By Dan Beard
How to Square the Corners, Roll the Logs of Cabin, and Make Log Steps
Of course my readers know all about geometry, but
if by the rarest of chances one of them should not it will not prevent him from using that science to square
the corners of his log cabin.
Builders always have a ten
foot measuring rod-that is, a rod or straight stick ten
feet long and marked with a line at each foot from end
to end. Make your own ten-foot pole of as straight a
piece of wood as you can find. With it measure six feet
carefully on the log C, G (Fig. 180) and mark the point
at O (Fig. 180); measure eight feet on the other log C, A
(Fig. 180) and mark the point at N.
If these measurements have been carefully made from C to O and from
C to N and your corner is "square," then your ten-foot
pole will reach between the two points O and N with the
tips of the pole exactly touching O and N.
If it does
not exactly fit between N and O, either the corner is not
square or you have not marked off the distances accurately on the logs. Test the measurements and if they
are not found true then push your logs one way or the
other until it is exactly ten feet from O to N. Then test
the corner at H in the same manner.
In the olden times log-rolling was always a great frolic and brought the people from far and near to lend a
helping hand in building the new house.
handling logs, lumbermen have tools made for that purpose--cant-hooks, peevy
irons, lannigans, and numerous other implements with names as peculiar as their
looks--but the old backwoodsmen and pioneers who lived in log houses owned no
tools but their tomahawks, their axes, and their rifles, and the logs of most of
their houses were rolled in place by the men themselves pushing them up the
skids laid against the cabin wall for that purpose; later, when the peddlers and
traders brought ropes to the settlements, they used these to pull their logs in,
In building my log house in Pennsylvania we used two methods; one was
hand power (Fig. 181). Taking two ropes we fastened the ends securely inside the
cabin. We then passed the free ends of the ropes around the log, first under it
and then over the top of it, then up to a group of men who, by pulling on the
free ends, rolled the log (Fig. 181) up to the top of the cabin.
But when Lafe
Jeems and Nate Tanner and Jimmy Rosencranz were supplied with some oxen they
fastened a chain to each end of the log (Fig. 182), then fastened a pulley-block
to the other side of the cabin, that is, the side opposite the skids, and ran
the line through the pulley-block to the oxen as it is run to the three men in
When the oxen were started the log slid up the skids to the loose
rafters N, O, P and when once up there it was easily shoved and fitted into
Sometimes one wants front steps to one's log house and these
may be made of flattened logs or puncheons, as shown by Fig. 183.
Traditional Camping Shelters
Shacks, and Shanties