Log cabin

From Academic Kids

A log cabin is a small house built from logs. It is a fairly simple type of log house, and was established both in rural areas and in cities. Many buildings in the Midwest are actually log structures covered with clapboards or other materials. Many original log cabins still exist, although very few were originally intended to have exposed logs.

Missing image
Details of cabin corner joint with squared off logs

A basic method for building a traditional, no-frills log cabin requires a few labor-intensive steps, lots of wood and a sharp axe:

  1. Chop down or acquire a quantity of tree trunks with all branches and bark removed. It is best if they are of similar size and very straight. The length of one log is the length of one wall.
  2. About 1 to 3 feet from each end of the log, cut two square notches on opposite sides of the log, making 4 notches total. Make sure these notches are aligned with each other, so the notches on one end are oriented the same as the notches on the other end.
  3. Lay down two notched logs in parallel, then place a third notched log so that the notches fit together at a right angle.
  4. Repeat, adding more and more, building up the house walls.

Usually, a foundation is set, consisting of a perimeter of rocks on which the first logs are placed to keep them off the ground, protecting them from rot. Finishing steps include filling in chinks with small pieces of wood and a simple plaster (mud, straw) to seal it up, and cut out doors and windows.


There is a very popular children's toy called, Lincoln Logs, consisting of various notched dowel rods, colored like logs. The toy is named after Abraham Lincoln, who was born in a log cabin in rural Kentucky.

Modern versions

The modern version of a log cabin is the log home which is a house built most often from premilled logs. The logs are quite visible as the exterior and sometimes interior of the house. With the advent of cranes and modern construction techniques, log homes (sometimes called timber homes) are popular in rural areas, and even in some suburban locations. Two such homes are visible to many passers-by in suburban Lincolnshire (an upscale suburb of Chicago) on Half Day Rd (Rt. 22) near Milwaukee Ave.

External links

ja:ログハウス nl:Blokhut sv:Timmerhus


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