Log by Log - Brainerd Restaurant Construction

Hand-Peeling Logs
All of the logs in this structure have been peeled with a draw knife by hand. There is a rumor that when a crew of men get together to build a log home, the crew member with the lowest IQ is assigned to the peeling rack.

Logs & Shrinkage
The Black Bear Lodge & Saloon was built from Lodge Pole pine. All wood, especially green wood, shrinks when it is laid on it's side. We expect each log to shrink from 1/4" to 3/8" during the first 3 years. There are 14 logs in the side walls so that means the walls will shrink a total of approximately 5". The ramifications of 5" of side wall shrinkage are immense: The roof will drop 5". All plumbing and vent pipes must have slip joints if they protrude through the roof. The roof drops but the fireplace doesn't. There must be a slip joint over each window and door. Nothing can be attached to the log side walls unless they have a slip joint designed into them. The amount of side shrinkage must be measured periodically so that the "screw jacks" under the support logs in each room can be lowered an equal amount.

Logs vs. House Logs
When loggers are cutting lodge pole pine trees in Northwest Montana or Idaho for the lumber mill, they put the straightest logs and the logs with the least amount of tapper in a separate pile. These logs demand a premium price with log carvers and are called house logs. In addition, if the logs are "dead standing" house logs they are extremely valuable. These logs are dry instead of green and will not shrink as much. The dead standing house logs are mostly the result of beetle kill or possibly a fast moving forest fire. If they fall to the ground they are useless since they will quickly rot. The logs that Lloyd used in this building are dead standing house logs. He purchased approximately 150 logs.

Northernwoods Taxidermy
Many of the wildlife settings have been supplied by Joe Marshall and Northernwoods Taxidermy.

Bear Heads
The bear heads on the end of the bar canopy and on the fireplace mantels support logs were carved with a chain saw.

One beaver chews down 400 trees a year. They live 19 years and cut down 7600 trees in a lifetime.