Swedge interlok system
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A log construction, such as a log home, log cabin, or any other construction using logs for external walls. The construction includes a plurality of horizontal logs extending between vertical log posts. The horizontal logs, stabilized by the vertical posts, support the load of the structure, including the roof. Each horizontal log has a flat plain cut on the top and bottom, from end to end; seating the plurality of horizontal logs flush with one another. The ends of each horizontal log have a male projection that slide down the female opening of the vertical logs. The plurality of horizontal logs rest in the vertical logs held in place by the male projection of the horizontal logs and the female opening in the vertical logs, resulting in a floating wall, generating compressive force toward the foundation. The tonnage of the floating wall and the cap log cutout, anticipate shrinkage, which result in eliminating the chinking process. The embodied enables the use of the typical dry log with 19%-23% moisture, green logs, or a combination of logs to be used during construction.

Downing, Raymond Ward (Trego, MT, US)
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ray Downing (Trego, MT, US)
I claim:

1. A log construction comprising of at least one exterior wall comprising: a. A wall formed from a plurality of horizontal logs, stacked one onto another, extending from a first vertical post and to a second vertical post. i. The plurality of horizontal logs having a flat plain cut on top and bottom of each member, to allow said plurality sit flush, stacked one on another therein; ii. The plurality of horizontal logs whereas each member having a male inter-ok projection cut on both ends therein; iii. The first and second vertical posts contain vertical female openings and; iv. The plurality of horizontal logs are contained within the first and second vertical post by male and female inter-lok;

2. A log construction according to claim 1, wherein at least one exterior wall is constructed a cap log positioned above and extending across the plurality of horizontal logs. b. The cap log containing a cut out above and around said vertical post female inter-lok to anticipate shrinkage.

3. A log construction according to claim 1, wherein the plurality of horizontal logs may contain any combination of dry and green logs.



Scribe-fit log homes are built using naturally shaped wall logs, which are each marked and cut to fit snuggle over the one below. The most common cut for horizontal logs is the saddle-notch design. This design gives the logs grooves to hold onto one another and create stability in the wall. When the wall is new and still holding 19%-23% moisture, it is a snug fit. However, as the moisture evaporates from the logs they will shrink, causing the log diameter to be reduced, a condition known as Equilibrium Moisture Content. This condition will usually subside when the log moisture content is equal to the relative humidity of the log homes environment. Once this condition has ceased, the saddle-notch fit has changed and now gaps have formed, allowing outside air, moisture, and insect infiltration. Because of this shrinkage it is important for a log homebuilder to obtain logs with similar moisture content and reframe from mixing dry and green logs together to minimize shrinkage issues. This limits the log homebuilder to the use of specific logs, which will greatly increase the cost of a log construction.

A common cure for shrinkage on a log home is called chinking. Chinking materials have improved greatly, with the progression of technology, to fill in the gaps caused by log shrinkage. Unfortunately, chinking a log home is an expensive process the homeowner will have to plan for, either during construction or after the Equilibrium Moisture Content process, which usually takes a few years. In addition, chinking will change the appearance of the natural beauty of log homes giving a filled in look, rather than the natural log on log appearance.

Because of wall shrinkage on log homes it only makes sense that special building methods must be required to prevent damage to home components such as windows and doors. If this is not considered the wall settling could damage the windows or doors to a point were they are unusable.

To minimize log shrinkage, typical designs secure the horizontal logs to the vertical logs in various ways. These designs place limitations on log homes in regards to wall height and length. Because of the stress transferred to the vertical posts from these designs, some builders have worked around these limits by adding more vertical logs for structure support. However, this can take away from the visual look of the log home along with an increased price to the homebuyer in logs and labor.

With the concerns of future maintenance issues from shrinkage, and added expense, log construction possess unwanted disadvantages for homeowners. The log wall construction of this invention minimizes and virtually eliminates the shrinkage and added expenses described, including the ability to inter mix dry and green logs, which is unheard of in log construction.

One objective of the present invention is to accept log home settling as a natural event and use this process to strengthen the log home. This invention accomplishes this with a combination design of the horizontal and vertical logs using an inter-locking system that allows the walls to float freely as the logs settle. The invention shows how the cap log is designed to anticipate shrinkage and move with the wall for a continuously tight seal against outside air, moisture, and insect infiltration. The logs have approximately four inches cut parallel with the top and bottom of the logs, allowing a flush fit with one another. This invention of the floating wall provides a sealed environment that eliminates the need to chink the log homes reducing cost to the log homeowner.

The present invention also alleviates the concern for window damage by the floating wall. As the logs go through their Equilibrium Moisture Content stage, because of the floating wall design, it settles and moves downward from the weight of the wall. The installed window will move with the wall eliminating stress that will occur with standard log homes that have the horizontal logs secured to the vertical logs.

The invention also provides a unique stability. Because of the, log on log, designed flush against each other, the vertical logs act only as a guide. This dramatically reduces weight stress on the vertical logs allowing wall construction length and height to be greatly increased. Using this invention log homes have been built with solid walls up to sixty feet or twenty feet high using only two vertical logs, one on each end.

The invention and process has been improved to the point that the log homes are built on site and do not have to be pre-built prior to final construction. This greatly reduces the time frame the log homes can be put up and reduces overall labor cost to the business owner, passing this savings on to the homeowner.

Because the present invention has free floating walls the concern for logs with the same moisture content is eliminated. The design allows for either green or dry logs to be used and can even be mixed with out issues because of the elimination of individual log shrinkage. Mixing dry and green logs is totally unheard of in the log home construction business, but can and has been done with this present invention.


I Raymond Ward Downing, who has had experience working with logs for 59 years, have invented a new design for a Swedge Inter-Lok System, forming a floating log construction wall, as set forth in the following.

FIG. 1 is a top view of a male horizontal log inter-lock.

    • 1 of FIG. 1 illustrates the male inter-lock.
    • 2 of FIG. 1 illustrates a beveled edge to help insure corner fittings.
    • 3 of FIG. 1 illustrates a flat cut on the horizontal log to sit flush with one another.
    • 4 of FIG. 1 illustrates a straight cut that will enable a snug fit with 5 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 2 is a 3-D version of a male horizontal log.

FIG. 3 is a top view of a female vertical log inter-lock.

    • 5 of FIG. 2 illustrates a straight cut that will enable a snug fit with 4 of FIG. 1.
    • 6 of FIG. 2 illustrates the female inter-lock.

FIG. 4 is a 3-D version of a female vertical log.

FIG. 5 is a 3-D wall construction using FIG. 2 and FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a wall construction, illustrating the top of the vertical log prior to the cap log instillation.

    • 7 of FIG. 6 illustrates cut out sections at the top of the vertical log to allow the wall to settle.
    • 8 of FIG. 6 illustrates the male horizontal logs in place before the cap logs.

FIG. 7 is a side view of a cap log.

    • 9 of FIG. 7 illustrates a beveled cut out for 2 of FIG. 2.
    • 10 of FIG. 7 illustrates a cut out section to settle around 7 of FIG. 6.
    • 11 of FIG. 7 illustrates a large female tapered inter-lock cut to guide the cap log.

FIG. 8 is a 3-D version of a cap log.

FIG. 9 is a 3-D version of a completed wall.


The present invention of the Swedge Inter-Lok System, allows the development of the floating wall. The male horizontal interlock, the female vertical interlock, the flat surface with log on log, and the cap log design provided this function. The male horizontal logs are cut with approximately four inches with a flat surface on both sides, 3 of FIG. 1. This will give a flush fit for the horizontal logs to sit on. A male end is then cut on the horizontal logs, 1 of FIG. 1, to interlock with the female interlock, 6 of FIG. 3. This will provide the horizontal log with a guide and the ability to freely float during shrinkage. In FIG. 5, this illustration is shown only using one wall. Typically the female vertical log has two female interlocking cuts and up to four, 6 of FIG. 3.

Once a wall is constructed a vital part of this invention is the female vertical log, 7 of FIG. 6, and the shrinkage design in the cap log, 10 of FIG. 7. The cap log, FIG. 7 is placed on top of FIG. 6, creating a log to log seal with the walls and yet the cut out, 10 of FIG. 7, is just sitting approximately one inch around 7 of FIG. 6. This shrinkage area allows the logs to naturally settle downward up to four inches. Then lag screws are placed through the cap logs fastening them to the wall, which stabilizes the structure and insures the cap log will be pulled downward during shrinkage, the lag screw are not show in the illustration.


The present invention revolves around log cabin construction and the issues that are currently being dealt with. Log shrinkage is one of the largest issues with log homes and the present invention allows the logs to shrink/settle naturally. In addition, because of the design, the log tonnage will allow the logs to compress for an airtight seal preventing the need for chinking, reducing a common fee to the homebuyer. The invention will allow longer and higher walls to be built with less vertical posts. The invention will eliminate window damage, because the windows will move evenly with the floating walls. The concern for log moisture will not be a factor with this invention and the logs can be mixed, green and dry logs, reducing over all cost and availability.