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Oma Tupa, Oma Lupa
One’s Own Cabin, One’s Own Freedom (Finnish Proverb)


One more basic stone masonry workshop will be held July 20-22, Friday-Sunday. To register, phone Ron at 218.365.2126. Cost is $300 including lodging.

Now that the school of closing, there is stuff for sale, including a loader truck, freshly-built log cabin, and lumber (free). For details see the Newsletter on this website.

See notes below and understand that this website is being left up temporarily for informational purposes even though the courses will no longer be held. There is good data on safety procedures, gear you will need to do your own building and other resources. For further questions, feel free to phone Ron Brodigan at 1.218.365.2126 anytime. See not #1 below.

You learn the skills necessary to construct your own handcrafted log cabin or home at the Great Lakes School of Log Building in northern Minnesota. Save money, get hands-on experience and gain personal satisfaction by attending one of our monthly workshops. The Great Lakes School has been promoting and teaching the craft of Scandinavian/Canadian scribe-fit log construction for 43 years. Our ten-day courses are designed to accommodate all skill levels, from novice on up, and we invite men and women of all ages to participate.

The program is a member of the International Log Builders’ Association (ILBA) and teaching is in accordance with the Association’s Effective Practices & Methods for Handcrafted Log Building.

Note #1: After June’s final workshop after four decades (this past June), Ron will continue to consult with private individuals on log construction, assisting with site planning, preparation, procurement of logs and general recommendations as one gets ready to build for him or herself. In this connection, he may be available to travel a reasonable distance to your area on a per diem, mileage and motel lodging basis – or you can visit him south of Ely, Minnesota. In preparation for this effort, he is currently working on a handy list of tools and other resources you will probably need when you set out to construct your own building from logs. Lectures and slide presentations will also be available. Inquiries can be directed to him at 1.218.365.2126 or courses@schooloflogbuilding.com 

Note #2: A student-built cabin from the past is now finished and for sale. See (on this website) “Student Cabin for Sale.”


A nice load of Norway (red) pine being unloaded in the peeling yard – just in time for the beginning of a course. We use a variety of wood species for log building.

Left to right above are members of a recent workshop: Adam, Eagle River, WI; Eric, Mounds View, MN; Richard, Grapevine, TX; Mike, Lino Lakes, MN; Kevin, Tomahawk, WI; Nathan, Eagle River, WI.


On the July workshop (above and below), Jill and Danny from Indiana, Colleen from Netherlands, and Richard from Texas, calculate the kingpost cut, then later pose after completing the roof system.


Above: Future log builders: Mark, Minnesota, Todd, Ohio, and Chris, Alaska, finish a log truss for a project on a November workshop.


Above: Megan and Sheila work on flattening a cap plate during a July course – making use of a helper handle.


Outside Magazine, October 2010, listed our log building course as number 15 on their LifeList of experiences you should have during your lifetime: “Build a cabin in the mountains. Building one yourself requires at least six months,…tools, and serious skills. Hesitating? Increase your chances of success by taking a course at the Great Lakes School of Log Building (schooloflogbuilding.com).”

If you are thinking of sending a relative or friend on a log building course in  2017 – as a holiday, anniversary or birthday present, tuition gift certificates can be easily and quickly arranged. Call 218.365.2126 for information.

Brent and Megan of North Carolina and Sheila and Terry from the Toronto area comprised a July basic and roof workshop.


On the June course were Todd, Minnesota, and Chuck and Tammie, Mississippi.


The May, 2011 course included Mark, Wisconsin, Shaun, New York, Megan, California.


Finishing up a timber-truss on the July, 2009 course are (clockwise) Brett, Ohio; Chris & Debra , Wisconsin; Paul, Minnesota; Robert & his daughter, Alina, from eastern Ontario.


The participants in a three-day roof workshop are shown below after the ridgelog was fitted and placed. l to r: Mark, PA; Jon, MN; Scott & Bruce, MN.


Bruce trims a kingpost to accommodate the ridgelog.



Jeff of Indiana cuts a window on an April course. One of the most successful and enjoyable courses ever held (at least from the instructor’s perspective), the group also included Colin of Manitoba, Marlon of Tennessee and Pat from Ohio.


Former students Jim and Nancy Sauer of St. Louis, MO, holding their model in front of their almost completed home, done during 2007-07 of yellow pine with help from their son and a friend. See more pictures below.


During May 2007 Stonework Course, Jennifer, Illinois, sifts clean mortar sand while Tony, Wisconsin, mixes.


Jim and Nancy Sauer from Missouri brought to the June, 2006 class their model of the house they would build. After some modification, the house now well underway, the revised mockup of the house is shown below with their son, Mike, and Bruce Gibbar, who were participants on the June 2007 course.


Great Lakes School of Log Building 
1350 Snowshoe Trail,  Isabella, MN 55607

Copyright ©2016, Great Lakes School of Log Building