend and when I was cutting our first milled log to length, I made a little booboo.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg523.imageshack.us%2Fimg523%2F6446%2Ftornlogof1.th.jpg&hash=96bc0695dd26b1224088042f6524288c10a7457d) (http://img523.imageshack.us/my.php?image=tornlogof1.jpg)
Do you think that there is a way to fix this without milling more off the log?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: MountainDon on May 07, 2007, 12:37:26 PM
polyurethane glue?  Seems the area is going to be all hidden anyways, except for that little bit right on the end.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on May 07, 2007, 04:25:19 PM
I think that would work fine -- the glue is stronger than the wood.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on May 07, 2007, 04:29:35 PM
The K bracing is a good idea if you don't have enough horizontal logs spiked together to take care of the bracing.  I added some in my underground cabin as the south side is not as much buried for bracing it.

Vertical logs can act more like dominoes so you need to counteract and brace that from happening in all directions where it is possible.  As it gets taller forces get greater-- more leverage.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on June 19, 2007, 08:03:53 AM
So...we're still working on our sill logs. Oneof our big logs wound up showing us that it had a big rotton spot. So, we cut out a chunk and fitted a new chunk in; using a tounge and groove type notch.
It is just crazy how LITTLE information there IS on building this style of log home especially since it has been used since the 1600 or 1700's. I like to research a lot before I act. So, this has been very frustrating for me.
Now, I am really struggling with the wood spline on the sill logs. After experimenting with ONE of our 8' milled logs and hoisting it into place, I came to think that a thin plywood spline would stand a good chance of getting smashed while lifting our vertical logs into place. We WERE looking at putting a single kerf and a plywood spline across the bottom/on the sill logs and perhaps a double kerf/spline on the sides of each vertical log. This would involve using plywood for both spline areas. But, I am wondering if it would be plausible to use something like a 2"x2" for a spline. It would be a PAIN to make the kerf. But, it would be a heck of a lot stronger. Our logs are all 8"-14" in diameter.


Thoughts?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on June 19, 2007, 05:16:55 PM
My thought would be that a 2x2 may not cover some of the gaps.  Some cut the sides flat and parallel,  but that is another thing to deal with.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on June 19, 2007, 09:45:29 PM
I was just talking about using a 2x2 or 2x4 as the BOTTOM spline in the sill logs....running horizontally.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn-k on June 20, 2007, 02:44:25 AM
It could work.  You are right about the notch.  A bit more work to make.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on June 20, 2007, 05:43:37 PM
It sounds like a really good way to anchor the bottom to me.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: martyv on June 20, 2007, 09:57:42 PM
It seems to me that if you are using splines, and faithfully gluing each spline joint, then you wouldn't need bracing since your wall would essentially be one piece of laminated wood.  I'm not sure what you meant about the log squashing the spline,  The weight of the log shouldn't rest on the spline, there should be enough of a gap that the log is resting directly on the sill plate, with the spline just helping to align and stabilize the logs.  
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on June 21, 2007, 05:48:36 AM
I was worried about squashing the spline while placing the vertical logs up on the sill logs.
Chances are, we won't be able to set them all RIGHT in place right off.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: martyv on June 21, 2007, 10:04:17 AM
It is possible to squash the spline when you are placing the log.  But if you lay the log at an angle and then tip it upright it's pretty easy to get it.  How heavy are your logs?   Of course, the heavier they are, the harder to handle.

I think you are in Alaska right?  Are you within driving distance of Mat-Su?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: mountainmomma on June 21, 2007, 08:27:08 PM
Marty, I live in Homer. But I have family in the Mat Su.
That is where you are right?
I just bought your book thingy.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: manoka on January 12, 2008, 09:49:35 AM
Hello,

I would like to build a vertical log cabin with round logs sawn lengthwise through the middle in two equal halves and then overlapping them. With some airtight insulation between, this seems to be a more straightforward job, the entire log is utilized and it avoids the checking of the logs, if the pith is removed.
Does anybody know a book about this particular building type, and does anybody know the book "The Craft of Modular Post & Beam: Building Log & Timber Homes Affordably" by James Mitchell, and whether the vertical log construction is described there?

Thanks
manoka
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: MountainDon on January 12, 2008, 03:49:01 PM
 w* to our forum manoka.

I'm sure there'll be several members with thoughts and ideas about doing vertical log walls. I know for sure one other is working out the wrinkles here before he starts building.

Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on January 14, 2008, 04:17:16 AM
I have a copy of "The Short Log & Timber Building Book" by James Mitchell and it is not described in that book. He does touch on stackwall infill however. The main focus of this writing is on post and beam with log infill using mortiss and tenon but the logs are horizontal.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: manoka on January 14, 2008, 11:30:35 AM
Thanks desdawg!
I read that "The Craft of Modular Post & Beam" is an updated edition of "The Short Log & Timber Building Book", so it might not contain any information about vertical log building either. But isn't the vertical log building method also a "post and beam" construction type?

Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on January 14, 2008, 06:10:44 PM
Yes it is and one would think a book about utilizing shorter logs would have some material on the subject. However as I said the main focus of this book is on mortising a groove on your posts and fashioning a tenon on the log ends to insert into the groove. IIRC he uses logs 9' and shorter and places his posts accordingly.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: manoka on January 15, 2008, 12:14:04 AM
According to a review on amazon.co.uk "Log Blockwork: Wall System" is just one of 16 chapters which describe everything from the foundations to the roof structures. So at least the book "The Craft of Modular Post & Beam" does have chapters about "Modern Timber Post and Beam: Wall System", "Traditional Timber Post and Beam: Wall System" and "Log Post and Beam: Wall System" too. I would think if I knew how to do the log post and (log) beam structure, I would then be able to fit in the vertical half logs too.
Does the "The Short Log & Timber Building Book" cover everything from the foundations to the roof too, and is it well written so laymen can follow all the how-to steps too?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on January 15, 2008, 04:06:54 AM
Yeah, it is a pretty complete book. Covers chain saw mills, felling trees and many topics that are related to the log construction process from foundations and floors to interior finish. I haven't finished reading it yet. I bought it on e-bay so it was pretty inexpensive. The price on the cover is about $25.00. I was attracted to it because of the short log name in the title. I have mostly scrub trees and not a lot of tall ones. So my native material is smallish.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn kangiser on January 15, 2008, 08:02:07 PM
We have some free PDFs covering heavy and timber framing also.

http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=1433.0
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Deana on January 21, 2008, 07:33:38 PM
 A vertical log cabin built in the UK by a woman. http://www.judyofthewoods.net/buildings.html


Deana
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn kangiser on January 21, 2008, 07:58:57 PM
Cool link, Deana and in it I found a link to another we posted before, but it also has cool ideas on other ways to use logs.

Not exactly a vertical log cabin but uses some vertical.  :)

http://www.simondale.net/house/index.htm
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Sassy on January 21, 2008, 08:03:26 PM
Interesting! 
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on January 22, 2008, 03:52:28 AM
Interesting artkitechture. I kept waiting for Bilbo Baggins to come strolling out.......
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn kangiser on January 22, 2008, 09:24:18 AM
Of course, I really like it. :)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: akemt on January 22, 2008, 10:32:23 PM
Haven't read the 8 pages worth of posts, so this might be redundant, but I'm a member of another "get out of debt building your own house" forum/organization called the "Log Home Builder's Association."  www.loghomebuilders.org  One of their members built a home using vertical logs and you can find the home in the "student log homes" link from the main page: http://www.loghomebuilders.org/image-galleries/student-log-homes/mark-lisa-sherrodd  They applied the LHBA method so as to avoid some of the major downfalls of the log home industry.  If you're interested in going log, I would DEFINATELY suggest taking their class.  I hate the idea of window and door keyways and settling jacks for your floors and roof, etc, and they teach you how to build without those problems.  I hope to build one on my own time after we've built a "country plans" cabin to live in whilst doing so.  We've vowed to never have a mortgage again!

ETA:  I would consider 8" diameter a bit more thoroughly.  Where I live that would be pretty hard on the heating bills.  Log building we'd be going with a minimum of 12".  I can't remember the R-value for logs per inch, but could find it if necessary.  Then there is also the thermal mass to consider in addition, but I'd rather do overkill, personally.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn kangiser on January 22, 2008, 10:41:40 PM
Good link, and the one I recommend to people considering buying kit log homes -- don't.  Skip Ellsworth seems to know what he's talking about.  I don't think it was posted lately and I'm not looking through the 8 pages either. :)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: desdawg on January 23, 2008, 04:36:09 AM
I followed the link but what I was was an artists rendering of a horizontal log home. Do you have to take the class to access the page?
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn kangiser on January 23, 2008, 07:30:27 AM
Should be quite a bit of info there. http://www.loghomebuilders.org/

More pix here. http://www.loghomebuilders.org/image/tid/3
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: akemt on January 23, 2008, 08:20:03 AM
You don't have to become a member to see the student log home pictures...but these are only the "Log Home of the ___" award homes.  There are TONS more on the forum and in the member forum there as well.  The link worked for me.  Sometimes you have to scroll down.  The website has switched to a new program (or company) and not all of the bugs have been worked out yet.  Hopefully you were able to find the link through the main page instead.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: manoka on January 23, 2008, 11:15:10 AM
I guess, I am getting the same pictures as desdawg, of Mark & Lisa Sherrodd's log home, which is definitely more "piece-en-piece" than vertical log style. Upstairs they used something vertical, but it doesn't look like logs.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Ernest T. Bass on February 13, 2008, 08:42:34 AM
I'm still trying to iron out a few details of the construction process we will use for our vertical log cabin this spring... Glenn had mentioned the concern of diagonal bracing for the walls in another thread. I think spiking the logs to each other, as well as to the top and bottom plates would help, but I foresee a couple problems... First of all, pounding large spikes or chunks of rebar into the side of a log all day long sounds tiring to say the least. :) No gravity to help as in conventional log construction... Timberlock screws are an option, but a very expensive one. I think that gluing plywood splines between all the logs would add a lot of diagonal strength, but what happens if the logs shrink or the glue dries out and cracks down the road?

Here's a link to a lot of vertical log construction pics:
http://www.loghomes.co.za/

Click on "chapel" to see a step-by-step album of the process. They don't appear to spike their logs together, I don't see any glue, and the splines appear to be sawn from regular lumber. Also, notice how the logs are all erected at different lengths, and cut level across the top after the walls are up. This process really intrigues me... I actually chatted with the guy on IM, but he doesn't appear to want to share too much info outside of his class, which I can understand... :)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn kangiser on February 13, 2008, 09:16:08 PM
For log spikes I cut 1/2 or 5/8 rebar into 16" lengths.  Use a wood auger with a lead screw on it and pre drill a hole the same dia. as the nominal rebar size.  1/2 hole for 1/2 inch rebar etc.  Use a 4 lb sledge hammer to drive the spikes in - you will need it.  The fit is real tight and really holds well- I accidentally lifted a post when I hit the beam with my backhoe.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn kangiser on February 13, 2008, 09:17:37 PM
More Vertical Log info.

http://bb.bbboy.net/alaskagoldforum-viewthread?forum=7&thread=108
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Willy on February 13, 2008, 09:23:40 PM
If you have a problem driving a lot of re/bar use a Spline Drive Roto Hamer. I got tired of driving ground rods with a post driver one day. I tried my 1 1/2" Roto Hamer by just slipping it over the rod. I pulled the triger and the 5/8" X 8 ft rod just worked it way into the ground. It would work on rebar also, try it. Mark
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn kangiser on February 13, 2008, 09:26:01 PM
I have used mine for driving concrete anchors also -- but damages the ends a bit - nuts on first.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Ernest T. Bass on February 14, 2008, 06:03:33 AM
This may or may not be a problem worth mentioning, but just something I was thinking about.. What about the fact that every rebar spike puts a hole through the edge of a spline? I know it's not much, but if there's 2 holes per log, couldn't that be letting some drafts through the walls? I guess it depends on the type of chinking used... We'd rather use a more old-fashioned/natural chinking of some type of stabilized clay mix, but it may not work well with the very tight-fitting logs...

Also, if we do drive spikes/rebar sideways through each log, wouldn't driving them in at alternating upish/downish angles brace a the wall better? If I play a virtual model in my head, it just seems much harder to tip over a log that is spiked at a downward angle into the log next to it, versus spiked straight through. I'm probably going overboard though, as I think two spikes per log would be plenty strong enough regardless of their angle. :)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn kangiser on February 14, 2008, 06:52:05 AM
The rebars driven into the same size holes will be so tight that there is no room for drafts.  You will work to get them in.

1/2 inch rebar will have a tensile strength of around 10- 12 thousand lbs.

The rebar could but would not have to go through the spline.  For connecting tops together I would run them at a 45 with about 8 inches in each log.  Not totally critical - just get it close.  I would also spike a bond beam into the top to tie them together.

Alternating angles could help with the bracing.

These are the bits I use.  You will need a 1/2 inch heavy duty drill to run them - pulling them back every so often clears out the chips.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.toolbarn.com%2Fimages%2Firwin%2F47406.jpg&hash=5e4a34d529d1bd4a796ae35fcafb0b33c9a1b9ab)
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Willy on February 14, 2008, 07:46:07 AM
The rebars driven into the same size holes will be so tight that there is no room for drafts.  You will work to get them in.

1/2 inch rebar will have a tensile strength of around 10- 12 thousand lbs.

The rebar could but would not have to go through the spline.  For connecting tops together I would run them at a 45 with about 8 inches in each log.  Not totally critical - just get it close.  I would also spike a bond beam into the top to tie them together.

Alternating angles could help with the bracing.

These are the bits I use.  You will need a 1/2 inch heavy duty drill to run them - pulling them back every so often clears out the chips.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.toolbarn.com%2Fimages%2Firwin%2F47406.jpg&hash=5e4a34d529d1bd4a796ae35fcafb0b33c9a1b9ab)
AWWW A "Ship Auger Bit" boy have I drilled a lot of holes with them over the years as a electrician! Mark H.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Ernest T. Bass on February 14, 2008, 09:53:29 AM
Yep, we've got one of those. :)

If we went with the method of leaving the logs untrimmed and cutting the tops off after the walls are up, I'm not sure how to keep the top of the wall in a very straight line while building. I suppose some strings could help, and the walls could be adjusted somewhat later.. The beauty of this system would be the perfect joint between the log tops and the bond beam (top plate). 2x4s could be tacked to the walls and used as a guide for the chainsaw to make a perfect cut. You could groove the tops of the logs and spline between them and the bond beam as well...
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Redoverfarm on February 14, 2008, 04:48:46 PM
Yep used them plenty in my log cabin.  In fact I am still using them after a year and a half.  But I downsized to 1/4" for pilot holes to bolt the inside dressed ceiling joist/beams with lag screws. Then a 1" plug later to cover the holes that were countersunk.  I used the 3/4" for wiring routes from one course to the other for electrical boxes and switches.  ( Might keep that in mind if you are going to use recepticles on the log walls. It is easier now than almost impossible later to route wires and boxes in logs)  Yep I did miss a few boxes but with the 18" auger I can still get them in by drilling near the face down at an angle near the center and get the wires through. Not easy but not impossible.

If you could find an Alaskan Saw Mill that uses a chain saw then you could face cut the top plate and the top logs. Similar to one that PeterNap had pictured in his post of "milling a few boards".  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=4023.msg47716#msg47716

If you are not considering to "chink" the verticle logs then you might want to face each side to mate with the other log to insure a proper fit.  Not real sure how much shrinkage will occur.  What you end up with today might not be the same as you have in a year or so.  The difference I had was mine were already seasoned and there was almost no shrinkage just a little settling. 

I believe IMO that a combination of spline and either rebar or spikes would be the way to go. Splines to take care of the shrinkage and rebar or spikes(60D) for holding position. You could actually incorporate the log to log attachment and the top plate at one time by drilling your holes at a 45 deg angle from the top plate down through two verticle logs at a time.  Then skip to the next two and repeat.  That way everything is tied together.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: glenn kangiser on February 14, 2008, 05:43:52 PM
Probably about 3/4 to 1" per foot of diameter from reasonably wet on shrinkage of soltwood.

I have seen 4" Eucalyptus shrink to 3".  It varies.
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Redoverfarm on February 14, 2008, 06:44:25 PM
Glenn that is what I was getting at. If the logs are still fairly green and butted together that once dried there might be a gap or 3/4"-1-1/2" between. That why I suggested a spline (maybe 2") if the logs were not going to be chinked.  Either way I would wait at least 12 months before chinking or attaching any fixtures (window & door trim).  There again if they were faced without splines and there was substantial shrinkage chinking might be the only option.  I have seen 2" wide strip of 3/4" stock beveled 45 deg on each side and keyed into the gap with sealer behind. 
Title: Re: Vertical Log Cabin
Post by: Ernest T. Bass on February 14, 2008, 07:44:24 PM
Yes there will be a bit of shrinkage as these are going to be pretty green logs.. I've seen triangular strips of wood tacked between logs with insulation behind, similar to what you mentioned. You can just tap the strips in a little tighter if the logs shrink.. I would think that the method might be a little drafty, but with the splines in there it might work well (for a cabin, anyway).
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