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Dovetail Log Cabin Build Workshop

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Hello Folks,

For awhile know I’ve been rolling the idea around about holding a log cabin building workshop.  I’m hashing out the details at the moment and your feed back about how this should all shake down would be greatly appreciated.    Dates or not set yet.  Looking possibly May or June 2018.

I have a few questions to see how much interest I would have by starting a thread.  This would reflect on when and how Or even I go ahead with the workshop.  So even if you can’t come, or even don’t want to come, please drop me some info anyways on what you would like to see if you could make it.  Also please share your thoughts on what I got so far?

The course will be held outside of Whitehorse Yukon Canada on a property, 20 mins from the city.

Accommodations, lodging and food will be provided as part of the workshop.  Airport pickup can be arranged.

This is the set up I was going to run, plus a little on course content.

The goal is building a small cabin using quick, cheap, and efficient methods developed through my log building experience, using common tools most people own or can cheaply acquire.

Three cabins will be worked on, size 16x16, built out 8” cants. Most of the material will be prepared in advance.  Allowing some the milling to be finished by participants gaining valuable experience on a small sawmill operation.  

Each cabin would be prepared to different stages.  One would be starting on the footing, one would be half notched and assembled, one would be ready for the last round of logs and roof to go on.  This allowing the group to work at and see each stage gaining valuable experience in a short time.

The focus would be dovetail joints to be used.  How to cut them and so on.

Roof, door, window, finishing and stove install and so on would also be covered.

Cheap homemade chainsaw mill and how to build.  Also a bandsaw mill on site.  The Operation use and benfits of both.

Dovetail jig assembly and use and benefits.

Accomadations or on-site and evenings will be spent sitting around a fire discussing log building and taking in the midnight sun 🌞 in the Yukon.

Days will be filled with hands on experience, cutting notching, handling and assembly of a dovetail classic style log cabin.

A few Questions before I go further with developing the course.  What my thoughts were to these.

7 day course, food, rustic accommodations and all material included.  $1000Cad.

How long of a course?  
I was going for a 7 days.

How many participants would be work?
I was aiming for max 10

What would you like to see in the course the most?

Please share your thoughts and interest on this one of a kind workshop.


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so, you are not building a log cabin, but milled cant cabin?  Flat sided with those dovetail joints that pull tight as they settle?

Sound like a lot of fun, and usable info.

in your experience, how many years do you need to season logs before milling (or after) before they will not twist?
I have seen a house built from milled logs, T&G top/bottom and round Log style outside profile, flat inside.

some were twisting so badly, they were lifting the house up, and separating completely from the one below so as to allow even mice in.
Byron Gagne
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That’s correct, the cabins or build of log squared 4 sides.  There’s a few reasons for this.

As far as log drying goes.  We or very lucky were we or.  As I build with beetle killed spruce it’s standing dry.   When I mill lumber it can twist abit if I don’t sticker it properly or build with it right after milling it even if it’s standing dry.

To build with green logs.  I would allow the logs to dry for at least one year.  Peel the bark, or mill the into cants first of course.  A lot going to affect how this wood drys.  It’s all going to depend on your region how fast the log drys.  

If I were using green wood I would allow dry time as long as possible.  A few years wouldn’t hurt.

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