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Paul427's picture
using logs milled flat on two sides

I was wondering if I can successfully mill small cedars flat on two sides then stack and attach with logs screws to build a small cabin. log size would be 6X6 or 4X6 various lengths stacked and screwed like lego blocks, over lapping corners. I haven't a clue if the structure would be strong enough any thoughts or ideas to improve the idea. Maybe someone has done something like it and has a few pictures they would share. The cabin I'd like to create would be say 15 ft by 20ft.

papow22's picture

Well it did work for me,But I used white spruce 8 x 4 + 6x6 + 4x4 ,Me and my late father did saw the logs with his circle saw mill.My father sawed them all sides then I took them to the site where I built my trappers cabin.I drilled holes to counter sink 8inch spikes.My cabin was 14' x 24' x 12 walls.The peak of the roof was 17 feet,with black plastic with rough 1inch to hold sheets of tin.So when the snow was on the roof and I wanted to remove the snow,I'd just SLAM the door extra hard,2sec's later no snow :lol: That way I had 8 ' walls plus about 3'.5" for a loft that I used for a bedroom on one end,On the other end I used for store age of my strechers and things That I needed when the time came.For heat I had wood heater along with a wood cook stove,Also a propane heater along with a 2 burner propane cook stove for heat that kept the cabin warm when I was trapping,Then I would use the wood heat to really give the heat that I wanted 8) .Never had the chance to to take still pics,I have video camera pics.That's all that is left,for a forest fire burned my log cabin to the ground.Chisholm fire that is.A friend of mine built a house using lag bolts that were also counter sunk,Where I used 8 inch spikes.Also that I counter sunk.So As I would say any time you want something bad enough ,put your heart and soul in it.An with a little help from above you can build anything.I know it works,With a little blood sweat & tears,BUILD IT on cement blocks,cement pad,or skids what ever you want.Use your norwoods mill and you take pics while doing it to prove the world it can be done.
Good luck
Gordon D 8)

JP's picture

Here is a full log cabin built by my Grandfather in 1939. after many adds etc some repairs were needed// Damaged by splashing off some window awnings. The spruce logs used to repair were pealed and then put on the mill and 2 flats cut to aid in fitting.
Here showing the damaged logs

We setup a pealing station:

Here all the bad stuff Removed

Here is the job done

JZ-2's picture

Wow that is impressive work JP. I didn't know it was possible to replace part of a log house and you have shown that it can be done and with great results.

Hats off to you.

sawdoc's picture

A few years ago my wife and I built a 20'x20' cabin out of small lodgepole pine logs cut 10' long. We two-sided them to a 6 inch thichness. The cabin was finished with a gambril roof. Other than the sawing, everything was done with old techniques. In the 2nd photo you can see the cantelivered poles we used to slid the purlins up to the top of the cabin. The purlins were raised in place using 20' poles lashed into a tripod at each end and block and tackles were used to raise the 30' long purlins. This was at a remote site in northern Montana and no power was available, so we had to revert to techniques known to our grandfathers.


chiefpontiac1928's picture


Something you might consider is to cut a groove down the center on the top and bottom of each log to put in a spline. It does 2 things , it will help keep the logs lined up and also stops drafts. A thin layer of insulation or foam gasket will help alsoput on both sides of the spline. It works like chincking. If you make D shaped logs you could set up a router with a guide to make the groove easy to keep centered. I plan on building a playhouse for the Grandkids doing it this way.


Paul427's picture

Thanks for the pictures and input.

JZ-2's picture

Sawdoc -- that is awesome ..... I love stuff like this. It looks like you used a Butt and Pass method for the cabin. How did you hold the logs together? Rebar, spikes, or ???????

Nice Job.

I would like to do something like that as a small cabin on my property for when the kids come to visit.

sawdoc's picture

I put a strip of sill sealer between the logs and drove 10" spikes in every 2 or 3 feet. Where 2 logs were butted together, I would butt them up and then make a chain saw cut down the butt joint, which creates a matching joint. Before spiking the butted logs down, I would put a piece of sill sealer in the joint and push the joint tight and then spike it down. End joints were marked with a carpenter's square and cut with a chain saw, similar to the drawing below. More sill sealer was placed in the end joint before spikng.


JZ-2's picture

Verrrrry nice.

I like the idea of using short logs and butt jointing them. Didn't think that was possible but obviously I was wrong. Where did you get all the ideas from?

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