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"The Greatest Log House"

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by Steve Tall, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. 300Six

    300Six

    Aug 29, 2013
    Sorry Steve, I didn't mean to derail this thread (temporarily, I hope) but I did think this was opportune to promote more of the type of "real wood" projects that are quite unlike today's Presto-builder's" Glu-lams, MDF, particle board, Finger-joint studs, Aspenite, Oriented Strand Board etc. "Engineered" wood is becoming so prevalent that a natural building materials list of ingredients of the near future may say "and may contain wood".
    By the way, my one-only marriage honeymoon 28 years ago was at Chateau Montebello and viewing/experiencing the grand atrium woodwork with the stone fireplace was pretty close to being a religious experience for me. The roof and walls of the hotel suites did not creak either with change in temperature during the 2 days we (my bride and I) were there.
     
  2. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Your input was welcome, with an example of a huge log structure that was built to last. Sounds like a great place for a honeymoon, and it's looking pretty good after all these years:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (Photos from the Fairmont Chateau Montebello website.)
     
  3. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Yellowstone Lodge is nothing to sneeze at.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. halfaxe

    halfaxe

    Nov 29, 2012
    Granot Loma is for sale if you want your own. It's on Lake Superior in Upper Michigan. 40 million gets you this plus 3.7 miles of shoreline, 5000+ acres and a farm with several buildings.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  5. 300Six

    300Six

    Aug 29, 2013
    I love those natural-bent corner braces! Somebody scoped around in the forest for a long time in order to gather those up.
     
  6. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Some details about "Old Faithful Inn" at Yellowstone:

    The central feature of the Old House is a tall gabled log structure housing the lobby, dominated by a deep, steeply-pitching shingled roof. The Old House uses load-bearing log lower exterior walls with a log pole interior framework supporting seven stories, six of which are the roof structure. The upper gable walls are of milled lumber framing with shingle sheathing. The front slope of the shingled roof is accented by shed and gabled dormers, some of which are purely decorative. Both interior and exterior framing is supported by twisted or curved branches, giving the entire structure a strongly rustic air. There are two levels of balconies, the lower encircling the lobby and the upper on two sides. Stairs climb from the second balcony to a platform in the framing known as the "Crow's Nest" which once was used by musicians to entertain guests, then on to the crown of the gable 92 feet (28 m) above the lobby floor.
    from Wikipedia
     
  7. Old Axeman

    Old Axeman Gold Member Gold Member

    784
    Jan 10, 2015
    About 20 years ago I was lucky enough to have done some of the exterior log restoration on the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone with my crew. The Old Faithful log restoration project is second only to the Big Praire log restoration project in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area in my career. The local NPS guys at the park told us that there was an area in the park, not far from the Inn, where all the twisted sticks that you see came from. They said that all the trees in that whole area were twisted. The first thought was that the trees were infested with dwarf mistletoe but that was ruled out later. I have run across other areas of trees like that in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Colorado. Noboby seems to know exactly why--a magnetic field ?--something cosmic going on?
    Also, on the Old Faithful restoration project the roof crew found a note under the chimney flashing from the guys that built the Inn. It said " Damn it's cold here, we want to go home!" All the original crew then signed the note and put their home towns.
     
  8. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Thanks for the firsthand accounts!
     
  9. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    I can only imagine the conversations that the craftsman had constructing the log building with the bark left on. I am sure it drove some of them crazy. I also wonder if it was not motivated by financial reasons rather than aesthetics.
     
  10. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    Thank you for sharing that with us Old Axeman. I always find it interesting to come across things left by those that constructed things originally, even things left by accident.

    I have to wonder if the twisted timber is not a result of the trees genetics? Especially when it occurs in clusters.
     
  11. 300Six

    300Six

    Aug 29, 2013
    Typically there is a plausible explanation for bent trunks but it does require dissection of one as an aid. A Provincial Park (Presqu'ile) on Lake Ontario features a grove of mature White Cedars with elbowed trunks very much like the Yellowstone corner braces. It's fairly easy to see on these that the original tops had been removed en masse, killed or broken off via wind or sudden heavy ice/snow and that a prominent low branch had then become the leader via taking an immediate turn upwards.
     
  12. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    It makes perfect scents. I will look up more often. There is very little in nature that is as aw inspiring as a grove of old growth giants.
     
  13. 300Six

    300Six

    Aug 29, 2013
    No need to look up. In the case of the Presqu'ile cedars, which are now about 1 1/2 feet diameter, this all happened about 3 feet off the ground (typically the depth of snow cover in late winter) and it's a real novelty for kids (including real old kids) to 'horsey ride' on these for tourist photos.
     
  14. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    I would guess it was a marketing thing. Only the marketing department would do something so stupid. They wanted people to see trees and think of the value of timber. They couldn't anticipate the bad press that would come when the place rotted to the ground. Definitely marketing.
     
  15. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Perhaps something as simple as a severe ice storm when they were juveniles. It would explain all the trees in one localized area being stunted or damaged.

    There's also the possibility of heredity. In forest product company's tree farms they select for trees that are free of 'stem defects' - defined as multiple tops or an abundance of large limbs. They want long straight trunks which are more marketable. But these trees don't provide as many good nesting areas as trees with forks and large limbs. Prior to tree farms there may have been an evolutionary advantage to 'stem defects' if increased use of the tree by birds and squirrels who spread the tree's seeds further.

    I'm concerned about the lack of genetic diversity in tree farmed forests. Coming at a time when increased international trade is bringing more foreign fungi and insects to our shores, lack of diversity is a recipe for the widespread forest diseases we're seeing here in the west.

    :stumblesawayfromthepodium:
     
  16. Old Axeman

    Old Axeman Gold Member Gold Member

    784
    Jan 10, 2015
    I am concerned about the lack of genetic diversity in everything we farm now.
     
  17. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Hear that. :sigh:
     
  18. garry3

    garry3

    Sep 11, 2012
    Monsanto has the seed industry monopolized. Its all about big corporations and the little farmer is forced to buy seed from Monsanto.
    I am not even going to get into what they are doing to are food.
     
  19. jake pogg

    jake pogg

    Dec 20, 2015
    Fantastical building,fascinating discussion,thanks to everyone.

    As a log-builder(in a solely White spruce country),i was long puzzled by the twist,the difference between right/left,and so on.

    Not too long ago it was explained to me thusly:All spruces(all conifers?don't know...)are born twisted to the Left.As they mature,the helical structure of the cellulose gradually twists to the Right.At some point towards maturity(75-100 years for our spruce),it passes "straight"(it's actually always a helix),and the twist increases.
    Some trees,for genetic-based reasons,keep on twisting to the Left as they grow,thus making the helix simpler,less-intertwined,and the structure much impaired mechanically.
    Hence,the US-Canada Voluntary Log-Building Standards that dictate that no Left-twisted logs be used in a structure above(i think)first 3 wall-logs,but preferrably not at all...

    But thanks again,gentlemen,very interesting discussion,stories,all the great info...
     
  20. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Best example I've seen of the helical twist of trees. This Hemlock split and the two halves have grown in a complete 360 around each other - even a little over 360°.

    [​IMG]
     

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