Hand hewn.

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,996
South Puget Sound, WA
Pretty neat! The blackened wood made me think it was charred and the survivor of a fire. The chimney is a little dubious, but that's what some did.

I saw this place in Chernivtsy Ukraine. It is a 1607 church made of oak logs. Still has the original horse hair caulking.

Ukr094.jpg Ukr095.jpg
 
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Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,113
Palmyra, WI
There are records of, or remnants of at least 8 log cabins within several miles of here where I'm at. Most were sided over and would have blended in with the surrounding structures. Some you can tell, because of the lack of windows, or because remodels expose them or make work difficult. Others were to be demolished, only to find logs beneath the siding, and hence preserved.
This is one a few miles across the valley from here. Next to a significant spring. They found an Elk rack in the vicinity. No elk around currently.
 

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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
While not a log cabin, the 130 year old farmhouse we live in was built from trees milled on the property and the frame (and the frame in the main barn), the beams are pegged together. The floor joists in our basement are ripped in half tree trunks and still have the bark on them.

About 15 years ago we had the interior redone and the contractor had a terrible time hanging drywall, no nails could be driven into the existing inner walls, had to pilot drill every one. Had them do spray in foam insulation, best thing we ever did.

When the wind blows here (and it does often, not even a quiver from the house. Solid as a vault. Nothing plumb, but we don't care as we live in something historic.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Pretty neat! The blackened wood made me think it was charred and the survivor of a fire. The chimney is a little dubious, but that's what some did.

I saw this place in Chernivtsy Ukraine. It is a 1607 church made of oak logs. Still has the original horse hair caulking.

View attachment 268302 View attachment 268304
Is that you in your younger days?
 
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firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,301
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Pretty neat! The blackened wood made me think it was charred and the survivor of a fire. The chimney is a little dubious, but that's what some did.

I saw this place in Chernivtsy Ukraine. It is a 1607 church made of oak logs. Still has the original horse hair caulking.

View attachment 268302 View attachment 268304
You're much younger than I expected. ;)
 

begreen

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Nov 18, 2005
85,996
South Puget Sound, WA

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,118
central pa
A lot more emphasis on craftsmanship in the past.
Those joints are beautiful. But I have to disagree. There are plenty of great craftsman working now and lots of appreciation for that. And there were lots of hacks working back then.
 
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Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,113
Palmyra, WI
No doubt about skills required today, and todays craftsmanship needed and appreciated. It's a different world though. Coopers and patternmakers, are now button pushers. The skilled trades today use materials premade, shipped to the job site, preformulated to be fast cheap and easy. Labor is expensive, large portions of the work is automated, behind the scenes in factories. That which isn't is powered on the job with machines. I look up say building a home, and the craft hours required. It takes a defined amount of labor to pick up a board, eye it up, cut it to length, place it, and nail it down. Something that can't be sped up without much more cost than a laborer can provide. But prior to all of that, back when there were no factories, no abundance of power, and limited materials, craftsmen needed to do all. Cut the trees, split the rocks, mix the lime mortar, by hand, from materials locally acquired. Tools were hand made. Joints were hand cut, on the spot. It would take an entire summer to dress the required beams and fittings required to build a barn. There are old souls, and young souls. Maybe it just boils down to that.


Then:

Now:
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,118
central pa
No doubt about skills required today, and todays craftsmanship needed and appreciated. It's a different world though. Coopers and patternmakers, are now button pushers. The skilled trades today use materials premade, shipped to the job site, preformulated to be fast cheap and easy. Labor is expensive, large portions of the work is automated, behind the scenes in factories. That which isn't is powered on the job with machines. I look up say building a home, and the craft hours required. It takes a defined amount of labor to pick up a board, eye it up, cut it to length, place it, and nail it down. Something that can't be sped up without much more cost than a laborer can provide. But prior to all of that, back when there were no factories, no abundance of power, and limited materials, craftsmen needed to do all. Cut the trees, split the rocks, mix the lime mortar, by hand, from materials locally acquired. Tools were hand made. Joints were hand cut, on the spot. It would take an entire summer to dress the required beams and fittings required to build a barn. There are old souls, and young souls. Maybe it just boils down to that.


Then:

Now:
There are still plenty of people building from scratch in all fields. Yes there is an abundance of cheap factory made stuff available but there is still lots of handmade stuff available as well.

And I work on lots of old houses. Much of the work done in the past was not done well at all. And we don't see the worst of it. The worst has disintegrated through the years.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,834
Northern NH
Bholler hit a key point, we only see the stuff that survived not the stuff that fell apart.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,113
Palmyra, WI
What we have around here would be 1840s and beyond. I have the original windows from the farm house (hand made with wood pegs and lead glass), post and beam work from the outbuildings, and Victorian era furniture. But not much else. The rest was dispersed and let go. And the house is in constant need of repair, and not really all that nice. It has horse hair plaster and hand made crown moulding, but it's old, just old. Preserving things is simple - keep the weather off them. A lot of things failed to be useful and in time were let go. On the other hand, I visited the James river, and up and down were 16-1700s estates that weren't let go. They had extensive preservation of extremely ornate and expansive woodwork, furnishings, machines and tools outside, outbuildings. There were exquisite parquet floors, inlays and mouldings. And for sure, it took highly skilled journeyman craftsman to create it all, with little more than planes, chisels and saws. But it was all worth preservation. The remainder of what the common folks would call home, none remain.
So maybe no, maybe there wasn't more emphasis on craftsmanship overall. Stuff had to get done, and it was a real ordeal to do that. And if resources were limited, then maybe just get it together however way possible. But still, even at that, the minimum was still an ordeal. An apprentice best hack is a lot different than a journeymans quick work even in the worst of times.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,996
South Puget Sound, WA
bholler is right, there are many good craftsmen alive today. I have the good fortune and privilege to know a few and to have the craftsman that made all this woodworking as my best friend. This was 1992 and she is still sailing today. Every stick including the louvered doors was made on-site, custom, for this boat alone. The interior used to look even more dramatic. The dark wood is walnut. Years of being in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean have bleached out the dark wood in the main cabin.

Interior_web.jpg Sep 22, 2010 026.jpg Aft head sink.jpg
 
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Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,113
Palmyra, WI
Now ask her to repeat that having no access to power tools or modern materials.
Very nice work btw.
 
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