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Cabin Porn

Uncle

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Question if I may?

What and how is the wood treated, inside and out, to withstand rain, cold, snow etc?

Locally we have a penetrating wax that maintains easily. Wire brush and re-cote, but at least once or twice annually. But summer goes to 98 deg and winter only down to 38.

What are the solutions for most of the cabins in this thread?

Thanks in advance.

Golden Regards
Uncle
 

gringott

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I don't know what they used to treat the log cabins around here back in the day, but in a termite area they managed to stay around until now, many well over a hundred years old. Get a bit away from town and there are still people living in some of those old cabins.
The next town over moved all the log cabins to the wooded park, pretty cool. We even had a very old two story log cabin near the local HS. I believe they moved it also.
 

Irons

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Question if I may?

What and how is the wood treated, inside and out, to withstand rain, cold, snow etc?

Locally we have a penetrating wax that maintains easily. Wire brush and re-cote, but at least once or twice annually. But summer goes to 98 deg and winter only down to 38.

What are the solutions for most of the cabins in this thread?

Thanks in advance.

Golden Regards
Uncle
For outside stain/sealer this is popular here:
Not sure what they did in the old days.

 

hoarder

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I know of and have been told of many old barns and log cabins as much as 100 years old have never been coated with anything to protect it from ultraviolet light and are still sound. The log cabins had sufficient roof overhang and the barns had vertical siding.
But the paint industry tells us that bad things will happen if we don't buy their products.
I will make this warning; if you ever intend to caulk or chink a structure, do not use any coating that contains paraffin or any kind of wax because adhesion will be marginal.
I think I will simply spray my new log cabin with a borate treatment and let it weather naturally and turn grey. The roof is sufficient to prevent the logs from absorbing a significant amount of moisture.
 

gringott

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hoarder, you have a point.
Nearby we had a home that was sided with those log planks, they had it painted. That was 20 years ago.
They had to rip it all off and replaced it with vinyl.
Yet the antique log cabins didn't have a problem, no paint or coating. Same with the old barns and tobacco sheds around here. No paint, no treatment, no problems.
 

hoarder

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hoarder, you have a point.
Nearby we had a home that was sided with those log planks, they had it painted. That was 20 years ago.
They had to rip it all off and replaced it with vinyl.
Yet the antique log cabins didn't have a problem, no paint or coating. Same with the old barns and tobacco sheds around here. No paint, no treatment, no problems.
The reason most people don't have wood siding on their homes is too much maintenance. Solution: Don't do maintenance. All over America, millions of homeowners go through the grueling task of washing, sanding, stripping and recoating exterior wood every 5 years or so. It looks good but is it worth it? If they just washed it with a pressure washer and sprayed borate solution with a pump sprayer it would be 1/10 the work and be good enough, IMO. The cabins our ancestors lived in didn't have shiny clean logs.
 

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The reason most people don't have wood siding on their homes is too much maintenance. Solution: Don't do maintenance. All over America, millions of homeowners go through the grueling task of washing, sanding, stripping and recoating exterior wood every 5 years or so. It looks good but is it worth it? If they just washed it with a pressure washer and sprayed borate solution with a pump sprayer it would be 1/10 the work and be good enough, IMO. The cabins our ancestors lived in didn't have shiny clean logs.
Another reason old log cabins didn't rot is they used wood types that were resistant to rotting. Just like with fence posts, if you use cedar, bodark, or mesquite (in Texas), they will last for generations, even the part with ground contact.
 

hoarder

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Another reason old log cabins didn't rot is they used wood types that were resistant to rotting. Just like with fence posts, if you use cedar, bodark, or mesquite (in Texas), they will last for generations, even the part with ground contact.
I think in most cases they used trees that were close to the desired home site. Before the age of tractors, they had to be dragged by horses. I hear they mixed species, too. Not many people built log homes after sawmills appeared on the scene. Without cranes, dimension lumber is much easier to work with.
Mostly log homes were built by the earliest frontiersmen. Traditionally, log homes are a Scandinavian thing, but most early frontiersmen were of Scots-Irish descent and they built a log cabin in a few days, bottom logs directly on the ground, low roof covered with sod. The objective was to have something better than a tent while establishing a homestead in desirable areas. The Scots-Irish were brave and adventurous. They risked Indian depredations for the reward of homesteads in rich bottomland. The log homes they built were nothing as sophisticated as the ones Scandinavians had built in their homelands. They were intended as temporary. Often they sold the established homestead at a handsome profit and headed further out for more adventure.
In Central Texas, log cabins were built of Juniper by German settlers. They incorporated a considerable amount of masonry in their structures. As you probably know, many are still standing.
 
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Lt Dan

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types that were resistant to rotting
That right there is the key, hard to find those types here except for cedar, harder still to find that large and straight enough for log construction. Locust is also a good wood that resists rot and termites. Termites are a real problem here, worse than rot, in my opinion, as they will find a way if the construction is in any way so that then can build their tunnel.

I remodeled an old farm house once, in my younger days. The floor joists were made of hewn logs. The real problem with the house, it was built with only a brick foundation and not far enough off the ground. Several of the logs had rotted off at the plate beams where they were hewn into it. However, depending on what type of wood was used, some were as solid as the day they were built. Also, some was eaten up with termites that were selective in what they seemed to like as well.

American chestnut was another wood that was loved for use where it was exposed to the weather, that died out before I was born, so I never got to work with it much.
 

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fackwerk1.jpg
In Central Texas, log cabins were built of Juniper by German settlers. They incorporated a considerable amount of masonry in their structures. As you probably know, many are still standing.
Fackwerk - I used some in a project in the Hill Country, it looked pretty, but it was colder inside than out in the winter. The pic is off the web:
fackwerk.jpg
 
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Uncle

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Thanks for all the feedback and such. Very informative.

Golden Regards
Uncle
 

hoarder

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View attachment 99783

Fackwerk - I used some in a project in the Hill Country, it looked pretty, but it was colder inside than out in the winter. The pic is off the web:
View attachment 99782
I didn't know it was called fackwerk. I don't really like that style of construction because the weight greatly exceeds it's structural integrity. I was referring to the German Texas style log cabins that used a lot of masonry in the foundation, chinking and chimney. They were usually puny because of the limiting length of the timber and were often made as two cabins with a covered dogrun in between.
log_cabin.jpg
 

^updated^

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Kinda OT but I thought it would fit...

Forest Fire Lookout Rentals

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Lookout Rentals are largely provided by the US Forest Service, though other agency rentals are listed when available.

Support Help Center for further info and assistance.
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Lookout Rental How-To's
Renting Fire Lookouts in the Pacific Northwest
History of the USFS Rental Program
Lookout Rentals by Region - Clickable Map
Take a virtual tour of some of these lookout rentals!






 

hoarder

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A dovetail log home built back in the old days without chinking is rare indeed. They managed to not only get the logs to fit snug full length, but the dovetail notches are still tight as well. The logs don't even sag around the door below the header as most do. Mighty fine craftsmanship!
 

DodgebyDave

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Alton

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Those must have been built before the pill and families consisted of 20 some offspring.
Well they kept some of their critters inside too. Never know when a sheep or a goat could come in handy.... don't know about cows or horses.

What I found most interesting is how they used raw timbers. The picture I posted shows how when that place was re-done in "The Great Re-Building" that on the end wall you can see how mortar and brick were run right up to the pre-existing natural timbers of the roof support. The timber that was cut and worked seen along the front of the place and presumably the back were shorter pieces that were barked and shaved or planed to roughly a square peice of lumbr and used under windows and cap oof or support the sections of other materials to provide for the walls. Square wasn't common and what was "square" was all sort of relative.
 
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hoarder

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What I found most interesting is how they used raw timbers. The picture I posted shows how when that place was re-done in "The Great Re-Building" that on the end wall you can see how mortar and brick were run right up to the pre-existing natural timbers of the roof support. The timber that was cut and worked seen along the front of the place and presumably the back were shorter pieces that were barked and shaved or planed to roughly a square peice of lumbr and used under windows and cap oof or support the sections of other materials to provide for the walls. Square wasn't common and what was "square" was all sort of relative.
The roof overhang kept those timbers dry so that expansion and contraction wouldn't spit out the masonry. Back then, I guess only rich carpenters owned a level, the rest made do with what they had. Since hand hewn lumber wasn't straight anyway, it didn't matter much.
Those must have been built before the pill and families consisted of 20 some offspring.
I was wondering about the size of that structure. In the US, when people had 4 or 5 kids, they usually lived in 900 square foot homes. Bigger homes were phased in during the sixties and seventies when having children was no longer fashionable.
 

Alton

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The roof overhang kept those timbers dry so that expansion and contraction wouldn't spit out the masonry. Back then, I guess only rich carpenters owned a level, the rest made do with what they had. Since hand hewn lumber wasn't straight anyway, it didn't matter much.
I was wondering about the size of that structure. In the US, when people had 4 or 5 kids, they usually lived in 900 square foot homes. Bigger homes were phased in during the sixties and seventies when having children was no longer fashionable.
I have to think that in ages past before the industrial revolution on up to the 1970's that available money/goods and available building materials weighed much more heavily in the size of house built moreso than number of children. Children were not just the future generation but were also extra hands to hand homestead chores and something like insurance for one's old age care. More children = more hands to help AND provided better odds of enough surviving to care for you in the latter years. Having children really was more a matter practicalities than accidents and uncared for things like they are today.

Back then children worked the fields and cared for the animals and worked with mom and dad to provide for the family. Such things are not allowed today. Mom and maybe a dad work in ways and at places where children would be useless so the minds, bodies and lives of children are wasted away by strangers teaching lies in schools and numerous electronic devices to keep the kids occupied and out of the way and care of adults.

And thanks for mentioning hewing axe! Most days any more I forget many names of all kinds of stuff. Planes came to mind because I've actually held an ancient Roman plane in my hands and they are really not much different than those we used into the 20th century. I enjoy using planes and especially the wood body planes because, like a car going down the road they "talk to you", you know, tell you how they're operating, the condition of the wood you're planing or road you're driving on. Iron body planes, though efficient and provide a certain precision in adjustment are like bludgeons and disconnect the users from the material they are working on. Just too industrial.
 

hoarder

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Agree completely. My dad grew up in a family of 9 siblings. When Grandpa built the farmhouse (in the thirties I think), he used a lot of salvaged materials like windows and staircase and brick. The children were tasked with chipping the old mortar off the used bricks. That must be a pretty sharp contrast to fiddling with electronic gizmos.