interlocking wood for log cabins

Interlocking Wood For Log Cabins

interlocking wood for log cabins

Interlocking wood for log cabins is an ancient construction method that’s still popular today. It’s easy for beginners to learn, inexpensive and durable.

The main benefit of this construction technique is that it doesn’t require a notch, so it’s more time-efficient and less expensive to build. It also requires less maintenance than more traditional methods.


Milled-D interlocking wood is a popular choice for log cabins because it provides a smooth, clean surface to hang pictures and cabinets on. This style also makes it easier to attach ledger boards for porches and decks.

This style is a time-tested option that produces a tight, weather-tight seal. It consists of logs planed smooth on both the inside and outside for a beautiful appearance, and includes an inserted corner notch and a milled drip edge to ensure that no elements enter the home from the exterior. The logs are locked together with a large single tongue and groove, a foam gasket and a wood-binding sealer are applied between each course before fastening.

The type of timber used in building a log cabin should be suitable for the area’s climate and available at a good price. It should also be dry and free of pests. This is essential for a durable structure and a long lifespan.

For example, cypress trees provide hardy, strong and rot-resistant logs that are ideal for log cabins. However, they are difficult to find in sufficient quantities and are also expensive.

Another type of wood commonly used for log cabins is pine. It can be shaped and stained to create a rustic or modern appearance. It is also durable and a good choice for log cabins that feature windows.

There are several different types of timber that can be used to build a log home, including cedar, spruce, fir, and pine. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, and you should consider all of them before making a final decision.

The most important consideration when choosing a log type is the overall aesthetic of the cabin. If you want a traditional, rustic look, you should opt for thicker logs, while if you prefer a more modern design, thin logs will be the better option.

The type of wood you choose to use in your log cabin can impact its strength, durability and insulation. Thick logs are generally more expensive than thin ones, but they offer better protection from the elements and can save you money on heating and cooling costs. They also provide a more natural, rustic look.

Butt & Pass

The butt and pass interlocking wood construction method is the most common and easiest way to build a log cabin. Developed in the 1970s by fifth generation log homebuilder Skip Ellsworth, this system makes log cabin construction simple and affordable for people with no previous experience or training in building a log house. It also saves tens of thousands of dollars compared to the cost of purchasing and erecting a “kit” log cabin.

Rather than using a notch to secure corner joints, butt and pass uses firmly pinned or spiked corners. This approach eliminates the need for scribing, and allows for a much faster construction speed. It also allows for a much lower construction budget due to the lower labor costs associated with this style of construction.

This corner system is a great option for anyone who wants to give their log cabin a more traditional look. As the logs are laid out to form the corner, each extended log meets the next one so that it butts into the first, forming an effect reminiscent of interlaced fingers.

In addition to giving the building a more rustic and classic appearance, butt and pass corner construction is durable and can be more resistant to weather damage than other types of cabins. It also helps to keep the logs in place and prevent them from moving, which may reduce maintenance needs down the road.

Another option for securing logs is to use chinking. This is similar in performance to caulking, and is applied to the exterior of the logs in 2- to 3-inch strips.

Chinking is a popular choice for log cabins because it gives them a distinctive appearance and also seals the logs from wind, rain, and bugs. It can also be used to create a weather-tight seal at the butt joints of the logs.

The butt and pass corner method is not only a good option for those who want to build a traditional log cabin, but it can also be used in modular cabins. This type of cabin is built in sections or modules, and they can be assembled quickly on-site.

Saddle Notch

When building a log cabin, interlocking wood is a great way to create a sturdy, weatherproof structure. It is also an environmentally friendly way to build a home because it uses the mass of the logs as a thermal battery, storing heat during the day and releasing it at night.

There are several different types of log cabin interlocking wood, including traditional saddle notches and compression fit logs. Each type of notch has its own benefits and drawbacks, but all will give you an airtight, beautiful home with minimal maintenance.

A saddle notch is the most traditional of all log cabin notches. It requires a bit of work, but it is worth it for the finished look and a beautiful, timeless design.

The saddle notch is made from one side of the log and connected to the log below it, creating a seal that prevents moisture and rot from entering the logs. It is a popular choice for many people, especially those who want a traditional look for their cabin.

Saddle notch logs can be used to make full round, square or D shaped log cabins, and they are available with either a smooth or textured finish. They are also available with either chinked or non-chinked construction.

Compression fit saddle notches are a very popular corner system and can be found in many of the log cabins we sell. This corner method uses the early technique of logs fitting more tightly together over time as they shrink and settle, so a properly made compression fit notch should help to prevent gaps from forming.

This notch is most often used in handcrafted log homes and is paired with the chinkless full scribe method of longwise log interlocking. It is an excellent insulating and sealing technique, although it does require more craftsmanship than other notch methods.

It is important to consider your personal preferences and how you will use your log cabin. It is also vital to choose the correct type of timber for the structure. This will determine how easy it will be to re-do if needed in the future.


Dovetail interlocking wood is one of the most popular types of wood joinery for log cabins. This system combines pioneer traditions with modern technology, and it has been proven through the centuries to be the strongest type of joint available. It is also one of the most attractive types of log cabin timber joinery, because it allows for a variety of designs without the use of metal fasteners.

Dovetailing is an ancient technique and has been found in furniture discovered in mummies dating back to the first Dynasty of Egypt. Dovetail joints are made from a series of pins and tails that extend from the end of one piece of wood, and are cut into another piece of wood to lock together.

A dovetail joint is one of the strongest in woodworking, and it does not need to be glued as most other wood joints require. This is because the tension of the tails inside of the pins prevents them from being pulled apart. This means that it is impossible to pull a dovetail apart, even if a piece of wood is tugged on.

Many log cabins are built from eastern white pine, although redwood and cedar can be used as well. These species have more natural qualities that are not possessed by pine, such as greater durability and dimensional stability. They are more expensive than pine and are typically used in homes that have more natural sunlight or are situated near water.

To address log settling issues, slotted and angle iron-splined window/door jambs are employed instead of simply nailing them in place. This will allow the logs to settle with their lateral wall, which will reduce the overall height of the walls.

This method is particularly helpful in preventing the settling of logs that are positioned along the side of a log wall where window and door units are framed. It also prevents sagging and shifting of a log wall that would otherwise occur from the weight of a window and door unit on the end of a log.

Wall alignment pins, 1-1/4″ x random length, hardwood/octagonal, interlock each course of logs and ensure lateral wall stability at window and door openings. They are sawn from air-dried oak and wax-coated to prevent friction, which helps the wall stay rigid and keep the logs from twisting. This system is recommended by ILBA Log Building Standards, and is a great option for those who want to build a high quality, durable log home with minimal maintenance.