President Kaljulaid: Estonians are the world’s best loghouse builders
10. August 2020

Handcrafted loghouse builders gathered in Hiiumaa on August 1st for another annual vocational competition. Competitors included both professional builders and students acquiring the profession. Jubilee year's best loghouse master is Veiko Palm from EstNor OÜ

The competition has been held already for 10 years. Organized by Woodhouse Association and Cluster, the competition is one of a kind in Estonia and on international level. It is a good test for professional loghouse builders to compare skills with their colleagues. The contestants have to show speed and skill in making one of the most important parts of the structure – corner joint and a groove of a log. Competitors could choose between three different corner types: Estonian dovetail corner with wind lock, Estonian square notch with wind lock or Scandinavian notch. Final result is a combination of time and work quality 

10th vocational competition of handcrafted loghouse builders was opened by the President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid. „Loghouse is an historical Estonian house. Maybe this is why Estonians are the world´s best loghouse builders – at least per capita. As construction technology is developing, so is understanding that log houses are helping to achieve climate goals, being probably one of the best ways to bind CO2 long-term.“

President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, opening the competition. Photo: Kaie Kiil/Estonian Woodhouse Association

The fastest time and best quality in making of the corner joint and log groove was shown by EstNor OÜ loghouse master Veiko Palm, who chose to make a Scandinavian notch. Veiko has won this competition for 6 times. Runner-up was Margus Palolill from Vanaajamaja MTÜ (Estonian square notch with wind lock) and third place went to last year's winner Ahto Naruski from Hobbiton OÜ (Estonian square notch with wind lock). 

Winner of the competition - Veiko Palm. Photo: Kaie Kiil/Estonian Woodhouse Association

Results of the competition:

  • I place – Veiko Palm (EstNor OÜ) 27min 02sec
  • II place – Margus Palolill (Vanaajamaja MTÜ) 34min 36sec
  • III place – Ahto Naruski (Hobbiton OÜ) 34min 52sec 

The best competitor in non-professional category was Märt Vahtramäe (Viljandi Culture Academy) and in hand tools category Mart Jallai

Total of 24 loghouse builders participated this year, among them professionals and students who are currently acquiring the profession at Hiiumaa Vocational School or Viljandi Culture Academy. Ole Ivar Lierhagen from Norway, a loghouse builder and STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Cup Norwegian team captain, offered competition to his Estonian colleagues in the category of hand tools.  Lauri Kivil, Managing Director of Estonian Woodhouse Association confirms that the competition has become more of a spectacle by each year. „New categories, foreign guests, hand tools that are free to use and a growing number of participants have made this competition a grand event in the sector.“  

Participants, organizers and sponsors of the 10th vocational competition of handcrafted loghouse builders. Photo: Kaie Kiil/Estonian Woodhouse Association

August 1st and the competition were a culmination for Hiiu heritage culture week, where in addition to the competition it was possible to get acquainted with building tools, seminars and workshops were held, home cafes opened their doors to guests and different Hiiu saunas were there to be enjoyed.  

Estonian Woodhouse Association and Cluster thank all competitors, supporters and organizing team members! 

Objective of the competition held by Estonian Woodhouse Association and Cluster is to introduce and value the profession of log house builder, also to promote log house construction and the tradition. 

The vocational competition was partially supported by European Regional Development Fund via Enterprise Estonia´s clusters` development measure and Estonian Wooden Houses export cluster project.