cordwood constructiongreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Just finished reading the new article about cordwood masonry and was delighted but did have a couple questions. Hope some one can lead me in the right direction!!:):)
#1=== If I use large round logs in the walls does it take away from the stability of the masonry? I mean a log about 2 feet around or slightly larger. Should it be split for better quality? We have a lot of hemlock here that is large.
#2=== Do I need some sort of moveable wall suport to hold the wet masonry in place until it dries? Looks to me like it would just run off.
Any help is greatly appreciated, oh one more question; Does any one have an extra book on this type of construction that they would be willing to part with? I know the mag offers these books but am looking for a slightly cheaper one. Thanks for your help
-- michelle (email@example.com), April 13, 2001
Thought that was pretty neat, too. I'd love to have that round cordwood house! Pretty cool, but considering trees around us are at a premium, we would have to use our firewood to build one! Jan
-- Jan in Co (Janice12@aol.com), April 14, 2001.
I read this article as well and found it very interesting. I have been thinking about building a hot tub that heats with wood and having a sauna as part of it would work well. I think I will seriously consider using this type of construction. Sorry I can't help you on your question but I'll be looking forward to the answer.
-- Colleen (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 14, 2001.
It would definitely work better to split the logs if they are very large. The masonry is the strength of the wall. Even more important is that full rounds will inevitably split as they dry, whereas split wood won't have that big crack that has to be filled in later with caulk. As for it running, you make a very stiff mortar that will be fine for two or three feet of wall height per day.
-- Rod Perrino (email@example.com), April 14, 2001.
Go to Daycreek.com. It is all about cordwood construction. Has an interesting journal of a guy who is building his cordwood home. It has links to a lot of cordwood builders who have their own books for sale. They are very in-expensive. There is also a forum to ask any question you might have.
-- Curt(IN) (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 16, 2001.
my husband is a reporter and did stories on cordwood construction years ago. one thing that came up several years afterward was that the wood dries and shrinks and that leaves holes around all of the wood. not really good for cold climates.
-- Mary R. (email@example.com), April 18, 2001.
Well, I dunno... We live in a cordwood log house in a pretty cold climate (N. IN) and we do just fine. Our only heat source is an old woodburner and we have still have had to open windows on sub-freezing days. There's nothing like fresh air in January! Yes, there has been some shrinkage of the wood but not enough to affect the insulating value of the thick walls. Splitting of large logs (as per the original question) has been more of a problem and has necessitated adding insulation material. I just stuffed fiberglass insulation in the splits and it has made a huge difference. Small and split logs have cracked minimally or not at all.
Just for the record, we purchased our cordwood log house already built because we liked the the land and the seclusion. It would not be my personal choice if we were building new. This is more for asthetic reasons (I personally prefer traditional log homes) than for practical ones. We have withstood blizzards, heat waves, and a far too close tornado with no problem.
-- Hoosiermom (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 19, 2001.
ALL YOUR ANSWERS CAN BE FOUND ON MY CORDWOOD NEWBEE PAGE AT http://maxpages.com/cordwood AS FOR MORTARS THEY ARE GENERALLY MADE THICK ENOUGH TO CARRY THE WEIGHT OF THE OBJECT EMBEDDED IN THE WALL.OTHERWISE YOU WOULDN`T GET ANY GOOD MORTAR JOINTS[ABOUT 1" THICK].YOU CAN BUY THE BOOKS BUT ALOT OF THE INFO IS DISCUSSED ON MY NEWBEE PAGE.OR AT MY CORDWOOD BOARD AT http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cordwood MOST OF THE INHERENT PROBLEMS DEALING WITH CORDWOOD CAN BE RESOLVED.IT IS USUALLY THE INEXPERIENCED BUILDER USING UNSEASONED LOGS,USING THE WRONG TYPE AND SIZE OF LOGS.PERHAPS THE MORTAR SET TO FAST OR WAS USED BELOW 40 DEGREES OR ABOVE 90 DEGREES.PERHAPS THEY USED A NON-LOAD BEARING FORMULA IN A LOAD BEARING SITUATION.PERHAPS THE SOIL OR FOUNDATION WASN`T CAPABLE OF HANDLING THE WEIGHT OF A CORDWOOD WALL [24" WALL WEIGHS 58 LBS PER CUBIC FOOT.THATS 928 LBS PER LINEAL FOOT.NOT COUNTING THE ROOF OR SNOW LOAD].SAW DUST INSULATION CAN ERODE OR PACK IN YOUR WALL ALLOWING AIR PENETRATION. PERHAPS THEY USED THE WRONG SAWDUST IN THEIR MORTAR MIX.WAS THE STRUCTURE BUILD TOO LOW TO THE GROUND? DID THEY USE A 24" OVERHANG ON THE ROOF?DID THEY SEAL THE LOG ENDS? CORDWOOD IS SO FORGIVING AND HAS SO MANY BACK UP OPTIONS FOR THINGS THAT GO ASTRAY.THAT IT IS ALMOST FOOL PROOF.NO OTHER SYSTEM HAS AS MANY SAFETIES BUILT IN.WHAT OTHER SYSTEM HAS STRUCTURES OVER 1000 YEARS OLD? CORDially YOURS CORDWOODGUY
-- guy cordwood (email@example.com), April 20, 2001.
There is a photo of a guest house on Rob Roy's web page called www.cordwood masonry.com, that has 52 inch rounds, I believe. They look huge. More explanations there too.
Has anyone seen the video or taken the class? I am considering the class since hands-on is a great way for a beginner to learn. Just want some feedback about its usefulness.
-- Anne (HealthyTouch101@wildmail.com), May 01, 2001.