Author Topic: Making Log Porch Posts  (Read 11962 times)

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Offline AAA-DAY

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Making Log Porch Posts
« on: May 04, 2006, 03:43:34 PM »
Hi Everyone- I am hoping that someone can tell us how to use the trunks from the Cedar trees on our property to make the posts for the porch we want to add to our cabin. We have 3 beautiful blow-downs that are a great circumfrence for this purpose, but we are not sure how to get them ready to support the overhang. Has anyone used trunks for this? I'm thinking about something like this from Brad's photos in the Gallery:

« Last Edit: May 04, 2006, 03:50:37 PM by AAA-DAY »

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Making Log Porch Posts
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2006, 09:18:34 PM »
Similar to hat I have done in my cabin should work.  Peel the bark - the number 1 best thing you can do to preserve the log.

I use a 16 inch wood auger bit the size of whatever rebar I want to use for pins (spikes or nails).  1/2" drill and rebar is a good size.  Drill the hole through the pieces to be joined then drive the rebar in with a sledge hammer.  You can cut the rebar into 16" pins with a hacksaw, abrasive saw, bolt cutter, rebar cutter, etc.  It will fit tight.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline AAA-DAY

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Re: Making Log Porch Posts
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2006, 03:01:12 AM »
Glen, That sounds like a reasonable and workable idea. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. How long should we wait before using them, or can we utilize them right away?

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Making Log Porch Posts
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2006, 05:50:08 AM »
I'd try to stand them before the first beer of the day.   :-/

Actually I like to leave them lying around for about 6 months, preferably off the ground to prevent fungal activity from starting to deteriorate them (fungus types send little strings into the ground to pull water in and rot the log) - the bugs will loosen the bark and decorate the surface.  Once the bark is gone, nearly all bugs leave.  About the only thing that likes cedar around here seems to be an occasional woodcutter bee.  A bit of Raid in the individual holes will usually stop them after while.  Borate on the surface will stop new comers but is water soluble so outside it would need a near clear coat of something like Defy to keep it there.  Most of this I'm telling you is for information and is not really necessary.  Plain peeled logs do good.

Elevated at the base a bit will make them last longer -  so water will drain away.  I saw a very old resort with log post flat on the cement - most were still pretty fair at the base but had deteriorated a bit --- I'm thinking 80 years old or so.  I drive a rebar into the ground a couple feet leaving another foot sticking up - put down a square of plastic -a little cement and a few rocks or you could make a cardboard circle around the stake then fill it with cement and set the post on it -- or any conventional foundation or slab floor of your choosing.  Getting it up for drainage in some manner will make it last longer.  Simpson makes little pedestals similar to Jonesy's stumps for square posts if you are into buying things.  I have also used 2 to 3 foot round concrete stakes to drive into the ground with my jack hammer.  The post is drilled in the base then dropped over the stake - this hole must be about 1/8 to 1/4" oversize.  Note that my ground is very hard and this method will work without oncrete - many places do not have hard ground and a suitable concrete base should be made - maybe you already have engineered plans to follow.

« Last Edit: May 05, 2006, 05:52:46 AM by glenn-k »
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline AAA-DAY

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Re: Making Log Porch Posts
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2006, 06:42:39 AM »
Thanks so much Glen, we will get those post elvated and drying out this weekend!

Offline Amanda_931

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Re: Making Log Porch Posts
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2006, 08:57:12 AM »
You might be able to make it work with just straight cuts--if you weren't using round wood for your beam.

My little room down at the barn has vertical logs for walls.  They got put in with "landscape screws" available in 6-12 inch lengths.  Countersink and cover with plugs?  (might be a trick to get the angle right for the plug, but I expect it can be done).

Lag screws are stronger--I kind of suspect that landscape screws are strong but brittle, but harder to cover with a plug--come down from the top with at least one, the same up from the bottom and if it still wants to move or rotate, add a landscape screw or two?

On the order of the picture here--from Dan Beard's shacks and shanties.  One of my all-time favorite books.

http://www.inquiry.net/images/sss171.gif

« Last Edit: May 05, 2006, 08:59:29 AM by Amanda_931 »

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Making Log Porch Posts
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2006, 09:50:56 AM »
The log beam can have a flat cut notched into the bottom to sit on the flat top post.  

Lags are good too but 16" long ones are hard to find and expensive.  The rebar will hold much more than a smooth 16" spike and you will need about a 4 lb sledge to drive it in.  I lifted up a post with the backhoe when I accidently caught the beam it was tied to with the rebar pin.  Tensile strength on a 1/2" rebar should be about 10000 lbs or more.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline Amanda_931

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Re: Making Log Porch Posts
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2006, 03:43:45 PM »
Lifting up the house sounds pretty impressive.  Rebar is probably the way to go.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Making Log Porch Posts
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2006, 07:39:50 PM »
It's a Mike Oehler trick -- works good.  Rebar is very cheap - 20' used to be about $4.00.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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