Norwegian technology: carriage houses, advantages and disadvantages

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The article describes the Norwegian technology for building houses from rounded tree trunks. You will learn about what a carriage is, how and what it is made of. The article will tell you about the advantages and disadvantages of houses from a gun carriage, as well as about the features of the construction of the walls.

Norwegian technology: carriage houses. Advantages and disadvantages

Wooden houses made of solid logs have always been considered the “privilege” of the Russian countryside. Skilled carpenters in the woodland created masterpieces of wooden architecture using primitive tools. However, not only in Russia they know how to build from long logs. Norwegian ship carpenters, who also knew a lot about reliable wooden joints and structures, have long erected houses from a log processed in a special way, which is called a carriage.

What is a gun carriage

The carriage is a log, sawn from both sides in such a way that two mutually parallel planes are obtained. In appearance, it can be called a huge board with rounded edges. The element size is usually standard – 240×400 mm. It has a domestic analogue of the name – a gable bar.

Norwegian technology: carriage houses. Advantages and disadvantages

The material for the carriage can be any kind of construction wood, but usually it is pine. Unlike prefabricated glued lengths, this material is picky about the quality of raw materials:

  1. The highest quality wood is used for the production of the gun carriage.
  2. The barrel must have a uniform structure along its entire length – defects cannot be removed or replaced.
  3. Only wood with normal moisture content – 12-15% is accepted for work.

Otherwise, the elements of the log house repeat the well-known rounded log.

How the carriage is made

The creation of a gable beam is a laborious procedure. It involves a lot of manual labor, equipment and skilled work of specialists and organizers. It is impossible to cope with such a log house “on our own” – usually the site is organized at the facilities of a special landfill. Let’s consider in stages how and with what they create a carriage.

Operation: Delivery of logs to the landfill.

What do you need: Freight transport, lifting equipment (forklift).

Operation: Removing the edges of the log.

What do you need: Movable band saw on rollers and frame and experienced operators.

First, mark the butt – how much excess wood needs to be removed. Then the saw is used – it moves along the log, removing a layer of wood (30-50 mm). Along the way, an unedged board and a croaker are obtained.

Operation: Barking (removal of bark).

What do you need: A pair of powerful hand planers and physically strong workers.

The rest of the rounding is processed with a plane – remove the bark and irregularities. Then the whole forest is antiseptic.

In order to carry out the actions described above, you need a prepared landfill, equipment and personnel. But these are only blanks, or, as the carpenters say, “blanks” for a log house – they are called a carriage. But in order to become a full-fledged element of a log house, such a log needs to go through two of the most difficult stages – cutting and fitting.

What is the peculiarity of a carriage log house

The peculiarity of the Norwegian log house is the fastening of the logs to each other, which is called the “Norwegian castle”. From a cursory glance, the crowns look as usual – a standard 900 harness, but the most interesting and difficult part is hidden inside. Complex cutting is the work of a neat and skilled carpenter.

Norwegian technology: carriage houses. Advantages and disadvantages

Describing in words how this cut is done is as difficult as learning it from a book. This is the main reason for the relatively low diffusion of technology. The connection takes a long time and requires high precision and fit – carpenters call this work “furniture”.

Norwegian cut on video

Why are these difficulties? The complication of cutting has five goals that fully justify the time invested:

  1. More nested corners – better mechanical reliability.
  2. An increase in the contact area of ​​two elements – an increase in the friction force between them.
  3. The notch design bevels the angle at which gravity acts on the elements. In this case, the load is distributed inside the ligament, even more compacting and strengthening it. In other words, the load from the weight of the walls works to strengthen the connection between the crowns..
  4. Complete absence of foreign fasteners – there are no points of excessive stress, the entire load is evenly distributed through the soft (relatively) wood.
  5. Multi-plane interfacing with stepped edges blocks (or significantly reduces) drafts.

This “multidisciplinary” approach to crown joining explains a lot. Now it becomes obvious that the additional hours and days invested in a log house during construction will result in years and decades of operation in the future. Simply put, the Norwegians have tried to get the most out of the tree trunk using intelligence and technology..

Advantages and disadvantages of carriage log cabins

Analyzing the information above, it should be remembered that the ideal building material does not exist..


  1. Natural environmentally friendly raw material – wood. This also includes the convenience of processing and fixing subsequent elements (stairs, floors, battens, etc.).
  2. Does not hide centimeters indoors. Logs protruding into the sides are a problem for all round log cabins. The wall of the carriage is closer in appearance to a calibrated bar and does not require additional processing and coating (except for the obligatory grinding and antiseptic treatment).
  3. The connection of the crowns helps to strengthen the bond during upsetting and loading of the walls.
  4. 240 mm of wood thickness in terms of thermal conductivity is equivalent to 380 mm of brickwork (one and a half bricks).
  5. The blockhouse is assembled without electricity (except for lighting) and without metal fasteners.

Norwegian technology: carriage houses. Advantages and disadvantages


  1. Complex, time consuming and expensive process of creating a building. The entire log house is first assembled at the landfill completely, then marked and disassembled for transportation.
  2. In 90% of cases – individual work to order. This means that the construction must be planned in advance, two years in advance, so that the material is prepared for it..
  3. Even in the form of a gun carriage, a log remains a log, and a tree remains a tree. This means that it will be susceptible to all the “wood” problems: wear and tear from weathering, freezing, moisture cycles, insect exposure, rot, and so on. Of course, like any solid wood blockhouse, it will require antiseptic treatment every 2-3 years, and caulking every 3-6 years.
  4. Fire hazard.

Log cabin from gun carriage on video

Along with the obvious characteristics, one can also note the neutral features characteristic of the gun carriage..

In the region where it is required to build a house from a Norwegian gun carriage, there may simply not be specialists in cutting and installation. Then the prefabricated kit will have to be transported from afar, which will increase transport costs. On the other hand, this is an advantage, since the house can be transported to any place.

In general, a carriage house is a great option for someone who believes that houses made of solid logs are the best. Of course, in terms of the reliability of the fastening, the Norwegian cut is an example of a reasonable approach and understanding of load distribution. European technical thought and frugality are rightfully conquering the Russian market by providing high-quality technical solutions and materials.

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