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Loghomeology definition


A little logging history... Not much is known about the peavey, named after its inventor Joseph Peavey of Stillwater, ME, The peavey was mostly used on river drives to lift, push and move logs that jammed together in shallow water or on rocks, or had washed ashore on the riverbank. The tool featured a hook, which moved up and down, giving the logger more control in moving timber.


Removing the outer and inner bark from a log usually with the aid of a drawknife or a machine.  A 'clean peel' removes all bark exposing clean wood while a 'skip peel' leaves some of the inner bark exposed for a more rustic look.  (See video of using a drawknife)


A dowel usually made of a hard wood like oak or locust. Pegs play a big part during the raising of a timberframe section. Typically, every tenon and mortise is drilled and pegged to help keep the frame from falling apart as you erect it. Peg holes are drilled into the mortises slightly offset from the tenon hole so the peg exerts an tension and pulls the tenon into the mortise for a snug fit.

A small peg is called a 'pin'.

Pen (single-pen or double-pen)

A term referring to a one room, one-story log cabin, cottage, or hut.  A "single-pen" is a one room cabin while a "double-pen" is a two room cabin.  Such structures were small, typically 16 or 18 feet by 16 feet with a chimney on one side.

Perc Test

The percolation test (perc or perk test) is used to determine the suitability of a property location for a septic drainage system by determining the absorption rate of soil for a septic drain field or "leach field". Requirements may vary, but a series of holes are drilled into which water is poured. The rate at which the water is absorbed into the surrounding soil is the percolation rate. This rate, along with an estimate of the daily rate of sewage flow will determine if the site is suitable for a septic system. For additional details of how Perk Tests (Perc Tests) are done, see this article by the University of Minnesota Extension Service.


A term used to describe a 'deep foundation', which is distinguished from a shallow foundation by the depth the pilings are embedded in the ground. With log and timberframe homes, the reasons for a deep foundation is the extremely heavy design loads. Piles can be made out of timber, steel, reinforced or pre-tensioned concrete. Deep foundations are installed by either driving piers into the ground or drilling a shaft and filling it with concrete.

Pitch (Roof)

The slope of a roofs rise over a run. A pitch of 8 means that the roof rises 8 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal run.

Pit Sawn

One method of cutting lumber utilizing a two-man saw where one man was on top of the log and one man worked below in a pit working the other end of the saw.


A horizontal member which supports other members; dormer plate, sill plate, etc.  A plate log is at the top of a wall that supports the rafters.  See also cap log.


A building's component or unit (wall, studs, windows, etc.) that is exactly vertical and perpendicular to horizontal members. i.e. doors and windows should be hung plumb.

Pole Rafter

A rafter (usually debarked and/or peeled) left in the round, but not hewn or finished in any way.

Post (post & beam)

Vertical construction (support) members used as uprights supporting a beam (i.e. post & beam).  A vertical or upright timber.

Pre-cut Logs

Logs that have been processed at a manufacturing facility usually to fit a house plan.

Pressure Treated

Pressure treatment is a process that forces chemical preservatives into the wood to extend their normal lifespan and protect from rot or insect damage. Wood is placed inside a closed container, then vacuum and pressure are applied to force the preservatives into the wood. The preservatives help protect the wood from attack by termites, other insects, and fungal decay.

Punch List

A list of items that need to be corrected by the contractor prior to the homeowner taking possession or signing-opp on the build contract.

Purlins (purline)

Purlins, as opposed to rafters, is common in timber frame construction.  It is a horizontal structural member in a roof.  Purlins support the loads from the roof deck or sheathing and are supported by building walls. A collar Purlin is a horizontal longitudinal beam supporting collar ties.

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