Maiker Reimann subdued a six time champion at handcrafted log house builders vocational competition

The 11th handcrafted log house builders vocational competition, which took place on May 22 in Räpina, determined the best professionals, students and axemen in log house business. The best log house builder in professional category is Maiker Reimann. Priit Maisalu was the best student and the winner in the axemen category was Margus Palolill.

The best technique and speed were shown in making one of the most important parts of a log house – corner joint and groove of a log.

Professional category of the competition was without a doubt special this year because out of four options – Estonian dovetail notch with wind-lock, Estonian square notch with wind-lock, Saddle notch, Scandinavian notch – every participant, including the 6 time champion Veiko Palm, chose the square notch. Veiko Palm has usually chosen the Scandinavian notch, he has participated at the competition for 9 times and has won it 6 times. This year, at his first competition with square notch, he lost his winner’s title to Maiker Reimann by 14 seconds.  

„I am extremely happy over the victory and it could be called the title of persistence,“ said the winner Maiker Reimann. „I have participated six times and every time there has been some kind of trouble – whether there is a WWII gun bullet in the notch, own mistakes, nerves fail, etc., but today was my day. Everything was as it had to be!“ cheered Reimann and added that the victory was ensured by putting more time into precise marking. Runner-up in the professional category was Veiko Palm and third place went to Ahto Naruski, who is the only person who has participated at all 11 competitions and won the professional category on three occasions.  

The best log house builder 2021 – Maiker Reimann, Photo: Estonian Woodhouse Association

In the traditional tools or so called „axemen“ category the winning prize went to Margus Palolill, who participated for the 10th time. Margus was the only person to compete in two categories on the same day – in professional as well as axemen category. Runner-up in axemen category was Ivo Leiaru, a log construction teacher in Hiiumaa Vocational School and third place went to the school´s student Margus Orgmäe.    

The most participants were in student category this year, where the best log house builder title went to Priit Maisalu. Runner-up was Rene Miilen and third place went to Siim Tirmaste.  

Organizer of the event, Lauri Kivil, says that the number of specialists who are able to build handcrafted log houses and also level of skills have increased tremendously over the past years. „We witness a powerful growth of a new generation in the student category of the competition  and also in categories of professionals and axemen. As the time goes on there are fewer and fewer participants who we have previously also seen in student category,“ says Kivil. He is also convinced that the main influencer of those developments is Hiiumaa Vocational School with its teachers Ivo Leiaru and Andres Veel. Kivil also points out that the entire technical preparation, among which were the production of competition notches and planning of the competition area, were carried out this year by Hiiumaa Vocational School teachers and students. Kivil considers it important that the vocational competition is nicely integrated into the curriculum, making up a practical part of vocational exam.  „As a professional association we see that the competition of handcrafted log houses is one of the most perfect examples among our series of events that shows co-operation between the umbrella organization, educational institution and companies. The result of the co-operation being an attractive event that interests and develops the sector.  

Photo: Elar Vilt

Estonian Woodhouse Association and Cluster thank all participants and congratulate the winners!  

The vocational competition is organised by the Estonian Woodhouse Association and Cluster along with log house manufacturers of Southern Estonia and Hiiumaa Vocational School.