Move over Mr. Lincoln because here come the Waddingtons

In today’s world, machine milled lumber and pre-formed materials produce cookie cutter perfect homes that emphasize fast assembly.

Caleb, Seth and twins Jacobs and Ethan Waddington
Caleb, Seth and twins Jacobs and Ethan Waddington

Published April 5, 2013

The Herald

In today’s world, machine milled lumber and pre-formed materials produce cookie cutter perfect homes that emphasize fast assembly. Caleb Waddington and his three sons are creating a one-of-a-kind log house that beckons from a simpler time. These four men are known in southwest North Dakota as Waddington Boom Truck and Tree Trimming Service. This winter they used their free time by working with their hands and engaging in a type of construction with which Caleb is very familiar.

Over the years he has helped to build dozens of log homes. There are hundreds of tricks and secrets to making a log house, so don’t try this at home, kids, without parental supervision.

It takes time, muscles and skill to prepare each log to fit its neighbor. I watched as two brothers peeled away ribbons of bark with surgical precision using large drawknives. All tools such as drawknives, chisels, and chainsaws are filed to an edge by hand with files, stones and leather straps. Nobody starts to use these tools until thy are sharp enough to shave the hair off an arm. These guys don’t have any hair left on their arms. Mortise and tenon joints secure logs to support beams, such as the catwalk above the living room that connects the two upstairs bedrooms. The precision and craftsmanship of this hand-peeled work of art is a wonder to behold. Except for the bucket truck hoist and chainsaws, the equipment used to make this house are simple hand tools that require lots of pioneer style elbow grease. Every log is guaranteed to be touched and tooled by human hands.

After it is sold, the log structure will be disassembled, re-erected on-site and finished to the specifications of the new owner. Numerous options like large roof gables, balconies and lots of windows can be installed to suit the new owner. Floor plans are limited only by the imagination. Steel roofs seem to be the choice of many log home owners, but cedar shakes would create a more traditional look. At the time I took these pictures the kit was not quite finished, nor was it sold yet. The shell would sell for less than fifty thousand dollars, depending on options. A professional contractor will finish out the home with help from the Waddingtons. The completed price of the 1200 square foot, double-loft home, including the cost of the kit would be between ninety and one hundred thirty thousand dollars for labor and materials.

Caleb, Seth, Jacob and Ethan would be happy to show you their masterpiece. They designed it themselves. Contact Caleb at 701-341-0637 for further details. If this hobby proves profitable, the Waddingtons might be persuaded to build more hand peeled lodge pole pine homes like this one. Living in a log cabin has a lot of nostalgic appeal. Abraham would be proud.

 

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