Building a Log Cabin


Building a log cabin is one of the greatest adventures I have been on! It all began when I saw several old log cabins down in West Virginia. I was fascinated with the axe marks and the grey chinking between the logs.

I always liked old barns with hand hewn beams so seeing these same style logs in cabin walls was incredible. Upon further study I noticed how the doors, windows and jambs were also hand made. My artistic side was stirring. I wanted to build my own.

Building a Log CabinClick to enlarge

I now understand that building a log cabin does not take a great amount of previous experience or talent. It takes a lot of persistence and good resources.

When I say resources, I am referring to a book like Charles McRaven’s The Classic Hewn-Log House or a web site like this with details of real working knowledge.



You will find that building a log cabin is very simple.
Most of the work is cutting, peeling and shaping your logs. As you begin to work out your cabin, here are some questions to consider:
  • What kind of wood will you use? This is very important since some wood types are very poor choices.
  • What size, shape and style of log cabin do you want to build?
  • Will you hew your logs with an axe and adze or have them sawn on a sawmill or or chainsaw mill? I started with a broad axe but after hewing four 22 ft logs I realized I did not have the time or the back for it! The cutting position for the broad axe irritated a previous back injury. I finished with a chainsaw mill. This did not get me the axe marks but overall, I am happy with my cabin. I now have a greater respect for those marks and the men or woman who made them.

    Log Cabin Notch Dovetail Notch

  • Will you design the cabin yourself, copy someone's project or use professionally drawn plans?
  • Which type of corner notch do you like and have the time and skill to make?
  • What needs to be done to your site to prep for construction?
  • What kind of foundation do you need and like?
  • How will you get the logs (especially the top levels) up?
  • Where can you find windows that will look right and function well?
  • Will your cabin have a porch?
  • What will the interior of your cabin be like?


What do you want to know about building a log cabin?

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Answers from Banjoe

Click below to see previously asked questions...

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