Building a Log Cabin

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

  1. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    Long time ago now!
  2. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Have moved several types of log homes over the years. Biggest was near Wagram, NC. About 38 feet wide and 60' long. I love moving the antique ones and seeing the workmanship done with hand tools only. Amazing how they assembled those massive logs and used pegs to fasten roof on and together. We hand built a small cabin for a Boy Scout show complete with wooden shingles cut with a frow and wooden maul. We won first place easily. We took lots of pics showing the boys doing all the steps and assembling it. After building I jacked it up and hauled it to town on a four axle lowboy trailer. We just left it on for the show and then took it back to the camp. Something the boys will never forget--me neither. Very hard work but a great experience.
    rockriver likes this.
  3. Detentus

    Detentus Monkey+

    Melbo, have you ever built a package from Jim Barna log home systems? We are living in ours and we love it. It's five years old and in great shape despite the bit of settling.
  4. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Wish I had pics for a great show and tell here...
    Some people should NOT attempt even the easiest of things, even with a plan....
    I have seen what happens when a person tries to build a log cabin for the first time with NO prior experience, a book, or even a drawing!
    It's weird!
    Like a log cabin that has one side that is 10 feet high and the opposite end is 5 feet high! Seems they did NOT know you had to alternate the larger and smaller diameters when putting up a wall!
    But it's a work in progress.....
    Someday, ( been 2 years thus far) they may even have a doorway ( oops forgot to cut that out before assembly!) and windows...
    But it's about 20 feet wide, and 60 feet far!
    Dimensions may change, as winter's coming and there may be a sudden need for firewood!
  5. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Few years ago, wife and I were bicycling on the VA Creeper trail in southern VA ( old railroad bed converted to hike/bike/horse trail ), when I saw a log cabin being built up on a mountainside. Rode up to watch, and figured out this was one of those cabins you're talking about, Dragonfly.....they didn't have a clue what they were doing.

    It was two old guys and a two high school boys for labor. Got to talking to one of the older guys, and they were building two of these on slab foundations this guy was gonna rent to "florida tourists" for the summers.

    Old guy had benched out a REALLY STEEP side of a mountain with a trackhoe, then poured these two slabs. The trees that came off the property, tulip poplar, he had taken to a mill and slabbed off two sides, leaving the other two just peeled. He was going down in the flat area near the trail where he had them piled, and dragging one log at a time ( mostly 8-12" diameter....not big logs ) up the drive with a small tractor.....then they were cutting squared out notches and putting the logs in the wall ( Lincoln Log style corners..and really crude ). He was turning the flat part horizontal so the logs were butted tight, leaving the round parts out in the room, and showing on the outside. They were about chest high on this 24x30ish cabin, and he was growling ( guy was a cranky SOB ) about how somebody was supposed to come do this, but they never did, so he and his brother hired the two kids as labor and had spent a MONTH getting to this point...ahahahaaaa....

    SO, I asked him what he would pay to have the OTHER one put up.....he said "$4,000".....

    So, came home, got with my neighbor and said "you wanna split 4 grand for a weekend of work?"...."heck ya".....we went up on a Friday morning, hauling my 4x4 tractor on his trailer, I unloaded it, picked up 6-8 of the "logs" in the front forks and drove up the drive.

    Old guy shows up about 9am, and I said "we're gonna need a LOT more of these spikes" ( his "plan" was spiking the logs together with some 80p spikes ).....he says...."yeah I got some more" he brings a handful out of his truck

    I said " don't understand....that will do for about an hour....then we're out of work....go to town....get more" he comes back about noon with all he could find at the local hardware store, and we have the walls up about waist high by then....."Need more in the best be hunting them".....he couldn't believe it.

    Saturday afternoon, we set the top wall log, and finished up. Had some logs that were sorta rotting already, we put them in the back wall, which was within 8' or so of the bench cut the guy made in the mountain. My neighbor says "think we ought to be putting those logs in the walls ?" Well, we didn't have any choice,or he would have been short on material to we did it. I said "Heck.....that high wall is gonna wash off, and there will be dirt/mud up 5' on the back of this thing in while anyway....."

    LITTLE did I know how much of a psychic I am...ahahahaha.....

    We saw on the local TV news later that summer that highwall ( which was actually a slope, but so steep no way you could climb it ) had given way and shoved BOTH of those crappy cabins over the bank.....showed them with the roof trusses on, and cabinets inside, piled like matchsticks at the bottom of the idiot's driveway, mixed with a few hundred tons of red clay mud.

    Haven't been back up there since, but my guess it that put an end to the rental business... :D
    rockriver and pearlselby like this.
  6. OffTheGridReady

    OffTheGridReady Monkey+

    Very cool cabin! That is one of the coolest jigs I've ever seen. I was re-reading the "Firefox" books recently and they showed how the old timers would build cabins with hand tools. A lost art.
  7. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Have finished searching. Apparently they don't exist unless my brother has some...
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Melbo, This cabin was built using only Hand Tools, by a 60+ year Old Woodsman and his Wife, just a few miles from where I live. It has a Concrete Basement Foundation, that was cast in a Continuous Pour that lasted 36 Hours, and was Hand Mixed in a Wheel Barrow. The Logs are local Sitka Spruce, that were cut down, peeled and cured for 36 Months, before being set in place. They are ALL hand fitted seems. ...... YMMV...
    kellory and chelloveck like this.
  9. pearlselby

    pearlselby Monkey++

    Nice cabin, BTPost!!
    Ganado and Dunerunner like this.
  10. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Thanks for the revival @pearlselby, otherwise I'd have missed it....

    Nice basement....
    Ganado likes this.
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Very nice, indeed.[winkthumb]
  12. rockriver

    rockriver Monkey+

    I was nosing around the site and found this thread...
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