When we build a log house we try to do everything on our site so that re-assembly is quick and so that all of the following trades can do their work without delay.
When the first round of log work is completed on our site we mark out all the electrical chases. Holes are drilled and marked in orange. As construction continues we drill all the electrical holes as we build. This way we know that when the log structure is completed that all the holes are finished and that the wires will pass through. When the building is set up on your site it is easy to go around with a drill, run a hole down through the sub-floor and start a pull rope.
The logs are mortised as we build to accept standard electrical boxes for switches and outlets. We also flatten the log so that the cover plate fits tight. Many builders grind a large area for this, we make it fit.
All the door and window openings in your log house are accurately cut. A jig and guide are used for the vertical chain saw cuts and a straight edge guides the router. We cut key ways to accept a 2x4 in the logs and bevel back and sand the log ends. We also supply those 2x4's and the entire rough frame for all the doors and windows that are cut into the log structure.
A standard window or door for a 2x6 framed wall has a 6 ˝" jamb. This is what we supply. Each one is cut, and fit into the log wall opening while on our site. This ensures that the rough frame fits and saves the onsite hassle for a carpenter to either fur out a 2x6 jamb (which is just 5 ˝" wide) or the time and expense of ripping down a 2x8 to fit. Its just a simple matter of sealing around the opening as would be done with any window and popping it in.
The walls are not uniform in round log construction and installing cabinets can be difficult if the log builder doesn’t prepare for it. We flatten the log walls for kitchen cabinets, shower stalls, whatever is needed so that installation is easy. Its all covered in the owner’s construction manual.
We typically countersink and drill a pilot hole in the bottom round for lag screw to fix the log house to the sub-floor and foundation. The top round of log work is also bolted down to the previous round. These holes are drilled on our site before shipping and a lag screw is run in to ensure that they will go in easily on your site. If required, we drill for through bolts as we build. This way we know that they all line up, are not missed as can happen when drilling during take down and that the holes are always within the lateral groove.
All log walls are scribed by hand and after rough cutting with a chain saw are also finished to the scribe line by hand with a chisel or gouge. Not as fast as the many in the industry who use axes or grinders, but much more accurate. Our lateral, or long grooves are cut to remove the minimum amount of wood. They are shallow, as narrow as possible and specially cut to accept emseal log home tape during re-assembly. Nearly 25 years of experience has shown that a narrow lateral groove that is not deeply cut fits best over time. The log home tape just inside the edge gives the best seal we have found.
The two main notches we use in log construction are the saddle and dove tail notch. The dove tail notch can be used in either the “hewn” log style or round log construction. A saddle notch only works in the round log style.
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