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Author Topic: Cabin Build  (Read 1132 times)

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Offline BCrabtree

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Cabin Build
« on: February 13, 2014, 04:15:20 pm »
What is the best method to join square timbers (6x8, 6x10, or 6x12) together when they are stacked for cabin walls. I am in the planning stage of a cabin build and I know of a few different methods but want to hear some of the opinions from here.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” Henry Ford

Offline Brian_Weekley

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Re: Cabin Build
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2014, 04:34:46 pm »
e aho laula

Offline D L Bahler

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Re: Cabin Build
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2014, 05:18:39 pm »
That is a simple question, but the answer is very very complicated

There are literally hundreds of ways to stack logs for a cabin.

Think of what you want, then narrow down your choice based on that. In the end, that is how the different traditional methods came to be any way: people set out to accomplish certain things in their traditions and developed the techniques accordingly.

American style dovetail corner joints, for example, are designed to be fast and relatively easy while at the same time strong -the entire weight of the structure goes through these joints. Swedish cope joints, on the other hand, show one solution to having a tight structure with round logs.

My personal favorite is passing lap joints with the logs fitted tightly together along the entire length of the structure, so that the entire wall serves to bear the loads and not just the corners. This of course being a chinkless system.


So again, decide what you want. Do you want a rustic pioneer cabin, do you want a comfortable living space, do you want a large structure, do you want a small structure, etc.


Offline BCrabtree

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Re: Cabin Build
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2014, 08:51:10 pm »
I am thinking a 20x30 cabin 1 1/2 stories with a wrap around porch. The timbers will be sawn not hand hewn.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” Henry Ford

Offline D L Bahler

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Re: Cabin Build
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2014, 09:22:24 pm »
What do you want it to look like
what do you want it to feel like inside?

That will determine how you join it.

Like, if you want the appalachian or American pioneer look you should use the appropriate joints. If you want chinking, then use the joints that allow that, etc.

If you want it to be tight inside, no drafts, etc. you might consider a type of assembly that sticks the logs tightly together, etc.

I really have no idea what kind of cabin you are looking for so it is hard to say.

The strongest type of cabin you can build is one where the courses sit on top of each other and are pegged together, with interlocking passed corner joints, and framed-in posts to reinforce all openings. But that may not be the look you want I don't know. You may want the look of an American cabin with dovetail corner and gaps between the logs, but these are not as stable.

Look in my gallery, I think I have some pictures of some log buildings in Europe in there somewhere. That's the tight walls with passed corner joints. Then look up some American cabins and see how you like it.

My personal opinion is, again, passed corner joints. You can do a lot with those projecting log ends to make the building look very nice, you can make the joint in such a way as to make it air tight and locking against twisting as the timber works. The logs sit on top of each other, so the whole structure is incredibly rigid, and the doors and windows are framed with upright timbers so that they don't weaken the walls, etc. rather than nailing planks in the openings.

But it's your cabin. You should pick something that makes you happy.


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Will you be dividing the interior space? a 30 foot log span will be pretty unstable, you should stiffen it somehow in the middle, the best way is with a partitioning wall but there are many other ways. Even 20 feet is pushing the limits of what I was taught is good design. I learned log building in the Swiss Alps.