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  • True "LOG" Cabins

    Hello everyone... I will be over the course of a couple of years be building a cabin on a 5 acre bit of land I have in a remote area in the interior. I have done a lot of searching and want to see more pics (ecspecially of the building process) of anyone who wants to share their experiences of Log Cabin construction. I am really interested in seeing people who have utilized the trees on their property and built the cabin with little to no support from technological advances such as a 2X4's or power tools... well maybe a chainsaw is acceptable. Part of me wants to build old frontier style with an axe and crosscut saw but I am no idiot, lets be honest that is some hard work and I dont want to kill myself. But I am sure there is a great sense of accomplishment. I hope you would want to share your experiences and I would love to see your log cabins. Thanks. I look forward to your replies.

  • #2
    My Dad, brothers, and I built just such a cabin about 10 yrs ago. Did all the logging with a crosscut saw and axes and the building with a chainsaw. Only other real power tool was a gas powered drill for pegging the logs together, and even that was only for the last few rounds. Don't have any pictures to speak of though, since it was pre-digital. Took about 5 years of off and on work to get it done, but we had an existing frame cabin to stay in. Construction was full scribe and many of the materials were locally sourced. Foundation was local stone, we made pegs from black spruce, etc. Did haul lumber in for planking the floor and laying over the rafters.

    Worst part is really moving the logs. You will notice that many of the old cabins are made with really skinny, short logs. There was a reason for that. We made do by attacking the job with three teenage boys and as many friends as we could find. Oh, yeah. And using short logs. It's only about 10x12 on the inside and gets used as a bunkhouse for the main cabin. It's all doable though, and really is a great sense of accomplishment.

    Might I enquire where your acreage is? It's tough to get enough good trees on many of the interior 5 acre lots. Helps if you can take from surrounding state land. Any ideas on how you are going to skid them to site?


    Yk

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    • #3
      I would like to mention...

      Before I tackled a full sized cabin, I would build a storage shed and get the drift of it.I'ts no picnic.After a 10x10 storage shed, (full scribe), you will feel more like chainsaw all the way.This is 2009,makes no sense to go backwards.Remember why the true alaskans built such short ceilings also.I worked on a 2500 sq ft fullscribe with approx 20"-2' logs last summer.I spoke to the home owner yesterday, to see how he fared the winter.Those high vaulted ceilings look so pretty, but with his heat bill, he needs a stimulus check.GR

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      • #4
        We have five acres in interior AK and built our log cabin with the logs off our land. We have the whole process documented on our website....
        http://www.alaskaantlerworks.com/Alaska_cabin.htm
        Alaska Antler Works

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        • #5
          Thanks Antlerworks... I have been a big fan of site for quite sometime now. I love your site, your building process and Dick Proeneke's cabin are both my inspirations right now. I catch myself checking those two sites constantly. Since the first day the idea popped in my head to build a cabin your site was the first site I saw. Do you know any other sites that are as detailed with pics and a building method similar to yours?

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          • #6
            I'm looking to do the same thing here soon, within a few years. I have a well treed lot that is remote and in a nice location, can't wait to get started.

            I am going to use hand tools for as much of it as I can, I'll enlist the help of my halibut fed brother, but we'll bring a chainsaw or too just in case. I would like to build it all by hand, but if I don't have the time to do it that way I still want to get it done. Either way, I consider building a scribe fit cabin quite an accomplishment, even with a chainsaw.

            We are remote, so the other reason to use a chainsaw is for the chainsaw mill configuration, which will allow us to cut boards for the floor and roof since shipping them in will be too expensive.

            Someone gave me the idea of using large boulders for the foundation. They provide some ground clearance, will distribute the weight, are readily available, and look natural.

            I will have to bring in metal roofing, since I think that is the only way to go...and the stove...and some food. But as far as materials, I'll try to use what's out there as much as I can.

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            • #7
              sitkabshmn, I don't know of any other really detailed building sites. I have a few links off the site to other owner built homes, but they weren't quite so detailed with log work and were more complex projects!
              I'm glad our site could be useful! We sure had fun building the cabin!
              Alaska Antler Works

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              • #8
                heres a couple of sites that might maybe help you.

                www.diynetwork.com/diy/episode_archive/0,2019,DIY_14266_315,00.html

                www.loghomeslogcabins.com/build-log-cabin-home.html

                Hope it helps, read as much as you can.

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                • #9
                  Heres another on.

                  www.logrepair.com

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                  • #10
                    old-style cabin building

                    sitkabhmn,

                    Built a few cabins of varying sizes with bow saw and axe and 2" hand-crank auger. Used dead standing white spruce. Peeled with draw knife. Hauled in logs by hand (two people pulling/sliding them over rollers) and with dogteam too. Was a lot easier to haul them in spring when snow was on the ground, using the dogs. But if you are cutting dry trees, not real huge in diameter and not too large of a cabin, a couple people can haul in logs too by sliding them.

                    We used moss for the insulation exclusively, and sod/moss on the roof. If you do that right it lasts a long time and really looks nice too. Used saddle notches, and a large compass to mark them out. Wish I had some pics to share.

                    I did end up upgrading to a chain saw and will say there are things you can do with a chainsaw that do make the cabin much tighter, specifically runing the bar down between the two logs to get a smooth and flat and tight fit. Sure use a lot less moss that way. Trick is to lay the moss down before you put the next round on; don't try to chink it afterward.
                    Or you can scribe and then use chainsaw to do it that way too. Much of cabin building depends on your personal aesthetic tastes, which will determine how much work it's going to take.

                    I will say that Jill and Aaron's (alaskaantlerworks) site is one of the best I've seen on scribe construction. And they used the type of (real) logs you will typically find, with a lot of taper, varying sizes etc. I would not want to drawshave knotty logs like that though <grin>!

                    Alternatively you can cut gree trees in spring and banana peel them, haul them in and then stack them and let them dry for a year. I am not fond of using green to build with, just a whole lot of shrinking and settling involved. They are awful darn heavy too to haul in. But if that's all you have....

                    Good luck,


                    Mark Richards
                    www.residenthuntersofalaska.org

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sitkabshmn View Post
                      Hello everyone... I will be over the course of a couple of years be building a cabin on a 5 acre bit of land I have in a remote area in the interior. I have done a lot of searching and want to see more pics (ecspecially of the building process) of anyone who wants to share their experiences of Log Cabin construction. I am really interested in seeing people who have utilized the trees on their property and built the cabin with little to no support from technological advances such as a 2X4's or power tools... well maybe a chainsaw is acceptable. Part of me wants to build old frontier style with an axe and crosscut saw but I am no idiot, lets be honest that is some hard work and I dont want to kill myself. But I am sure there is a great sense of accomplishment. I hope you would want to share your experiences and I would love to see your log cabins. Thanks. I look forward to your replies.
                      I have never built a log cabine but I have always had an interest in the process and doing anything the OLD WAY.

                      To that end there was a set of books called The Foxfire Books (later called Foxfire 2,3,4,5...) of which there were 13 total but I found that the first one was the best.

                      Anyway, the first book covers: Hog Dressing, Log Cabin Building, Mountain Crafts and Foods, Planting by the Signs, Snake Lore, Hunting Tales, Faith Healing, Moonshining, and dovotes about 20-25% of the book to wood and log cabin building. The decriptions were fairly detailed (with diagrams) and it might be something towards what you are looking for. Anyway, it is a good read and did I mention it had a section on moonshine.

                      You can get it here

                      http://www.amazon.ca/Foxfire-Book-Dr.../dp/0385073534

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bushrat View Post


                        I will say that Jill and Aaron's (alaskaantlerworks) site is one of the best I've seen on scribe construction. And they used the type of (real) logs you will typically find, with a lot of taper, varying sizes etc. I would not want to drawshave knotty logs like that though <grin>!

                        Thanks bushrat! Those logs are definitely the real deal! I can only imagine what a dream it would be to build with normal logs. Actually the knots and taper give it a unique appeal! You are right...peeling them was the pits!
                        Alaska Antler Works

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                        • #13
                          I have never built one, but if you read "one man's wildeness" and watch the movie, Dick Proeneke shows how it can be done.
                          It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

                          http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

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                          • #14
                            BEARBOB, what do they dress the hogs in?:cool:
                            " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cdubbin View Post
                              BEARBOB, what do they dress the hogs in?:cool:
                              I hear that pink and frilly is all the rage. However, if you are a politician, I believe that pork barrel is by far choice number one.

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