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St Louis, MO  
314-374-9611

The Enchanting Look of an Authentically 
Hand Hewn Log Cabin


 

We Hew for you!
Custom Log Cabins built the old fashion way with 
Hand Hewn Timbers by Rob Insco of Rob's Logs 

 


CLICK BELOW FOR THE EASY WAY TO FIND WHAT YOU WANT...

Offerings & Options
The Building & Restoration Process
Tree Selection
Benefits & Advantages of a Log Cabin
History of the Log Cabin
Tools of the Trade
Meet Rob Insco
Meet Laura Lynne Dyer
The Story of a Log Cabin
Preparation & Planning
Pricing
Contact Us

Offerings & Options


Imagine a cozy cabin in the woods built from real materials with a wood stove for heat.  
Ever wanted to live off the grid deep in the woods 
where only the sounds of nature surrounding you and all is at peace?  



Our Log Cabins are an intimate get away that feels like a palace. We focus on creating a magical space for you to reconnect with nature and the simple life.  A traditional log cabin ranges is size from 250 sq. ft. to over 400 sq. ft., usually from 12' to 26’ in diameter.  If you wish for more room, you may add a loft or a second pen may be constructed with a dog trot between. 
(See below about the history of the log cabin in America)

Log Cabins can be created into any of the following ideas:
Hand Hewn Shop by Rob Insco of Rob's Logs

Barns

Work Shop – Also known as The Man Cave

Hunting Cabins

Art Studios

Writer’s Retreats

Historical & Time Period Cabins for Reenactment Displays

Guest Quarters

Storage Shed

Play House

Log Cabin Reconstruction & Rehabilitation

Your Creative Design

 

This is an example of two pens together with an enclosed Dog Trot. The dormer gives light to the second floor. While the metal roof could be utilized for rain water collection.

Back view of Rob's previous homestead


 

Rob Insco's Hand Hewn Barn
Workshop and barn, with upper hay storage in hand hewn oak with a 3 sided lean to.




 

Seven men move a hand hewn oak log to place on the sample cabin at our demonstration at Old Mines Rendezvous.

In the olden days there was a great sense of community as men worked together to create homes for their family.


 


Log Cabins make great play houses for your children to
grow up in an enchanted dream world.

You may also decide to create a potting shed for planting, a space to store your precious tools or a place to see out your window that reminds you of a relaxed and easy time in our history that we all long to return to some day.

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The Building & Restoration Process

 
Rob works from the bucket of a tractor to restore a hand hewn log to a historic Log Cabin built in the 1800's.

He has a tenacious ability to make amazing things happen.  Sometimes it's the quiet warriors with sweet souls that seem to do the impossible.



 

Rob, his father Bob, and friend Kurt lift a hand hewn floor joist to begin the second floor of the cabin.

It takes a village to raise a child and it's always great to have friends and family as part of the raising of your new dream home.

Community is generated when the personal touch to building comes to the surface with fine craftsmanship and care.

See the concrete poured footings that support the sill plate or first log on the cabin.

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What Type of Trees Make Great Log Cabins?


The right type of trees are a vital part of the plan for your cabin.  Log Cabins are typically built from White, Black or Red Oak.  Smaller barns and sheds work well with Cedar also. 
Selecting the right timber is part of the joy of the hunt.  We look for trees that are tall, meaning they have the same diameter from the ground to 20'; those that are straight, without lower branches as this makes hewing more challenging.  Sounds easy right?  Many trees have branches that start low or have twisted while they grew to reach the light.  When I first ventured into the woods with Rob I thought everything was perfect because it was a tree.  I had much to learn. Of course as a tree hugger every tree is perfect, it's just some make better Log Cabin walls than others.

Begin looking for trees on your property or as you take a country drive and see if you can locate some timber that yours eyes can convert to a Log Cabin.

When we find the perfect trees they may be hauled to your property on site or we will hewn off site and deliver and set up in the perfect location.   If the trees are located on your land that is an ideal situation and usually takes a few strong men (or a tractor) to bring them to the hewing station so they may be transformed into your home. 




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Benefits & Advantages of Log Cabin

 

Rob believes that a Hand Hewn Log Cabin is a great way to live debt free. A Cabin creates a simple life made from the real elements found all around you.  It’s the best green home possible when it’s manifested from the acreage you own.  Life can be full of adventure, fun and excitement and for Rob those are held in the gifts from Mother Earth.

To know that the cabin you build will be here for many generations is rewarding.  To envision your great grandchildren sleeping in the loft is a gift to share with your lineage and leave behind a family heirloom.

Besides think of getting to hug a tree every morning!

 

ADVANTAGES TO A LOG CABIN

It’s real
Cozy and comfortable
Fulfilling a life-long dream of living in a hand hewn cabin
Built from natural materials no off gasing or toxic chemicals
Harvested from the land and possibly your land thus free
Little to no mortgage on your home – trees may be free
Heritage and memories are enchanting


 

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The History of the Log Cabin

 

The original log cabin built in America were smaller boxed pens, one or two story from 250 - 400 sq feet.  A Normal cabin would be approximately 18’ x 20’. There were timbers much taller than are available today and they were also much heavier, thus the size was manageable to build.  Referred to as “pens” a family would begin with one pen and as their needs grew they would add another pen with a dog trot in between.  The dog trot served several functions.  As its name indicates the dogs would rest in the shade and out of the weather to protect the family against predators and the Natives.  

A Dog Trot was usually between 6-12’ wide.  It also created a breeze to cool the two spaces especially when the second pen became utilized as the kitchen.  The large stone fireplace or oven would generate a great deal of heat thus needing to be separate from the family sleeping area.  As the family continued to grow they would go up with the structure and add a second floor on top of the original pens, sometimes the dog trot would be enclosed or the staircase be built in that area to reach the 2nd floor.

Just like today hand hewn log homes are built on site utilizing 
oak, pine, cedar or occasionally walnut.
Rob Dove tails the corner notches and chinking can be traditional clay or new materials. Traditionally roofs were hand made from oak shake shingles.  Today tin roofs are more common and you may also wish for shakes, sod, or a different look on your cabin



Rob hand hews a white oak log at Old Mines Rendezvous.

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Tools of The Trade


The amazing tools utilized to create a Hand Hewn Log Cabin are tried and true from the olden days.  Their names are a good indication of their power like a broad axe that Rob uses to hew logs. Log Dogs actually hold the log in place while he works and then you have some that make no sense at all like Adz that Rob cuts Dove Tail Notches with to connect the logs on the cabin.




Keeping tools sharp is a vital part of working with timbers. Rob actually hews left handed and there is a slight curve to the blade of his Broad Axe.  Imagine controlling a 13lb tool by hand!



The Adz assists in making beautiful dove tail notches. Once the Hand Hewn Log is in place, Rob uses the Scribe to mark the Dove Tail Notch before using the Adz to make the cut.






A Draw Knife is a vital tool in working with timbers.  They remove bark from trees so it's possible to see the markings to square the log. Rob's son's Josh and Tanner work as tenaciously as their father. Tanner demonstrates using a draw knife with the Shaving Horse while he whittles down a small branch for making legs for benches and hand made handles for tool.




 

The Cant Hook grabs the timber and locks on to give Rob leverage to move it freely while maintaining control so it stays in place and off the toes.
 





Rob Juggles a cedar log with a Felling Axe at the Old Mines Rendezvous demonstration. Some Felling Axes are single headed while others double headed or two-sided.
You can see the oak and ash logs waiting their turn to be hewed.





As Rob swings the Felling Ax he removes small sections of the log at a time to prepare for hewing.  This process is called Juggling and it's a great idea to stay clear as lots of random pieces become airborne! He works so vigorously even the photographer has to be ready. 

With a Little Help from a Friend


Of course we sometimes gain the practical power and strength of Laura Lynne's Kubota tractor for loading logs and our personal favorite the good old Stihl chain saw.


 

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Meet Rob Insco

 

Rob Insco

Rob Insco was born and raised in Cedar Hill and Dittmer, Missouri.  His favorite past times as a young boy (and still true today) are hunting, fishing, swimming, exploring, building and his deep love for his family and friends.  He got off the bus a mile before his stop so he could walk or swim the Big River to his home. His first log cabin was built on a bluff above the river with an axe he made from the leaf spring of a car. Rob was 12 years old.  He designed this log cabin as he cut down cedar trees to create this magical hideaway.  His parents lovingly allowed him to spend many nights in his creation camping with the warmth of the stone fireplace he built with mud from the hillside.

Rob Insco's first log cabin out of cedars

Some loves stay with us forever.  Rob’s passions for the outdoors and the early style settlers are still seen in his black powder rendezvous competitions.  Fire starting with flint stone and steel, axe throwing and of course shooting are always scored high. He is one of the best shots around even today.  If you put Rob in period clothing and add a broad axe in his hands, he will build you an original log cabin.

Rob Insco cleaning black powder riffle at rendezvous

Rob Insco Fire starting




Rob Insco Axe throwing at rendezvous


The Carpenter

His 30 years as a carpenter building homes around town have given him a broad range of skills that compliment his true love – hand hewn log cabin building.  He has been building log cabins since 1987.  His passion is working with grand timbers that are woven into a home

Rob Insco CarpenterRob Insco Balancing on tree house installing hand hewn ridge pole

He has restored original cabins from the 1800’s, built workshops, barns, a gift shop, man caves and homes.  His previous homestead still stands on 140 acres in Richwoods, Missouri.  He purchased raw ground and harvested white, black and red oak from the property to transform the hilltop with a two story traditional log home with enclosed dog trot in between. It measures 26’ x 56’ with a charming front porch and three cozy wood stoves inside.  

Rob’s shop was a 14’ x 15’ hand hewn oak cabin with three lean-to’s making the structure 36’ x 40’. There is a hand hewn log play house in the back for the kids and the goat barn and chicken coup were constructed with the dog trot system out of round oak logs. Latches and doors were also designed, created and installed by Rob on this amazing property.


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Meet Laura Lynne

 


Laura Lynne shares about log cabin living with a group of Boy Scouts at Castlewood State Park.

Laura Lynne designed and constructed a tiny log cabin out of sticks for her 4th grade pioneer project.  It was so adorable the teacher probably still has it today. She has a love for nature and building with natural materials that runs through the center of her soul.  Log cabins have been a fascination since childhood so imagine what happened as she was planning her tree house and she met Rob, a man of action who could bring anything into fruition with real tools from the early days when homes where built on the frontier and at the edge of the woods.

Laura Lynne has been designing Soul Spaces for years and is the inspiration portion of the team. Rob loves building and making ideas happen while solving challenges in a creative way, she loves people and design. They both have a passion for land and nature and bringing people back home to the part of themselves that has been fragmented and distracted by today’s busy life. There is a synergy that takes place when two join forces to create magic…magic happens.

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The Story of a Log Cabin


 

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Preparation & Planning - The We do, You do List


A Hand Hewn Log Cabin is a wonderful undertaking of adventure, joy and learning.   It's our goal that the entire experience be pleasant, professional, comfortable and fun. Challenges arise when working with natural materials and finding creative solutions is one of our power skills. Open and honest communication makes everything run smoothly. If you have any questions please feel free to ask and we will seek to answer what is possible to solve.

Our Part

In general there are aspects that we share in the process of building your Log Home and there are portions that will be yours to manage.  We listen to exactly what you wish to create and design a plan for the perfect log cabin for you and your family.  We do a thorough assessment on how you wish to utilize your space and the best possible options.

We work with you on the perfect location for your home on your property. We take in wind, sun, view and the feel of the space. We offer Photo Visioning to show you an example of how your Cabin will look even before we begin.

The trees are a living component in the structure and need time to age properly. Sometimes they may sit after hewing for almost a year before they are dry and have done their shrinking.   It’s natural for them to check or crack and this only adds to the beauty of your home.  

We can locate logs for you or you may be part of the process or have them on your land.

Your Part

Permits and fees surrounding the following:
Zoning
Subdivision approvals
Compliance requests
Foundation unless built on stones or boulders
Electric
Plumbing
Sewer
Insulation
Interior Finish
Fireplace


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Pricing

 

Call us for pricing on cabins.  There are several factors that go into cabin pricing including location, size, equipment availability, number of windows and roof style.  We will be able to work with you to create the cabin of your dreams and you have the option of adding on in the future too so your budget will be in balance.  Call us today.


Custom options on windows and doors
Pricing based upon cabin size, number of opening (windows, doors, etc.) availability of lumber, site accessibility, etc.


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Contact Us

 

Laura Lynne coordinates meetings and gathers information about what you want to create 314-374-9611.  Rob gets involved when we get to the site planning, production and pricing, if you call him first he will likely ask if you have talked to me, he may be reached at 314-607-8203.
Email:  lauralynne@lauralynnedesigns.com or lauralynne777@gmail.com

All photographs taken by Laura Lynne of Laura Lynne Photography & Design with the exception of Rob's cabin when he was 13 and of course those taken by Rob or Josh as Laura Lynne is working on the tractor or with Rob.

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