Timber craftsmen at their peak
Log cabins have been around worldwide since at least the 1600’s. They were the type of home that settlers to the United States built and lived in. Due to their rustic, natural look, these cabins are still being built today.
While many people build their own unique log homes, companies such as Summit Log and Timber Homes can be contracted to do the work for you. Working with you to design and build the beautiful log home of your dreams.
Summit is a Canadian business founded in 2002. They are located on Vancouver Island (BC), where there is an abundant supply of premium quality timbers.
The island is renowned for its lush forests of Broadleaf Maple, Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir. These types of wood are ideal for log homes, because they are rot-resistant and offer attractive grain and consistent straightness and length.
Log home builders are timber craftsmen. Their work is highly visible throughout the home in stairwells, ceilings, banisters and other features. Summit Log and Timber Homes’ Chief Operating Officer, Dave Jardine leads a team of 11 such craftsmen.
Dave has been logging and working with wood for almost 30 years and has also worked as a miller in Japan. When Dave saw a demonstration of a Peterson Sawmill at a local log home exhibition in 1999, he realised that the mill would be very suitable for use in the log home industry. Summit then purchased a 10” 35hp Peterson Winch Production Frame swingblade sawmill and have never looked back.
When building a client’s log home, no detail is overlooked. “We’re always trying to advance the look of our log homes and Peterson Sawmills are at the forefront of our research and development.”
Summit upgraded their WPF with extended tracks which have been permanently fixed to a solid concrete foundation.
Dave loves the versatility of the Peterson Sawmill and has used it to cut post flats and beams for the roofs and flattening logs to enable framing connections.
“The Peterson is the only mill we’ve come across that cuts true and square”
“The Peterson is the only mill I’ve come across that cuts true and square,” says Dave. “When we need to trim the end of a large Cedar flare, the mill is excellent for using as a squaring guide. We use the frame of the mill to square up the end of the logs. Centering the log between the rails and leveling the log allows us to use a large spirit level or straight edge against the frame and draw a line around the log. When cut with a chainsaw, the log is stood on end and is perfectly vertical with no gap between the log and floor.”
“We also use the tree’s roots to make table tops; with the Peterson it’s easy to cut both sides perfectly parallel.”
Another of Summit’s novel uses for the mill, is to use it as a dado cutter. A dado (a.k.a. housing) is a slot or trench cut into the surface of a piece of machinable material, usually wood. When viewed in cross-section, a dado has three sides. A dado is cut across, or perpendicular to, the grain and is thus differentiated from a groove which is cut with, or parallel to, the grain.
“By setting the log parallel to the mill rails, we cut slots into log posts and beams which allows for framing to slip into the dado cut. This gives the effect of the framed wall melting into the log.”
“If the bandsaw is dipping and diving, the thin kerf doesn’t offer any benefits at all”
Dave: “From slicing logs in half, to creating the staggering effect of log walls, to flattening floorbeams, to making entire roof systems. We are coming up with new uses for the Peterson Sawmill all the time.”
“Due to the rails and frame that hold the WPF steady, we also use it as a large skillsaw.. We have the ability to plunge the blade into and out of the log wherever we desire, this way we can fully customize each cut.”
While the Peterson Sawmill is the only mill owned by Summit Log and Timber Homes, they have hired bandsaws when they have excess work on, but Dave isn’t impressed by the timber they produce. “A bandsaw produces very wavy boards so we have to use the Peterson afterwards to plane them. If the bandsaw is dipping and diving, the thin kerf doesn’t offer any benefits at all.”
“As a log home company we have built in excess of 60 homes using the mill. We are using our Peterson all the time, it has definitely been a key component to our success”.
“The Peterson has definitely been a key component to our success”