Thanks for the pm, since drilling 1 1/2 holes into the poles won't hurt the integrity of the 6x6 poles, I believe I'll use pegs to fasten them to the poles and also at the joints to give extra stability because at 0.50 cents a pop, those spikes get pretty darn expensive, and I have all the peg making material I can handle. As far as stones, in my neck of the woods in NW LA, all we have is clay. So I'll either need to buy some stones, brick or I had thought about using that cord wood cob method but it being on the ground, pretty sure thatd melt pretty quick. I did get my first bottom row of logs completed, took all of 5 days, was pretty tired today so didn't get much done other than setting the last log. It did take quite a bit of figuring trying to figure out what I was doing, I'd work an hour research an hour but now that I'm rolling, maybe on my next set of days off will see more workin and less figurin. I am using the saddle notch method although they aren't fitted just perfectly but I only have a week of experience. Ole Dan proenneke and them Finnish log builders sure make it look easy.