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Log Cabin Construction

Facts About Log Cabins

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Diagram of notched logs for log home

To build a frontier style log cabin, cut notches on the ends of each log. Stack the logs and fit the notched ends together at the corners.

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With little more than an ax, North America's homesteaders turned timber into sturdy, practical homes.

The frontier style log cabin:

  • was introduced by Swedish settlers in the early 1600s
  • used no nails
  • contained only one room
  • was only 10 feet wide
  • measured 12 to 20 feet long
  • had at least one glass window
  • included a loft area for sleeping

To build a frontier style log cabin:

  • lay a rock or stone foundation to keep logs above the damp soil
  • square off each log
  • cut notches on the top and bottom of each end
  • stack the logs and fit the notched ends together at the corners
  • "chick" (or stuff) sticks and wood chips in the gaps between the logs
  • fill remaining spaces with mud
  • cut open a door and at least one window
  • build a stone fireplace
  • rake the dirt and gravel floor smooth
Does this sound too rustic? If you prefer your "cabin" to have all the modern amenities, see Build Your Own Log Home.
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