How to Make a Log Saddle Joint


Log houses are normally found in the rustic mountain retreats to large lodge-like primary residences and you will find that it has sturdy and traditional structures that come with an elemental appeal. There is also log house that are custom made and also the one built with a purchased home kits and both of these categories come with various styles and building methods. One of the most important designs of log houses are the saddle joint that is one of the several methods used for fitting logs against each other at the log home’s corners. The inverted saddle joint being used is actually a notch only on the bottom of the logs, fitting over the log beneath it.

To make a log saddle joint, you need:

  • Small ax or hatchet
  • Measuring tape
  • Lumber marking pencil
  • Hand saw (optional)
  • Chisel (optional)
  • Mallet (optional)

Making a Log Saddle Joint

How to Make a Log Saddle Joint

  • The first thing that you need to do is to measure your log gently before you marked the inner and outer edges of the notch. This is where the log will fit over the one log beneath it.
    • You can place the log in position before you marked against the log beneath and then rolled half over in order for you to cut out the notch.
    • Apart from the above step, you can also place the log on the ground to measure and notch the log before you placed it into the right position.
  • Next step for you to take is to cut the wood between the marks and chip it at an angle in order to create a curved surface.
    • Your notch should be having at least one-third the thickness of the log and its maximum length is not more than one-half.
    • Another option that you can use is to saw the wood at an angle of the notch on either side before chipping away the wood by using a chisel and mallet.
    • The notch shape will not be as round as when you use an ax to make it.

Basic types of corner systems being used for log home wall connections and popular among users are Saddle notch, Scandinavian notch and Dove tail. The basic purpose of having a log saddle joint is to provide structural integrity for the whole structure of your log house construction, avoiding any air infiltration, plus also to meet the requirement of future house owner whenever you decide to sell the log house.

  • Then, you have to position the log over the one below it thus enabling you to fit the notch over the curved surface of your log.
    • Once finished doing the above step, you will find that the log will fit in securely.
    • As the logs started to dry, the wood will shrink and tighten the joint. However, you are still required to chink or adding filled material or even insulation. It is necessary to do the step for any kind of log houses that you want to make.
    • If you notice that the gap between the two logs is more than an inch or if the fit that you have just created is not up to your standard, you need to turn the log again and try to cut away more wood according to your required fit. You can either use a hatchet or mallet or chisel in order to cut the wood.

    Always remember that whenever you want to make a log saddle joint

    • Make sure that you measure and do the positioning of the notches accurately so that the interior dimensions of your house will be of the same on all of the logs.
    • The room dimensions of your log home should be in a straight position and evenly placed. However, the extensions of the logs can be varying a bit.

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