This is part 2 of a series on building a small log cabin. This is a reprint from a 1983 Popular Mechanics article by Michael Chotiner with illustrations done by Harry Schaare. Enjoy and I hope this helps in your quest for the ultimate tiny log cabin.
Many pioneer cabins were built without foundations because they were constructed in haste or meant to be temporary shelter. But a proper foundation is definitely required. Stone foundations traditional, but block and concrete walls are as good, or better, and they require less work.
If you don’t want a full basement, you must excavate at least below the frost line, install footings and construct a wall up to 20 in. above grade level. You must also install piers within the foundation walls to support the floor girder. Also, install anchor bolts along the top of the walls to attach the sill. Begin floor construction by hewing or cutting flat the bottom of the sill logs. Then bore holes in the sill logs to accommodate the anchor bolts and install sill sealer or a termite shield according to the local building code. The corner joints are made by bottom notching the logs as shown on page 98. Next, hew flat the top of the girder and install it over the support piers. Join it to the sill with a mortise and tenon joint. Drive 60d nails through the top of the tenon and into the mortise to complete the joint.
In a similar manner, hew or cut flat the top of the joists and install them between the girder and sill logs so they are flush with the top of the girder. Install the subflooring perpendicular to the direction of the joists. Now you’re ready to start on the walls.
To read Part 3 – Click Here
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