Building a Log Cabin

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by melbo, Sep 22, 2005.


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  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Lot's of pictures!
    I'm going to update this post as we go along. 2 Days into the Big Timber aspect of a 26' X 28' Log Cabin. If I glaze over some of this and you want more info, please ask.

    This project already has passed the following stages:
    • Land Aquisition
      Septic Permit
      Electric Permits and temporary Electric Service
      Site Clear and Excavation
      Septic System installation
      Concrete Footings
      Block Foundation/ poured solid with Concrete
      2 levels of Floor Trusses and Subfloor down.

    The first step prior to Stacking our logs is to Square the Subfloor and determine if we need to adjust the first course to make the logs "Square" We usually do. We then lay out all windows and doors as well as the electrial needs on the subfloor. These marks are then highlighted with Orange paint so we don't forget them as we go.
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    16" Log saws are used to cut through the 6" X 12" cants. The blades cost $250ish. We resharpen them
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    We cut Dovetails for the corners. This can be done by hand but we use a really cool jig and special guides on a chainsaw to make them perfect every time.
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    Cutting a Dovetail:
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    Finished!
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    Continued
     
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  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    We start laying each log down. They vary in length from 10' to 16'. Each log is glued down and then screwed into the floor and subsequent logs using 15" screws.
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    Because we are installing Electric, Each log that gets wiring must be drilled as we go. We use 1 1/2" by 18" auger bits to bore the holes. We have a 48" bit for when we realize we forgot to drill one...
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    Orange paint in hole means that I verified the hole and it goes through to the subfloor with no onstructions and the Electrical box fits. Saves me when the Electrician calls and gripes.
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Don't step here!

    [​IMG]

    And so we spend a few days, Cutting logs, Cutting Dovetails, Drilling holes and screwing it all together. As the courses go up, the cabins starts to take shape as window and door openings begin to show:
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  4. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    More misc pictures. Once we finish the log stack, We'll scaffold up and stick the 4"X8"X18' Rafters. Fun day

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    This is out of sequence but shows the foundation
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    More later

    edit: my brother is now carrying this on after I have moved away.
    >Log Home Repair Log home Maintenance Log Home Restoration
     
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    OK, my curiousity is up. What wood is that? What's the average cost per square foot of floor (assuming the foundation is in?) A SWAG will do.
     
  6. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Eastern White Pine Around $6 per linear foot of 6X12 log. Aprox 900'
    Around $5400 for logs and another $19K for the rest of the Beams and 1x8 Tongue and Groove to finish the interior walls and roof decks.

    A guess from sill plate up would be around $120K including Labor and materials. That's a no-profit quote.
    Add land, Excavation, Well, Septic and foundation.

    I spend around $180 on the whole project, Furnished, 2 Jacuzzis, Hot tub on one of the rear decks. Pool Table, Nice AV system etc. Ready to go on our Overnight Rental Program
     
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  7. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    So do you cut the logs and square them up to timbers that way or do you buy the timbers? The only type I have any experience with is just peeling the bark off the logs and notching the bottom of each log os it sets on the one below then spike it in place (avoiding notching the top so water runs off better and not into a bowl) then chinking it up. These look like they would be a lot nicer, I just have only had experience with modern framed or old style peeled round logs.
     
  8. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I knew you'd jump in here!

    I should have added Modern Log Cabin to the title, :lol:

    We buy those already milled the way you see them. My local mill has logging operations in North Carolina and they caome to him here as rough cant of True size rather than nominal. True 6" X 12" and then my mill runs them through his rig and it cuts all the profiles and tongues and grooves making them more like 5.5" X 11.5" when I get them. The stacked height of my log is 11 1/4" (Showing)

    We use a special sealent on the 2 tongues of the top of each log. It is a latex based "Gasket" of sorts and squishes down and takes up any air space
     
  9. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    LOL Yup, had to aska bout it. Jacuzzies and all huh, well GFs daughter would love one of those, Im just enouph of a hill billy to figure the 3k modle with external plumbing is more my speed. :D b:: [beer]
     
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  10. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    What with and how often do you have to treat for wood eater type bugs?
     
  11. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    We stain the exterior with something called TWP, Total Wood preservative.
    Don't really have much of a problem with bugs other than the dreaded Carpenter Bees. They bore holes in Fascia and Rake boards and really nothing stops them that we've found.

    Other then that, It's pretty well maintenence free. I know a lot of people will tell you otherwise of log but I regularrly cruise through spots where we put one up 5 years ago o watch it age and it still looks good.
     
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  12. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I plan on getting a block in the back of nowhere and putting up a cabin. A good mate of mine had a log home (round log) till a couple of years ago and I loved it. Mine will be a bit more basic. Hard part here is the white ants/termites just about carry off wood as it is placed on the ground.

    Andy
     
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  13. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    More.....more..........more please.
     
  14. swinefornicator

    swinefornicator Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Rookie!!!

    Carpenter bees my ass!!!! The friggin' woodpeckers that eat baby carpenter bees are the killers!! I'm one of if not the only BBB regeistered log home builders in Raleigh, NC. Therre are a dozen great mills in this state that can make about anything. As to sealing, once a year every year. Do it the last hot weeks, like now. I won't critique your project, but, that design will shrink and cause problems with door and windows. While the screwing together of the logs is critical I prefer an all thread rod so as the structure dries and settles I can continue to squish together. The windows and doors are cut large to accomodate. I just did some wicked repairs on a cabin from bees/woodpeckers. Actually surprised the entomologists. Some kinda prehistoric pms'ing mutant woodpecker. I'll see if i can post some pic's.

    PF b::
     
  15. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I've seen some woodpecker damage on a few myself. But maybe just on 2 or 3 cabins.
    I used to play with all that Allthread and valve spring stuff. Heritage tells their customers to expect 3" of shrinkage. I've done wood on wood with Oly's or LOg Hogs for years and go back and check from time to time. With the kiln dried logs, I have seen one instance of a 1/16" gap showing between logs around a doorway.

    I've never had any other problems with mine and I build for myself, not others... SO I'm not trying to take a shortcut. I've built just about every major brand package in my past while working for others. Glossy pics in Log Home Illus. Don't make a better product.

    I think that some of them use a lot of fancy hardware to justify selling 10K of wood for $50K. Ever do a Honka PF? Yeah right, Dowel every window door buck... We burned the dowels
     
  16. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    So if you dont mind me asking exactly what is it you do or how, whatever. You mention you build them for yourself and a few other things, is it that you buy land and lakefrontage and stuff and build timeshares and such that you rent out or what? Just perked my curiosity, alwayse interested in ways of makeing money, especialy the ones that dont take a lot of up front but any in general.
     
  17. swinefornicator

    swinefornicator Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Heh!!

    Done dowels, wouldn't reccomend, but can be used. I got a bunch of pics of these last repairs I'll se if i can't get up. Had some problems posting earlier. Nice jig by the way. wait till you see this bee/woodpecker damage!! Whats the R rating for the 6" thickness?

    A b::
     
  18. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    PF, the Jigs were made by Ed Miller. In fact were his personal Jigs. They run around $1500 for the set... I Dovetail for others some weekends for $9 a DT.

    It's really strange to me but a 6" wall is really about the same R value as a 2x4 stud wall with 3" Fiberglass. I'm not a huge believer in the R of the Pink stuff but that's what they say.

    monkeyman, I Spec build these to put on a rental program. The tourist traffic in my area seems to like to stay in these rather than a Motel/hotel. I average around $260 a night in one like this. I set them up to rent and also have them for sale. I only have one on the program right now and one under construction. Sold off 5 or 6 the last 2 months.

    So basically I get a Construction loan for around 80% of my cost.
     
  19. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Cool deal.
     
  20. swinefornicator

    swinefornicator Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Pics, maybe...........

    Some of the damage:
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    The repair begins with a Forstner drill bit:
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    Then fill with like material, in this case I used PT 2x2, not like but effective:
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    Then fill with evil poly based wood glue, even bees won't eat it and power plane the sucker smooth!!!:
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    Then repeat as needed!!!:
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    PF b::
     
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