Post and Beam Western Red Cedar Part 2

Sue | April 26th, 2012 - 6:05 am

For our second segment of Post and Beam Western Red Cedar homes we will look at some of the crafting behind these homes. Post and Beam crafting techniques are the same as what is used for our Heavy Timber Frame homes, only the logs are left round. The first time I saw the intricacy of the specific joints I was spellbound. So let me share some of the craftsmanship behind these homes.

western red cedar flared log

I am only going to show the main joints within this article. If you want a wh0le education on what each piece, joint, and rib is called then let me refer you to the Timber Home Living Magazine. I subscribe to it and often they feature articles which name each piece of these log puzzles.

Our first joint is the Mortise and Tenon. These are cut so that the tail of one fits into the slot on the other. These match up perfectly. They are used for load baring walls and locations where the downward pressure pushes them together. The male female interlocking prevents side ward movement of the logs. These joints are found within log trusses too.

mortise and tenon log joinery

Western Red Cedar can be used for ridge beams and trusses. If the home is extremely wide sometimes Douglas Fir is used in strategic places. Fir is the strongest structurally and it does offer a color contrast similar to the Red Cedar, but not as dramatic as the Red. So it matches well with the Western Red Cedar Post and Beam.

mortise and tenon joint

This is a Western Red Cedar log home with western red cedar support posts in the interior.  The squared tenon is visible on the top of the support posts that mortise into the mortise slots on the under side of the log support beam. The rugged flared bottom of the cedar support posts are also visible.

Western Red Cedar Flared Posts in Log Home

The next joint is a Dovetail. The Dovetail is shaped with diagonals within it. The most extreme end of the joint is wider so that it cannot pull out of place. For some places we have to use a double dovetail. It all depends on what the specific space within the post and beam shell requires.

This is a photo of two post and beam logs joining on top of a cedar post. This particular location was on a covered porch. The log ends are scribe fit together and rested on the post. Remember that within a Post and Beam home every log is load baring. Nothing is only decorative.

square timber post with knee braces

Round trunnels (tree-nails) are the round pins used at the bottom of the post. (These are only decorative today and are used to cover the screw heads beneath.

For detail beyond belief a Post and Beam Western Red Cedar home is a lovely choice. The red red of the cedar cannot be matched with any stain. It is an intrinsic beauty of a cedar log.

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Any projected costs, cost estimates, material costs, and estimated construction/ building costs, are only the opinion of Cowboy Log Homes and are drawn from our experience. Every home is custom tailored to meet our individual client's wants and desires. The construction of a log or timber home is based on two primary costs: material provided by the log home company and construction costs contracted with Cowboy Log Homes as the builder or another builder of the customer's choice. Final costs are obtained and contracted with each respectively. Cowboy Log Homes is simply the "glue" that helps bring these two together to provide a final culmination of a customer's project. * Please note photos and elevations may differ some from accompanying floor plans.
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