by Ray Johnson
WHAT SIZE LOGS SHOULD BE USED FOR BUILDING LOG CABINS?
Ray, it has been my observation that cabin builders tend to use what they have on hand! I am not sure if you are referring more to the diameter of the logs or to the length. I will answer both simply.
First, you can do whatever you like. There are not many hard and fast rules...maybe only one or two...when it comes to log cabins. In regards to diameter, the smaller your trees, the more you will need. I have seen cabins with logs 18 inches or wider and ones with 5-6 inch logs. If your logs are that small, you will probably want to keep them round so you don't lose a single centimeter of height...but be sure to shave off the bark to keep the logs from rotting.
With length, the age and size of your trees will tell you what you have to work with. Most of the time, you won't be working with logs longer than 20-25 feet. There are a few longer than that, but few people have access to that kind of forest.
If your logs are far shorter, you will have to get creative in your design. Some pioneer builders spliced logs together. I am no expert at this, but it wouldn't take too much to figure out a method.
Another idea if you only have short logs is to build a stockade style cabin with the logs going straight up and down. This gives you a whole different look from my favorite hand hewn cabins, but I have heard that stockade log cabins go up very fast and you hardly need any help. The logs are so small, one man can lift them.
Well, I hope this answers your question. Feel free to comment back and let me know what kind of project you are thinking of. Thanks ---Banjoe
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