Over Scribing and Why It Is Crucial When Building Your Log Cabin

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Scribing is the technique used by handcrafted log home builders to join the alternating courses of logs together. The scriber itself is a protractor with a stylus at one end and a pen or pencil at the other and a bubble level perpendicular to the arms. The scriber transfers the contours of the lower log to the log above with the pen. The builder then has to cut the groove or lateral and the notch, carefully following the pencil line first with a chainsaw then with a fine chisel. Once cut out and in place the top log fits tightly to the lower log along this "scribe" line. This is great if your wood is perfectly dry …. they will always shrink in diameter until they have reached the equilibrium moisture content of the surrounding atmosphere. Log shrinkage and the consequences to log building will be addressed in our next newsletter … stay tuned! So the question is … how do we deal with this inevitable shrinkage in the log …. The answer is Over Scribing. Over scribing is a method that has been adopted and recommending by the International Log Home Builders Association for Handcrafted log home construction. It where is the only proven method of ensuring that the joint between the logs stays tight during log seasoning. The concept is actually quite simple and requires that the notch be scribed at one setting and the lateral groove be scribed at a slightly larger setting. This ensures that as the log shrinks in diameter the notch will stay tight and ensure structural integrity. If you have ever seen an old log home (or one built not using over scribe) you probably noticed that the lateral groove was tight but there were gaps between the logs at the notches. Over scribing eliminates this problem.

The impetus is on you the buyer to ensure that your builder of choice uses this and other "best practices" when constructing your log home. Some builders refuse to use this method because of the extra time it takes to implement. If your builder does not freely disclose that they are using this method then you should seriously consider going elsewhere. The last think you want is the wind blowing through your log house because your builder refused to over scribe. The bottom line is that over scribing is the only method that has been found to counter-act the issues associated with log shrinkage and the implications to log home construction. There have been many variations on this method over the years but none have been as elegant and simple as good old over scribing!

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Makler Heidelberg

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Source by Darwin Forcier

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