The Building of an Authentic Scandinavian Full Scribe Log Sauna

I don't know anyone else who has one around so we are building one just because its different, beautiful and heart and soul goes into it.

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Day 1

Monday March 8, 2010

A beautiful winters day, plus 8 and full sun for the next week and minus 5 average in the evenings. We need to work fast as the ice on the lake is melting fast, it is 18" thick now and melting on the edges.

Dwight was busy at the cabin on Sunday cutting trees and prepping the path in which to skid the logs down the hill to the lake and pile on the yard next to the cabin. There they will be peeled by ourselves and Josh Dagg. Josh Dagg is the same young man who did the log work on the cabin. Lone Wolf Cabin and now we are matching the sauna with the cabin.

Dwight and I have been talking saunas for a while....lots of ideas and costly....but if we get our own logs and do what we can to help our log builder.... We were getting ready to go down south but decided to put that money into the sauna instead, plus with the sun we are getting now it would be crazy to go somewhere else, its beautiful out and it works for us.

Things always seem to work out. I gave Dagg a call last week and he just lost his job so this was perfect timing for both of us, he accepted the job and will be here on Tuesday and Wednesday, perfect because it is going to be the coldest 2 nights this week, -12.

Dwight will take the two days off and we hope to have all the pine trees cut and down the hill. I marked all the trees to be cut on Sunday. They are white pine and average about 10 to 12" at the butt. I marked 17 trees and figure to get 2 or 3 logs each. Dagg will tell us how many we will need on Tuesday.

Dwight got the trail ready on Sunday, cut trees out of the way and packed a trail with the ATV and tracks, we will see how it goes. In the mornings everything is hard and by afternoon it is all softened up. We may only be able to work in the mornings, we shall see.

Today I will go back to the cabin and mark more trees so Dagg has a selection. The snow is melting fast and so is the lake, we have to get the logs down this week. Guests are checking into the cabin for two days on Wednesday afternoon. Next week it is rented for four days so in between we are going to work like buggers or Dwight and Dagg are....I have a bum arm but there is still lots I can do, I just have to be careful and not overdo.

Then the sauna will begin on flat ground and as soon as the frost is out of the ground we hope to prepare the site up the hill and then hoist the sauna up log by log where it will sit for the summer to start the drying process. The inside dimensions will be 7 by 8' We are so excited.

Day 2

Tuesday March 09, 2010

The Day begins

Today was the day, we were up early and waiting for Dagg to arrive at 8am, half an hour later he arrived and we hoofed our stuff in about 500' to the trail where there was actually snow where our snow mobiles were parked. Dwight and I took the new Yamaha Venture with sled and Josh Dagg took the little 74 Elan. I was just about to list it and its mate for sale. Dagg wants it and its mate so it is his to be deducted from the log work.

We had a fabulous day, getting into the swing of things. Dwight took today and tomorrow off to get the logs out. We are at a very sensitive time weather wise. We have cancelled our guests that are booking in to the cabin because of trail and lake conditions.

At the moment I have tennis elbow, since the fall and I am not going to do anything to aggravate it again. My job is easy, today I was the gopher, lunch maker, tree marker, log counter, measurer, all the easy jobs. Dagg.......well he is doing what he is paid for, today, cutting all the trees needed and peeling the logs.

Dwight was busy hauling the logs to the landing with the ATV which has the tracks. The tracks make it so much more difficult to drive and steer or at least for me with my arm. It is hard to steer and can grab the sides of the trail. In the morning the trail is hard but by noon it is Dagg calls it "corn snow" Dwight had to stop dragging logs out by 2 because of the conditions. Tomorrow he hopes to be out there by 7 am. I have marked 6 more trees (max) if needed. Tomorrow the last of the logs we need will be hauled out and the peeling continues.


The forecast for Friday, Saturday and Sunday is showers, rain or rain and the push is on to get all the logs down and peeled.Dwight peeled a few logs as well, a hard job indeed, I tried but the arm said no. All in all it was an excellent day for everyone, we are getting into the swing of it, Dwight is taking tomorrow off as well to finish getting the logs out and then I would think he will be very thankful to get back to his desk job for a much needed rest!

first logs peeling logs

When we got home we both had a drink, something to eat, a hot bath, got the wood stove going and watched some TV. The dogs are passed out on their pillows outside, not a peep.


Day 3

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wow what a day! We worked like !@##$% Dwight was out the door at 7:30 and Dagg joined him at 8:30 and I followed a couple of hours later. The cabin is only 2 km from the house and by skidoo or ATV give it ten minutes.

I started to peel a log, just go easy and do one. I ended up peeling 6 and a half logs, plus the logs arent big. The average size of our logs are 10 inches.

Dwight was busy pulling the logs out of the bush and putting them and the peeled ones up on skids with Daggs help, Meantime Dagg cut the last of the trees needed for the sauna, double checking to make sure we had enough logs.

In the early morning everything is frozen but then warms up. At one point it was not possible to get up the hill with the ATV and tracks....way too slippery so the remaining logs were pulled and winched down the hill then dragged with the skidding cone and ATV. We actually managed to crack up the skidding cone but funny thing is that it did not crack when we built the cabin in 2003. Dagg said that it was probably because the plastic had deteriorated since then....makes sense to me. The cone made it possible to take the logs out of the bush and down the hill otherwise they would have gotten stuck on every stump and rock in the way. With the cone they just slipped between everything. There was a bit of a trick to keep the cone on the log as you were going down the hill...its called a knot in the chain or rope just outside the cone to keep the log inside.

Things really warmed up this afternoon and as soon as the sun goes down it cools down quickly.

I think that Dwight will be very glad to go to his desk job tomorrow. My job tomorrow is to haul the rest of the logs down the hill and drag the peeled ones (with ATV) to prepared skids. We were all peeling today and we have about half of the logs peeled or barked.

Theo and Winston just love when we are working outside, by mid afternoon they are bushed and Theo is underfoot like a dead dog/log getting all covered in sticky pine peelings. Winston seems to know better with his long hair.

So all in all not a bad start, two days, all our trees are cut and half of them peeled.....give me five!!!

deaddog lucy peeling another tree Dagg peeling

Peeled down hill logs on hill

Day 4

Thursday March 11, 2010

Sunny and a high of 10 today, another great day! All the logs got peeled today. I took a video of Dagg peeling a log and it took him about 5 to 7 minutes to do one, you couldnt keep that pace up for too long. I do it slow and steady. My arm seems to be holding out and the ibuprofene helps.

There were about six logs to pull down the hill but with the bark on it would be hard going so Dagg peeled one and pushed it down. It slide down like "wet soap" Daggs words so he peeled them up on the hill and slide them down and hauled them around onto the skids with the ATV ready to be barked.

This is the first day that the ice is starting to rot, it wont be long now with the weather. We will have some friends up on the weekend and Dagg as well and hope to drop a big tree across the creek so we can walk across when the lake is totally not safe.

I cancelled all bookings for the cabin but had a couple that did not care about the conditions and said they would walk in and around and would love the adventure so they will come in on Monday and leave Friday morning and the logs can have a chance to get rained on and dried out a bit. They are a bit gummy but we had no choice but to get them out at this time.

Dwight is taking the afternoon off tomorrow and will join us to help out at the cabin. Dagg may have to cut and pull out some hemlock for some stringers or joints that will extend out over the hill for a little porch. Now is the time while we are able to cross the lake with the ATV. The ATV is a great help to pull the logs out and around.

The dogs continue to have a good time and then lie in all the sticky pine bark for their afternoon siesta.

The boys

Josh Dagg

first log ready to be draw knifed

Day 5

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Always a great day.

Saturday morning and another day begins. Yesterday it was cloudy and melting. Today sun and cloud. Dwight ended up taking the whole day off and was the first one to start working at the cabin. He hauled the last of the peeled logs onto the yard where Dagg is working. We had to wait till the morning again when everything was frozen cause it was too muddy yesterday afternoon. But now thats done.

After that he plowed all the bark pieces off the lake and into a pile on the shore and then raked it.......then he was off to haul some sand with the snow mobile and sled to fill in some holes in the yard.

In the afternoon he was up clearing the site for the sauna and we burned all the brush on site, it was lots of fun. Meanwhile Dagg was busy getting the base ready to build the sauna on and drawknifing the first logs, gosh they are gorgeous!!! I figure by the end of today he may almost be done the second round. Dwight was around to help him man handle the logs into place when needed.

Dwight was just heading off to the cabin and came back with a wild turkey, apparently he found it off to the side of the drive, our pup found it and was starting to dig in, it must have died or got killed since dawn. Dwight and I ripped off the wings and tail....the feathers are simply beautiful.

drawknifing slabbing peelings

setup setup1 to the right where sauna will be Lone Wolf Cabin

Day 6

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's my sons 25th birthday today, Happy Birthday Josh!

Today it is raining. Dagg worked yesterday and the first round is down and two more logs, draw knifed, scarfed and ready to scribe. Dwight and I puttered around a bit at the cabin and had friends over for a visit, so the guys helped Dagg lift the logs into place.

I will go back to the cabin tomorrow to clean up the yard a bit and ready the cabin for guys coming in for the week., then back to the house to try to get them back for noon. The conditions of the trail and lake after all this rain remains to be seen.....will have to have a plan B? I tried to cancel the guests because of conditions but they really want the adventure.

So no sauna building till friday or saturday. It will give me a chance to think things out.

fitting scarfing grinding Dwight getting the knots out scribing we are off the ground

Day 7

Friday, March 19, 2010

It's bedtime now, a good day, got Dagg to the cabin, our guests to their car and into town for some groceries then back to the cabin. Dwight was busy at work and with family stuff. Dagg had a great day as you can see in the photo. Ain't gorgeous!!! Weather is spectacular! Looks like the horse shoes up my butt are still with me.....did I say that?

Anyway the rainy weather we were supposed to have this weekend is now turned to sun!

another round

Day 8

Saturday, March 20, 2001

One log at at time, two more are fitted. Its looking great! one log at a time

Day 9 & 10

Teusday, March 24, 2010

A beautiful day, plus 12, still crossing the lake,,,pushing a canoe though....just in case someone goes through. Dagg takes the ATV and I go in the afternoon and finish with a photo shoot. I took the chains off the ATV this afternoon, most of the snow is now off the trail although there are a few mud spots.

There is a wonderful pile of wood shavings piling up from drawknifing the logs. Dagg wants me to leave them so that when he drags a log over it keeps it a bit cleaner. Dwight showed up around five to help pull another log over and put a scribed one on top. It is looking soooooo artist at work.

Once he is done with the shell we need to move prep the site on the side of the hill, build the floor, carry the logs up and fit them back together and put a roof on. Oh and benches inside and buy a sauna stove! Of course Lucy will have her know do to it...........and.... well things might even change as we go along????

We still have a lot to do once the shell is finished. Things are thawing out nicely around the cabin.


After three more days of Josh Dagg working on the logs we are up to here, now it is Easter weekend and we wont see him till Monday. It is looking oh so nice!!!!


April 5th

just checked the weather forecast for next week....not looking good....rain, showers, flurries!!!!

April 8th

Josh Dagg got them both up all by himself, did'nt even break a sweat. did get full of resin covered lichen from tying off the winch on balsam tree's though, so he was a little sticky and black at the end of it!


April 9th

16th day that Josh Dagg has been working on this. That includes helping us with the logging. Dwight and I will be out to the cabin on the weekend, starts tomorrow. Dagg is a bit under the weather and may not be up to par tomorrow.

Dagg had to spend some time with a jack leveling the cabin again as the frost is coming out of the ground and things are shifting. Remember this is only the staging area and then within the month we plan on moving it up the hill. Wanna help? Beer and food for helpers after the fact.


This is a work of ART in progress, it excites me and it excites Mr. Dagg. I have the vision and he has the craft as well as vision and understanding my vision, together we all work very well together. Its a wonderful adventure.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Well we are on day 25 with one more day to go to finish things up. Can you believe this thing of beauty! Just wait till day 26th is finished. It will be like when you finally frame your painting.

There are the angles on the ridge pole to cut, the decorative curves on the end logs all around to match the cabin, the roof line to cut and the keys to be cut alongside the window and door to slide the 2 by 4 in. Dagg is off on another job and should be back within the week to finish things up.

The ridge pole has a wonderful crook in it so that goes at the back against the hill. You can see the big opening at the front that will house the glass door and side windows. We are maximizing the view and there is a gorgeous one up the hill. We have a Harvia stove picked out and it needs to be sized depending on the size of your sauna and the windows that are in it.

The black flies have started as well and some are biting.

May 10

This is still where we stand for now. We are just waiting for Dagg or someone else to finish up. Another day or two should do it. Then the shell will sit and dry for a while.

January 15, 2011

A new year and we begin again, today is the day we move the sauna up the hill. We sent out invites to a pile of friends and as of 1pm we still had no one, I was at home waiting for our yurt guests that were checking in at 2pm. I made lots of food in anticipation of lots of people wanting to be a part of the log sauna....heh nothing I cant freeze up.

Dwight and Josh Dagg finally had to enlist the help of a couple of our neighbours who were ice fishing on the lake to get a couple of the first logs up. As of 1pm the sauna shell was dismantled by Dagg and Dwight. Yesterday Dagg cut the roof line on the top logs and then they took it all apart. Looks like a nice giant set of Lincoln logs.

My son Josh arrived about 1:30 with a couple of his friends, they walked in, all three of them tall and strong, another friend of ours Paul and Karen arrived to lend some muscle as well so with 6 strong men ....we were vanilla. By 4 the sauna was up. Watch the below video, lots of fun.

Moving the log cabin shell up the hill, You tube video, 5 minutes long

The roof should be on by the end of January somewhere between guests and weather.

sauna sauna sauna

Thursday Jan 27

It was a lovely day today, day 2, things are coming along slow and sure. I cut up sine v-joint for Dagg and tomorrow I will cut up the insulation for the roof. We should see a big difference tomorrow. The sauna is looking very adorable. I am pleased. I am waiting for a quote for my window/door and window units. To get them made may be another 6 weeks. Then I size my stove and whoooohoooo

sauna sauna sauna sauna sauna sauna

January 31, 2011

To be ready later this year. Still lots to do. First the shingling has to be done, Now I order the window and door unit, then the special sauna stove, then the chiminey goes in, then a deck out front, caulking, log finish on outside and treatment inside, floor, the you can see the list goes on, Yesterday I put plastic on the window and door then put a kerosene heater in was amazing how warm it got!

sauna sauna sauna

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