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Log-Building School

If you have any inclination to build your log home yourself or be your own general contractor, consider going to school for it before you start carving out those notches.
by Rachel Machacek

Log Home Under Construction

The Pat Wolfe Log Building School
The Pat Wolfe Log Building School in Ontario offers several hands-on courses in log building (European chink-less style)—from a one-week session during which you’ll brush up on enough industry knowledge to be your own contractor to an intensive 10-week course, after which you just might change your profession.

Great Lakes School of Log Building
In northern Minnesota, the instructors at the Great Lakes School of Log Building will teach you the skills necessary to construct your own handcrafted log cabin. Their craft is Scandinavian full-scribed log construction, and the 10-day course is designed in accordance with the International Log Builders’ Association Log Building Standards/Best Practices. Beginners welcome.

Island School of Building Arts
At the Island School of Building Arts in British Columbia, students learn to build a 16-by-24-foot log house over four weeks. There’s also a semester option—a 16-week course that covers log building, timber post-and-beam construction, timber-frame bents and decorative stonework.

North House Folk School
There are a number of building classes at the North House Folk School, though we think you’ll like the builders workshop for dovetail log homes (you’ll build your own 8-by-8-foot cabin) and the introduction to log-home building that focuses on erecting a home with round logs. Both classes last five days and are suitable for beginners.

Moose Mountain Log Homes
Thank you for your interest in our Log Building Course. Moose Mountain Log Homes Inc. has been handcrafting log homes since 1978. The initial intent of our courses was to train future potential log craftsmen, that we could then offer employment to. Today an equal number of students have an interest in either building their own home or entering the industry in some other location, therefore our program has been catered to both approaches.

Published in Log Home Living
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3 Responses

  1. Log building is a noble craft, and I have a particular love of the full scribe technique. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend the Pat Wolfe School. My experience was of poor teaching, poor safety, and out of date techniques. I would recommend researching schools, and I hope my comments help any prospective logbuilder.

    • I also attended the Pat Wolf school. What can I say, some of it was good, part not so good. Good 1) Build a real full size house, not tinker toy models. 2) Ok place to stay. Housing on the lake very nice… except for the mice. Able to paddle on lake, fish, etc.

      3) Brian is willing answer any questions about anything after you leave the course. Very valuable and appreciated.

      4) Build network of friends that will last years. Can also pick their brains for help.

      In my group lots of alcohol drinking after work hours. Which was grounds for dismissal from school. Not enforced. Double standards. Probably for insurance reasons.

      Not so good. 1) Do not teach ILBA Standards very much at all. They use techniques Pat Wolf has used for the last 30 years… some good, some not so good. 2) Instruction on trusses was terrible. Having taught before, preparation is the key to successful instruction and the instructor came unprepared. No handouts, no hands on problems to work, no sample exercises, simply terrible. After 25 years of making the same truss, you would think he would have an AutoCad drawing of the thing!! Instead of making us board draw it. Sure one learns to by doing hand drawings. But after listening to him for 20 mins about the calculations no one really followed.. forget it. Could learn more from Chambers book. Better teaching techniques are required!!! Still there was information there very valuable that I could not get from books I have read.

      If one is going to teach, take an instruction education course or something of the like. Especially if you charge people money for it, and for the sake of being competent.

      Bad 1) Robert Chambers DVD and books insists on taking the logs off the wall for cutting notches for safety. Not at this school. Notches are cut on the wall. Can be done, was done. Pat Wolf has done it for like 30 years. Ok perhaps for skilled folks. Question safety for students. For first timers, it can be not safe. With practice on technique, and being careful, it can / is done. Still professional builder take log off walls to keep workers safe. The same standards should be applied certainly to a school for students.

      It could be a really good school with some changes which I am sure Brain (the new manager owner) is aware of. Rather holding on to the past and brand name of Pat Wolf … a builder for like 30 years .. in the league with Allen Mackie.

      I only went for 4 weeks. I really just needed more hands on to make notches, etc to build my confidence. Got what I wanted out of the course.

      ToolmanMay 17, 2013 @ 2:01 pmReply
  2. The Montana School of Log Building offers 5 day classes, a Video Course, and site consultation for owner builders in Three Forks, Montana. 406-285-3488

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