Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dressing a Flat

Another Rainy Day

I had hoped to get the 1st 3/4 sill log dressed and on the wall today but it rained all afternoon. I done a little in between showers. All I was able to do was dress the flat and cut for the back door opening. This log has a bend in it about six feet from the butt. I'm using it so that it can be cut for the back door. Ideally you would not want your sill logs to be cut but I don't have that option. I'll talk about this later. See the video above to see this log brushed, planed and sanded.

3/4 sill log ripped
Rough cut from sawingAfter dressing smooth but wet
Bend at 6 feet
Cut to straighten

Monday, January 28, 2008

3/4 Sill Log

Today I started working on the first 3/4 sill log. This log is kinda of special because it was cut from the site where our house will be. Our house will literally set on top of where this tree was growing.

After Planing
Lay Out
Chalk Cut Lines
Ripping Finished Up At Dark

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Today was a day that has been a long time coming. We laid our first logs today.

Moving the log from the log rack to the temporary foundation

About to lay our FIRST LOG
First Log In Place
First log going into position

Laying second log

Making sure every thing matches up

Second log going into place

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cutting Half Sill Log

The first logs that are laid are the sill logs one set are half logs the other set are called whole or 3/4 logs. The half logs are first and are usually on the gable ends of the house. There is a a lot to consider when choosing the sill logs that I want go into. In a perfect world all the logs would be perfectly straight and all the same size. Ours are far from the same size and very few even come close to straight.

Lay Out

Ripping With a Chainsaw
Half Sill Logs

Planed Sanded And Ready To Set

Monday, January 21, 2008

Planing A Log

Planing Sill Log

At this point our logs have been cut for almost a year. We kept them under a tarp from July up until the tarp finally tore to shreds back in late November. I recently bought another smaller tarp. As you can see in the pictures the logs have turned grey from the UV rays from the sun. These logs look almost useless judging by the surface, but underneath the surface they are still beautiful. I'm using a hand power planer to plane the logs.

UV burnt logs

Trimming Knots

Beauty Underneath


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Making Some Tools

Today started out as cold rainy day. So I took care of some tool making that I have been putting off for a day just as this. Mostly I was just being lazy. :)
A few weeks ago I had cut out peaces for log cleats. I took them by the machine shop and had them welded. Log cleats are used to hold logs in place so they want roll. You can also turn the cleat around and roll a log in place.
I also made some butterflies. Butterflies are used to hold up one end of the log, like at door opening. Butterflies are also used to raise a log end by tightening the bolt.

Log Cleats


Monday, January 14, 2008

Finshing Temporary Foundation

Today we finished up with the temporary foundation. We placed 8" wide bocks on the pillars to represent the permanent foundation wall thickness. We checked our final length and width measurements and checked square. Now we are ready to start laying logs! Woo-Hoo!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Setting Temporary Foundation Pillars

We are going to be building our log shell on a temporary foundation. Once the shell is complete we will dismantle the shell and move it to the permanent foundation. Most handcrafted builders build in this manner. They build the shell at there location then dismantle and ship to the owners location. The reason we are doing it this way is to make sure I can build this thing before we start pouring money into it :)
We are using 12"x12" oak cants for the corner pillars and on the gable ends of the house. We are using them on the gable ends because the gable ends have the first sill logs which are half logs. We are using 8"-10" cedar post every where else. Basically were just using what we have.
As far as placement they are in the corners, on each side of doors openings and under window openings. We will be rough cutting door and window openings as we go and this will give more support to these portions of the walls.
Wood pillars are preferred for this sort of temporary foundation because you only have to set, plumb, and cut them level. You want to set your lowest one first then all measurements and level reading can be taken from this one. Leveling is easily done with a water level.

Setting our first pillar Woo-Hoo!!!
Plumb and Level

Setting up water level

My level reader (Hard Job!)

Marking Level

Marking level cut lines

Cutting level

Almost ready to start laying logs :)