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Building workshop – The final row

June 11, 2017

If the first rows of logs were easy as pie then the last ones had to be a b!tch. We assembled the last rows with a crew of 6 adults. And even that proved to be quite a challenge. Yes, we could have called in a mobile crane and lifted these 7,5  meter long logs 3 meters high into place at ease. But our log house building is a hobby and improvisation is an important part of having fun with the project. So, we lifted the final logs up first with the help of a step ladder and the large work platform on one side of the building and then repeating the same stunt on the other side after moving everything to the other end. The logs that bridge over the driveway are not one piece but they are 7,5 meters and 4,5 meters long to cover the 12 meters length of the workshop.

The two logs are connected with a metal plate and 10 nails. One keeps the shorter log slightly elevated on one side while connecting the two logs. When one lowers the log into place, the movement pulls the logs tighter together. The connection is ultimately hidden in the joint itself and one cannot see afterwards that there are actually two longs instead of one long one.

Once all logs are assembled in place, the work with wood stops for the time being and the builder needs to re-visit the metal working skills in order to cut the tightening rods to the right length. The tightening rods are another example for comparison Kontio and Mammuttikoti, two major log house manufacturers in Finland: The photo below shows one M12 and one M16 tightening rod. However, the M16 tightening rod does not belong to the 200 mm thick logs from Mammuttikoti. No, Mammuttikoti tries to optimise its profits by delivering M12 tightening rods even for a over 200 thick wall. Kontio then again delivered a M16 tightening rod for a 95 mm slim wall. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that one can put significantly more force on the logs with a M16 rod and prevent them from twisting while they are drying naturally.

Another quality difference between Mammuttikoti and Kontio can be noticed from the readiness degree of the door support beams:

The door support beams that are to be attached to the logs must have a groove for each screw allowing for the logs to settle while the doorframe itself remains in the same place. Kontio does deliver these door support beams (and the window versions) with readily cut grooves and one only needs to screw them into place. Mammuttikoti did not provide the same service and one needs to cut these oneself either with a circular saw (which leads to potentially to slim grooves) or with a router (which takes a significant amount of time).

With all the logs assembled one can finally get a feeling for how high 3,30 metre actually are. The drive-through is more than high enough for the average car…

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