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How to build a log cabin from free Forest products.


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Hootowl café is no longer my web page.

Winter sultice

winter soltice

winter soltice

A very informative video

Buy a keyless lock set for the cabin at Amazon

How to erect a log cabin

This hub is on how to erect a log cabin,which I have always wanted to do from scratch.

It isn't that expensive to build a log cabin if you live where there are lots of forests as I do.

I estimate it will cost around $5000 to build this cabin.

It costs me $20 for 100 logs that are 150 feet long and are 6 inches in diameter.

You get the permit from the forest service,and grab a good chain saw,hook up your trailer and start cutting logs that are already dead.

You noticed I said already dead.This way the tree has shrunk by losing all the sap it had stored.So you will not have a lot of shrinkage after you chink the logs.

You cannot cut green logs for a cabin without bidding on a section of timber which is to expensive.I do not haul 150 foot logs home either as I cut them into 16 foot lengths or less.

You tell the forest service that you want to buy corral posts and they will issue a permit that you fill out when you are done cutting a load and ready to go home with it.

There are many places that have plans to build a log cabin as I found a book of information on how to erect a log cabin by checking out Log Cabin Ads.

The most important part of a cabin is the foundation,so I will start here;

This cabin is a 12 by 16 foot structure.

I placed 16 cement peer blocks in 4 rows with 4 blocks per row.

After leveling the blocks all to the same height,you will mix one bag of ready mix cement for each block and pour around the blocks for more stability.

I then placed 4 -8 by 8 inch treated timbers that are 16 feet long on each row of blocks.

Then I cut 2x6 wood blocks for cross blocking between the timbers.

I then purchased 6 each 1 1/2 inch tongue and groove floor panels (plywood)and staggered them across the timbers.

Now the real work begins,as you are ready to start laying the logs.

You need two or more persons to do the job of building unless you have all year to do it yourself.

I placed logs all around the foundation walls and drove 12 inch spikes every 4 feet.

For the second teer,you will have to notch each log to fit over the bottom log snug,and then when you have laid logs all around the first layer you will drive 12 inch spikes at 4 foot intervals again and repeat this process until you reach a height of 8 feet.

Follow your plans and do not drive a spike where there is going to be a window or door opening.

Keep in mind that every tier has to be placed big end little end or you will get out of level with the walls.

When you get to the eight foot mark,you will cut a doorway so you can enter your cabin and work off a ladder from inside easier.I worked inside and my helper worked outside until I cut a door way.I am going to have a 36 inch door,so I cut the opening 40 inches wide by 8 foot high.

Now you will have to put ceiling joists on the top of the 8 foot frame.You will cut into the top tier log and the joist also to get a snug fit and make sure it is level with the top log if you want to put a loft up at one end.

Now you will have to decide how steep of a roof pitch you want.Mine is 6 feet because I can walk in the middle area of the loft without cracking my head.

I will use a 2x12 header for the roof peak and 2x6s for my rafters and set the rafters 16 inches on center.This will give the roof stability.

I will use blocking every 4 feet so as to have something to nail my ply-board into at the 4 foot intervals.

Now I will place 30 pound felt over the plywood,then will use corrugated roofing sheets for the finished roof,with a metal roof cap.

I found that if you cut the gable logs as you build up toward the roof line it is easier to manage a chainsaw,as you need to cut the gable logs at the same slope as the rafters.


Bunk House

Bunk House

Bunk House

An adventure in log building

An adventure in log building

Erect a log cabin(how to)

Erect a log cabin(how to)

How to erect a log cabin

How to erect a log cabin

Log cabin with porch and loft

Cabin with porch

Cabin with porch

Big horns come for visit.

Big horns come for visit.


Choose your Cabin

If you would like,you can buy Log Cabin Kits fairly cheap now since the recession has put a lot of builders out of business.

Check ads and choose the ones you prefer.

I have found some cabins in the dimensions of 12x12 for $5000 without the roof or floor installed.

But it is much more fun to build your own.

Pride of ownership beats all.

How to erect a log cabin

How to erect a log cabin

How to erect a log cabin

Tools Needed

You will need these major tools to erect a log cabin 12 feet wide x 16 feet long.



5 Lb.sledgehammer

3 lb.sledge hammer

Circular saw

Hand saw

Miter saw


1/4 inch drill

1/2 inch drill

10 inch by 3/8 inch wood bit


Saw Horses

Tape measure

4 Foot Level


Wood Chisel


Material list for this cabin;

16 Pyramid blocks

16 bags Ready mix cement

4 Floor Joists 8x8x16 (treated)

1 2x12x20 foot header board

34 -2x6x10 foot rafters

6 sheets of 1 1/2 inch tongue and groove plywood

Logs (Numerous)

20 lbs. of 12 inch spikes

20 lbs of 3 inch decking screws

10 each 1/2 inch Wafer Board or plywood

20 sheets Roofing Metal

10 lbs. 2" self tapping metal screws

20 feet of Roofing Cap

2 buckets Chinking Compound or 5 sacks Plastic Cement

1 Door

1 Window

2 sheets of 3/4 inch plywood for loft

10 lbs. 1 1/2 inch wood screws (est.)

Now I have installed the tar paper and wafer board on the cabin and  roofed with the metal roofing so far.

Front Porch

I have finished the front porch,which consists of the following materials.

The porch is 16 feet long by six feet wide.

Materials list;

12 each 2x6x16 foot boards for floor.

3 pyramid blocks for foundation piers.

one 17 foot by 10 log for foundation

2 each 4x4x6 foot flooring joists

2 each 4"roundx6 foot flooring poles for joists

8 each 36"x6 foot metal roofing

tar paper for roof

4 each 1/2inch x 4x8 foot plywood siding for roof sheathing

3 each 12"round by 6 foot long cut to size poles for roof studs.

1 each 6x6x17 foot log beam for header.

numerous 3 inch deck screws

numerous 1/2 inch roofing screws with rubber washers.

10 each 2x4x6 foot studs for rafters.

10 each 2x4 metal rafter holders.     

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Cutting the saddle notch in the log with an axe

 Cutting the saddle notch in the log with an axe isn't that hard and it gives you good exercise a well.

Make sure your axe is sharp and a single bladed axe as well,because you will use your wood sledge for driving the axe into the log for precise cuts.

Just follow the proceedure in the video and it will give you all the advise you will need to cut a saddle notch in the log for a perfect fit. 



Pharmk202 on July 31, 2014:

Very nice site! cheap goods

Pharmc318 on July 29, 2014:

Very nice site! cheap goods

Johnb577 on July 23, 2014:

Farmville farms even include free gift that is especially designed for the neighbors on dkcddeeabdka

martellawintek on December 02, 2012:

well kevin i shouldn't give it out but here is there link

filling address , they have a wealth of knowledge ,tell them I give you there number

flread45 on July 01, 2012:

Thanks all,my log home is fully furnished and withstands cold temps down to -20 below so far.

I would not use mortar for chinking though as it shrds dust all the time.

Use chinking compouds and you will have a better home or cabin.

sidds123450 on October 07, 2011:

Great step by step tutorials, thanks..!

Frank (author) from Montana on April 30, 2011:

I shall check out the blog Higgins

higginsmielke on April 30, 2011:

I've built a few log structures and recently built a 12 x 12 using the "skinny D" (my term) style and have found that suited to remote locations with usable timber. The logs are cut laterally with a chainsaw and then edged, and constructed like 3-sided (D) logs. The logs are easier to move around and set. We (my son and I)cut all the trees, made the logs and set up with walls in less than 6 days.Two days clearing the site and putting in the ground posts and beams,and two days on the roof,ten days total.The finished logs are 4-8 inches thick(whole logs were 8-17 inches)and were dragged and set by hand. It is snug and cozy (we spent a couple of nights at -25F there). Pictures are available on the Anchorage Daily News Cabin Blog site under my name (Frank Mielke)if you would like to see how it looks. I've only seen this style once before, on a cabin built in 1908 with whip sawed cottonwood logs (and cottonwood shakes). It is a good method if transporting materials is an issue.

Les Trois Chenes from Videix, Limousin, South West France on December 12, 2010:

Ok, seems straight forward. Getting planning permission in Limousin, France, might not be so simple! Many thanks. You've inspired me to get on with my How To DIY Hubs.

Frank (author) from Montana on November 15, 2010:

It is fun and not real hard to build a small log cabin.

The hardesy part is cutting and loading the logs for transport out of the mountains.

Nevada Logan from USA on July 19, 2010:

Sounds like fun building a log cabin! Back in my days in real estate I sold a log cabin to a young couple and it was fun watching them build it. It was with a crew but it was still fascinating to me.

Frank (author) from Montana on March 13, 2010:

Thanks Mike,hope you can build one.

Michael Shane from Gadsden, Alabama on March 13, 2010:

Great Hub! I'll have to bookmark it! Thanks

Frank (author) from Montana on January 07, 2010:

Yes I am going to add a space outside for bathroom and cabinets for dishs,etc.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on January 07, 2010:

Oh, it's a cabin. How big do you need it? You could add a little storage shed outside, plus some high shelving, and creative space.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on January 06, 2010:

What an adventure and what a cool project. The work sure looks hard but the reward must be huge. I love this hub. It sounds like you are not quite finished, but I imagine that you are enjoying the building as much as you will enjoy staying in it.

flread45 on November 27, 2009:

I don't have the money to build one of those baby's,but this is a real experience and fun..

Beth100 from Canada on November 27, 2009:

Great info! The only log cabins I have built are the Lincoln Log ones. :) Maybe, I'll try the real thing one day after all my practicing... lol

Frank (author) from Montana on November 18, 2009:

You just have to put your mind to it and getter done..mtsi 1098

mtsi1098 on November 18, 2009:

this is great and I have always wanted to do this...No if I can find the time...thanks I enjoyed this

Frank (author) from Montana on November 01, 2009:

Yes I am going to use mortar,but they sell a sticky material in 5 gallon buckets also,expensive though.

lostgirlscat on November 01, 2009:

You're my hero! We live on a small 15 acre farm and it's our dream to erect a log cabin on it. Just one question, we've been researching the various ways to realize this dream, and "full" (meaning using the entire log) cabins generally involves mortar between the logs. Did you use mortar, or will that be involved in your next project? Again, I am SOOO envious!

Frank (author) from Montana on October 21, 2009:

You have a variety of wood products to build one there saberblade

sabrebIade from Pennsylvania on October 21, 2009:

I always wanted one too, and since I am still in NC, Asheville sounds like a great place for one.

Frank (author) from Montana on October 20, 2009:

I have always wanted to build one to,as I am doing now.

It will be big enough for 2 people

Jiberish from florida on October 20, 2009:

Although I will never build one on my own, this was a great Hub. I lived in Asheville, NC for 10 years, and have always wanted to move back and live in a log cabin. Maybe a little larger than the one in the picture. :)

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