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Author Topic: square hewn log notching.....  (Read 19219 times)

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Offline Fundyheather

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2015, 07:42:19 pm »
Hi Frank, others

If you are hewing square anyway, perhaps consider reviewing this long film showing a joint used in Northern Europe and Russia:

 

I used this joint in my sauna, with foam sill gasket spiked down hard between the 'logs' as a seal.  I was using the cores of red spruce in the build, and there was very little shrinkage, maybe because I removed most of the sapwood. 

You need a steel square, measuring tape, circular saw, buck saw, 1" square chisel and pencil to lay this out and cut it.  Sometimes I lost my pencil in the snow and just used a nail.  Sometimes because of a knot, the notch didn't plow up so well using the circular saw; so I cleaned up the slot with an electric chainsaw rather than the 1"chisel.  I have had good luck doing this in 5x5" and 4x5", but I think in the film they are using at least 6x6's.  Kept me in heat all last winter.

jim

  

 

Offline Fundyheather

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2015, 07:55:00 pm »
and this other film is on the same joint:



jim

Offline jander3

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2015, 11:30:05 pm »
Frank,


I found some photos from a little project that might give you an idea on how to cut a notch. Let me know if this makes any sense, notch cutting is hard to explain.  In this case I am scribing the lower member. On a log wall, you would put the log on the building, scribe the log, then, either roll the log back or remove it from the building and cut it.  I take the log off and cut on the ground, but a guy could put up some scaffold bucks and cut with the log rolled back on the building. Anytime the log is on the building, make sure it is dogged in place,  It never ends well if you find your body between a log under the influence of gravity and the planet.

Jon

How to Cut a Notch
For Chinked Cabin With a Chainsaw

The base will be scribed and notched to accept the 1/2 log on top.

 


Log Scriber, set up for normal use, with the pencil on top, for scribing the notch in the bottom a new log.




Before you use a scriber, check it on a level line (draw a plumb line on a surface that is plumb).   You set the desired gap on the scriber. The gap is the amount that you want to drop the log. For example, if you have a 6" gap when you put the new log on the building and you want 1.5" gap for chinking, you set the scriber for 4.5".  The setting might be different on each end of the log as the gap will not be equal when you put the new log on the building.  You want a setting that gives you a generally uniform gap after the log is in place.  The scriber points are placed on the level line and the level is adjusted until the bubble is centered.    You can see in this photo that I reversed the point and the pencil because I will be notching the bottom member.

 


Scribing the line.  Hold lightly, pull toward you; keep the bubble centered. Easier said than done.  Scribing takes practice, stay with it.  Practice a few notches on some crap wood.  I use pencils with indelible ink.   I spray the log with water from a spray bottle before scribing, and then I spray again after to set the ink.   

 
 

When the scribing is complete, double check and make sure you have a good line before removing the log, you will never get the log back in the same position for a do-over.   

 


Remove the log (or roll it back), then, score the line with a chisel (flat-side out). Score as close the line as you can, leave the line.  This chisel was a little big for this work, but it was handy. 

 


You want to create a sharp edge that will meet up with the other member when you roll the log in place. The score line is 1/4" or 3/8" deep or so.

 


Remove the waste wood.  On a wall log normally a couple of diagonal cuts (for larger notches split the waste wood down the center with a cut then make your diagonal cuts) and then whack out the triangle pieces with an axe, hammer, or adze.  Stay back from the scribe line.

 


Note: Shaving and brushing take some practice, your first notches will be Butt-Ugly.  No worries stay with it, they will improve.  Keep the top quarter of the front of the saw away from the wood or it will kick-back. For shaving or brushing, I would start with safety chain.    Once I learned, I cut the waste wood with full or semi-chisel chain and then shave and brush with semi-chisel or safety chain.   I've never been able brush well with Full chisel chain.

On each side of the notch, split the work into quarters with a shallow cut.  Then shave each quarter close to the line (within about 1/8") using the front lower portion of the chainsaw bar.  You want to get very close to the line but don't over cut . You are shaving to form a slightly concave shape.

 


Once you have all four quarters shaved, the bottom of the notch will still be rough.  You, then, brush the notch with the tip of your saw (bottom) and bring the work right to the scibe line.  In log building, when you are complete, the entire line should be present; however, you want no wood inside the line. If needed, you can clean up to the line with an axe or adze or handlebar gouge.  Brushing to line is easier than you think. As you near your scribe line, you will produce a sharp edge as the wood is brushed away from the scored line you set with your chisel.   You want a generally concave shape; you do not want a soup bowl. When you lay a straight edge across your notch it should touch the scored edges.  If the straight edge touches any material between the edges, this material will need to be brushed away or your log will hang-up when you try to fit it up.

 


Fit up the log. This step might require you to roll the log back a number of times to make adjustments to your notch if you encounter any hangups.  You want to make sure the fit is tight.  In this case, I could have notched the top log into the base.  However, due to the size difference it was easier to notch the base.

 


Fit up completed.  Again, for log building the notch would be in the top.

 





Jon

Offline Frankw

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2015, 12:07:42 am »
Very clear Jon, but what happens to the next layer (your 1/2 log on top) are those logs scribed and notched again into the lower log? Is each log scribed and notched at the top and bottom (both sides) or only on one side (top)?
Frank

Offline jander3

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2015, 08:19:20 am »
You only notch the bottom of the log.  You put the next log on the wall (Butt to Tip), scribe the notch, and then cut the notch into the bottom of the new log; roll the new log into place and verify fit-up.

 



The previous post was a simple round notch; it works fine.  Notch the bottom of the log, stack it, and move on.  Big logs don't move. Some builders will use a lock-notch for the bottom and top rows.  If you are worried about things shifting, in lieu of a lock-notch, a timber screw placed into the round notch joint would work just as well. Below is a photo of a lock-notch (just like Lincoln Logs). The layout of these notches is a little more complicated.  To cut a lock-notch, the scriber is set up with two pencils and then you establish the lock-notch height and transfer the measurement from one log to the other using your gap setting so the lock notch  matches up when you put the pieces together.   

    



Because a round notch sometimes opens up with time and loosens up, builders developed the saddle notch.  To cut a saddle notch - before scribing, cut the saddles into the new log (you can see the saddles below),  The new log will sit on the saddle area of the log below.  Scribe like above; you will be scribing onto the saddle area.  After scribing, draw in a little 3/8" rectangle at the top of the notch for a relief cut.  Score and cut as above.  The saddle notch method ensures that  the notch will tighten up over time.   The saddle also helps to shed water if the structure gets wet.

To cut a saddle, with the log set up on some notching stumps (about 2 feet off the ground, or whatever height is comfortable to you), use the top portion of your chainsaw bar to make the cut (pull  the saw backwards).  Pulling the bar backward will make the saddle cut much smoother as compared to cutting with the  lower portion of the bar (as you would normally cut). Saddle length is about the the length of a small level 18"-24".  You cut the saddle so there is about 2 or 3 inches of round log on the top and it extends to about 1" or 2" above the bottom of the log.

 
Jon

Offline Frankw

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2015, 10:39:45 pm »
OK, I think I got it Jon, but did not do that saddle cut as I don't understand it. Below a picture of my exercise with 1" rods. How do you allign the stacking to keep the corners perfectly vertical (square)? I measured the cut from the corners but allignment is not so great.
 

  

 
Frank

January 12, Note that the model is upside down and that I plan to face the grooves and notches downward to avoid water accumulation, I will also cut the saddles before the notching and will post a new picture of the model later (Thanks Furby).

Offline jander3

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2015, 10:42:04 pm »
Frank,

Nothing below.   
Jon

Offline Frankw

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2015, 12:44:50 am »
Jon
I can see 2 pictures that I posted

Frank

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2015, 09:15:08 am »
Re-trim all ends after stacking to make them all the same, if you wish.

Jim Rogers
Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
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Offline jander3

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2015, 01:29:54 pm »
I agree with Jim.

I trimmed these in the log yard where I built the walls to get rid of the overhang.  On this building, once I had the roof line on the structure, I cut the ends again to make  sure the log ends were under the roof.  The log you select for the wall will likely be 2'-4' longer than your planned final length. This gives you some room to move the log for best fit and allows you to trim the ends.

 

In northern Minnesota, there are many cabins with a more random log end pattern.

 


Jon

Offline Frankw

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2015, 06:11:05 pm »
Thanks Jim & Jon, I am ready to build my sauna now (3 x 3.5 meter inside). I may still cut those saddles at the sides of my logs before the scribing and notching but I find that the nothing looks nicer without those saddles.
Thanks for your help and when I start my project I will upload pictures of the different stages to this forum. Still trying to find out how to build a brick wood fire stove for the sauna.

Frank

Offline Frankw

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2015, 05:07:04 pm »
 

 

2nd excercise with notching facing down and saddle cuts

Offline Frankw

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2015, 05:14:54 pm »
I will anchor the base to my foundation with iron bars but I have not yet thought of a good way to connect the roof frame/rafters to the top log, I don't want to use any metal if possible. But that is still a long way down the road and will worry about that later....

 

Offline jander3

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2015, 07:23:59 pm »
Nice.  This is going to save you time when you start your building.

When you cut the logs I would cut the saddles a little narrower on the top (set them a little higher). And they should flare out a bit (the top of the log will have about 2-3" of round log between the saddles.   The saddles extend down to 1" lower than the expected scribe setting.   If you decide to use saddles remember the relief cuts on the notches.

I scribed the rafters and set with a timber screw.   Takes time as each rafter has to be scribed based on the log. I cut the ridge and added a nailer on top, that way I had a consistent dimension to work with on top.
 

  

  
Jon

Offline Frankw

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2015, 08:58:32 am »
Jon
Do you mean with "offsetting" he saddle cuts to rotate the logs slightly (see arrows picture) before scribing so that the saddle will not fit properly in the notch (only 20%). If so should I rotate the logs in opposite direction as shown on my picture or does that not matter?

Are the saddle cuts of each log exactly opposite of each other (180 degrees) or is the offset done by cutting the saddles 140 degrees from each other instead of rotating the logs?

What is the purpose of not positioning these saddles fully in the notch (not aligned at right angles), this will make the notch cut slightly wider, is that perhaps the reason?

Frank

Offline jander3

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2015, 12:46:04 pm »
Frank,

The diagram below is a bit exaggerated; however, it should give you an idea of what I mean by saddle offset.  Your saddles look like they are cut so they are lined up on a vertical plane. Saddles should be offset like below.  This will result in a notch that is wider on the bottom and narrower at the top. The notch edges should bite into the saddle.  As your building settles over time, the notch gets tighter. 

 

 

When you cut the saddles into the log I found that with the log set up on your stumps, I rotate the log like you have in your photos and cut out the saddle with the top of the chainsaw bar.

I see that you have lateral grooves cut in the log, if you plan to go full scribe, read up on over scribe settings.  You increase the  scribe settings you used for the notch when you scribe the lateral grooves and flyways.  That way all the weight is on the notch when you put the log on the building. As things tighten up and shrink, the notch gets tighter and lateral groove meets up with the log below.  As you go higher on the building you cut back a some on the over scribe setting because there is less weight on the top of wall.

 

Jon

Offline Frankw

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2015, 02:26:31 am »
Jon, I can only get a square notch when vertically inserting the upper log in the lower scribed log (picture). When I scribe a trapezoid where the bottom of the notch is larger that the top the upper log won't fit unless you insert the log lateral like a jig saw puzzle but that won't work with the full scribed lateral grooves. Can you show me a diagram (cross section) of your notch that fits the log with the offset saddle cut?

Offline jander3

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #37 on: January 20, 2015, 08:01:53 am »
Try these the notch is scribed to the saddle. The saddle is actually more of a slight oval dish shape cut into the log. The first drawing is a cut away.

 

  




  

 
Jon

Offline Frankw

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2015, 08:29:58 pm »
I think I got it figured out, I had the saddle and the notch overlapping (same place) while I now have the saddles above the notch). This results in a V type notch cut without any gaps (see pictures). I was trying to scribe the full log rather than the smallest part of the saddle as I understood that the notch cut should be wider in the log than on the edge which of course is impossible (jig saw puzzle). The shape of the nothches (cut) are now opposite from what I had before; a V type cut with the smaller width in the log and much wider at the edge of the log. I will make the saddles 

  smaller and higher above the notch cuts (see yellow oval on my second drawing).

Frank

  

  

  

  

  

 

Offline jander3

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Re: square hewn log notching.....
« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2015, 10:52:37 pm »
Yes.  You have it now!   Next step over scribe the lateral groove.   When you get a chance try cutting a few saddles and notches on some scrape wood with a chain saw or axe.
Jon