To build a log cabin the first thing you need to know about is timber sourcing.
All of the timber that we use is FSC certified to be from sustainable sources and is all British grown.
The process begins with many phone calls to find an agency that has the right species and specification of timber, this timber can be located anywhere in the UK but predominantly comes from Devon, Wales, and Scotland.
We generally source Western Red Cedar or Douglas Fir to build our cabins and homes with but not exclusively, we have also previously built cabins from Larch and Spruce. Douglas Fir is renowned for its strength and is extensively used throughout the construction industry. We prefer to use Douglas Fir where the design includes long unsupported spans or long log walls with no intersecting walls. This is due to not only to its strength but also because Douglas Fir tends to grow with less taper than other species making it possible to use a longer length of log while remaining within the specified minimum and maximum diameter specifications for the building.
Western Red Cedar is normally our first choice, although harder to find usable stock in the UK, its natural ability to resist decay is a highly desirable attribute, it is also a comparatively stable timber in the world of softwoods.
Once we have found an agent with the correct specification of timber we will arrange a viewing of the standing timber to make sure that it is suitable for the cabin in question.
When viewing the timber we are looking for:
● The size of the timber. (diameter spec.)
● The straightness of the trees.
● The amount of taper in the trees from butt to top.
● Minimal lower branches on the trees.
● The quantity of the correct specification in the stand.
We will then sort through the stand and mark trees that we want. If we specify Western Red Cedar then will will normally only take the tree from around 12ft up as cedar grows with fluted butts which are difficult to scribe. However, if wanting to create elaborate and gnarly features we might use a few fluted butts.
It is important when building handcrafted cabins that the trees are hand felled. If a harvester is used then it leaves unsightly track marks up the length of the tree when de-limbing. If the agency cannot have the timber hand felled for us then we will go back and fell it ourselves. Once the trees are on the floor, our haulier will bring the trees to our yard where the real work begins…