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Thread: Using poor quality logs

  1. #1

    Using poor quality logs

    Me again!

    In some of the threads I have read, it says that one of the reasons for using the butt & pass method is that it allows the use of poor quality logs, logs that have little commercial value, unlike Douglas for and red cedar

    Can someone explain what that means?

    What type of trees produce poor logs?

    Thanks
    Phil

  2. #2
    LHBA Member rreidnauer's Avatar
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    I believe there is a joke about aspen trees, that if you cut one down, it will be rotten before it hits the ground.

    There are trees more and less rot resistant than others. Basically, the LHBA construction methods focus on controlling moisture, (the catalyst for rot) hence allowing less rot resistant logs to be considered
    All my bad forum habits I learned from LHN

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  3. #3
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    So aspen logs can not be used? I thought I had read on here that several people had used aspen?? We have several aspen on our land, they have minimal taper and 12" to 14" diameter, we were hoping to use them

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Determined2Quit View Post
    So aspen logs can not be used? I thought I had read on here that several people had used aspen?? We have several aspen on our land, they have minimal taper and 12" to 14" diameter, we were hoping to use them
    You can. But if it was me and I planned on using them, I might consider bigger overhangs and a nice wrap around porch.

  5. #5
    LHBA Member rreidnauer's Avatar
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    They can be used, as Arrowman points out, with additional measures put in place to protect them. Perhaps, if you have other species logs to use, put the most rot resistant near the bottom of the wall, and less resistant up high under the roof overhangs.

    www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplrn/fplrn153.pdf
    All my bad forum habits I learned from LHN

    Rod Reidnauer
    Class of Apr. 9-10, 2005
    Thinking outside the vinyl sided box

  6. #6
    Just keep this in mind, you can use a pipe wrench for a hammer in a pinch but it's worth the time and effort to just go get the hammer instead of busting your knuckles and then going to get the hammer.

  7. #7
    JEEZ but that's the pot calling the kettle black, in my area pine is the only tree that grows straight enough to even think of building a cabin with, so guess what I'm using and guess what it's rot resistance is like, but if I had a choice I would use a better tree.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowman View Post
    You can. But if it was me and I planned on using them, I might consider bigger overhangs and a nice wrap around porch.
    We have planned a 4' overhang on the eave sides and 8' on the peaks. Do you think that is sufficient? Of course our plans my change once we take the course

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rreidnauer View Post
    They can be used, as Arrowman points out, with additional measures put in place to protect them. Perhaps, if you have other species logs to use, put the most rot resistant near the bottom of the wall, and less resistant up high under the roof overhangs.

    www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplrn/fplrn153.pdf
    Thanks for the info rreidnauer! We are still unsure if we will harvest our own aspen logs or get spruce trucked in, and like I said plans may change once we take the course. We explored all our land last week and we discovered 2 very old cabins out in the bush and one is still standing up quite well!! Almost positive is was made with aspen...but the coolest thing is that is was Butt and Pass method!! The other little cabin was built right on the ground, with aspen, the trees right on the ground were quite rotted but the others were still pretty hard. Difficult to estimate the age of the cabin, but from the size of the tree growing in the inside of the cabin we would guess at least 50 years old. If our cabin lasts 50 years, it will definitely outlast us LOL

  10. #10
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Build with what you got... unless you can got something better.

    Our current build is using ugly, nasty, tapery, and susceptible to rot, Ponderosa Pine. Kinda wish I'd used Douglas Fir but ours will turn out fine and they are really cool looking logs.

    I'd build with Aspen in a heartbeat if the logs were really cool. I wouldn't fall them until the foundation was up and I'd be sure there was a roof (with huge overhang) on it before the fall rains hit.
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

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