Must have tools for building your Oak log cabin kit

At Schutt Log Homes and Mill Works we have had years of experience building Oak log cabins and Oak log homes. In our experience we have found some tools that are a must have when building a log home kit. There is a lot of hype about some of the latest tools and gadgets but we have found for the most part a few old stand-by’s will get the job done efficiently and correctly.

Below is a list of the tools we recommend. Of course everyone has their favorite brand or go to tool. These are the tools, in our experiences, we found to work the best for us.

Chainsaw- We prefer Stihl, but any good brand with a sharp chain will do.

A chainsaw will be one of the most valued tools you will use when building your log home. This tool is portable and versatile. We use a chainsaw to cut the logs to length, to true up wall ends, to trim, notch, wedge, cut out and any variety of cutting to be done on the logs, rafters, joists, you name it. A chainsaw works much more efficiently than a circular saw for cutting the big stuff

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A chainsaw is a must have!

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1/2″ Heavy duty electric drill- We like Makita or Dewalt, they seem to hold up.

A good 1/2″ electric drill is priceless. The drill is used to predrill holes for the TimberLOK screws and to drive the screws in. The drill with a paddle bit is used to counter sink the TimberLOK screws to make all the surfaces flush. This allows the logs to lay level and allows a smooth surface for the planer.

Electric Hand Planer- Makita or Dewalt. same deal, they seem to hold up.

This tool will get used a lot! As the courses of logs are placed the logs are planed to make a level spot to place the next log. When all the logs are in place the face of the logs will be planed to make a clean, smooth surface to apply the chinking and log preservative. The rafters are planed to make a flat, level surface for the roofing material. This tool is a must have.Schutt Log Homes and Mill Works

Sledge-Hammer- Any good heavy brand will do.

For those delicate adjustments. Haha. A good sledge-hammer will save your back when it comes to moving the logs just a few inches this way or that way. It’s a great work horse.

Tape Measure- Any good brand. Buy several they always disappear.

A good long tape measure is a must. It will get worn out! Measure twice, cut once. Need I say more?

Level, Square, C-clamp- These are pretty basic tools for every carpenters tool box.

We recommend having a couple different sizes of each of these items. Depending on the application a long level will work better a small square will be better. Having several c-clamps on hand is always a good thing to hold the logs or lumber in place until it can be affixed permanently.

These are the basics. Of course there will always be a few other tools needed along the way as the log cabin gets into the finish carpentry stages. Schutt Log Homes and Mill Works will be happy to assist you with any building questions. Our log home experts have the knowledge and experience to guide you through your Oak log cabin building process.

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5 Myths about Log Homes

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There are many myths and misconceptions floating around out there about log home building and living. We would like to try to dispel a few of the most common things people are concerned with when deciding if log home living is for them. Schutt Log Homes and Mill Works has been selling Oak log cabin kits for over 10 years and has built their fair share of Oak log homes. Over the years we have heard many myths about log home construction and maintenance, and now we would like share some information we have found to be true about a few of these myths.

1.Log homes are not energy efficient.

We have heard this myth many many times. The fact is, Oak log homes are very energy efficient. Oak by its nature is a dense wood and is excellent at storing heat. Once an oak log is warmed it will continue to stay warm. The reverse is true in the summer, when an Oak log is cooled it will stay cool. A well built Oak log home can retain heat as well or better than a stick framed home. A heating and cooling system in a log home can be up to 15 percent more energy efficient than the same system in a similar traditional wood frame home. Double or triple paned windows will add to the efficiency. It is because of this fact log homes are still being built in some of the coldest regions.

2. Log homes are high maintenance.

The fact is once the Oak log home is built it is relatively low maintenance, provided care is taken during the building process. After the logs are placed a chinking material is placed between the logs and a wood preservative, sealer is applied. That’s it! No drywall, plaster, mud, painting. Depending on the manufactures recommendations most log preservatives need to be reapplied every 5-10 years which is comparable to painting stick homes. Finding a crack in the wall may seem like a major ordeal to a log home, but the truth is, it’s perfectly natural for wood to crack. These cracks pose no structural problems and might just need to be sealed with chinking and a wood preservative.

3. Log homes take longer to build than a stick home

When building an Oak log home the walls go up quickly. Once finished with the log wall you have the interior wall, exterior wall, structural component and insulation of the home complete. Once the Log walls are all up the exterior of the house is complete except for the chink and wood sealant. A framed home has many more steps, framing, plywood, moisture barrier, insulation, siding, drywall, plaster, sanding, plaster, sanding and painting…

4. Log homes are not fire resistant

The truth is Oak is extremely fire resistant. The natural insulation properties of solid log walls is one aspect to be considered. A solid log wall is very resistant to fire due to its mass. Solid log walls are extremely slow to spread fire as compared to traditional frame walls. When a fire enters a frame wall a chimney is formed in the air pockets causing rapid spread of the fire. Since there are no air pockets or cavities in log walls fire is slow to spread.

5. It’s difficult to find a log home builder

This is not true at all. Many builders specialize in log home construction or have log home experience. When a log home builder is not available, conventional builders can learn from construction manuals provided by log home companies. Schutt Log Homes and Mill Works provides a detailed construction manual with each of our Oak log cabin kits.

Though we know there are many more myths out there, we hope we have helped answer a few of the common concerns most people think of when they consider log home living. Schutt Log Homes and Mill Works will be happy to answer any other questions or concerns you may have when debating whether or not living in a log home is right for you and your family.

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Mountain View – Schutt Log Homes and Mill Works

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Caring for natural hardwood flooring- Schutt Log Homes and Mill Works

These are a few tips and tricks from Schutt Log Homes and Mill Works to keep your natural hardwood flooring looking amazing year after year.

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FINISH

A newly applied finish on your floor may appear to be too glossy at first. Keep in mind that as the floor ages and reaches its maximum durability the “sheen” will “die down”.

MOVING OF FURNITURE

No furniture for 24-36 hours. Place furniture down, do not scoot or slide. Curing of the floor takes thirty days to cure good and hard. Take extra care for the first days until cured. When moving a refrigerator onto finished floor use quarter- inch plywood or masonite to protect floor, heavy cardboard does not always allow enough protection.

AREA RUGS

No area rugs or throw rugs for one month to allow floor to cure in all areas. Air flow helps the curing process.

FLOOR PROTECTORS

There are “Scoot-N-Glides” which are made for wooden chair legs, to protect the wood flooring from being scratched. Also, available is a thick felt for other types of chair legs. “Scoot-N-Glides” need to rest flat on floor for optimum protection. If chair legs are cut at an angle, the glide can do damage to the floor.

SWEEPING

For maximum life and wear-ability of floor finish, keep floor as clean as possible from all substances that can scratch floors such as sand, gravel, etc. This can be accomplished by daily sweeping with floor brush sweeper attachment, dust mopping, or broom sweeping.

MOPPING

Harsh alkali cleaners may damage the finish and/or floor and should not be used. After 4 weeks of curing of finish, clean floors with a slightly dampened mop using 1 gallon of lukewarm water with 1 cup of white vinegar. A small area at a time wiped dry as you go will give the best results. Do not allow water to stand on floor and use as little water as possible. The “water/vinegar solution” will remove accumulated grease and sticky substances not removed by dry dust mopping or vacuuming. Remove food spills and other various liquids as quickly as possible with a dry or damp cloth.

WATER AND WOOD

NEVER use excessive amounts of water on wood floors. Even though urethane products are very water resistant, water can seep into open cracks, causing the finish to break loose from the wood, resulting in white spots, chipping or peeling. Remember water is an enemy of wood flooring: do not use excessive amounts.

SPECIAL CLEANING

To remove grease, rubber heals marks or similar stubborn stains which might remain after a normal cleaning with “water/vinegar solution”, wipe with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits. Make sure that excessive amounts of fluid used for cleaning are not deposited on the floor. (Use rubber gloves!)

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WAX OR MURPHY’S OIL SOAP

Do not wax floors – no paste wax – no Endust – and NO Murphy’s Oil Soap. Once the finish has been applied to the wood there is a protective coating over the wood, and these products will lay on top of the finish dulling the appearance and catching dirt. They will keep an additional coat of finish from being applied should it ever be necessary.

SCUFFS & SCRATCHES

Bear in mind all surfaces even concrete will scratch. Toe-nails on dogs can have a scratching effect on the finish, be careful to keep toe-nails trimmed. Rubber sole shoes on “fresh finish” can also leave scuffs. Should you have a scratch in the floor, do not attempt to repair the scratch. First, call our office so that we can determine the best course of action.

HIGH-HEEL MARKS

Since wood is a product of mother nature, a high degree of pressure from a concentrated point like a high heel can crush the wood fibers leaving a “small indention” in the floor. The quality of the finish has no bearing as far as strengthening the wood fibers.

EXPANSION & CONTRACTION

The weather plays a part in this area. Since the wood is susceptible to the humidity in the air, natural wood fibers will pull in moisture causing the wood to expand in spring and summer months. During the winter months when the house is dry, there will be a “shrinking” effect in the width of the boards resulting in cracks. This is a natural trait of wood floors. A humidifier will help stabilize this condition. Wood floors need to be able to expand and contract with temperature and humidity.

CUPPING OF BOARDS

Should the individual boards “cup” at the edges, this is a sign of water damage from an outside source such as a leaking sink, back door threshold, refrigerator water line, etc. The floor will appear to have a “washboard” effect. Although you may not see visible signs of water, the wood will act as a sponge and will soak moisture up in a capillary manner through the grain.

 

1. Severe Cases of Water Damage                   Boards must be replaced, area re-sanded, and finished.

 

2. Average Water Damage                                Boards allowed to dry for 4 to 5 weeks, area re-sanded, and re-finished.

 

3. Slight Water Damage                                     Area allowed to dry, cupping may recede.

ADDITIONAL COATS OF FINISH

Floors can be reconditioned with an additional coat of finish, if it has not been waxed, and “water/vinegar solution” has been used on a regular basis. Wax will keep an additional coat of finish from adhering to previous coats.

PROTECTION FROM OTHER SUBCONTRACTORS

After floor has been finished should a painter or other subcontractor do any touch-up work, be sure to have him put down drop cloths. Any warranty service which requires moving of heavy furniture or appliances will not be the responsibility of Schutt Log Homes, LLC. or its subcontractors. Furniture and/or appliances must be moved prior to the service call. Unload the refrigerator before moving.

Schutt Log Homes and Mill Works- oakcabins.com

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