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Building classes - Appalachian style

Friday, August 15th, 2008

THE QUESTION
It was Bob who asked this tremendously difficult question about Appalachian styled half dovetail joint log home classes. It has taken long time from me to ask from the people I know and people I don’t know. Such a specific information is hard to dig out to the daylight and I am not able to give complete answer for this. However, here’s what I got:

THE ANSWER

Log homes and log cabins
From the building point of view, log homes are rather simple creatures. This is why building classes focus on simple techniques to build them - simple stuff for simple purpose - cut them to right length and stack them higher and higher, holes can be chinked no need for finesse. Appalachian half and full dovetail joints are generally the most difficult styles for corner notching. This is not really that kind of stuff you want to start with your first log home project.

Timber framing
Timber framing, on the other hand, is mighty complicated and potentially much more difficult than building a log home. Where log home course takes a weekend, timber framing course takes a week. Now that is very crude rule but helps to make the case. Timber framing involves much more calculating, angles, cuts, corners etc. than log home building, therefore I would say that any person who has successfully completed timber framing course can stack up a log home with little help from blueprints.

Suggestion
Enroll yourself to a timber framing course and take the things you learn there to build a log home. With the knowledge of timber frame joinery under your belt, making Appalachian dovetail joints with a fixed corner angle measure won’t be impossible feat.

RESOURCES
As I wrote, I asked from people I know and from people that I don’t know :) Here are some places for you to go and check:

Grand Oaks Timber Framing do it like it should be done. Excellent course and at the same time you get lots of new friends that can help you in your project.

Susan tipped me off with this one - Charles McRaven. Charles has the whole homesteading thing going on from stonework and blacksmithing to working with logs. Unfortunately his Log Workshop for year 2008 has already been held.

Rob gave me this tip and it fits like a glove. You see, we came down from timber framing to log working and our final destination is Appalachian log home installation class. Notice how every step down takes less time and money. With this last option you even get a coupon, which you can use to buy their product.

Handcrafted or milled?

Sunday, July 6th, 2008
  • Log home photos

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