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Old 08-04-2007, 07:26 AM   #1
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Default Log Cabin Wiring

Got a big log home to wire. It looks like it's going to be a challenge, as they were supposed to have a full cellar, and ended up putting it on a slab. The exterior walls have the holes for the boxes already in them with holes drilled in the logs, but instead of sitting on a sill, the walls are sitting on concrete! This is my first time wiring a log home, and I would really appreciate any ideas or insights anyone might have. Thanks!

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Old 08-04-2007, 10:02 AM   #2
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Sounds like a T&M job. I can't see any other way.

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Old 08-04-2007, 05:29 PM   #3
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I am doing it T&M. They already have the cabin put together. If I had been around while they were building it I could have done the exterior walls like masonary, piece by piece. Now I have to figure how to conceal the wiring. The customer is quite wealthy, and extremely picky. They also have a lot of work coming up, so I'd like to make a good impression.
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Old 08-04-2007, 06:43 PM   #4
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Default Jim R

Defintely a tough one. We have done quite a few log houses and it seems they never get any easier. If the builders drilled the bottom log then you might be able to bore straight in line with that hole and run romex below that log and have the carpenters trim with a 1x6 or anything tall enough to fit your situation. If that bottom log is split and the fat part of the log is resting right on the slab then you will have to bring you wires out in the first chink line up from bottom. Often there will be a small chase under that last log but sometimes not. If you have square log faces on the inside then the job just got harder.
Wherever they cut in windows and doors you will have to coordinate with the builder. Sometimes you can drill up and down next to the windows and doors. Quite often you will have to get the builder to put in split door jacks so that you can get your wires in there. Once you get next to the door opening you can drill horizontal into the logs to reach the switches. Drilling in end grain of logs is tough, you'll be sharpening your bits every day.
If you have round logs with chinking to deal with your job will be a little easier. Use the space between the logs to run your wires and have them chinked later. This is all assuming romex is legal in your jurisdiction.
Sharp bits, plenty of bit extensions, sharp chisels, and the right people using them. Everything you do will be on the finished surface. Very tedious work.
It definetly is time and material work, but if you think it through and work carefully you can show a nice looking job at the end.
You can use regular romex boxes, either fiber or plastic and cut them in the log faces with a 2-1/8" selffeed bit and smaller bits for the corners and sharp chisels cutting in the wallplates. Another option for boxes is have the log guys use their grinders to make a big flat space everywhere your have a box. If your logs are flat on the inside then you can use a plunge router with a homemade jig to cut in your boxes. Some years ago I saw a setup with a vacuum for sale on the web that looked like it might work. Expensive though. I can't find it now. One problem we had with the router is that we couldn't get router bits quite long enough to cut in the deeper boxes so we had to watch box fill.
We don't do so many log homes as we used to but I do know that they are a lot of work. Those sips panel homes aren't much easier imo. Or foam walls poured with concrete.
Good luck.
Jim R
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Old 08-05-2007, 07:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by te12co2w View Post
Defintely a tough one. We have done quite a few log houses and it seems they never get any easier. If the builders drilled the bottom log then you might be able to bore straight in line with that hole and run romex below that log and have the carpenters trim with a 1x6 or anything tall enough to fit your situation. If that bottom log is split and the fat part of the log is resting right on the slab then you will have to bring you wires out in the first chink line up from bottom. Often there will be a small chase under that last log but sometimes not. If you have square log faces on the inside then the job just got harder.
Wherever they cut in windows and doors you will have to coordinate with the builder. Sometimes you can drill up and down next to the windows and doors. Quite often you will have to get the builder to put in split door jacks so that you can get your wires in there. Once you get next to the door opening you can drill horizontal into the logs to reach the switches. Drilling in end grain of logs is tough, you'll be sharpening your bits every day.
If you have round logs with chinking to deal with your job will be a little easier. Use the space between the logs to run your wires and have them chinked later. This is all assuming romex is legal in your jurisdiction.
Sharp bits, plenty of bit extensions, sharp chisels, and the right people using them. Everything you do will be on the finished surface. Very tedious work.
It definetly is time and material work, but if you think it through and work carefully you can show a nice looking job at the end.
You can use regular romex boxes, either fiber or plastic and cut them in the log faces with a 2-1/8" selffeed bit and smaller bits for the corners and sharp chisels cutting in the wallplates. Another option for boxes is have the log guys use their grinders to make a big flat space everywhere your have a box. If your logs are flat on the inside then you can use a plunge router with a homemade jig to cut in your boxes. Some years ago I saw a setup with a vacuum for sale on the web that looked like it might work. Expensive though. I can't find it now. One problem we had with the router is that we couldn't get router bits quite long enough to cut in the deeper boxes so we had to watch box fill.
We don't do so many log homes as we used to but I do know that they are a lot of work. Those sips panel homes aren't much easier imo. Or foam walls poured with concrete.
Good luck.
Jim R
Thanks for the input, Jim. The cabin is made in Canada and was assembled on site. It has some of the biggest logs I've ever seen in my life, and they are actually cants (flat on 2 sides) to minimize chinking. The holes for the boxes are already in the walls, and there are 1" holes drilled straight down from each of them. I hope when they level the walls, there will be enough room for my wires, or it looks like a baseboard for sure. I'd planned on pulling the doors to drill horizontally for the switches, have to see what it looks like while the doors are out. I'll make sure I've got some new, sharp bits and chisels. There is another cabin (same family) next door, so I can get some ideas from it, although it has a finished basement, so most of the wiring is run below. I've done some post and beams, and they have their own challenges, but this will be my first log home. Thanks again for the info.
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Old 08-08-2007, 07:52 PM   #6
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Default Log Homes

Just a suggestion that we use to cut box in log easier. We take a scrap piece of to make a jig will need a routor with a deep plunge bit.Cut a rectangle hole in the center of the plywood so that when the routor follows the cut out you will cut the right size opening for your box.Secure the plywood to the logs with two sheetrock screws.This works great after you get the jig made.
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Old 08-11-2007, 08:29 PM   #7
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Looks like wiremold to the rescue
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Old 08-11-2007, 09:49 PM   #8
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I believe I would be renting a concrete saw also. Usually in larger homes we do they always want a recep in the middle of the room!
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDShunk View Post
Sounds like a T&M job. I can't see any other way.
I know this is probably a dead thread, but what is T&M? My wife and I are talking about having a log home and I do /not/ want the wires run on the surface. I had heard to wire you would have to bore the holes as the logs are laid (we'd be using these guys) and I have no problem with that. I'd be doing the wiring myself (by the time we'd be able to afford this, I should have my contractor's license) or with the help of my classmates. I was actually searching for log cabin wiring and this was the second result in Google.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:35 PM   #10
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Time & Material.

AKA: won't lose your shirt/less profit
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:37 PM   #11
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Should have figured it was that, hehe
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:38 PM   #12
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Act surprised that they aren't furring the walls.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:12 PM   #13
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sure
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:25 PM   #14
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Log homes are overrated. Homes made of concrete and rebar thirty feet below grade.... that's awesome! It would be like living at Stargate Command with Tee-yilk.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:06 PM   #15
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I'm going to let that comment pass as it's way OT.

While that would be awesome, my ultimate dream home is a two story above ground built into the side of a hill with 5 stories below ground.





(and yes, I know, hypocritical, just wanted to say in my own words...I AGREE! lol)
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:20 AM   #16
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I also want a two story house in the woods.with five underground
Just moved to a new area with lots of log homes . I can't stand wire mold and have a great router should I rout behind cabinets and buy 6' long drill bits for the rest
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:07 PM   #17
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Twice resurrected
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:27 PM   #18
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Almost 3.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:48 PM   #19
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Wow, it's been a while. I almost thought this was a new thread I didn't remember subscribing too. lol
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:08 PM   #20
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