Need help joining these logs!

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Blog entry by steelcity73 posted 10-29-2010 01:00 AM 2680 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I need to cup the small log to fit around the other log and the 45* angle is throwing me for a loop? Not sure what tool/tools i need to accomplish this?

11 comments so far

View Jeff Roberts's profile

Jeff Roberts

35 posts in 3299 days

#1 posted 10-29-2010 02:09 AM

My dad made this house using fence posts (looks like what you have). He cut the corners using a large forstner bit. I think he clamped two logs together and cut two at a time.

You could probably make a fixture and use the same method at the 45 deg angle. Lee Valley sells individual saw tooth bits up to 4” dia.,180,42240

-- Jeff, Dayton, OH

View swirt's profile


2731 posts in 2966 days

#2 posted 10-29-2010 02:53 AM

A compass to use as a scribe to transfer the profile of the one log to the other. Then you could use a combination of hand saw cuts and a chisel or gouge to remove the waste.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3159 posts in 3103 days

#3 posted 10-29-2010 03:00 AM

Too thick to use a coping saw. You could make a jig to tip and hold it at 45 degrees and cut it with a band saw.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2991 days

#4 posted 10-29-2010 05:03 AM

I am going to ask where does this go ? Generally the small piece you have is mortised into the long piece for structural support. I am thinking with the 45 degree you are using it as a brace of some kind. Cupping it and nailing it would be a weak JOINT. If you need to do it, I would do what SWIRT has said. Can be cleaned up with a rasp as well.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2825 days

#5 posted 10-29-2010 05:32 AM

Are these the actual pcs or just some scraps to illustrate? I assuming by the look of the growth rings that these are 6”-8” in diameter? Like canadianchips said, you would nomally notch the longer log. I had a few projects years ago doing log constrution and building log trusses per say for open gable porches. The horizontal log would have a flat area cut into it a few inches deep. The length of this notch would be approximately the length of the angle on the smaller log . Then cut a plumb/vertical cut off the point of the smaller/web log that matches the height of the notch in the horizontal log This cut will then be pressure fit into the horizontal log. Basically you end up with a right angle piece fitting into a right angle notch. If this is a web piece of an open truss it will be under compression from the rafter log and this notch keeps things from moving.

I do all this with a sharp 14” chainsaw. After all they are logs. Just take your time and carve away what you need until you get the fit you desire.
I’m sure I’ve explained this in a very confusing manner. It’s one of those things thats easier to show you than explain it.
You can also google “swedish cope”. It’s a corner method used in log construction that might give you some other ideas.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View steelcity73's profile


20 posts in 3353 days

#6 posted 10-29-2010 08:40 AM

Thanks guys/gals for the replies, here’s what I’m wanting to do. I’ve got a log cabin with a 12/12 pitch, the owners are wanting to put fans in the main living area. This is a basic idea I had for mounting the fans, since it’s a 12/12 pitch the angle is to steep for he trim kit and down rod. So I was wanting to take a section of the log and attach it to the main beams in the roof as shown in my sketch. Don’t know if this is possible or would even b structurally sound, that’s why I’ve turned to u guys?

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2882 days

#7 posted 10-29-2010 11:20 AM

I’d use a compass to mark out the profile needed, then rough in the cut out with a dado set on the table saw, then finish it up with a curved gouge and a mallet.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2825 days

#8 posted 10-29-2010 01:47 PM

Check with your fan manufacturer to see if they make a ceiling trim for a 12/12 pitch. Sometimes your can get a different brand trim and make it work. The down side is the rediculous price they want for these “accessories”
Just another option if you want to make things easier.
Structurally it should be fine if you fasten it well with olyscrews, grks, timberlocs, etc. and a generous amount of construction adhesive. Any vibration of the fan will be your enemy over time and possibly loosen the connection.
Good luck.
I would still go with the chainsaw for the bulk of the removal and then maybe use a belt sander’s front nose to fine tune with a 50 or 60 grit.
Have you thought of buildiing a pine/2×8 box scribed to fit? Then rough up the box to get it to match the log texture.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View RussInMichigan's profile


600 posts in 2775 days

#9 posted 10-29-2010 03:06 PM

Would you be hanging the fan from the horizontal round log stock, then? And, would the stock be attached only at one end, as the sketch suggests? This can be done if the horizontal piece is not too long and is very well attached to the building member by lag bolt, or big tight-fitting pinned tenon and polyurethane glue.

To match the profile, I would hog out most of it with a circular saw of some sort, then refine the profile with an angle grinder with a course wheel or belt sander with 40 grit.

If the pieces can be handled so the flat end can be safely put on the table saw, you could use Big Tiny’s suggestion for removing most of the waste. I’ve had success matching profiles in flat stock to round stock by passing the flat stock through the saw at a slight angle. See this Steve Marin video on youtube for an example of this technique. [] By adjusting the blade size, blade tilt and the angle you run the stock through you can remove most of the waste. I’ve made many cuts this way that were close enough that I couldn’t see any way to make the fit better. Many people who make log furniture use a similar approach, but they use a circular saw in a jig to remove the waste.

Good luck with it.

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2825 days

#10 posted 10-29-2010 03:23 PM

Russ has a good idea. This would be similiar to making crown molding on a tablesaw. Norm Abram was always showing this. But are the original log rafters turned round or just stripped of their bark and hand hewn?

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View swirt's profile


2731 posts in 2966 days

#11 posted 10-29-2010 08:54 PM

Another option, for more strength would be to either half-lap them or bridle joint them such that the part holding the fan has the two eared bridle. The hardest part of that would be notching the sides of the roof rafter which are already in place.

-- Galootish log blog,

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