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Need Advice: Want a simple build I can do by hand, including moving the logs. HELP PLEASE.

Hi All!

It is my dream to build a small cabin (maybe 800-1100 sq feet) using logs that I can cut down and hand carry with my wife. I saw one Mountain Men episode where Marty made a "trapper's cabin" without letting the logs sit for a year. He cut them down and threw them right on on the structure. He built the entire home, which was small, by himself in one month. He even left the bark on the one side of them that would be facing the elements. Basically, I want to do the same thing, but probably on a concrete foundation. Ideally I would like to skip even the concrete foundation too.

I understand the logs shrink and, therefore, would probably require me to give windows and doors a good think. I guess my question is this. If I build a cabin like Marty did (without letting the logs dry), what are the risks of that? Furthermore, can I mitagate those risks by not having windows for a year while the logs dry out or can I put small windows in with big gaps between the logs and the windows to allow for shrinkage? It looked like Marty added about 1-2 inches of gap between his windows and the logs to allow for shrinkage. We understand the cabin would be super rustic, which is fine.

Our goal is to live as cheaply and tiny as possible. We would probably get a well and septic tanks for the home, but everything else we would like to be comfortable, buy very basic so I can do it myself within a couple months.

Please help! I am so excited to do a build, but have little experience. I am not going to build something complex that takes years. I want to get a chainsaw and start cracking quickly. Maybe finish it in a summer? If I would build a cabin like this, how long would it last?

Thanks!!

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Those are both nice Cabins Casey, they are both notched corners and chinked I think.

You can do the Martys style with a corner post (sort of a crude piece en piece), and maybe never have a problem.  You can also do a but and pass style corner.

I would experiment on corners on a few scrap logs before you get into the good ones (if you go this route).  Thats why I suggested the book and some videos, so you could get the idea of it.  It can be very frustrating if you "botch  up a corner on a good log..:).   As Ray said there are all kinds of youtubes on log cabin construction and corners etc. 

Start on Page 53...you might like this;

https://books.google.com/books?id=5uq5S99hIF8C&printsec=frontco...

Also on page 73 he is demonstrating a "V " or steeple notch on a round log with an axe....he was doing that for awhile...:)

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