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Thread: Vertical logs

  1. #1
    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    Default Vertical logs

    Does anyone have any experience or knowledge with vertical log cabins? I've been looking into it a little and it seems like it would work well for one of the stuctures I am planning.

    http://www.logandtimberworks.com/can...log_homes.html
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    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Well,

    The home my grandma lives in now was a vertical log cabin built during the 1950's. Looks great today and no issues structurally speaking since it was built.

    Ron

  3. #3

    Default Logs

    The main advantage to the vertical log home that I see is the requirement for shorter logs. There are many more short logs used than logs used. As in nature there are many more short straight logs than long straight logs; With short logs comes reduced taper as well.
    There might be a trade-off on increased build times though as the assembly of more/smaller pieces requires more labor. It would still require the same board/timber feet of material to build as a horizontal log building the same size though.
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    It would seem that shrinkage issues would be lessened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 257wby View Post
    It would seem that shrinkage issues would be lessened.
    That's what she said!

  6. #6

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    will these logs have a flat cut on 2 sides or are they full rounds? This will make or break the time involved in consruction. As a log builder I was always curious mtself on the vertical application. I would also cut a key way in the bottoms to slide over say a 2x4 on edge that has been fastned to the floor. this should keep your logs from twisting and provide a great seal at the floor. AFTER your done with the logs I would do the same with the tops. By doing it after will make it WAY easier to pound the 2x4 in your notchs. PM me if you have any specific questions will be glad to help you out if I can.

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    I am building a structure with vertical logs between sections, next to windows, beneath log trusses, infilled with short horizontal logs and some cordwood sections. It's real slow!

    wall section zoom.jpg

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    stockade built log homes were originally designed for the single builder to accomplish. the do not necessarily run slower or faster then standard log homes. Mic's by your description your doing a cross between a timer frame and a log stack. i have done those in the past and they are slower due the miters / dadoing into each end of the logs to spline them to the post. if your not splining you will have issues in the end.

    a stockade built log home should also spline tops and bottoms along a solid top and bottom rail. the spline keeps them from twisting out of place. the benefit is that you can cut your top spline all at the same time prior to fitting your top or truss rail.

    i am on my third year with my own timber frame as i am building in place and that is more difficult but with out boom trucks necessary..

    now. consideration for log building is the equipment necessary to lift them

    three sided milled logs 6-8 inch two-three guys can frame start to finish a shell in about 40 hours all by hand lifting.. good seasoned milled logs can be easily handled with a hammer claw in the but, and slide.. typically i can maneuver up to a 16' foot 8 inch log or 20' 6incher on my own and one end up at a time.

    the average family builder should plan a month for the log shell / roof/ deck... three -four guys.. can put the logs up in a week or less.
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 257wby View Post
    It would seem that shrinkage issues would be lessened.

    Actually shrinkage will remain a constant... and will happen the largest % the first winter heat is applied to one side of them. meaning...


    if a 10 inch log is too shrink 1/2 inch. the largest amount of that 1/2 will occur when heat is applied during the cold dry months. regardless of how well it was cured under wrap. it will shrink when heat is applied...

    anyway.. that is the sole concern with stockade built logs.. the standard stack build the weight of the logs above will help settle out the cracks. while vertical crack will require some other force to seal them together be it through bars/ all thread and such... however once the 5 year settling period has occurred your pretty well done with them both other then semi annual oiling.... stockade build also do not have log Ends exposed to the weather that will wick moisture into the log and promote rot.... stacked logs should have the ends was lightly with a paraffin or other clear wax or painted to seal.
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  10. #10

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    I'd contact Marty Van Diest at valleymarket.com. He and his family have built a bunch of vertical log buildings and Marty is full of informaiton and tips on this. At one time he sold a booklet full of information and tips. Very knowledgeable and just an all around nice guy. I believe he goes by martyv here on the forums.

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    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    I appriciate all of the responses. The main reason I am thinking vertical for the first stucture is I am not counting on having a lot of help. Some of my friends and family have said they want to help but I think their intentions are bigger than their ability. It might take me longer but at least I can do it myself. I also like how they look if done right. I can use less than perfect trees too. Some of my trees are half killed by porcupine. Hopefully porcupine stew will be on the menu out there soon.

    BTW at least in theory a vertical log structure would save some materials. Scribe fit has about two foot of overhang at the corners. That adds up to about 150 linier feet of log. That's several trees and a lot of sweat saved.

    That booklet is available online.

    http://www.alaskacabin.net/
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    Default shorter logs needed for an octagon shaped cabin

    Quote Originally Posted by matjpow View Post
    ...The main reason I am thinking vertical for the first stucture is I am not counting on having a lot of help. ...
    I'm no expert, but have had small training on the subject. I would worry greatly that the logs would have the same shrinkage when vertically laid, and all of it works against you if you go vertically; and you're going to have some real gaps going on real soon.

    When laid horizontally the entire structure settles a great distance (compared to standard construction methods) and the 501 (shrink to fit) joints are intended to tighten as they do. And a decently wide scribe will give you a decently wide overall thickness of the end-product wall.

    From what I've been able to soak up, your system for moving logs should be designed and built before starting on the cabin itself.

    Still in the not-soon planning stages, I threw together some plans for a log cabin octagon shaped. It almost halves the lengths of timber you need to get, peel, and move, but one of the downsides of course is exactly doubling the corner joints you'll need to carve out using your chain saw. At least you won't be using just an axe like they used to.

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    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    Octagon is a neat idea. From what I have been able to find online, you cut grooves and spline in between the vertical logs. I will also probably chink the logs. I still haven't settled on the vertical method but I am interested in it.
    That's what she said...

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    Default Stanley home-design software

    Quote Originally Posted by matjpow View Post
    Octagon is a neat idea. ...
    I think I paid 9 bucks for home design software that is brand name Stanley (like the hand tools) that worked really well. Multiple stories, windows, staircase, doors, 3d and 2d views both; nice software; my design had/has a an octagon "balcony" in its center/top, with gun rests provided on the hand rails.

    Let me know if you want me to go look for my actual octagon design or the software - I owe you one from that other deal this past year - you were great; I'm still sorry that didn't work out. We'll have to sit down over a beverage of our choice sometime to talk more about that.

  15. #15

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    logs dont shrink length wise they shrink width wise as the moisture is drawn from the log the grain tightens up there for your shrinkage.

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    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akdube View Post
    logs dont shrink length wise they shrink width wise as the moisture is drawn from the log the grain tightens up there for your shrinkage.
    I've read that the diameter shrinks between 1-2% depending on species. That will easily be taken care of with a little chinking. I'm just developing the plan right now but the more I think about it, the more I like it. I'm going to try to find a few books and talk to Marty.

    FamilyMan here's a vertical log octagon. BTW you still have until Febuary on that land. I have a couple of snowmachines.

    http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/ainsworth27.html
    That's what she said...

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    Default how many hits to drive a spike?

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  18. #18

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    I have never read or seen where logs have shrunk length wise. If this was the case how would ridge poles and perlings work if they shrunk the roof would technically pull off as the dimensional lumberis dry and would stay put. I realize you stated it was only 1-2% but on a 8 foot log that about 1-2 inchs. Now if mt ridge was say 32' which is a short ridge pole then the shrinkage would be 4-8 inchs. thats alot of movement for the log holding up you roof. Just my 2 cents..

  19. #19
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Thumbs up good question AKDUBE

    most woods will not shrink in length. however Popular and cottonwoods will. the one to watch for it the popal. it is one of the few hardwoods that when milled into log constructions appears to be spruce to the untrained eye. and will have considerable end to end shrinkage. as will cotton wood that is common as discounted rough cut lumber especially in the Mat- Su areas.

    Spruce and Pines do not shrink over length more then a few MM in most cases.. if your stacking logs that shrink end to end... they probably had water running out the end grain as you did.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by matjpow View Post
    FamilyMan here's a vertical log octagon.

    http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/ainsworth27.html
    I think it would be best to use a center post on a vertical log octagon. With a big snow load there is going to be a lot of pressure on the top plates pushing outward by the roof. If any of the 8 joints on the top plate failed it would be disastrous. Vertical log walls don't have the horizontal strength so the top plate needs to be well done.

    Or you could just go overboard on that top plate maybe by using some kind of a steel bracket for each joint.

    Or, I suppose you could run ties from one side to the other but that would defeat that peaked ceiling inside.
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