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Log Building Courses

Course Content:

  • Site preparation, squaring up and leveling piers and other foundations.
  • Power saw maintenance, cleaning and sharpening.
  • A thorough acquaintance with all hand tools used on the course, including sharpening techniques.
  • Peeling bark with drawknives, shovels and spuds.
  • Experience in scribing round logs with double-level log scribers.
  • Removal of lateral grooves and notches for a clean, “chinkless” fit, using adze, axe, chainsaw, chisels and handlebar gouges.
  • Preparing for and installing door/window with regard to log settling and other factors.
  • Square-notching tie beams and second floor structure – ways to get what you need from the upstairs.
  • Construction of a roof truss and how it is attached to plates, purlins, ridgelog; discussion of other roof systems.
  • Demonstration or use of log lifting systems which can be used by individuals: parbuckling with a rope and skids, skylining between trees.
  • Lecture on log building history and techniques.
  • Clarification of wood characteristics; use of scaling sticks and other forestry tools in understanding timber volumes.
  • Lecture on preservatives and coatings, with emphasis on human health haz ards versus wood preservative benefits.
  • Flattening (slabbing) with chainsaw, correct chalklining, cutting, brushing, and guidebar-top-planing for a perfect surface.
  • Proper use of American and Swedish broadaxes for hewing logs.
  • Lecture on house plan drafting and scale model construction.
  • Tree research presentation by each student.

Great Lakes School of Log Building 
1350 Snowshoe Trail,  Isabella, MN 55607

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