Roof framing members and floor joists were either hewn from logs or of milled lumber. Through the late 18th and early 19th centuries, frontier settlers erected log cabins as they cleared land, winding their way south in and along the Appalachian valleys through the back country areas of Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia.
In some instances, epoxies may be used by themselves to consolidate and fill the voids left by deteriorated wood.
These log structures still possess all the elements of a true Appalachian style log home. The filler resin and hardener must also be mixed, pigments must be mixed with the filler epoxy to color the patch, and more importantly to protect it from ultraviolet sunlight.
The horizontal spaces or joints between logs are usually filled with a combination of materials that together is known as "chinking" and "daubing. In rural areas two-story log houses were sometimes built to replace earlier, first-generation settlement cabins, but just as often the early hewn-log house was retained and enlarged.
We move, restore and build vintage log cabins, or we can incorporate vintage logs into custom structures.
Wood building members, such as sill logs or weatherboarding, less than eight inches from the ground, should be noted as a potential problem for monitoring or correction. Also, as previously noted, some foundations consisted of wooden sleepers or pilings in direct contact with the ground. Soft areas should be probed with a small knife blade or icepick to determine the depth of decay.
Their conservation essentially centers on the preservation and repair of the logs, and appropriate repairs to chinking and daubing, which like repointing of masonry, is necessary to ensure that most log buildings are weathertight. Sometimes log houses were sided or stuccoed later in an attempt to express a newly-achieved financial or social status.
Instead of daubing, carefully fitted quarter poles or narrow wood strips were sometimes nailed lengthwise across the log joints. Because the foundations of many log buildings were neither dug nor laid below the frost-like, they generally tend to be susceptible to freeze-thaw ground heaving and settlement. A replacement log should be obtained to match the wood species of the original being removed.
Chimneys in log houses were usually built of stone or brick, a combination of the two, or even clay-lined, notched logs or smaller sticks. Physical assessment needs to be systematic and thorough.
Sections of wood chinking which are gone or cannot be made weathertight should be replaced with same-sized species saplings or quarter poles cut to fit.
Daubing that is loose or is not adhered to the logs must first be cleaned out by hand. Unlike western log cabins, 18th and 19th century log houses in the eastern part of the U. If the exterior log walls are exposed, and the chinking or daubing requires repair, as much of the remaining inner blocking filler and daubing should be retained as possible.
Around the mid-19th century, successive generations of fur traders, metal prospectors, and settlers that included farmers and ranchers began to construct log buildings in the Rocky Mountains, the Northwest, California, and Alaska. But they can be used to stabilize rotted wood, return full or greater than original strength to decayed structure-bearing members, and to reconstitute the shape of decayed log ends.
If extant, this historic cladding, which may be hidden under a later, non-historic artificial siding such as aluminum, vinyl, or asbestos, should be preserved and repaired, or replaced if evidence indicates that it existed, as a significant character-defining feature of the building.
Epoxies are versatile in performance, relatively easy to use by experts, and, after curing, may be shaped with woodworking tools. In addition, chinking and daubing could compensate for a minimal amount of hewing and save time if immediate shelter was needed.
In the Mississippi Valley, Colonial French fur traders and settlers had introduced vertical log construction in the 17th century.