If you desire to build a log structure, you’ll have to learn about saddle notches and how they’re used. In most instances, you’ll be scribing for a saddle notch, used to link two logs perpendicularly, such as the corner of a cabin.
Fancy log scribes are offered for $100 and more. They have levels to ensure you keep them plumb in every direction. If you are going to construct a log home, these are a good investment. But if you’re wanting to construct a rougher building in which the logs aren’t prepped by hewing or sawing one or two faces flat, the pricey tools are overkill.
Do your scribing using a carpenter’s compass since it has everything you need. It has a point for scribing, a spot for tracing, and a modifiable distance between the two so you can take into account the required depth of your cut. It should be approximately half the span of the log you’re notching. Any deeper, you’ll have a hole at the top of the notch. It’s better to have the opening between the logs and seal them with rope caulk.
Doing A Saddle Notch
Once you have the required depth of the notch, put your compass at that distance. Put the log to be scribed precisely where you desire it. If one end of the log won’t be scribed, level it with shims or blocks to the height of your compass.
Put in a couple of screws to keep the log in place as you scribe. Then, holding the compass as straight as possible, follow the outlines of the bottom log and scribe the top log, then go to the other side and repeat. Before you reposition the log, scribe the other end if you have one more notch to cut there.
Once you’ve created all your scribing marks, unbolt the log and turn it over. Gently unite the scribe marks on every side to you see where to start your cut. Then create vertical cuts with a chainsaw every ½ inch into the deepness of the scribe marks and pound the wood out using a hammer. Neaten the notch with a chainsaw or chisel. Turn it over again and fit the log into its new home.
Practice before you begin. It takes some time to get the hang of cutting and scribing.
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