Design & DIY

Watch these artisans use traditional techniques to build a log cabin

Wooden cabin

Ever wondered what it takes to build a wooden house from scratch? Well, Latvia’s John Neeman Tools has released a 24-minute documentary showing how their team built a log cabin with their own hand-forged tools.

The video covers everything from selecting and felling trees, laying the foundation, and carving the individual logs. According to Jacob, identified as the founder of John Neeman Tools, the home was built using only manpower and locally sourced materials.

“I used mostly traditional carpenters hand tools—axes, hand saws, timber framing chisels and slicks, old Stanley planes, augers, draw knives, and mostly human energy. All the ground work for fundaments and the basement earth digging was done by hand with shovels.”

They avoided imported materials by using wood joints and pegs instead of nails or screws, and even used moss from a local swamp to fill the gaps between logs—a classic Latvian technique.

These methods aren’t that surprising given that the company’s ethos is all about cutting out technology:

“We want to help people to remember how to use their hands, to relate their own human energy to their tools—to achieve the true joy of creating something from humble beginnings, as we did.”

Maybe we should all consider leaving our power tools on the shelf more often.