October 2016     VOLUME 14     ISSUE 41

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Passing on the Craft of Log Building

In December 2013, Allan Mackie, accompanied by Dai Ona, made his last visit to Japan and attended a gathering, much like a family reunion, of Japanese B Allan Mackie Log Building (BAM) graduates. At the end of the gathering, Allan suggested that the graduates should form a group that can get together once a while and do something good. From this gathering, a group was formed and called Harmony With Nature (HWN). For two years this group of approximately 35 members, worked to assist areas, homes, and peoples affected by disasters, including 3 days spent digging out a log home submerged from a mudslide.
In the Spring of 2016, the group discussed the benefits of running a BAM course again in Japan.  Dai himself had been running BAM between 1996‐2003 on Vancouver Island, and though he has since stopped running the course, Dai believed this was a great opportunity to pass on some great knowledge.
With short notice, a team of six volunteer instructors were assembled. All were well known and experienced builders from north, south, east and west Japan, and Dai from Canada.  Eager to pass on their knowledge and share their passion for the craft; some instructors drove over 12 hours and some took a train to participate in passing on their knowledge and skills.  It was the kind of dream team that would never have been assembled for a regular course, however with the HWN concept, instructors were happy to volunteer.
On June 18, 2016, eight eager students, ages 28 – 64, came together at Woodsmans Village, Nikko, Japan to learn the craft of log building during an eight-day course. The course featured the building of 10” x 10” full scribe log shell complete with a roof system.  Originally the course was to take place during regular eight-hour work days, however the motivated students requested that the course run extended hours so they could participate and see the completion of the roof system resulting in students and teachers working and learning together from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm each day.
Students and instructors alike had a great time and all involved confirmed it was worth the time spent to learn and to pass on the craft, even though there was no economic benefit to the participants or instructors.  The success of the course was obvious and upon conclusion emotions ran deep and a few people were even in tears.  These students walked away with new found knowledge and skills and unbridled enthusiasm of a craft.
Dai believes that it is new blood coming into the industry that will keep the craft of log building alive. He recognizes that it’s getting the craft to the new blood that is the challenge. Dai feels that as time has passed since B Allan Mackie Log Building courses first came about, the craft of log building is at risk of being lost due to new regulations and too few training events being held to keep the craft alive. He still believes that log building is one of the easiest building methods, and is a better method that not only results in unique log structures but is also good for building character and confidence as it allows the craftsman to feel the satisfaction of constructing something with ones’ own hands.  The fundamentals taught in the BAM courses demonstrates this and aspires to enable those who desire to build their own home. 
Dai has been maintaining the legal status of the B Allan Mackie School of Log Building since he stopped running regular courses in 2003.  He is hopeful that the BAM course can be carried on and is interested in having someone or another non-profit organization take the lead to ensure the BAM legacy, the fundamentals of the craft of log building is not lost.  He feels strongly that it would be a shame to let this school and craft slip away.  Dai is passionate about the structures that students build during BAM courses and says, “I always like the school house project a lot, it may not be pretty in details but I can feel the positive energy that is created by many hands involved in building them”. 
Tech Corner
Which Sansin Undercoat is the Best Protection for Which Wood Substrate?
1. Logs and Timbers during construction – TIMBER-TEC C20. Timber-Tec is an industrial strength wood treatment for in-yard protection.

During the construction phase Timber-Tec protects against surface discolouration, weathering and mildew.It repels moisture and allows the wood to breathe reducing checking.It can be applied to both green and seasoned timber.Sansin Timber-Tec contains solids that penetrate well, creating dimensional stability.Sansin Timber-Tec provides active UV protection keeping wood cleaner during the construction phase.
There is no need to remove Timber-Tec before applying Sansin’s Enviro Stain or finishes.Simply ensure the substrate is clean and apply Enviro Stain as directed.
2. Dimensional Lumber, Engineered Wood Components, Siding – FOUNDATION

Foundation is a penetrating base that improves top coat performance.It protects against both weathering and UV.
Its almost invisible formula penetrates deeply providing the equivalent of 4 ounces of pigment which enable excellent UV protection – even when using clear or light wood tone stains and finishes.
Foundation may be applied in a factory setting or on site.
Foundation is available in two formulas:Classic for the large timbers and engineered products or SDF for siding.
Remember protecting your wood siding, engineered wood and lumber is a lot less expensive than having to clean and prepare weathered substrates on site.
For more information please call Gary Brown, Coastec Industrial Paints,
1-800-940-3393 or 604-240-3017.
Passive VS. Active Online Marketing - What’s the difference?
As a creative marketing firm we are often asked by customers “How active should we be on social media and online in general?”  “Isn’t it enough that we invest in optimizing our website for search engines (SEO)?”  To answer these questions, we explain to our customers the difference between passive and active marketing and why it’s important to find the balance between the two that works for them and their business.
Passive Marketing
Passive marketing happens when a business creates an online presence that doesn’t rely on the audience to interact or “connect” with your brand. Being able to find your location through Google maps or scan your website as you would a business card is helpful but it doesn’t allow for further customer engagement. The customer who is seeking information online is trying to learn more about your business and the services or products you offer before they even make the effort to contact you personally. There is nothing wrong with passive marketing when it happens organically, however that alone is not always enough to grow your online brand and increase customer engagement and ultimately your sales.
Active Marketing
Active marketing requires a plan of action on the part of a business. Active online marketing often includes: blogging, videos, web banner ads, Facebook ad campaigns and frequent updates on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin.
This kind of marketing requires ability and persistence and can sometimes feel overwhelming. Don’t give up! Choose the right online active marketing strategy that works best for you and your business and build upon it step by step.
When Sproing Creative was first approached by Peter Sperlich, President and Patti LeFrancois the Executive Director of the BC Log and Timber Building Industry Association (BCLTBIA) they were looking to attract more potential customers for their members, people to the industry and increase their membership levels. It was clear to the Board of Directors at that time that part of the solution for them was to increase their online presence but what wasn’t clear was - how much of their time resources would they need to be to be effective.  In other words - how active would they need to be?
To come up with the right solution or answer to the question of how active should we be, Peter and Patti brought everyone together for a brand strategy meeting with Sproing to determine the best direction for BCLTBIA brand and online marketing activities and together we identified what tools to use based on their resources so that they can become more active and less passive with their marketing without putting too much strain on their overall operations.  We are proud to see the advances that the BCLTBIA has made over the past year and they are now actively engaged with their audience through E-newsletters, Facebook, videos and blogs. They also updated their website design and functionality to include Google analytics and search engine optimization so that they can better monitor their visitors and user experiences.  They have truly found a balance of passive and active marketing that works for them and in time will continue to give them great results.

2017 Annual Conference

February 23 to 25, 2017
The dates have been set for our 2017 Annual Conference and AGM.  Mark your calendars and plan to attend February 23 to 25, 2017 at the beautiful Quaaout Lodge, near Chase BC. Sponsor and Delegate information packages will be ready later this month.  

If you have a topic that you would like to see discussed or a workshop idea you think would be beneficial at conference, please contact Patti at the BC LTBIA office - 1-888-720-9212 or email
Is your Occupational Health and Safety Program Up to Date?
The BC LTBIA has completed updating the Log Building Occupational Health and Safety Program (OHSP)manual templates and have uploaded them to the members only section of our website for use by our members. Visit  to log in and access this resource.. These templates provide log builders with the required program elements to be in compliance when an OHSP is required by WorkSafe BC . The templates may also be used by Timber Framing operations with some editing to meet your operations requirements. 

Assistance in preparing your  OHSP is available from the BC LTBIA on a fee for service basis. Contact Patti at 1-888-720-9212 or by email to discuss your needs and obtain a quotation from the Association for completion of your site specific plan or for updating your current plan.

The basic requirements

Creating a healthy and safe workplace means having an effective health and safety program and meeting other basic requirements.

  • Getting started (the basics)
  • Roles, rights & responsibilities
  • First aid requirements
  • Managing risk
  • Health & safety programs
  • Workplace inspections
  • Incident investigations
  • Supervising for health & safety
  • Training & orienting workers
  • Joint health & safety committees
Please support our 2016 Corporate Sponsors and Members
Click the name to visit their website

Baron Insurance Broker Group                                                 Nicola Logworks
BC Wood Specialties Group                                                     PlastiFab/Insulspan
Daizen Joinery Ltd.                                                                     Roundhouse Forest Products
Dietrichs NA                                                                                 Sansin Corporation
Lee Valley Tools                                                                          Sansin / The Coast Group
Magard Ventures Ltd                                                                  Sproing Creative
Makita Canada                                                                            Timber Tools
My-Ti-Con Connectors Inc.                                                       West-Eco Panalized Building Systems
                                                                                                       Whitehead Carvings

For complete contact information for all our 2016 Corporate Sponsors CLICK HERE to download and print the directory.
Copyright © 2016 BC Log and Timber Building Industry Association, All rights reserved.

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BC Log and Timber Building Industry Association · #8 - 249 Kitchener Crescent · Kamloops, BC V2B 1B9 · Canada

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