Author Topic: Vertical Log Cabin  (Read 74657 times)

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glenn-k

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #50 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.

Amanda_931

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #51 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.

desdawg

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #52 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.

mountainmomma

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #53 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

mountainmomma

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #54 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.

glenn-k

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #55 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.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2007, 09:12:10 PM by glenn-k »

desdawg

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Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #56 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.

mountainmomma

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #57 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][/URL]

Hmmmmmm

mountainmomma

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #58 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

desdawg

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #59 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.  :)

mountainmomma

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #60 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?

bayviewps

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #61 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


Amanda_931

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #62 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!!!!


desdawg

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #63 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.

desdawg

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #64 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.

mountainmomma

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #65 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.

mountainmomma

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #66 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

desdawg

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #67 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.  :-?

Amanda_931

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #68 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.

martyv

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #69 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.



glenn-k

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #70 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.

desdawg

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #71 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?

Amanda_931

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #72 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!

martyv

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #73 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.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2007, 07:18:27 PM by martyv »

Amanda_931

  • Guest
Re: Vertical Log Cabin
« Reply #74 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.

 

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