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Date Issued : 11 October 2017
Standard timber for construction is supplied to the mill resulting in a maximum length of 6.0m once it has been milled and prepared for use as a wall board.
Although a 6.0m wall can provide a substantial building, it sometimes is left wanting – so what happens when the project demands a wall length in excess of 6.0m ? Simple (!) we need to produce a join that is both practical to produce, aestetically pleasing and also strong.
Here is a typical join showing the two ends viewed from the underside :
When constructing, these logs need to be pushed together as tightly as possible :
In order to hold them in place, the kit supplies metal plates with spikes in – these should be applied once you are satisfied the join is tight along its length :
The trick is to ensure the logs are as tight as possible along their length – as soon as one join becomes a little loose, it is impossible to get the remaining logs to sit correctly.
How do you put pressure on mis-behaving logs to encourage a proper fit ?
We use a Ratchet Load Strap :
Attach one end to an outside wall, the other end to the opposite outside wall along the length of the log where the join occurs. Ratchet the logs together, this will pull the two ends of the logs together to allow a tight fit and t secure with the metal plates. Once you are satisfied the logs are held in place release the ratchet carefully and continue the build.
A correctly made join should look like this :
You may need to run a bead of silicone down each internal corner of the join to tidy it up :
Setting Up To Build Your Wooden Garage
When you start to construct your wooden garage using an interlocking log style kit, there are two means to ensure your building starts square and remains that way.
- First, select one of the long sides and fix it to the concrete base using an appropriate fixing. It is advisable to run a string line along its length to ensure this side is as close to straight as is possible.
- We now want to position the first log of the rear wall at right angles to the first log we have just fixed in place.
- Using the 3-4-5 method to achieve a perfect right angle.
- Measure along log 1 from the join intersect, a multiple of 4. This could be 1x4m or 8x1ft for example – remember the multiple.
- Next, measure along the first log of the back wall, again from the intersect a multiple of 3. So if you used the multiple of 1m for the first side log, this measurement will be 1x3m = 3m or if you used 8x1ft, for the first log of the back wall use 6x1ft=6ft
- Now measure the distance from both marks to form a triangle. If you were using the 1m option, this distance should be 5m when the angle in the corner is a perfect 90° or if using the ft measurement, it will be 10ft.
- So now you have the first two sides set up. Fix the rear wall log in place to prevent it from moving whilst you set up the remainder of the garage.
- Using the same method as above, set up the opposite long wall log shown here in BLUE
- Now add the 2 short returns that form the door opening.
- Check the Diagonals for Square
- Now, if the previous work has gone to plan, the next bit is purely for double checking !
- Measure across the diagonals in both directions. If everything is in order and perfectly square, the distance across both diagonals will be exactly the same. Adjust as necessary !
By using the above methods, you should ensure construction of your timber garage starts in good shape, nice and square !
As a first time installer you might find yourself questioning the integrity and or quality of manufacture as you reach ¾ height on the walls !
Depending on the design, you are likely to have the side walls adjacent to the front wall (with the door in) flaring outwards. Never fear, this is a temporary trait until the walls reach full height and it all becomes tied in.
Below shows how this manifests itself. The correct line of the wall is indicated by the red line. You can see the wall beyond the door opening is currently flaring out of alignment shown by the curved blue line.
As you reach full height, a full width log will span across the side walls and over the top of the door opening. When settled into its correct position, it will ensure the side walls are aligned to their correct width and the front wall aligned vertically.
If you want to get the walls perfectly vertical, use a spirit level, best to be at least 4ft (1.2m) long and place it up against the logs. By using a soft faced mallet, you can tap each log to achieve the desired affect.
Wood is a natural product, it cannot be compared to an inert material such as UPVC or another man made substance. As a natural product, it will be affected by its own growth conditions and subsequent levels of moisture that it holds.
Some customers might be surprised to hear that factories do not produce wall logs that resemble a banana or propeller with intended machining.
All components are manufactured perfectly true, no twists or bending. However, wood being wood can decide to react to the machining process – varying moisture content along a logs length and or non slow grown timber can result in a perfectly true log bending and twisting.
Any manufacturer that will guarantee ALL its wall logs arriving with the end user as straight as when they were machined is on a sticky wicket !
Are twisted boards a problem ?
No, not really, they just need to be used in a more considered way…….
Although machined perfectly straight and uniform at point of manufacture, it is inevitable that wall logs left to their own devices will alter shape due to changing moisture content and temperature.
The result of these deviations from a perfectly straight log means that during construction, the tongue and groove boards don’t always marry up as accurately as they should – don’t fret (!) This really isn’t a problem. As the walls increase in height and therefore weight, they will settle into their final resting place.
To encourage this correct placement, I use two methods to settle the boards into place, in both cases using a soft faced mallet :
- Wall “Shudder”
During construction and particularly when the walls are at eaves height, a positive blow with the mallet over areas of the wall that you can see are not sitting well will have the desired effect of settling the wall.
Work across the wall both from inside the cabin and from outside until you are happy the wall is settled in place.
- Log Ends Tap
My second method involves tapping the log ends to encourage settlement. Select a corner to commence proceedings and stand in the outside of the cabin. Start at the second lowest log of your chosen wall and tap down on the bevel edge in a downward motion.
This method is also useful when getting the wall logs to end up at the same height at the top of the wall. If you can get the walls level, this will make the roof construction far easier
Note – it is worth selecting a white faced mallet so that it does not leave black “scuff” marks on the timber.