How to tie a prusik knot. I used this knot to hold the logs mid-air so I could adjust the position of the tractor. Used with a triple-block pulley system, a piece of 1/2" braided rope can hold a 6,000 lb log in place so you can re-adjust the tractor.
- Dig 4 foot deep holes, with an angled trench leading down to the hole. The trench ends up being 3' deep near the hole. Don't dig the trench down to 4 feet because you need that at least a foot on all sides to keep the pole upright once it is vertical.
- prepare poles with cleats to hold the tie ropes in place. Each pole gets 2 tie / anchor / guy ropes.
- call your buddies from church to come help. About 8 guys should be able to do it. You need two of the guys to hold the anchor ropes so the pole doesn't go sideways.
- use a long aircraft cable and a tractor. have the guys start lifting the pole. Once the pole is about 6' off the ground, the tractor can take it the rest of the way. The two guys on anchor stay on anchor until the pole pops into the hole.
- fill in the hole around the pole with dirt, and tie the two anchor ropes to the base of the neighboring poles. These ropes relieve bending stress on the poles caused by lifting logs. My logs weigh between 3,000 - 6,000 lbs.
- hang pulleys from the lifting poles. Triple blocks are best for rope, which will give you a 7:1 advantage (a 5,600 lb log becomes a manageable 800 lb log when using a triple block).
- lay the log next to the piers. for the 1st layer of logs, make sure the part of the log facing down is facing up and drill holes that line up with the rebar. for 1/2" rebar, drill holes that are either 5/8" or even 3/4". bigger holes mean easier to slide onto rebar. For all other layers, use 1/2" holes for 1/2" rebar. Roll the log back over. Use straps and a tractor (or a car) to lift logs. Use a second car to stabilize the log over the rebar.
- lower log onto rebar. Bend excess 6" of rebar over log once in place, and cut off the extra beyond that. Done.
- next layer, offset drill holes by 2'. Only drill through 1st log, and pound rebar into lower log. Don't sharpen rebar to a point- it'll split the log.
This is how we did it: Using piers for this foundation made it possible to use about 24 cubic yards of concrete, instead of about 45 cubic yards for a typical home, while still maintaining structural integrity. According to 2 engineers, the 1st layer of logs provides the strength that a footer would typically provide.
We used 5/8" - 3/4" plywood half sheets I found on craigslist- they were 4'x4' sheets. The guy I bought them from said they were used one time each to ship wheels to the GM plant. We used 3' square based truncated pyramidal piers as laid out on our plans, except for the 3 largest piers- those I made even larger- 5.5' square, and 5' tall.
Nailed the forms together with ringshank nails, then added 3 collars to each form.
Laid them all out in the foundation holes. buried them up to their necks with dirt, just in case. Had the cement truck fill the inner piers first, then come back the next day and fill the outer piers. It took three trucks of cement. It cost about $1200. Put a piece of rebar in each one while wet.
Waited two weeks and then un-buried the piers, peeled the plywood off. Found the piers were somewhat bumpy- didn't beat the concrete hard enough, so mixed up more cement and covered the faces of the piers. topped off with felt and pressure treated wood.
The logs are drilled and then set down on each piece of rebar. The rebar is bent over the top of the log to hold the log in place.
I welded this shingle elevator to lift boards and stuff up on the roof. So far, it's lifted about 17,000 lbs of lumber, foam, shingles, plywood, tar paper, nails and screws, 24 feet at a time. I hook up a 7:1 pulley I originally made for lifting logs, and 200 feet of 5/8" poly rope. I load the elevator with supplies, I tie the rope to the car, and back up. Then climb the ladder and unload the stuff onto the roof.
Shingling the roof of the cabin. 109 bundles of shingles. Roof dimensions: 57 feet long, 28' wide x 2. That includes 17 feet of overhang - 9' on the front, 8' on the rear (the front faces South into the prevailing winds). There is also 4 feet of overhang on the eaves.
A demonstration of the foam cutter I made from Nichrome wire, part of my scaffolding, and a variable power controller. I have to cut 1400 cu ft of foam into uniform thicknesses to install on my roof as insulation. The decking on the roof is complete, the underlayment is in place. I have enough 2x10's to box in this foam. Just need this foam insulation, covered over by plywood / OSB, tar paper, and then shingles, and the roof will be complete!
Note: I'm just a regular guy building a log home from scratch. I have no professional construction experience. I'm just good at following directions.
After installing the Ridge Pole, we had the crane operator release the pressure on it, and it immediately "rolled" a bit. This video shows how we rolled it back to center. Then I installed more rebar pins in it, and it is holding up very well. Blog: https://loghomejourney.wordpress.com/
installing quick release pins on the straps from the crane for lifting rafters- saves having to climb up 30 feet to release the straps. The pins can easily be pulled out from the ground via a long string. Blog: https://loghomejourney.wordpress.com/
I cut down this 56' long Sweet Gum last fall, and then couldn't even budge it with my tractor. It is 33" at the base, 16" at the tip, and it's estimated weight is close to 10,000 lbs. It will be installed at the peak of the roof, and hold up the rafters.
This is the same log in "Stacking one log - start to finish - LHBA method". I cut this out so as not to take away from the process shown in the other video, but this can happen. The problem is that my triple blocks are made from single blocks, and I left the hooks attached- so there are 3 hooks on each pulley. The 6,000 strap attached to the log is almost too thick to fit in the hooks so when I rested the log on the wall (watch the video carefully), the strap slipped up off the hook. When that happened, gravity took over and the unbalanced log fell off the house. It did minor damage to the butt of one of the logs below it, but nothing major to itself and by design, no one got hurt (not luck- there's no place for luck with a 5,000 lb log).
This problem can be mitigated by using electrical tape to keep the loop on the hook closed.
When lifting logs, I announce to everyone what I'm doing, when I'm doing it, and I make sure the area is clear before proceeding. No one "rides logs" on my property. Thanks for watching.
Cutting down a pine tree. This one had a bad hook in it, so I had to cut higher up on the trunk. And it was bigger than my 20" saw could handle. And my saw was dull. Sorry, but just wanted to show the technique. For the haters: I cut down about 100 trees with this saw, no accidents. Not a professional, and not perfect, but it works.
Also known as Butt & Pass method. Using ropes and pulleys - some antique, some I made myself, and a 1967 Ford 3000 diesel tractor. This will be a 2 story, 40x40, 3000 sq ft home.
The gaps will be filled in with rock wool, and smoothed over with mortar chinking after I get the electrical run in.
I cut all the trees myself. My wife and I peeled all of them and moved them from ours and the neighboring property. The largest log (so far) is 29" at the base, and weighs around 5,500 lbs. The ridge pole will be the heaviest log at the peak of the roof, will be 60' long and weigh around 8,500 lbs. We are hoping to get the roof on this spring and begin work on the interior this summer. Hoping to move in sometime next year. Started stacking logs June 15, 2017.
All of this is done after I get off work and on the weekends, with no loan (except a small owner financed loan on the land). Pay as you go. When complete, I estimate the build cost to be around $60,000.