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How to build the walls for your log cabin

Building the walls for your log cabin is probably one of the hardest parts. It’s hard because it’s definitely not a one person job, and because you have to make sure that you leave adequate space for your windows and doors. However, if you are prepared for the work and know what you need to do, then that will make it much easier.

Self cut log walls

A log wall generally refers to a cabin build where you have sourced your own logs. The logs are then machine or hand turned and delivered to you as the raw ingredient – logs. Building the walls for your cabin with logs will take a little bit extra work, but the knowledge that this is your build from start to finish will make it truly satisfying.

Joints

Depending on how you want your finished log cabin to look, will be decided by the type of joint that you choose to use;
Saddle Notch – The standard joint that is needed when building walls with logs, is a saddle notch joint. This joint is used where the logs meet at a perpendicular angle – at the corners. You need to mark where the meet but with an equal amount of overhang from each log. Calculate the angle and depth of cut that will be needed so that when they are fitted together, the fit is near perfect. Then start to cut.
Dovetail – If the saddle notch sounds too daunting or too complicated, then a dovetail joint is the next best alternative. You can find dovetail joints on drawers or jewellery boxes – it’s another way of joining corners together to ensure that the fit is perfect without gaps.

Construction

Once you have settled on the type of joint that you want to use, it’s time to build your walls. Start from the bottom and work your way up. You will need to work on each wall level as you build it. This means that you can work in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, but once you decide which way to go, you must stick to it.

Pre-cut log walls

Nowadays it’s very possible to build a log cabin whereby all the hard measuring and cutting has been done for you. If you are using this method – work out what your parts are and follow the instructions.

Joints

With many pre-cut log cabin walls, the joint used is the ‘tongue and groove’. The wall logs are then place with the tongue towards the top and the groove at the bottom.

Construction

When you start to build the walls, it’s a good idea to use a rubber mallet or a lump hammer to gently, but firmly fit the logs into each other. Repeat this process until all the walls have been constructed.

Sealants

Regardless of the method you used to build the walls of your timber home, both need to be sealed properly. A good sealant will prevent any moisture getting in and destroying your logs and home.

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