This fabulous log is a six foot western red cedar. When it showed up on the truck – the only log on the load, we all knew it was too big. The truck drive had been asked, all across the continent, about the destination and use for this beast. He ended up staying around the shop for three days, just to see what we intended to do with it. This log was a great demonstration of scale vs. proportion. The 3-D drawings, using a log the size of the monster in our side yard, seemed to indicate that the size would be appropriate. Since we did not have another log anywhere near the right size, we pressed ahead. We laid the mortises out with surveying instruments, rolled it, and did it again. Since the room it supports is an octagon, we had four separate setups for cutting. On the final one, we bored a four inch hole clear through it, near the top. The custom lifting apparatus passed through this hole and allowed us to pivot this precious, fragile, and brutally heavy log up from the truck and onto the pier.
Sure enough, the drawings did not lie. This log not only fits, but saves this room. In fact, I think that this is the most successful, flexible and useful “great room” I know, and largely because that central log is “too big.” It is so big that we perceive it as a wall. The room does not seem forty feet across, but only eighteen. Coupled with a second floor that gets halfway to the post in five of the eight segments, and the space is cozy enough that I am thrilled to sit alone in it and read. Two people can enjoy a sweet conversation in it, four can play an intimate game of pool, and six can enjoy a festive meal, but it would take more than a hundred raucous folks to make the space feel crowded. This is a wonderful room, and at least partly because it has too much wood in it; making it the timber salesman’s dream.