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I am posting what I have learned about living in a log home in hopes that someone will tell me a cheap and easy way to do what I want to do (put a clear, long lasting, inexpensive coating on my house). That is why this post is in this forum.

Here are two more tricks from my bag:

1. Doors that look right

2. Applying Clorox to great heights

When we built our house, we wanted doors that look like they actually belong on a log house. Having recently been to England and Scotland (simply fabulous doors), we knew what we wanted, as the Cotswalds are full of them. I could have paid $500.00+ for custom doors (needed 30 or so), but no. I am a cheapskate. So here's what I did. Take some nice STRAIGHT and FLAT yellow pine 2X6's to the lumber yard, and have them put a tongue and groove on them. Cut them to the proper lengths with my radial arm saw, line them up and put a 2X4 Z brace on them with little decorative pegs over the drywall screws that hold them together. No glue or anything.

Now the pros would say "why them doors is gonna look like cork screws when the humidity goes up. They's gonna warp and swell." Tell it to the Cotswalds... They are gorgeous doors, took about 1.5 hours each to make, look like they belong to the house, and I have had them for ten years. No warpage, but a little swelling on the entry way doors (about 1/4" between dry and rainy periods.

Total cost per door: $50.00

Do they look good? I think so. So did Log Home Living. They did an 11 page feature on our house n May of 2002.

Cheap Clorox delivery tool. This assumes you have a pressure washer with the quick release type nozzles. You know the "chemical" nozzle that came with you pressure washer? It's really only good for throwing chemicals a few feet. Where do we need the Clorox? 30 feet up of course, and unless you really like climbing extension ladders you need a cool new chemical nozzle. So here is what you do:

Take a nozzle that you generally do not use (or buy one at Northern Tool for $7.99). Look close, and you will notice that the orifice is pressed into the body of the nozzle. It is hardened and cannot be drilled out (I wrecked a drill trying this). It can, however, be knocked out from the backside of the nozzle. Next, take the tip off of an old spark plug. You know, the screw thing that used to be used to hold the wire in place before the rubber suction cup dealies we have now. You may have to look around for a spark plug that has a screw terminal. It turns out that the terminal (which is also nicely tapered on one end) is a press fit into the hole that originally held the orifice of the spray nozzle. Just tap the terminal into place with a hammer, or if you have a vice, use it to press the terminal in. Since terminal is soft, it can be drilled to remove the threads (which break up the flow). The new nozzle now has an orifice that will (generally) not invoke the high pressure circuit of you washer, and will shoot chemical many feet straight up.

Best Wishes,

Dave, the non-pro, cheapskate, wants to do it the easiest way possible, guy

P.S. Clorox rules. I don't care what the pros say. I have the pictures - many different chemicals used and documented. I know at least one pro that does not know the difference between embedded mildew and tannin stains, even with very high definition phots to look at. He was more than happy to sell me big $$ oxalic acid based "brightener" because everyone knows there ain't no money to be made selling cheap old Clorox. Too bad it would have done nothing to fix my stain issue (which required stripping - see my other post for a very cheap/easy way to do that). I undoubtedly would have been told "you applied the product incorrectly" :)


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Dave - Good evening! Care to share some close up pix of your doors? Would love to see the finished product. Thanks.

I put some on my Log Home U homepage. Let me know if you can't get to them.

Dave T.

I like those doors. I bet you just saved me 3-4K in door cost as I will absolutely go this route instead of purchasing "antique" looking doors.

Thanks for this post and the pictures.
Dave your house looks great!
I just looked at all your pictures.

I built my own interior doors almost the same way you did.
I selected the nicest 2x6 Doug fir T&G decking that could find at the lumber store and then just clamped and clued the boards together and used #3 1x4 knotty pine to make a "Z" on one side and just three straight horizontal 1x4 on the other side.

What was cool was that a standard Schlage door knob will still install in the 1 1/2" stock decking.

Here are some pics.
I'll ditto the Clorox for cleaning (acutally, I used the store brand from Dollar General, 40 cents cheaper than the Clorox -- I'm a total cheapskate!!) The bleach and water was recommended by the company that I got our stain & clear coat from (Sansin) since I had always heard that bleach was not good for your logs; I double checked with my log home craftsman and he said it would work just fine. We used a $9 garden sprayer set to mist to apply the bleach & water and then rinsed with plain water. The logs turned out great and we spent less than $20 to clean our logs inside and out.

Our stain & clear coat was not cheap...if I remember right about $1400 for the stain and clear coat for the interior and exterior........but the Sansin was so easy to work with, easy to clean up, didn't smell awful and I love the way our logs turned out.

(Your doors look great, BTW)


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