Skip

Traditional Finnish Log House Building Process
December 6, 2013 5:38 AM   Subscribe

This video shows the process of building a log cabin. It was shot in Finland. The narration is in Finnish, but you can turn on the English subtitles.
posted by tykky (36 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
God those guys are good with an ax. This is super cool; thanks for posting it.
posted by Aizkolari at 5:48 AM on December 6, 2013


The "ridge-rising" begins at 15:50.
posted by somespecialist at 5:52 AM on December 6, 2013


This is wonderful and reminds me quite a lot of Dick Proenekke's Alone in the Wilderness. Perhaps it's because of how practical everything must be in the far north?
posted by mochapickle at 5:52 AM on December 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


God those guys are good with an ax.

See also
posted by TedW at 6:02 AM on December 6, 2013


I look forward to watching the rest of *crrrrack* *BOOOM*





HIRSIRAKENNUS






soon.
posted by gwint at 6:27 AM on December 6, 2013


Dick Proenekke's Alone in the Wilderness

Seconded. Awesome book, awesome DVD.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:36 AM on December 6, 2013


It's not just that those guys are good with cutting tools, it's also that the tools are supremely sharpened. That's half the battle.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:40 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The precision of that ridge beam joint made me cheer and clap in my seat!
posted by JohnFredra at 6:41 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not just that those guys are good with cutting tools, it's also that the tools are supremely sharpened. That's half the battle.

They also aren't working in hardwood, whick makes a huge difference too. Not that they aren't amazing or anything...
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:46 AM on December 6, 2013


I like the broad-axe with the offset handle, which at one point the guy smoothing the outside of the house switches from right to left in about 5 seconds.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 7:05 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I find this extremely satisfying to watch.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:12 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The precision of that ridge beam joint made me cheer and clap in my seat!

Seconded!

This video is making it super-hard to be inside working in a crappy office today.
posted by saladin at 7:20 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


why do they have to do that hewing bit all the way around? is it purely aesthetic?
posted by mary8nne at 7:24 AM on December 6, 2013


Is this something I would need a Gränsfors Bruks to understand?
posted by mrgroweler at 7:25 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, man, I don't know if those axes are extra-sharp, those Finnish dudes are super-strong or some combination of those; all I know is I want to attend a ridge-rising regale!

(Is anyone else daydreaming about using this video to build a miniature Finnish cabin?)
posted by Mooseli at 7:32 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


That was excellent.
Gives new insight into my neighbor, who's nearly done building a log cabin by himself.
posted by doctornemo at 7:34 AM on December 6, 2013


why do they have to do that hewing bit all the way around? is it purely aesthetic?

Aesthetics are part of it, but I think by removing any roundness they're making it harder for snow and moisture to sit on the faces.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:41 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nice. I just got back from Finland yesterday!
posted by spitbull at 7:51 AM on December 6, 2013


Is this something I would need a Gränsfors Bruks to understand?

It couldn't hurt.
posted by Aizkolari at 8:18 AM on December 6, 2013


Those guys are more precise with a broadaxe than I am with a tablesaw. I weep bitter tears.
posted by echo target at 8:43 AM on December 6, 2013


I couldn't watch the whole thing. At the end, was it... finnished?
posted by happyroach at 9:01 AM on December 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


My family built a log cabin from a kit in the eighties. It's interesting to see how the the technology has changed even to 35 years ago now---caulk instead of oakum, a modern foundation and floor rather than building on earth, tin roof rather than shingle. Rather than pegs, I spent most of the summer driving 12" spiral nails through the logs with a 2-lb sledge (hard work at 11 years old). We also obsess about redoing the varnish every few years.

It's also interesting to see what hasn't changed, what techniques the settlers to Canada brought with them. We too had "dog neck" knotches, though we called them "saddle notches". The windows and doors we did are almost the same, with vertical stress relief channels and half-log lintels. We too trimmed the roof logs after placement, though we used chainsaws rather than handsaws. The log profile carving, with the 45 degree cut at the top and bottom of the log was also almost identical. One improvement our system had was that the top and bottoms of the logs were cut with a tounge and groove as well to reduce twisting.

The end results of the old and new ways look similar, strikingly so to my eyes. Treated properly and maintained, these buildings can last for a very long time. The log houses built by the original settlers from the 18teens and 1820s are still all over the Ottawa Valley. They are in high demand now for use as summer and hunting cabins---people buy them off the farmers and relocate them to cottage properties and fit them out with all the mod cons.
posted by bonehead at 9:30 AM on December 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


They also aren't working in hardwood

Pine or spruce is by far and away the wood of choice for modern building, but many of the old (1800s) cabins in my kneck of the woods were build of cedar. Unfortunately, doing it in cedar now is super expensive.
posted by bonehead at 9:34 AM on December 6, 2013


why do they have to do that hewing bit all the way around? is it purely aesthetic?

Yes because it makes for the nice finnish.
posted by hal9k at 10:27 AM on December 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Why are they planing the floor but hewing the walls? Why not plane the walls too?
posted by hat_eater at 10:44 AM on December 6, 2013


Why are they planing the floor but hewing the walls?

I assume it's because they're Finnish and their eyes will never leave the floor anyway.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:03 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is possibly the best thing I've ever seen on youtube. Seriously.
posted by damnitkage at 11:42 AM on December 6, 2013


If you're interested in historical buildings in Finland (and of course you are), there's an island museum near Helsinki where a bunch of them are located.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:48 AM on December 6, 2013


> Those guys are more precise with a broadaxe than I am with a tablesaw

They're more precise with a broadaxe than I am with a freaking breadknife.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:49 AM on December 6, 2013


butterknife
posted by stbalbach at 12:12 PM on December 6, 2013


My grandfather is from Norway. This reminds me of several of the little outbuildings he's built behind his house (which he also built, along with most of the others in his neighborhood over the years.) He also makes model airplanes from scratch from pine scrap and wood glue. It's amazing what a Scandinavian can do with some pine and simple hand tools.
posted by stenseng at 12:36 PM on December 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Mooseli, sort of eponysterical.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 2:12 PM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


That was amazing, thanks. Also, watching the ridge raising meal made me hungry for herring and ruisreikäleipä.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 3:12 PM on December 6, 2013


Why are they planing the floor but hewing the walls? Why not plane the walls too?

Walls don't get touched that much so they can be a bit rough and the texture can be pleasant to look at, where-as floors are walked on constantly so they're nicer to have constantly even and completely devoid of splinters.
posted by Authorized User at 6:28 PM on December 6, 2013


I came here to say Dick Proenekke.
posted by neuron at 12:22 PM on December 7, 2013


Why do they hew the walls?

Besides the reasons given above, walls are also hewn to remove the sapwood, which is where rot starts. The heartwood is more durable against weather. At least on American log cabins, they also hew the walls to make it possible to add siding when you can afford it. And on the interior, it makes it possible to wallpaper.
posted by Hello Dad, I'm in Jail at 7:25 PM on December 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


« Older It is very cold in space   |   It’s a Midwestern strip Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post