Installing Cabinets in Log Homes

Ways to install cabinets in log homes that allow for the movement and shrinkage of log walls. May 6, 2006

I need information on hanging custom cabinetry in a log home. I am looking for design ideas that will account for the eventual settling that occurs as well as how cabinets are typically hung and scribed to stacked log walls. I need information on cleating, hanging and scribing.

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor J:
I would suggest purchasing a good quality scribe, for starters.

From contributor T:
One good technique is to create a full width and height finished panel behind your cabinets that is scribed at the edges to the log forms and to then hang and fit all of your cabinets to your new flat, smooth, straight panel.

From contributor C:
One way I have seen done is a 2x4 frame attached to the logs with slots cut out for movement in all the vertical pieces. Use a lag bolt and washer through the slots. The end cab had a 3" scribe that was allowed to slide in a groove in the logs. If you scribe the cabs to the logs, the logs will damage the cabs when they settle. That's the only way I have seen it done, but I have only seen it done once.

From contributor M:
We recently installed a kitchen and bathrooms (inset) and the builder asked me to only fix the top rails in the wall cabinets and also rout a slot for the screws in order to adjust when needed. These slots allowed the logs to settle (1" to 1 1/2") for the first year (yikes!). So far, so good - it was 4 months ago.

From contributor B:
We do from 3-6 log homes a year, and most are Satterwhite. Their logs are from seasoned, felled trees and they claim will only settle by fractions. Don't believe it. The weight alone causes compression by more than fractions... And the seasoning and settling continues for years. Do not attach cabinets to logs. Sooner or later it'll bite you in the rear-view. Free standing, furniture-type is a popular option. Hanging uppers with decorative chain is sometimes chosen (for those that insist on visible logs between cabs).