Oma Tupa, Oma Lupa
One’s Own Cabin, One’s Own Freedom (Finnish Proverb)
You learn the skills necessary to construct your own handcrafted log cabin or home at the Great Lakes School of Log Building in northern Minnesota. Save money, get hands-on experience and gain personal satisfaction by attending one of our monthly workshops. The Great Lakes School has been promoting and teaching the craft of Scandinavian full-scribed log construction for 40 years. Our ten-day courses are designed to accommodate all skill levels, from novice on up, and we invite men and women of all ages to participate.
The school is a member of the International Log Builders’ Association (ILBA) and teaching is in accordance with the Association’s new Effective Practices & Methods for Handcrafted Log Building.
2016 and 2017 course offerings:
The full 2016 schedule is printed on the “Dates and Rates” page on this website. One course remains for 2016: October 19-28. Five participants are registered and there is room for more. There is still time to secure your needed tools and safety gear.
It is uncertain whether or not a full season’s schedule to courses will be held in 2017. However, two are scheduled for sure: April 19-28 and May 17-26. Several are already signed up.
You can register for a course on the phone, mail or email. On the registration page, avoid the PDF version. Call 1.218.365.2126 with any questions.
Above are members of a recent course : Dale, Hayward, WI; Carrie, Bovey, MN; and Gena and Bob from Green Bay, WI. We were all having such a good time we wanted to extend the course for another week…but home and jobs beckoned.
Left to right above are members of a recent workshop: Adam, Eagle River, WI; Eric, Mounds View, MN; Richard, Grapevine, TX; Mike, Lino Lakes, MN; Kevin, Tomahawk, WI; Nathan, Eagle River, WI.
On the July workshop (above and below), Jill and Danny from Indiana, Colleen from Netherlands, and Richard from Texas, calculate the kingpost cut, then later pose after completing the roof system.
Below: During the May, 2012 course, Dan and Dan, each from a different part of California, demonstrate flattening for a bottom chord truss member with a helper handle and large Jonsered chainsaw.
Above: Future logbuilders Rev. Mark Olson, Minnesota, Todd Cade, Ohio, and Chris Strub, Alaska, finish a log truss for the current building on the November, 2011 workshop.
Above: Megan Bendson and Sheila Morris work on flattening a cap plate during the July, 2011 course.
||See Log Review Newsletter for news on the current struggle to keep precious metal mining out of our area of forests and lake – and to prevent our school property from being taken over by the Minnesota DNR for exploratory drilling by the mining companies. See how you can help. (Or go to main page of http://www.snowshoecountry.com for a mining blog)
Outside Magazine, October 2010, listed our log building course as number 15 on their LifeList of experiences you should have during your lifetime: “Build a cabin in the mountains. Building one yourself requires at least six months,…tools, and serious skills. Hesitating? Increase your chances of success by taking a course at the Great Lakes School of Log Building (schooloflogbuilding.com).”
If you are thinking of sending a relative or friend on a log building course in 2012 – as a holiday, anniversary or birthday present, tuition gift certificates can be easily and quickly arranged. Call 218.365.2126 for information.
Very occasionally, partial bartering for courses could be a possibility. For instance, we currently have use for a clean pop-up or hard camper trailer – 16-20′
Brent and Megan Bendson of North Carolina and Sheila and Terry Morris from the Toronto area comprised the July, 2011 basic and roof workshop.
The recent stonework course was represented by Chris Lambert, Minnesota (with jar of iced tea – not urine sample; Mike Gay, Michigan; Monica Archambo, Minnesota.
On the June course were Todd Williams, Minnesota, and Chuck and Tammie Kellum, Mississippi. Mike Gay from Michigan had just departed before we got around to taking the group photo.
The May, 2011 course included Mark Lambrecht, Wisconsin; Shaun Merritt, New York; Megan Reynolds, California.
The September, 2010 course consisted of Todd Ritchie, Wisconsin; Logan Swanson, Texas; George Scholz, Wisconsin; Jeff Krogstad, Minnesota; and Kevin Bryce, Michigan.
Finishing up a timber-truss on the July, 2009 course are (clockwise) Brett Adams, Ohio; Chris & Debra Page-O’Connell, Wisconsin; Paul Slocum, Minnesota; Rev. Robert Hurkmans & his daughter, Alina, from eastern Ontario.
The participants in the free three-day roof workshop May 30-June 1, 2008, are shown below after the ridgelog was fitted and placed. l to r: Mark Aufiery, PA; Jon Anderson, MN; Scott & Bruce Blacketter, MN.
Bruce Blacketter trims a kingpost to accommodate the ridgelog.
Jeff Garland of Indiana cuts a window on the April 2008 course. One of the most successful and enjoyable courses ever held (at least from the instructor’s perspective), the group also included Colin Bourgouin of Manitoba, Marlon Davey of Tennessee and Pat Simeon from Ohio.
Former students Jim and Nancy Sauer of St. Louis, MO, holding their model in front of their almost completed home, done during 2007-07 of yellow pine with help from their son and a friend. See more pictures below.
During May 2007 Stonework Course, Jennifer James, Illinois, sifts mortar sand while Tony Chmiel, Wisconsin, mixes.
Jim and Nancy Sauer from Missouri brought to the June, 2006 class their model of the house they would build. After some modification, the house now well underway, the revised mockup of the house is shown below with their son, Mike, and Bruce Gibbar, who were participants on the June 2007 course.
Great Lakes School of Log Building
1350 Snowshoe Trail, Isabella, MN 55607