Log Corner Installation
Weekes Forest Products is an authorized distributor of Timberline Log Exteriors and is proud to associate our Glacier Lodge™ brand name with this quality product and professional company. Please browse the installation instructions to ensure that you install the product correctly.
OverviewThere are four basic steps to installing Timberline Log Exteriors' siding to your home:
Tools You'll Need
Setting Doors and Windows ProperlyYou need at least 1/2" of your doors and windows protruding over your exterior sheathing. (Or furring if you are remodeling.)
If you do not have at least a 1/2" protrusion around your doors and windows, or you want a "heavier" look, we recommend you picture-frame around your doors and windows with a rough-sawn 2x2 or 2x4 of pine or cedar:
A Benchmark Around the HouseYou can measure down from the soffit or measure up from the foundation. All you need is a straight reference line around the house. Locate it at a comfortable height, say about 3 feet. This is easy enough on a single-level house, but if you have a multi-level house or a lot of inside and outside corners, you may find it easiest to shoot a line around your home with an optical level.
The objective is to get a reference line at all the corners so you can layout the corner logs and the siding. The corner logs and siding need to be straight in relation to the building. This means that the benchmark need not always be level, but it does need to be parallel to any horizontal lines such as soffits, porches and large windows.
A Craftsman AttitudeBy now you have a good idea of what you want your home to look like. An attitude of wanting to learn and do your best will do more for the appearance of your home than the fanciest and most expensive tools on the market. You by no means need to be a cabinet maker to install this product, but if you find yourself saying "That's good enough," stop, stand back, and think about whether it really is "good enough."
Protecting Your Wood Before Installation
ImportantThere are different sizes of log siding. Timberline's log-corner system was designed to be used with standard 2x8 log siding. Because of different siding manufacturers and different manufacturing techniques, not all siding is manufactured to exactly the same dimensions.
The critical dimension for Timberline's log-corner system is the actual coverage of the log siding, not including the overlap. Our product is designed for a 65/8" coverage; this is what we have found to be the norm. If your siding covers more or less than 65/8", you will have to adjust your corner layout to fit the dimension of your siding.
Take an average of several pieces of siding to decide what your actual coverage is. We will use an example of a 63/4" coverage.
In Chapter 2, Layout, change your layout increment from 65/8" to 63/4". You will find that you will have to hold each log slightly off the one below it before you nail. You will find it easier to hold layout if you mark both sides of the corner. Don't be concerned with the slight space between corner logs, this area will be caulked anyway.
Your siding template for cutting the points will also need to be modified. Since you are creating an 1/8" space on your corner layout, you will need to create this on the siding point. Cut the original template along the center line, from point to point, and leave a space of 1/8" between the two template pieces while you copy the template to a material you can use in the field.
We know that the slight differences in dimensions from manufacturer to manufacturer can be an inconvenience. But this has very little effect on the outcome, and won't slow you down if you're aware of the differences before you get started.
2.1: Single-Level HouseIf you are working with a single-level foundation, we have found it best to start out with an even half log on the bottom as your starter log. It doesn't matter which direction the half log is facing; just note that on whichever side the half log is facing, your bottom piece of siding will be full width on that side also.
Mark a horizontal line, on the corner, 35/16"
up from where you want the bottom of the siding to start. (Note: The siding
should overlap the foundation by 3/4"
to 1", if at all possible.) This will be the top of your starter log. See
Detail 2-A. Now measure down from your benchmark and write it down for
reference. This measurement will be used for laying out the other corners.
Measure up from the mark on the corner in 65/8"
increments. (Each log is 65/8"
in diameter.) This will give you the top of the log, on one side of the corner.
See Detail 2-B. It is not necessary to mark both sides of the corner, but if you
do, make sure the marks are halfway between the marks on the other side of the
Draw a horizontal line through the marks on the corner with a small framing
square, as shown in Detail 2-C.
Go to your next corner. If the mark you made for your starter log was on the north side of the house, then the next half starter log will either be on the north or south side of the house; it will not be on the east or west side. See Detail 2-D.
To accurately mark the top of the next starter log, mark down from your benchmark the dimension you wrote down on the first corner. This will give you the top of the starter log and just start measuring up in 65/8" increments as you did on the first corner.
All the other outside corners are laid out the same way. Be very careful not
to get your mark for the starter log on the wrong side of the corner. Just
remember that all starter logs, on a single-level foundation, are on the same
axis: north to south or east to west.
2.2: Multilevel HouseThe first corner in a multilevel house is laid out the same way as in Section 2.1. The trick is to mark the top of the starter logs on all the outside corners, so your siding will line up.
If Your Next Corner Starts Lower Than Your First CornerFrom the bench mark, measure down the same as you measured on the first corner. From this mark, measure down in 65/8" increments. This will give you the top of each log. See Detail 2-E. More than likely, your starter log will not be a half log and it may or may not be on the same axis as your first starter log. On a multilevel house, all logs pointing to the same axis (north-south or east-west) are on the same level.
If Your Next Corner Starts Higher Than Your First CornerIt is necessary to measure up from your starter log on the first corner in 65/8" increments until you have a measurement to the bench mark that you can transfer to the next corner. See Detail 2-F. You'll note that what you are doing is transferring tops of logs from one corner to the next.
If you're not feeling comfortable with layout, you may want to tack up a few
corners as a visual aid. Read the next chapter on corner logs and go ahead and
tack up a few corner logs. Don't use any glue and don't get carried away; these
pieces will have to come down and be glued for permanent installation.
3.1: Cutting a Starter LogYour first log on a corner will be a starter log. The starter log is a full corner log that has been cut in half or less. For clarity, we will show you a half log as a starter log.
As you may have noticed, your corner order is a 50-50 mix of right- and
left-corner pieces. The best way to tell the difference between the two is to
stand a few up on the flat end, face the curve towards you, if the tenon is on
your left then it is a left-hand corner log. If the tenon is on your right-you
guessed it-this is a right-hand corner log. See Detail 3-A. A left corner log
will be attached on the left side of a corner as you look at it. A right corner
log-you guessed it again-will be attached on the right side of the corner.
Decide which corner log you need for your starter log, left or right, and temporarily attach it to a corner of the house at a comfortable height. Make sure the corner log is square and level. Mark a line halfway through the log on the end, as shown in Detail 3-B. Make sure the mark is level. Now mark down each side of the log with a level, connecting the level line you made on the end of the log. See Detail 3-C.
To cut the starter log, you have two options:
3.2: Attaching the Corner LogsYou have your starter log cut, your layout is complete, and you're ready to make your house look like a log home. Let's make it happen. You will need the construction adhesive, caulking gun, 16D nails, a hammer, and a small framing square.
Start out by putting adhesive on the starter log on the two flat areas where the
log meets the corner. Don't be stingy with the glue; you don't want it running
out all over the corner, but you do want good adhesion between the log and the
corner. Place the starter log against the corner so the top of the log is just
touching the layout mark. Lay your framing square on the top of the log so the
log lies square with the corner. Drive in two 16D nails into the tenon, making
sure you nail into the framing member in the corner. See Detail 3-D. The starter
log may not feel very secure right now but it will after you attach the next few
Set your next log upright on the ground and put adhesive on the two flat areas
and also the curved area where this log will make contact with the log below it.
See Detail 3-E. Saddle this log on the corner and over your starter log so they
make good contact. You usually have to wiggle the corner around to get the best
fit. Again place your framing square on top of the log, square it up and drive
two nails into the tenon, making sure you're driving into the framing member of
Now you're on your way. Put adhesive on the next log the same way you did on the second log. The only difference on this side is that you have a layout mark. Make sure the top of the log is at the mark. Square up the log and nail it.
If your starter log has sagged or feels loose, you can toenail a nail or a deck screw into the third log and the starter log. This is usually a good idea anyway. The starter log has the least bearing surface and is usually the log that gets the most abuse.
The rest of the logs are put on in the same fashion. Below we have listed some tricks for making the corners go faster and more smoothly, and also some cures if you run into problems.
3.3: Cutting the Top LogIf your soffits are flat, you can cut the top log the same way you did the starter log.
If your soffits are on a rake, you will have to cut your top log or logs at this same angle. Figure out how much wood you will have to take off a corner log. Be conservative; it's a lot easier to take more off than add it back on. Clamp or nail the corner piece down and cut the log with a chainsaw or bandsaw. If you have cut it relatively close, finish it up with a belt sander or a power planer.
The light brown or tan construction adhesive works well to fill in any miscuts or gouges. Try not to smear the adhesive all over the wood. You will probably want to go over the adhesive with caulking when you get ready to stain.
On both a flat soffit and a raked soffit, you will probably be cutting off the tenon of the corner log. Lots of adhesive and a few long deck screws work wonders.
4.1: Cutting PointsYou will find two templates toward the back of this manual. One template is for a Western Log Siding profile and the other is for a Timberline Round-to-Round log siding profile. They are clearly marked, and if you're not sure which log siding profile you have, go back to the section in the front of this manual that's entitled "Before You Start." Nothing further said.
Cut along the outside edge of the template. Now make a copy of this template onto something that will hold up outside. The best medium we have found is heavy gasket material, the kind you can find at your local auto-supply store. It bends nicely around the log siding and is almost indestructible, unless you let your dog use it for a chew toy (voice of experience). Light tin works well, as does cardboard. You can use light plywood, but it doesn't want to bend around the log siding.
You will note that there is a top to the template; mark this on your new template. It always points to the tongue of the siding. The very point on the template is offset to allow for the overlap of the siding.
Lay the template on top of the curved side of the siding and mark the point on the wood with a pencil. Keep the top of the template at the top of the tongue, as shown in Detail 4-A. You will note that you will be needing a right or a left point to fit into the corners. A right point is on the right side of the template and goes on the right side of the log siding (tongue up), which goes on the right side of the wall as you look at it. Right or wrong, it will only fit one way.
Take your new, super-heavy-duty industrial jigsaw (that cost you a fortune) and cut out the point. Use a medium-toothed wood blade and backcut the face of the wood so only the face of the siding will make contact with the log. If you have an orbital setting on your jigsaw, it will make this cut go much faster. Now look at the point you just cut out and notice the dark marks where the foot of the jigsaw dragged across the wood as you were cutting. A couple of strips of duct tape on the bottom of the foot (the jigsaw's, not yours) will solve this problem.
The backcut on the point serves a couple of purposes. First, it allows for some protrusion of the tenon and you can take a wood rasp and hit the edge to make it fit better to the corner logs. A perfect fit is not necessary since you have to caulk this area anyway.
Make up a few points and continue through the Siding chapter. After you get a good feel for it, we have found that the job goes a lot faster if you cut the majority of your points before you really get started. You will need one point for each corner log you installed and you will need an equal number of rights and lefts. An assembly-line type of operation is a lot faster than jigsawing one piece at a time as you need it.
4.2: Laying Out the SidingCut a left point with about 2' of tail and put a right point on it. This will be used to give you marks on the side of the log corners so you can snap chalk lines. People always ask why they can't just use a level and start slapping up siding. You can, but you are assuming that the house is perfectly level, your level is level, and every board is perfectly straight. Nice try, but I wouldn't put money on it. By using a chalk line, you can solve all three potential problems and speed up installation.
Stick the point in between two logs and mark the top of the tongue. Mark both sides of all the outside corners. Now snap a chalk line between corresponding marks on a wall. Make sure and pull it tight so there is minimal sag in the line. Try to snap through all the openings such as doors and windows. This will give you a straight reference line at the top of each piece of siding. If you have problems snapping a line through openings because of the jamb, snap as many lines as you can and measure up or down on each side of the opening in 65/8" increments. Now finish snapping your lines. A note of caution: make sure you are coming up evenly around your openings, they all have to match when they get to the top of the opening.
It may not be necessary to snap lines on a board that is 4' or less, but you do need to have marks on each side of the board.
4.3: MeasuringTo measure the length of a board you want to cut, we have found it easiest to hold the dumb end of the tape against the log and measure to where you want the cut. See Detail 4-B. Then hook your tape on the top of the point, at the tongue, and measure out that dimension. Do this on the back of the siding, as that is where you want to cut.
4.4: Cutting a JointYou have two options:
4.5: Attaching the Log SidingThere are several options for nailing the siding to the wall, and each one has a give-and-take on three key factors: First: strong, solid attachment; second: low visibility; and third: speed of attachment. Strong, solid attachment is the most important factor. If you don't have this, your siding will look good when you first put it up, but will start moving around on the wall in very short order. It is recommended that you penetrate the framing member by at least 11/2". You should figure that the siding is 1" thick where you will be nailing, and if you are using 1/2" of foam insulating board, you will need a nail at least three inches long. Table 1 gives some of the pros and cons to different fasteners. No matter what fastener you decide to use, it must be galvanized.
Detail 4-C shows you the proper nailing pattern. Over the years, people have attached log siding in numerous ways. What this has given us is a lot of methods that don't work. Wood always wants to move with the changes in temperature and humidity. Your siding has to be able to expand and contract with these changes.
Do not blind nail. This means nailing into the tongue so the next piece of siding covers the nail head. It looks great and will hold for a while, but within a few years the tongue will split from the expanding and contracting and you will be either renailing the job or pulling down expensive toothpick material.
Do not nail into the overlap. The log siding needs to move independent of each other. If you try nailing them together, they will eventually split apart.
Hit that stud. The outside sheathing is not enough to hold the log siding, even if it is plywood. The manufacturer of your log siding may or may not guarantee your siding against warpage and twisting on the wall, but Timberline Log Exteriors will stick its neck out and guarantee that the log siding will twist and warp if you don't attach the siding properly. This is an unconditional guarantee. Hit that stud.
Nail into the point. You should have a framing member at the corner, where the point of the log siding butts into the corner logs. Get a nail or screw into this point. Its a hard place to nail, but because of the end grain of the wood, it has a tendency to pull away from the wall.
5.1: Where and When to UseBy now you have become more aware of the look and details you will find on full log homes. These same effects can be achieved with Timberline Log Exteriors log corner system, all it takes is a few accessory logs and a good concept of what you want to achieve. One of the best areas to do detail work on is the gables of your home. With a few logs, you can give the visual effect of log rafters stick out the wall where ceiling rafters would extend if your home was constructed from full log. The same goes for purlins, which would support your roof on a full log home
Another good area to add detail to is to those large areas of wall on a multilevel house. Give your home the effect of log floor joist extending through the wall. This not only breaks up a bland wall but adds to the authenticity.
If your foundation extends out of the ground very much, you can add rafter tails at the foundation level to give the effect of log floor joist. This gives the illusion of your foundation not being so tall.
We know that these ideas are not easy to visualize on your own home, but the visual effect will far outweigh any added expense. Visualize in your head what you want your home to look like. The techniques are outlined in this chapter. But don't stop there; the techniques can be adapted to fit most any idea.
5.2: Getting a BalanceTake a look at Detail 5-A, notice where the rafter tails are placed, at the same level as the last full corner log,and about where the rafters or trusses set on the wall. Each home is different, so if this doesn't work well on your home, stand back and pick a point where you think they would go if you were using full log. You can't go wrong. Every full log home is different.
Now look at the purlins in the same detail. Notice how they line up with the rafter tails below them. This isn't absolutely necessary, but we have found that it adds a visual balance to the wall. Also note the center purlin at the peak of the roof lines up with a rafter tail in the center of the wall. The rafter tails are placed on approximately three-foot centers; two feet or less can look busy, and four feet or more can look sparse.
5.3: Rafter TailsYou have figured out where you want place the rafter tails, realize that they go between two pieces of siding. Cut your two pieces of siding and temporarily tack them into place. Climb that ladder! Mark the center of the wall on both pieces of siding. Now measure the distance from this center line to the center line of the corner logs on each side, in inches. Divide this number by three and it will give some crazy number with a lot of digits after the decimal point. Round it to the nearest whole number. This is the number of rafter tails you will need on each side. Go back and divide this number into the distance between your center log and the corner log. This will give you the distance, center to center, of each rafter tail.
Pull down the two pieces of siding you tacked up. Transfer the center line mark onto the back of the siding. Lay out in both directions from your center line, to give you the center of each rafter tail. These marks need to be on both boards. Measure over from these center line marks 35/16" to get the edge of the rafter tail and draw a straight line through these marks with a framing square. Piece of cake.
You now have both sides of the rafter tails marked. To get the top and bottom marks, remember that you have to adjust for the overlap of the tongue and channel. On the bottom board, measure down from the top of the tongue 313/16" (half the diameter of a log plus the overlap of the tongue and channel); this will give you the bottom of the rafter tail. On the top board, measure up from the very bottom of the siding (not the bottom of the channel) 35/16".
Take a rafter tail and lay it between your marks so the outside edge is just touching the lines, and trace a pencil line around the bottom of the log. Cut along the line being careful that your jigsaw blade doesn't bend and create a coned circle. Turn the siding over and make sure the logs fit properly. If not, cut any small holes out a little more with the jigsaw, this time on the face side. If you made them too large, you can fill it in later with adhesive (liquid miter-box).
Everything is looking good so far. Take your bottom board and nail it in place. Put some construction adhesive on the back side of the rafter tail and some on the saddle area of the siding, where the rafter tail will set. Set the rafter tails in place and toenail a nail or a screw into the top back side of the rafter tail, where it makes contact with the sheathing. Make sure they're straight and square.
Set your top board in place and double-check that it fits properly. Squirt some construction adhesive on the top saddle area, where it makes contact with the rafter tail. Put the board in place and nail it before it gets away.
It's a good idea to squirt glue around any gaps between the rafter tails and the siding. Also make sure they're square and level. They may not feel very secure now, but by the time the adhesive sets up you'll need sledgehammer to get them to move. Rafter tails can go anywhere in a wall in the same manner. Decide where you want them, figure your layout, and get after it.
5.4: PurlinsPurlins are the logs that go right under your soffits. They are usually about two feet long and are either full round or split in half. We have found that the split purlins are a lot easier to install, and the visual effect is almost the same. See in Detail 5-A how the curve of the split log is below the fascia. You need this for proper effect. If your fascia is extra wide, you will probably want to use full-log purlins. You will need at least one full purlin for the peak.
Attach the purlins against the soffit, directly over a rafter tail. You may have to cut them to length. Make them as long as possible so one end touches the sheathing and the other end touches the fascia. If you are using split purlins, put some adhesive on the flat area and nail or screw the purlin to the soffit. A nail or screw through the fascia and into the purlin works well. If you're using full-round, place a bead of adhesive along the top edge of the log where it makes contact with the soffit. Toenail into the sheathing on one end and through the fascia on the other; this goes for the full-round purlin at the peak also.
All the purlins are put up prior to installing the siding. Start laying up your siding and cut around the purlins. You'll soon learn why we said the split purlins are a lot easier.
Contact your local building material retailer to learn more about the Glacier
Lodge family of high-quality pine products available only from Weekes, or
contact one of our distribution facilities
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