Introduction: Log Cabin

Picture of Log Cabin

Log caibns sean hard to build but are not hard to build if you have the know how. My friend and I started a log cabin about a year ago.Im planing to build an ne part on the cabin that will come of the door and make a L shape. I m planing a camp out in it this weekend.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Land to build on (Common Land or anyother land)
Logs (About 10-12ft long)
Buck saw
Small sledge hammer
Large spike nails
Planks or Plywood
Roofing tin
Tin screws
Hex bit for tin screws
Cordless drill
Wood stove (Optional)
Windows (Optional)
Chain saw (Optional)

Step 2: Finding a Building Site

Picture of Finding a Building Site

To start this off you need to find a flat spot on the ground about 15ft by 15ft. Make sure that the flat spot is not near any water or near swamp land, becaues it will make the logs rot faster. Now rake the building site so the it is only dirt.

Step 3: Base

Picture of Base

Next cut down two 11ft logs with the axe or the buck saw. One tree should give you about two to three 11ft logs. Once the logs are cut to length lay them parallel to each other, space them 9ft apart so that there is about 1ft of over hang. When in place cut notches a foot or so from the end of the log, cut the notch about 1/4 through the log. The notch will hold the next log in place. Do this on each end of both logs. But only on the top side of that logs.

Step 4: Walls

Picture of Walls

Once the two base logs are finished keep cutting 11ft logs to make the walls. But know knotch each side of the logs so that when you place the logs down on top of each other there is no gap. Once you have built up to the hight that you want cut out the windows with a chain saw and 6the door as well.

Step 5: Rafters

Picture of Rafters

Once the door and windows are cut out put up rafters. To do this cut down about 5 to 6 6in. logs. Then lay them over the top and nail them in to the top log of the frame.

Step 6: The Roof

Picture of The Roof

For the roof all that we did was frame it with 2by4 then put logs around them. once that was done we found so tin in the woods and put it on.


Arr0gantExp3rt7 (author)2014-03-09

Do insurance company's cover this??

crazwolf (author)2009-06-14

looks great guys,good job.

badboynick7 (author)crazwolf2009-12-11

not bad for your fisrt one, me and my dad made one that we are now living in, it is pretty cozy  4000 square feet.  its my dads 7th "cabin" he built.  good job

spylock (author)badboynick72014-02-02

Hell,yall aint got a cabin,its a lodge,plenty of room.

mjarthur (author)badboynick72012-12-10

a 4k sq ft log cabin? got any pics? how long did it take to build?

spylock (author)2014-02-02

Good job,better than freezing asses off in a tent,I like it.Whats the inside measure?

jamob (author)2013-03-11

Also to make it more permanent you are suppose to have a foundations, could you build on an existing cellar hole left behind from hundreds of years in the woods?

jamob (author)2013-03-11

How much did it cost you? Do you need to season the wood? How many does it sleep? How did you insulate it? And can you build it without nails or what not? Me and my friends are planning to build one like this in the Vermont as a sugar house in winter and a camp in summer!

kallithdragonna (author)2011-09-17

My parents built numerous log cabins in my tween years and do it myself cabins are pretty easy. I'm glad to see that at 13, you and your friends didn't get hurt while building the top half.
A couple stupid suggestions from someone who lived years in a log home.
1. $10 for a small iron fan that goes on top your wood stove. The heat coming up the base of the fan causes it to turn and blow warm air around the cabin.
2. under your floor should have a layer of weather proofing, I.E vapor barrier. Very important for longevity and mold .

n79c (author)kallithdragonna2012-02-29

Two great sugestions

maffiou (author)2007-06-13

I'd be very carefull before I fire that thing, you don't want to die because of carbon monoxyde

Atvr4u500 (author)maffiou2007-06-14

Are you talking about the stove, because It is all sealed off so we can't get cardon monoxyde posining.

maffiou (author)Atvr4u5002007-06-21

I don't know about the specifics of your installation, but a very good friend of mine lost a little brother through carbon monoxyde intoxication coming from a badly tuned refurbished oil stove !

Atvr4u500 (author)maffiou2007-11-30

Thats to bad about your friends brother. But yes my dad is sheet metal worker and he checked it out and it does not leak. But having it leak was a big concern of mine too.

Dr.Bill (author)Atvr4u5002012-01-18

I put a stove like this in my fireplace and it worked out good when the power went out. If I left a cast iron fry pan on it all night it would be heated just right for bacon and eggs in the morning.

jsummerlin (author)Atvr4u5002009-04-16

In such a small area I would crack a window to make sure you don't pressurize the cabin, so when someone opens the door it doesn't back draft. Leaks for the most part should draw smoke up the pipe. Like these folks tell you be safe first.

spa31rky (author)jsummerlin2010-07-30

Do you think that after looking at these pictures that this cabin will hold vacuum? Don't get me wrong......I do like the work of this cabin.......I might even ask if the builder will build some for other people. ( just kidding about the contracting part.....maybe!)

pickford78 (author)jsummerlin2010-02-11

In my cabin (not log) and my house, we have wood heat.  we have 2 carbon monoxide detectors in each of the rooms.  without opening a window or any of that stuff we have not ever had a detector other than the smoke detector go off.  Just dont use a old rusted out stove and keep your stove vents open so it burns properly and you should be fine.

spa31rky (author)Atvr4u5002010-07-30

Wood burner stoves if they have a small leak all it does is make it burn the wood faster because it lets air IN and sends the smoke out the pipe. Think a bit here guys. This stove in the picture is a small one compared the the one in my cabin. Dam thing could get it 90 deg inside if not careful, and opening damper all the way will pull the SMOKE through and burn all the wood in the belly. Much experience with Pot Belly Stoves.

spa31rky (author)maffiou2010-07-30

Hence the word.........."OIL BURNER"........dddaaaaaa!!! Come on here! Kerosene and oil burners are not covered by a smart insurance company. Being a former Fire Fighter......these were the ones that caused most fires and deaths.

conrad2468 (author)maffiou2009-05-31

my cousin died that way.....

rakol1 (author)2008-03-09

that is a pathetic lookin log cabin, they shouldnt come out like this

rakol1 (author)rakol12011-07-07

Well pardon me. I just read you were 13 when you built it

pfred2 (author)rakol12011-06-26

What exactly are your qualifications to make that judgment? Personally I think it looks just fine.

Atvr4u500 (author)rakol12008-03-12

k say that after you build one. Then show me the pictures. I know what went into it and come on i was 13 when i built it. If you build one use only the tools that i used.

baggot (author)Atvr4u5002009-05-31

Oh 13 that explains it. It looks bad for an adult built one but awesome for a 13er. Id say avoid the expanding foam crack filler everywhere to anyone else planning to make this just flatten the sides of the logs so they sit flat.

pfred2 (author)baggot2011-06-26

Typically logs are chinked with a mud grass mixture. If the gaps are really big you can leave nails or pegs hanging to bridge the gaps.

spa31rky (author)rakol12010-07-30


vincent7520 (author)2010-12-03

nice job …
would love to live in one … but then Not sure the Paris - France authorities would let me build on on top of my apartment building -LOL …

josuchav (author)2010-09-09

pretty cool cabin! I've always wanted to do this but I lack the time and space to do it for right now... but soon I might just be PMing you with a bunch of questions.

mr_man (author)2008-03-13

It looks like you sealed the gaps between the logs with some of that expanding foam that comes in a can. How about using plaster? cement/mortar? adobe with plaster waterproofing? Is there any good way to insulate a log cabin? or do you just rely on a relatively large stove and extra layers of clothing? At the very least I would insulate the tin roof with some natural or construction material, preferably something non-flammable (not foam). A $30 carbon-monoxide detector would be a good life insurance policy. thanks for the instructable.

Cyrus (author)mr_man2008-03-13

Logs themselves have an extreemly high R Value, so additional insulation inside is not needed. However the roof, floor, and cracks between the logs are a problem if not properly insulated.

mr_man (author)Cyrus2008-03-13

I disagree, the R-value is not "extremely high", it's R~1/inch according to this:

It's not my intent to criticize this cabin design. I like it, and we can all learn from it. I'm just saying, in cold climates, it would be an improvement to add insulation, because it seems like less work to add insulation than to cut extra firewood. Maybe some insulation could go in the rounded space next to the logs, thus making a flat(er) wall. Wood ash is a great insulator, but it may settle and lose R-value. Maybe an adhesive binder would help; maybe it could be mixed as a wet slurry and then dried. Maybe another way would be to heat ash in a mold inside the stove to form a clinker of the right shape.

spa31rky (author)mr_man2010-07-30


mr_man (author)spa31rky2010-08-05

About what?

spa31rky (author)mr_man2010-08-07

Frontier type built cabins....................Logs greater than 12" diameter are well insulated---- no need defacing the interior logs to add insulation. There are many sites available that show the construction of Log Cabin building - Frontier Style - for you to see this about No Insulation needed.

mr_man (author)mr_man2008-03-14

Oh, a moisture barrier, I forgot about that. Yes, that would be good to have. Just out of curiosity, about how much time do you think you and your friend spent building this, all told? I'm assuming you had a chainsaw?

Atvr4u500 (author)mr_man2008-03-14

well i put plastic lining on the inside walls and it is very warm when the stove is going!

aseaheru (author)mr_man2009-03-17


Atvr4u500 (author)mr_man2008-03-13

we looked into mortar but we could not find the stuff we need so we used "Good Stuff" to fill the cracks. but im no expert at building log cabins, i read up on how to and we could have made it a lot better but it would have taken a lot of time, thanks for the comment and yeah i should get a carbon-monoxide thing!

sasgty9 (author)2007-08-13

I want a cabin, but it seems like a lot of hard work... o well

spa31rky (author)sasgty92010-08-01

AMERICA was built on HARD WORK!.............JUST DO IT!!!!

The_Beast (author)2008-12-30

I'm not trying to be mean but it's kinda an ugly duckling. I understand that you were young and didn't know much about building but there could have been improvements to the design (like the roof pitch) BTW I live in a log cabin and it's very cool looking house

spa31rky (author)The_Beast2010-07-30


hcold (author)The_Beast2009-02-07

It's not ugly, it just doesn't reflect the modern house, which imho, IS ugly. This house is organic for lack of any better word. It's very cool, and I would've been proud to build it.

Szklisty (author)2010-07-30

Here is a copy of the manual for my stove. It might give you a general idea about proper instalation. Enjoy your stove, but stay safe :-)

ddelia (author)2009-02-20

Be very careful with your stove. There should be 3 feet minimum distance between the Stove and any wall. Same with the stove pipe. Also keep your wood at least 3 feet away. Get yourself a smoke detector too.

Szklisty (author)ddelia2010-07-30

Yeap, that stove is way too close to the walls. I have a wood burning stove in my house and even with a heat-shield and being 3 feet away from the wall, the wall gets quite warm. I would move your stove to prevent a disaster.

magnumj (author)2010-01-12

The stove is fine man. I've lived with woodburning stoves as primary heating sources all my life. smoke and carbon monoxide will take the path of least resistance. Up the stovepipe.  and as long as you have an opening in the sheet metal (I notice you do), you'll be fine.

Monashee (author)2008-12-04

Good work , that was a serious project to undertake and actually finish. A quicker way to build is with plywood though not as woodsy , 16 , 4x8' , 3/8" thick sheets will get you a 7 x10 cabin as described in Calvin Rutstrum's book , The Wilderness Cabin. It can be made to take apart and put back together again , but you need a truck or larger van to move it . You can build one over a couple of weekends.

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