The Natural Finish on our Logs
In shopping for a log home, you will find many excellent builders that can fit logs together just as well as we do. So what is it that makes us different?
One of the ways we differ from most other log home builders is in the care we take to preserve the natural finish of the logs. First of all, our logs are cut in the fall or winter when the sap is dormant to minimize checking and staining. Winter cut logs are vastly superior to spring or summer cut logs, and you should always ask your log builder when the logs for your home will be harvested.
Removing the inner bark
with high pressure water
When the logs arrive at our yard, the outer bark is removed using a handheld peeling spud. The inner bark, or cambium layer, is then cleaned off with a high pressure water jet. This preserves the outer layer of the tree directly beneath the bark. This surface is naturally smooth and requires no sanding, so that "grainy" look of a sanded log is avoided. The knots are cut off close to the surface, but the natural contours of the log are preserved as much as possible. This is perhaps a difficult thing to focus on when design, schedules, pricing and so on are in the forefront. It is later, when you are relaxing in your living room admiring the way the wood seems to swirl around that knot, or the way a certain surface has those interesting dimples in it, that the decision to go with the natural finish can really be appreciated.
By contrast, most other log builders peel the logs using drawknives, which cut through the outer surface, and then grind the logs smooth. This exposes the inner grain of the wood and removes most of the subtle little features described above. There is nothing wrong with this, and some folks may even prefer this look, but we would not be happy with it for our homes.