How to Build a Round Log Post & Beam

Written by kate muir
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How to Build a Round Log Post & Beam
Post and beam round log homes can be charming. (log home manufacturing image by Scott Patterson from

Simply explained, the post and beam design uses two posts and one beam. The posts are logs placed vertically, to support a beam, which is a single log placed horizontally between the posts. This is the basis of post and beam design. The history of the post and beam design heralds back to ancient Egypt, but it was the Native peoples of the Northwest Pacific Coast and the settlers of North America who made round log post and beam houses famous. Although many complicated variations of the traditional design now exist, the foundation of the round log house is based in the post and beam joint. There are a number of different types of joints that can be used for post and beam. The round logs can be flattened to lie snug, but if the round shape is to be maintained, than the joint will have to be scribed, which means that each log is cut to fit another log. The process below describes how to make these joints.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Electric chain saw
  • Sander
  • Round logs
  • Shovel

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  1. 1

    Choose two logs that you wish to join. If you are building the frame for a round log structure, choose four logs of matching lengths to be the posts. These will be placed vertically at each of the four corners of the structure. Then choose two logs of matching length. Each of these logs will be the beams, and be supported horizontally by two posts. The beams should lie parallel to one another on two separate posts. Ensure that the post logs are smaller than the beam logs by measuring the diameter of the logs. It is best to have a smaller post log and larger beam log.

  2. 2

    Scribe the post log into the beam log. To start, identify the end of the post logs that will support the beam logs. To prepare to scribe, hold the end of the beam log up to the end of post log and use a pencil to trace the half-circle shape of the beam log onto the post log. The semicircle should represent half of the outside edge of the log.

  3. 3

    Plug in the electric chain saw and cut the half-circle shape from the end of the post beam.

  4. 4

    Test the joint by placing the beam log into the newly cut post log. If it doesn't fit securely, cut again with the chain saw or sand it down as needed.

  5. 5

    Build the frame of the structure by securing the beam logs into the post logs.

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