New log ends and crowns


This home near White Bear Lake, Minnesota had a number of rotten logs on this east wall of the log house. When Mr. McShane contacted us, he was concerned about the extent of the rot and the failing condition of the finish on the logs. The logs on his Twin Cities home are referred to as turned logs, which means they were put on a mill and made to a uniform size the entire length of the log.  Another term for this type of logs is penciled logs.


Turned logs tend to be vulnerable to decay. The main thing that makes them  susceptible to rot is their propensity to check.  A check is a naturally-occurring crack in the log that is the result of uneven pressure between the outer and inner parts of the wood. When these checks are on the top side of a log facing upwards, they tend to collect water. Water can travel along the crack and affect surrounding logs, which in turn sets up the right conditions for rot to take hold.

We cut into the logs to remove the decayed wood. Once the rot is removed, we treated the fresh wood with a concentrated borate solution to give some added protection against future rot. Here is  a link to more information on borate treatment.

Once the rot was removed, we carefully fit a half log into place. Our replacement logs are dried cedar logs. Why cedar? People often ask if these cedar logs will blend in with the rest of their logs and the answer is “Yes!” They blend in beautifully.

After the logs are attached with galvanized screws, we caulk around the new log, making sure there was a good seal between the new log and the old one.

The final step is to apply a finish/stain to the new logs.

On this house, we also straightened out a kitchen wall. Look for more information on that part of the project. It was an interesting task that can only be done by someone with an in-depth knowledge about log home construction.

This is what the customer had to say once the project was complete:

You guys did a great job. I already referred you to a good friend with a log cabin in Mason, WI.”

K. McShane