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Country Discussion Topics
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Log Cabins
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Dave    Posted 01-26-2003 at 21:48:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
We plan to build a log home in a year or two. I have access to an abundance of pine trees that I could harvest and do part of the home from scratch. (Maybe just one room just for nostalgia and fun?) I was wondering about using green wood, seems like the shrinking would loosen the chinking and if you don't have a kiln the logs would take several years to dry.... I skimmed thru my Foxfire book and they use green wood, but I never saw shrinkage addressed, maybe I just missed it. Seems to me if you build it with green wood like they did, it would be a constant battle to keep the chinking tight...maybe that's where the term "drafty old cabin" came from....just kinda thinking out loud here so to speak....

M.R.    Posted 01-27-2003 at 09:10:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
"We plan to build a log home in a year or two."

How about selecting the trees you'll be useing and girdling them before the sap really starts up this spring? They'll have time to cure out some standing until used.

Double ring em with a chain saw. Fast & easy.

Dave    Posted 01-27-2003 at 10:33:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've never heard of that. I looked it up and it definately gives me something to think about.
I have been looking at all of the big pines killed by pine beetles a couple of years ago and thinking what a shame it is that wood can't be used for anything. They tell me that the beetles do something that makes the wood rot real quick....seems impossible to me, but that's what "they" say...

kraig WY    Posted 01-27-2003 at 07:33:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
In 1972 I went to Alaska to work on the railroad. I lived in the Lignite-Healy area but there was no place to live but the Railroad Hotel. I squated on Railroad land and built a cabin from the local (green lodgepole pine) trees. Lived in the cabin for two year. Green trees did shrink, crack, and poop. Neighbor lived in a cabin that had been build 30 years before. It also shrink, crack, and poops. Chinking had to be maintained every year. Its been 31 years since I built the cabin. Its still standing and is a cozy little thing. My advise is to go ahead and build it. You'll end up with more then the cabin. I have great memories of living there with two kids (under three).
Oh, by the way, winter was setting in so I didn't have time to peal the logs. Later, I'll find a picture of the cabin and try to post it here.

Mike D.    Posted 01-27-2003 at 11:56:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hello Kraig,
I'd sure like to see those pictures of your place in Alaska. Can you post them?

Dave    Posted 01-27-2003 at 10:14:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
yea,I'd like to see it :)

Kraig WY OK    Posted 01-27-2003 at 17:02:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'll try to get them tonight and post them in the morning. I have to convert the normal pictures to digital so I can post them.

screaminghollow    Posted 01-27-2003 at 07:33:01       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I've seen plans here and there for solar heated kilns pretty much made by closing a stack of lumber in a plastic tent type thing. Maybe in Mother Earth News or Back Home magazine. The one article I read also had a wood stove heat source for a kiln.
I've been told that there is a majic temperature which needs to be reached to kill some type of cells in the green wood and after that it can be pretty much dried naturally without checking too bad. I've air dried some cherry and walnut naturally with out too much checking, poplar however splits wide open. I've got a fair size stand of poplar some 24 to 30 inches in diameter and straight trunks 30 feet high. I thought about having them sawn into 10 x 6's to make a log cabin. Problem would be to dry them with minimal checking. I would use a wide overhang to keep the weather off the walls.

DeadCarp    Posted 01-27-2003 at 04:07:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
We built a 20-ft-square one once with green Poplar, probably the last traditional choice but it's what we had, and it's too brittle to spike when it dries. Staked it together with rebar, and it's behaved real nice. Oh we preserved the outside. So far it's 23 years old and still standing. We chinked with expanded-metal strips and used a grout bag to squish the mud and it's still there too. If i had it to do again, i'd saw them 3 sides instead of all that peeling & be LOTS more fussy about insulating the roof though - cute and rustic but the place leaks heat like crazy.

Okie-Dokie    Posted 01-27-2003 at 16:11:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
There is an outfit in Pryor, Okla. that does just what you are talking about. Seems as the logs cure out, they just settle and after a year or so, all they have to do is take it back apart, haul and re-assemble it cabin and use Perma-chink. They do not put the windows and doors in till all the settling has finished and the cabin is on the customer's property.

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