You learn the skills necessary to construct your own handcrafted log cabin or home at the Great Lakes School of Log Building in northern Minnesota. Save money, get hands-on experience and gain personal satisfaction by attending one of our monthly workshops. The Great Lakes School has been promoting and teaching the craft of Scandinavian full-scribed log construction for
40 years. Our ten-day courses are designed to accommodate all skill levels, from novice on up, and we invite men and women of all ages to participate.
The school is a member of the International Log Builders' Association (ILBA)
and teaching is in accordance with the Association's new
Effective Practices & Methods
for Handcrafted Log Building.
2014 course offerings:
the 40th year of courses, see "Dates and Rates" page on this website for
dates and details on registering. There are
still plenty of openings for the autumn courses.
The next course,
September 10-19, will see plates and cap plates flattened and mounted
current student building, as well as installation of two
purlins and ridgelog - essentially, the finishing of the
It is also a regular basic course and is still open for
Above are members of a recent course : Dale, Hayward, WI; Carrie, Bovey, MN; and Gena and
Bob from Green Bay, WI. We were all having such a good time
we wanted to extend the course for another week...but home
and jobs beckoned.
Left to right above are members of a recent
workshop: Adam, Eagle River, WI; Eric, Mounds View, MN;
Richard, Grapevine, TX; Mike, Lino Lakes, MN; Kevin,
Tomahawk, WI; Nathan, Eagle River, WI.
On the July
workshop (above and below), Jill and Danny from Indiana, Colleen from
Netherlands, and Richard from Texas, calculate the kingpost
cut, then later pose after completing the
the May, 2012 course, Dan and Dan, each from a different
part of California, demonstrate flattening for a bottom
member with a helper handle and large Jonsered chainsaw.
Above: Future logbuilders Rev. Mark Olson, Minnesota, Todd
Cade, Ohio, and Chris Strub, Alaska, finish a log truss for the
current building on the November, 2011 workshop.
Megan Bendson and Sheila Morris work on flattening a cap
plate during the July, 2011 course.
|See Log Review Newsletter
for news on the current struggle to keep
precious metal mining out of our area - and to prevent
our school property from being taken over by the
Minnesota DNR for exploratory drilling by the mining companies. See how you can
help. (Or go to main page of
http://www.snowshoecountry.com for a mining blog)
Outside Magazine, October 2010, listed our
log building course as number 15 on their LifeList of
experiences you should have during your lifetime: "Build
a cabin in the mountains. Building one yourself
requires at least six months,...tools, and serious skills.
Hesitating? Increase your chances of success by taking a
course at the Great Lakes School of Log Building (schooloflogbuilding.com)."
If you are thinking of sending a relative or friend on a log
building course in 2012 - as a holiday, anniversary or
birthday present, tuition
gift certificates can be easily and quickly arranged. Call 218.365.2126
Very occasionally, partial bartering for courses could be
a possibility. For instance, we currently have use for a
clean pop-up or hard camper trailer - 16-20'
Brent and Megan Bendson of North Carolina and Sheila and
Terry Morris from the Toronto area comprised the July, 2011 basic
and roof workshop.
The recent stonework course was represented by Chris
Lambert, Minnesota (with jar of iced tea - not urine sample;
Mike Gay, Michigan; Monica Archambo, Minnesota.
On the June course were Todd Williams, Minnesota,
and Chuck and Tammie Kellum, Mississippi. Mike Gay from
Michigan had just departed before we got around to taking
the group photo.
The May, 2011 course included Mark Lambrecht, Wisconsin;
Shaun Merritt, New York; Megan Reynolds, California.
The September, 2010 course consisted of Todd Ritchie,
Wisconsin; Logan Swanson, Texas; George Scholz, Wisconsin;
Jeff Krogstad, Minnesota; and Kevin Bryce, Michigan.
Finishing up a timber-truss on the July, 2009 course are
(clockwise) Brett Adams, Ohio; Chris & Debra Page-O'Connell,
Wisconsin; Paul Slocum, Minnesota; Rev. Robert Hurkmans &
his daughter, Alina, from eastern Ontario.
The participants in the free three-day roof
workshop May 30-June 1, 2008, are shown below after the ridgelog
was fitted and placed. l to r: Mark Aufiery, PA; Jon
Anderson, MN; Scott & Bruce Blacketter, MN.
Bruce Blacketter trims a kingpost to accommodate the
Jeff Garland of Indiana cuts a window
on the April 2008 course. One of the most successful and
enjoyable courses ever held (at least from the instructor's
perspective), the group also included Colin Bourgouin of
Manitoba, Marlon Davey of Tennessee and Pat Simeon from
students Jim and Nancy Sauer of St. Louis, MO, holding their model in front of
their almost completed home, done during 2007-07 of yellow
pine with help from their son and a friend. See more
During May 2007 Stonework
Course, Jennifer James, Illinois, sifts mortar sand while
Tony Chmiel, Wisconsin, mixes.
Jim and Nancy Sauer from Missouri brought to the June,
2006 class their model of the house they would build. After
some modification, the house now well underway, the revised
mockup of the house is shown below with their son, Mike, and
Bruce Gibbar, who were participants on the June 2007 course.