Framing--the Backbone of your Log Cabin
Framing is the structural skeleton of your house. The drawing at the top indicates the important framing members of any of the cottages. The most important elements are the sill, header, joists, girders, sole, flooring, studs, plate, and rafters. Let's take a look at these parts.
Except in the case of concrete slab construction, the sill is the first wood member to rest on the foundations and will be the first wood member you will put down. The sill is usually a 2-by-4-inch piece. In pier construction you will note that I have occasionally used a 2-by-6-inch member. This is because the header is made up of two pieces 2 inches thick, instead of one, as shown in the illustration.
Sills form a bearing surface for the undersides of joists. They should be bolted to the slab or wall foundations. If you are using pierfoundations, it is important that you first put down the sill around the building, then spike the inner header to the sill from the underside. After this is done, lay out the joists and securely spike the inner header to them.
At the corners, stagger these two parts. Then spike the outer header to the inner one, overlapping at the staggered corner edge. What you have done is to build a girder with a resting place for the joists.
Headers, except as noted above, are usually 2 inches thick and the same width as the joists. They run around the outside perimeter of the building and help keep the joists in a vertical position. They also help to transmit the roof and wall loads to the foundation.
The notched joist arrangement is used when no sill is provided. The blocking provides a bearing spot for the joists. If you use pier foundations, be sure to follow the sectional drawings for each cottage, because this header may actually be a girder around the outside of the building.
Also be sure that the joists are securely spiked to the header. Try, as far as possible, to make the headers of one continuous piece of material. If this isn't possible, be sure to join the pieces over the center line of one of the piers.
Joists members are what your flooring will rest on. The sizes applicable to each building are shown in the sectional and plan drawings. In most cases they are 2-by-6-Inch members laid 16 inches on center. I have tried to design all the camps so that it will not be necessary to cut most of the joists.
They are standard lengths which you can purchase from your local lumberyard. Because the joint spans are short, it isn't necessary to bridge the members. However, if you want a really good job, put l-by-3-inch pieces of lumber between joists as shown in the sketch at the side. You can also buy metal bridging if you would rather use it.
Bridging is usually done every 8 feet along the length of the joist. The floor joists are typically designed to take a uniform load of 40 pounds. The fiber stress (f) is 900 or over. Don't worry your head about these figures.
What it means to you is that you should use Douglas fir (Coast Region or Inland Empire), West Coast hemlock, Western larch, Southern yellow pine, redwood, oak, or any other wood having the necessary characteristics. Most yards carry either Douglas fir or hemlock for framing purposes.
About the Author: Jack Hudson is a writer for
http://www.log-cabin-plans-n-kits.com and http://www.best-house-n-home-plans.com. These two sites work collectively as a resouce for the planning and building of log cabins as well as choosing from different house plans. Visit one of these sites for informative articles as well as free TIPS for building a log home or choosing a house plan.
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