How to Overcome Natural Defects of Timber

A guide on how to overcome natural defects of timber.

Our garden buildings and products are built with slow-grown spruce timber.

We know timber. We love it, but we know that it is a natural material, prone to move and warp of its own accord. Understandably, this can be alarming when you know that your log cabin, for example, must be built to stand completely square.

How, you might ask, are you supposed to do that when one or two of your logs aren’t straight?

Don’t worry, this is easily solved!

Installation of warped or twisted timber on a log cabin is perfectly possible, just by following one of these easy step-by-step guides. These methods have proven to be successful throughout our 25 years in the industry, working with timber.

ian collins 4 x 3 insulated log cabin

  1. Quick Clamping Method

Step 1: Using two small clamps (about 300mm long is usually sufficient, though longer clamps will allow more leverage if required) one at each end of the log and blocks of wood to protect both sides of the timber from the clamps, twist the timber to near vertical whilst lowering it into the notches of the other wall sections.

Step 2: Then use a rubber mallet to knock the wall down into the grooves of the wall section below it, start at one end and work your way along, being careful not to damage the tongues of the wall section that you are hitting with the rubber hammer. If necessary, use a packing piece that is the same shape as the wall log so that no damage occurs.

  1. Wetting and Weighting Method

In the unlikely event that the quick clamping method is unsuccessful, or if you would prefer an easier option, try this method.

Step 1: Lay the timber out on a flat and level surface. This can either be on decking, patio, or a concreate foundation.

Step 2: Apply weights or heavy objects, such as piles of bricks, to flatten the timber.

Step 3: Wet the timber with water applied with a brush, or warm the timber. This may also help it to conform to the weights pressing down on it. This may take several days.

REMEMBER- once your cabin is built the weight of the roof and the total build will apply enough pressure onto the timbers to straighten them out and make it square.


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