2018 Logbuilding Course Student Testimonial
I have just completed the 2018 log building course. I enjoyed it so much Toni and I bought a caravan and we are moving the family down to Geraldine to build our log home in Graeme's yard! I can't believe that people get paid to do this. I was blown away by the mixture of irregular shape and contour of log with precise millimetre accuracy in scribbing and chainsaw work. I also didn't realise the amount of mathematical equations and formulas used to select the correct log and ensure that we end up at the same height.
The people on the course were great; a real mixture of ages and personalities. Our host Christine was a fabulous host. We were so well fed that I had to go on a diet afterwards. Even with the unfortunate passing of her father she still managed to keep us fed, but that's just the kind of person she is, and it was a pleasure to work on her house. Her pink chainsaws were a first, and there was the odd occasion when the guys were snapped using them! Graeme was a great teacher, his knowledge is impressive and he can explain it in a way that we can understand what we are doing and why. The passion that Graeme has for log homes is infectious. I also had the pleasure of staying in 'hotel Mould'. It was top notch accommodation, it even had a heated pool!
We learnt about all the pitfalls of log building, a lot of things that you wouldn't read about in a book, lessons that have been learnt in the log yard. I felt like we were getting the most up to date log building techniques in the world.
The log home tour was a highlight, we saw some top notch homes that gave us some great ideas for our home.
I would highly recommend doing this course if you were thinking of building a log house, it may change your mind. I now know that if I tried to build our log home without doing this course it would have been a disaster.
Thank you to everyone who was involved in organising this course. It was well worth the money and I know that Graeme is there for any on going support needed in our log home journey. I'm glad that this is the course that LBANZ supports as it is clearly the best in NZ... possibly the world.
“For the last couple of years I have had a dream to live a life where I didn’t have to rely on the “system”. As part of that dream I wanted to build my own house, to become self-sustaining and off the grid. I researched ways I could build a home for my fiancée and I without needing all the different materials and skills required to make a conventional home of milled timber and bricks etc. I came across log cabins and looked at their seemingly simple construction with the minimal amount of materials required to have a beautiful, organic, chemical free home. My fiancée and I haven’t been in New Zealand that long and the reason we came here was to make a new life and naturally we wanted to get started straight away. I ran a search in Google looking for courses on log cabin building and of course I stumbled across Natural Log Homes’, right here on our doorstep.
I knew absolutely nothing about log homes and their construction, but I knew it was something that I wanted to pursue in order to follow my dream. The beauty about the Natural Log Homes course is that you don’t need to know anything (except for a little reading prior to starting). Anything I needed to know prior to starting the course either Adie or Graeme kindly answered.
What can I say about the experience of the course itself……… absolutely amazing! I don’t think I have had so much fun on any course that I’ve done before. Graeme and the crew are like a big family and we were made to feel welcome straight away. If you want real world training with the most up-to-date techniques in the Log Building community, then this is the course for you. I know that anyone should expect this from someone who is going to teach courses, but Graeme really does know his stuff and has been in the field for many decades and his knowledge truly is priceless. From day 1 we were straight into it, shown the basics of using a chainsaw for the first couple of days, by day 3 we were given the privilege and complete faith of working on actual projects on the yard.
This course will educate those attempting to go it alone, it gave me a reality check. This is a craft, a craft that has been honed for thousands of years which requires skill and concentration at all times. You will learn the skill required to build the log shell, but there is so much more involved that this course will awaken you to. This is the best money I’ve spent in a long time, not only for the skills I was taught but the thousands saved from possibly making huge mistakes attempting to build my own log home alone. I have a new found respect for log builders as this is a true skill and craft.
This was an experience of a lifetime and I thank Graeme and the team for all they have given, they are tremendously inspiring human beings.
Log Home Building Course Summary, January – February 2015 in Geraldine
I enjoyed the course and learned a lot of new skills. Graeme is a very good teacher and an incredibly talented Builder.
The course taught me all the basics and some of the tricky stuff about Log Home Building. The atmosphere on the Yard with the Workers was really good and helpful as we could gain additional skills from them.
Apart from all the practical knowledge and the class room time, I enjoyed the assembly and the tour, where we visited Log Homes that Graeme and his team had built.
Thank you, Graeme, for everything including the great food during the course.
Stephen Smith, Dunedin.
Log Home Building Course 2015
(Course dates: 19 January 2015 – 05 February 2015)
The course overall was excellent. Graeme Mould is an outstanding tutor with a wealth of knowledge about Log Home Building. We got to know Graeme as a very relaxed, knowledgeable man and learned that he has more than 20 years Log Home building experience. The Log Home Building Course was very well structured with a good mix of practical experience and teaching time.
We started the course with a introduction to the concept of Natural Log Home Building and a comprehensive tour of the Natural Log Home Building Yard. I note that it was a real advantage right from the beginning that the course was conducted on Graeme’s “Natural Log Home Business Premises”. Graeme had put aside an area for us students in the yard, but at any time we were able to watch the “real Log Builders” (his team) on the job. During the course we also had the opportunity to work with the Log Builders. Our “classroom time” was either spent in a cozy Log Home Cabin on site or in front of the white board in the Yard.
During the first few days we learned all about importance of Log selection, design concepts, peeling of the logs and the safe operation of tools such as chainsaws, chisels and sanders. Graeme has a very good way of teaching the skills that he has perfected over his career of more than 20 years of Log Building. He managed to explain and pass on the skills to us; some of us had some woodworking or building experience, others had none.
After a couple of days we were scribing logs, cutting notches and saddles, as well as the V and W cuts. For the first few days we were using test logs which was great, as the pressure of making a mistake wasn’t there. Graeme told us there are no mistakes: there are only “learning curves”.
Apart from all the necessary cuts on a Log, we also learned about setting out a building, cutting doorways, sills and window openings. We learned about the different options of Roof constructions with or without Log work.
One day of the course we went to an assembly of a rather large Log Home on a nearby Dairy Farm. We were amazed to learn that it only takes a few days to re assemble a Log Home that was constructed in the Yard of Natural Log Homes.
Towards the end of the course Graeme took us and our Partners on a tour of approximately 15 Log Homes in the area. This was a very enjoyable day as well as an eye opening experience. We saw a lot of different finishes and designs, especially the introduction of Stone work or conventional Gib Walls and ceilings were amazing to see. Without exceptions, all owners of the Log Homes were very happy with their homes built by Natural Log Homes and proud to invite us in.
I cannot stress enough how valuable it was, that the course was on the Premises of Natural Log Homes. We greatly benefitted seeing several homes being built on site at the same time as our course.
It built my confidence in using all the necessary tools and strengthened my belief that Log Home Building is a worthwhile pursuit. I found the course incredibly informative and useful for gaining new skills.
I admired Graeme’s feedback during the course; it was the perfect mix of praise and challenge. He inspired me to try better at each step of the Log Home Building process. I now have more confidence in using Power tools. With Graeme’s guidance and support, I can visualize my dream of one day building my own Log Home, becoming reality.
I can’t express my gratitude enough to Graeme from Natural Log Homes for his seamlessly never ending energy and patience during the course. I can highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in Log Homes.
Sigi Herbst, Christchurch.