Although restoration is the term craftsmen usually apply to the repair of a log structure, Dave Tuxbury of American Log Restoration in Twin Lake, Michigan, prefers the world replication.Dave
came into the business of restoration with the background of a log builder.In this role he
was often consulted regarding water infiltration, settling and structural problems.Finding solutions became a challenge and, as his
skills grew, a source of pride.He
mastered the art of replacing logs using techniques, tools and materials that allow the logs to blend perfectly into the original structure; this the emergence of the method he
calls replication.To achieve replication, he
uses logs with the same characteristics as the replaced ones and then duplicates the original building procedure.A replicated area will tie in and perfectly match the existing structure.The building's authenticity, structural balance and beauty will be returned.
In the last fifteen years, Dave Tuxbury
crew have used this method on hundreds of log buildings: some have historical significance; others are modern residences.These included handcrafted, saddle-notch homes, both chinked and full scribe; square beamed with dove-tailed corners; and various styles of machined logs.
Last year he
was called to Berrien Springs to restore the Murdock house, the oldest log building in Michigan.
In restoring the building, Dave
used some of the same tools the original builders used: saws and axes for squaring and log marks; saws and chisels for hand hewing the dove tails.
The building had to be jacked up to level to remove the bottom logs that were being replaced.Five logs, pressure-treated to withstand the weather, were then installed.The bottom sill log on the width of the house was un-spliced and ran the full width to tie the house securely together.While the building was jacked up, the bowed logs that remained were straightened by repositioning.Dave
stapled screening onto the logs to hold the lime, sand and mortar mixture - the authentic chinking material that was used.After the mortar cured, two coats of sealant were applied to it.
With turning logs of the same species as the original and saws and chisels, Dave
workers duplicated the logs and the notches.
found white pine that weighed nearly one ton to fit the specifications.
Chains and winches were used to unload the log from the truck.It was then skidded up to the sidewalk close to the wall.Using hydraulic jacks and cables the log was positioned and secure by Dave
For this project Dave
used several hundred Michigan white pine logs, ten to twelve inches in diameter, that were individually selected.The logs were fully cured and dried for the least amount of shrinkage and settling.He
used a draw knife for peeling and adapting the logs to blend into their proper place in the structure.
has not come across a log home that is beyond repair.He
has discovered created solutions to the problems that come with time and has found a way of replicating the most intricate log building to recover its structural integrity and revive its natural beauty.