The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:




TimberKing Sawmills




Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Forest Products Industry Insurance


Norwood Industries Inc.


Sawmill & Woodlot Magazine



Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades


Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

Woodshax Outdoor Vending Solutions

FARMA


Council Tool

Baker Products

Forestry Forum Tool Box

Author Topic: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine  (Read 1808 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline hispls

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • I'm new!
General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« on: February 26, 2014, 12:59:30 pm »
After visiting Alaska last fall, I've fallen in love with the style of log home built there (pics related).

I'm in central Maine and looking to build something of this style here.  Trying to upload pictures but they're too big for the forum.   Google "doughboy cabin" should give a general idea of the style I'm after.

Anyway. I think first and foremost I need to know the price of logs of various sizes.  I have a lot of land here, but only open field and sugarbush (Pretty much exclusively rock maple, which is not for building, and other woods which aren't accessible because of sap lines) so I will need to buy logs somewhere.

My ultimate plan and design will likely depend on the cost of materials.   I'm sure there's a difference in price on various length and diameter logs, and of course what kind of wood.    If anyone can start with a rough idea of prices of materials that would be a great start.

I'll want a good bit of floor space, so my initial thought is 2 floors 20X24 feet or so or so on top of a full basement dug into the side of the hill.   I saw some very large log homes in Alaska, but I fear that going much bigger would exponentially raise the cost of materials.   I'm not opposed to going longer, taller, or whatever, and I'm not afraid of time and work.

All advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

Offline Jeff

  • Fearless Leader
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 44958
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Harrison MI
  • Gender: Male
  • Proverbs 13:20
    • THEE Forestry Forum
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2014, 01:11:26 pm »
The pictures should not be to big, the forum resizes the photos for you.  Look here for instructions on how to post photos. Once you have it set up, it is easy-peasy after that.  :)
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,61788.0.html

I didn't have any luck with the google search. I'm really interested as I'm planning a cabin as well.

Just call me the midget doctor.
Forestry Forum Founder and Chief Bottle Washer.

Offline Magicman

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 33864
  • Age: 74
  • Location: Brookhaven, MS
  • Gender: Male
  • A "Traveling Man"
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 01:19:02 pm »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum, hispls.   :)

There are several of us here that have log cabin building plans.   ;D
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline hispls

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • I'm new!
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2014, 01:39:21 pm »
The pictures should not be to big, the forum resizes the photos for you.  Look here for instructions on how to post photos. Once you have it set up, it is easy-peasy after that.  :)
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,61788.0.html

I didn't have any luck with the google search. I'm really interested as I'm planning a cabin as well.

Still getting "file is too large" error when I try to upload some of my pictures.




Here's a couple.   The small cabin is the visitor information center in Anchorage (google search may reveal other views).  This is the traditional "doughboy" style cabin.   For practical reasons I'm looking to go larger, but the style of joinery and full log look are my goal.  The second is a quite large home being built that we happened across while sightseeing.  This is about the size home I'd like, but I fear the cost and availability of logs this large may be prohibitive in Maine.
 





Offline hispls

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • I'm new!
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2014, 01:44:35 pm »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum, hispls.   :)

There are several of us here that have log cabin building plans.   ;D

First things first.  I'm mainly looking just to get a price for possible materials, then I'll be working on a floor plan, then, perhaps I'll be looking for some plans assuming it's not something I can come up with myself or with help from friends.   

Plan B is a monolithic dome if logs becomes impractical or priced out of my means.

Online Ianab

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 11964
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Stratford , New Zealand
  • Gender: Male
  • Marmite on toast is a real breakfast
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2014, 01:56:28 pm »
Quote
Still getting "file is too large" error when I try to upload some of my pictures.

The max resolution on some new cameras does create files that seem too big for the uploader to handle. My DSLR does this. If you drop the camera resolution to "medium" or resize the image with whatever software you have it will then work fine.
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline Jeff

  • Fearless Leader
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 44958
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Harrison MI
  • Gender: Male
  • Proverbs 13:20
    • THEE Forestry Forum
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2014, 02:22:25 pm »
Actually, I don't think its the uploader limits in some cases, but the php limitations on the server. I've upped it several times in the past. There has to be a limit, and the cameras keep pushing past it :-\
Just call me the midget doctor.
Forestry Forum Founder and Chief Bottle Washer.

Offline thecfarm

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 25326
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Chesterville,Maine
  • Gender: Male
  • If I don't do it,it don't get done
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2014, 03:48:20 pm »
hispls,welcome to the forum. I have no idea on the cost. But that will take the best of some of the best trees to get that look.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Thehardway

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 934
  • Location: Virginia
  • Gender: Male
  • Doin' it the hard way!
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2014, 04:36:57 pm »
If you haven't seen it already, watch "Alone in the Wilderness"

Here is a brief preview. <iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iYJKd0rkKss?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Just about all you need to know! :laugh:

Seriously, some sharp tools, some spruce and some determination and you can build an Alaskan style cabin. 

I spent a week in Alaska and I must say I did not see that many log cabins and the ones I did see were mostly factory built type cabins of wealthier individuals. Many very large spreads that were in the millions.   Most of the "houses" I saw were shacks covered with tarpaper T1-11 or cedar sided houses.  The architecture was anything but impressive, mostly what people could manage to throw together before winter struck and get them through to spring and still have time to work and put up their winter preparations.  A lot like an east coast or gulf fishing village.  Pretty shabby.

I think you are basically looking for handpeeled logs and a scribed, saddle, or "v" notch, whichever you prefer,  log cabin.  What makes them look "Alaskan" is the fact that they leave them a bit more random and rugged than most of those in the lower 48 and the roofs are often primitive looking.


Norwood LM2000 24HP w/28' bed, Hudson Oscar 18" 32' bed, Woodmaster 718 planer,  Kubota L185D, Stihl 029, Husqvarna 550XP

Offline Brian_Weekley

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 636
  • Location: N. Stonington, CT
  • Gender: Male
  • I am Batman!
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 05:58:46 pm »
I was going to suggest the same thing as Hardway.  That visitor center instantly reminded me of Proenneke's cabin in Alaska.  Maybe it was the live roof.
e aho laula

Offline firecord

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 209
  • Age: 54
  • Location: Mooringsport LA "Gods Country!"
  • Gender: Male
  • I'll try anything once
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2014, 06:35:54 pm »
I have a copy of alone in the wilderness. it is an awesom film. Lots of people have done what you are planning. Just yesterday I found an old issue of Mother Earth News about a timber frame a family built for under 50 grand. From the photos it looked like a quarter million easily. Call all the area logers and get prices once you have a plan and log count.  Most will work with you especialy when the mills are down.

Offline hispls

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • I'm new!
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2014, 08:23:57 pm »
Actually, I don't think its the uploader limits in some cases, but the php limitations on the server. I've upped it several times in the past. There has to be a limit, and the cameras keep pushing past it :-\

Indeed one of the errors was a PHP error!   Too late to go back to Alaska to take the pictures over again, but you guys get the idea I think.

If you haven't seen it already, watch "Alone in the Wilderness"

Here is a brief preview. <iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iYJKd0rkKss?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Just about all you need to know! :laugh:

Seriously, some sharp tools, some spruce and some determination and you can build an Alaskan style cabin. 

I spent a week in Alaska and I must say I did not see that many log cabins and the ones I did see were mostly factory built type cabins of wealthier individuals. Many very large spreads that were in the millions.   Most of the "houses" I saw were shacks covered with tarpaper T1-11 or cedar sided houses.  The architecture was anything but impressive, mostly what people could manage to throw together before winter struck and get them through to spring and still have time to work and put up their winter preparations.  A lot like an east coast or gulf fishing village.  Pretty shabby.

I think you are basically looking for handpeeled logs and a scribed, saddle, or "v" notch, whichever you prefer,  log cabin.  What makes them look "Alaskan" is the fact that they leave them a bit more random and rugged than most of those in the lower 48 and the roofs are often primitive looking.




I did watch that movie and I must say that guy is a ironman knocking his house together in a week.    Of course his is a bit more simple relying on chinking as opposed to scribe fitting the sides. 

Otherwise, you're right on the money with the style I'm after with the rough logs and the v fit and even the sod roof (though I'm not sure if there's a way to do that without inviting rot and leaks).    I'd be satisfied with a steel roof for practicality.

We also saw some hastily cobbled together looking houses out in Alaska, but I definitely saw some fine examples of this style.  I also purchased a book recommended by the fellow who was building the one pictured which had some pictures of some really tight cabins.




I did manage to get hold of a forester who gave me a rough idea of the cost of logs.   Seems like even going up to a 24 X 36 cabin should be feasible within the budget here. 

He did mention that poplar can be had for a good bit less money than white pine.   Is there any compelling reason to use any particular wood?  (keeping in mind what's available in central Maine).


I appreciate the warm welcome here.   I wish I knew more about any of this stuff to contribute, but I promise to update here as I progress with the project.   


Online Ianab

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 11964
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Stratford , New Zealand
  • Gender: Male
  • Marmite on toast is a real breakfast
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2014, 10:05:15 pm »
Quote
Too late to go back to Alaska to take the pictures over again, but you guys get the idea I think

No need to go to that extreme. Any photo editing software will let you resize the image, and save a smaller copy.  I use GIMP because it's free (and does a heap of other neat stuff) but there are a 100 others.

Ian
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline jander3

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 596
  • Age: 57
  • Location: Red Wing, Minnesota
  • Gender: Male
    • Peeling Logs
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2014, 09:30:51 pm »
Welcome.

log home? gotta be stubborn and learn to use a chainsaw, axe, and adze.



  

 

really rough winter this year in minnesota.  hopefully, the weather breaks soon and i can get out to my cabin.

 
Jon

Offline Stephen1

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1136
  • Age: 61
  • Location: S. Ontario Canada
  • Gender: Male
  • Where there is a will, there is a way!
    • muskoka Sawmill
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2014, 07:09:34 pm »
Jamder has posted some nice photos. The bigger the log the less work you will have. Full scribe scandanvian log style. 8 hrs per log on average.
My cabin is 10 rows high. Most commercial versions will be 6-7 high. Lots more hours.
You can use poplar, it will be heavy, cedar is very light, and easy to work, white pine is next choice, red pine is tougher and harder to work, but more durable.
Maybe square log rock maple if you have it and the equipment to work it. In the past , what the builder had free access to is what  is used.
My final piece of advice is take a log building course on the style you choose.
Cheers
Stephen
LT40HD, 742b Bobcat, Sthil v170,038, 461. 1952 TEA Fergusan Tractor

Offline TW

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 433
  • Location: Österbotten Finland
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new!
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2014, 05:05:29 pm »
I would also say that 8-10 hours per log would be a fair estimate.......... but the Scandinavian style that I do includes slightly more complicated (and tighter) corner joinery than the American saddle notch.

By the way there is a reason why log buildings away from the absolute frontier usually had the log ends cut to an uniform length. It was done to decrease the likely hood of rot in the protruding log ends.

Offline laffs

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 360
  • Age: 57
  • Location: maine
  • Gender: Male
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2014, 07:02:12 pm »
I wouldn't use poplar for anything other than boards. anything over 2" is prone to check. white pine  or cedar would be your local favorites. white pine will run you around $500 a thousand for raw logs and fairly abundant. Good cedar can be found but may(probably) cost a good bit more
timber harvester,tinberjack230,34hp kubota,job ace excavator carpenter tools up the yingyang,

Offline CJennings

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Vermont
  • Gender: Male
Re: General help with building Alaska style log home in Maine
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2014, 03:36:38 pm »
If you haven't already acquired the land you will build on, I'd suggest looking for land with some good large trees that could be used for the cabin. I've wanted a log cabin for years myself, but the only way I can afford it is if I buy the right piece of land. I've been looking for years. I may have found a place recently in VT, with lots of white pine and hemlock averaging 2 ft or more DBH, if I can close a deal on it. I know there's land in Maine with big trees on it too.