Rendezvous Cordwood Cabin

Eric & Beth Carlberg built their Rendezvous Cordwood Cabin last year to use during “gathering activities” on their land.  They hold tomahawk and Bowie knife throwing contests, Muzzleloading target shoots and all manner of historical and woodsy/folksy activities.

Eric & Beth 1

You may notice that the flag has 13 stars, the flag of the original 13 colonies.

Eric & Beth 13

There are so many wonderful cordwood accents to the cabin.

Eric & Beth 8

Like this mushroom and these shelves.

Eric & Beth 11

The bottle ends and the stones in strategic places.

Eric & Beth 7

The cabin’s “build date” is done in cordwood Roman Numerals!  Look above the door frame. 

Eric & Beth 14

The foundation for the 16′ x 24′ cabin: telephone poles on concrete slabs.

Eric & Beth 29 pac man

This cabin has some of the neatest and most artistic cordwood we have ever witnessed.  It is a credit to Eric & Beth and the friends who helped them.  They kept the “build” consistently tasteful and attractive.  Not easy to do when the sunlight is fading, the mosquitoes are biting and there is still a foot of wall to finish:0) Time to fire up the “halogens!”

Eric & Beth 15

In order to keep themselves fresh and ready for rendezvous activities they practiced throwing the tomahawks!  I stuck this one after 5 tries:0)

Eric & Beth 4

The tiny rock flowers make a small but powerful statement.

Eric & Beth 23


Eric & Beth 21

One of their friends saved all the bottle caps he opened during construction.  They made a memento of his libations.

To learn how to build a cordwood cabin of your own you may want to consider reading the latest and best book on the subject.                                                                                      Cordwood Construction Best Practices.  


Cordwood Construction Best Practices  available in print & ebook at online bookstore.  Click on the picture or go to and go to the Online bookstore.  The book is available in ebook, print, and CD.  

Questions?  Send an email to


Community Cloud Forest Conservation builds Cordwood Quetzal Classroom in Guatemala

Tara Cahill, a biologist and environmental scientist at the Community Cloud Forest Conservation in Guatemala, made contact and asked for cordwood help with their Quetzal shaped classroom buildings.  We were unable to coordinate schedules to do an in-person workshop, but we provided assistance and encouragement via email and with the book Cordwood Construction Best Practice.

CCFC Conservation, Agroecology, Sustainable Living Learning Center Tara Jean Cahill 8 eucalyptus trees

The framework is made from non-native Eucalyptus, which was in need of thinning.  The wood is basically insect and rot proof, and the Community Cloud Forest Conservation is replanting 20 trees for every one harvested.

CCFC Conservation, Agroecology, Sustainable Living Learning Center Tara Jean Cahill 2

In July of 2012, CCFC began cordwood construction on a new 12,950 square-foot Learning Center at the Chilaxha’ Ecology Campus. The center’s two quetzal-shaped buildings will house CCFC’s expanding Conservation and Agroecology Leadership Training (CALT) Program.

CCFC Conservation, Agroecology, Sustainable Living Learning Center Tara Jean Cahill 4

As the building narrows, you can see that it is shaped like a Quetzal bird.


Community Cloud Forest Conservation alleviates poverty and protects cloud forests through education, reforestation, academic scholarships, agricultural development, food security, income generation and holistic community  and human development.

The classrooms will be used by hundreds of students who will learn valuable economic skills to combat poverty.

CCFC Conservation, Agroecology, Sustainable Living Learning Center Tara Jean Cahill 7


CCFC Conservation, Agroecology, Sustainable Living Learning Center Tara Jean Cahill 3

Note how the building is designed to encourage air flow.  The workers are paid a fair wage and are enjoying learning the cordwood construction process.

CCFC Conservation, Agroecology, Sustainable Living Learning Center Tara Jean Cahill 6

The floors are made with rocks picked from the river.  The roof is made from recycled tires.

CCFC Conservation, Agroecology, Sustainable Living Learning Center Tara Jean Cahill 5

If you wish to learn more or help their work, please visit their website.

Cloud Forest Conservation in Guatemala

There are two cordwood classrooms: The Large & Small Quetzal

Tara writes:

“The buildings being built on the Chilaxha’ campus use sustainably harvested wood and wood utilization methods that maximize efficiency and minimize waste. A section of the campus has a large stand of mature eucalyptus trees. These trees were all planted at the same time and the trees are ready to harvest.  These non-native eucalyptus trees are not something that CCFC wants to see occupying valuable forest zones. So CCFC is planting 20 native trees for every one mature eucalyptus tree that is harvested.  These native trees are well established since CCFC started planting trees on the Chilaxha’ campus three years ago.

Eucalyptus trunks make great poles. They are nice and straight, and don’t get attacked by wood devouring bugs, like other types of wood in the area.

It is deeply gratifying to see two of the three bathroom buildings in use. As of today, we have made fully functional five of the ten toilet stalls, but for now this is enough for the fall CALT session of 62 participants. If one takes into account the three toilet stalls at the dorm and the four toilet stalls at the thatch house, it seems to be working well.

Of the two large quetzal shaped building, one is larger than the other. These we call the small and large quetzal.

As of today, all of the poles, which are the main structure of the building have been erected except for the four tallest at the head of the quetzal.

Our carpentry team has been making progress putting up the beams and rafters, having started from the tail- end of the quetzal and moving toward the head.

We are thrilled to have available to us roofing material made of recycled tires. This material is coming from Canada and we hope will be arriving in Guatemala next month.

The water tank took a good bit of our time away from the main building project but it is now fully functional and providing water to all CCFC buildings as well as a soon to be hydroelectric generator.

While the structure is going up all around the building, our masons are hard at work placing water and drain tubes in the bathrooms and kitchen of the small quetzal.

Join us as we build an amazing series of buildings in this little tucked away paradise of cloud forests. CCFC’s Ecology Center Building A “The Large Quetzal” has its foundation in place. Evenly spaced concrete plinths will be the footers for large eucalyptus logs. In every step of this building process, great care is taken to minimize impact on the environment.

Please consider donating time or resources to this fine organization.

Cordwood Sauna by Tony & Denise in Minnesota

Tony & Denise came to one of our Cordwood Workshops at Kinstone Permaculture Academy in 2013.   They were determined to build a cordwood sauna up on their property in the Iron Range of Minnesota.   Here are some pictures and tips from their beautiful build.

Tony and Denise Sauna 4The sauna is progressing nicely during the summer of 2014.

Tony and Denise Sauna 5The hand built door is a very sturdy statement.

Denise with peeled cedar log end MN  Tony & Denise saunaDenise lovingly cradles a peeled, dry piece of cedar.

Tony and Denise Sauna 1Denise & Tony and their new puppy!

Tony and Denise cleaning log ends with a smileCleaning log end edges with the puppy underneath.

Tony and Denise Sauna 2Safety equipment on, mortar mixed, ready to continue the walls!

Tony and Denise collageA collage of summer photos from the sauna build.  Nice work Tony & Denise.

If you would like to try this “at home” it would be a good idea to get some literature that will help you avoid mistakes and build with best practices.

Cordwood 320 x 414Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices

Cordwood Construction Best Practices is available (along with many other cordwood books) at   Click on the book cover to go to the Online Bookstore.   

Happy Stacking,

Richard Flatau 

Cordwood Construction Workshop in Idaho

Matt & Sara of Stomping Moose Farm near Bonners Ferry, Idaho had planned for months to host a cordwood workshop.  They had everything prepped and ready when we arrived in August and along came 15 interested, excited people to learn how to build using cordwood.

Bonners Ferry workshop Val and SteveA wonderful camaraderie developed and most folks were reluctant to leave.

Here are some photos of this wonderful workshop in the Selkirk Mountains.

bonners ferry 3


Three days of instruction and hands on mortaring sessions produced a significant amount of completed wall (approximately 140 sq. ft.).

bonners ferry 4


The weather was perfect and folks were helpful and kind to one another. bonners ferry 2


We learned the cordwood construction secret handshake (a fistful of wet mortar) notice we all are holding a mortar snowball:0)

bonners ferry 1

Focus, cooperation, and log placement skills are essential to a good looking cordwood wall.

Tuckpointing is a learned art form that helps to reveal the magic in the wall.


Don brought a moisture meter and we learned how to use it to determine if the wood was dry enough to use.  [It was!]



If you enjoyed this post please make sure you click on Follow to receive these blog posts as they are created.  This is the 78th cordwood construction post in the last 2 years.  Lots of information is available, if you take the time to scroll through the blog.

If you have a question, please email me at or check out my website at 

If you want to read more, check out the latest book on cordwood: Cordwood Construction Best Practices, available as an ebook, print or CD.

Cordwood Construction Best Practices  available in print & ebook at online bookstore.

Cordwood Construction: Summer Picture Bonanza!

The summer of 2014 has been filled with new and unique cordwood structures and adventures.  The following photos come from many different parts of the globe.  All are new to me, for which I am forever grateful.

Isaac Haumesser's cordwood building finished

Above is Isaac Haumesser’s practice cordwood building in Missouri.  Isaac built this as a practice run for his cordwood home.  The stone work is amazing, the roof is called Dragon Scale, the cordwood random pattern is outstanding and door is in a league of its own.  Nice work Isaac.

Germask Workshop Tammy Trupp 1 with Banjo Bob

This is the lovely cordwood “build” of Tammy and Sharon in Germfask, Michigan (think Upper Peninsula).

Germfask Workshop Tammy Trupp 7

Sharon has developed a gorgeous indoor garden!

Germfask Workshop Tammy Trupp 5

Having fun after a long days work!   Follow their adventure at

Amman 2

A gorgeous  bottle end wall at Honey and Mike’s in Holmen, Wisconsin.

The cordstead by Sandy Clidaras

Sandy Clidaras’s Cordstead in Quebec.

Cordwood sauna via Meander Ette no other details

A cordwood cabin deep in the mountains.

Viking sauna in Finland http

A cordwood sauna in Finland with Viking motifs.

Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixels 320 x 414

This blogpost full of “cordwood eye candy” is brought to you by Richard and Becky Flatau at Cordwood Construction Resources.

Cordwood Construction Best Practices is the latest and the best book to guide you through your cordwood journey.   Order it from the Online Bookstore at 


Imagine Cordwood

Imagine Cordwood   From time to time, I am asked to write articles for various newspapers, magazines and books.   Last year Die Zeitung requested an article for their eastern European readership.  The result was a fantastic collaboration with the reporter (Nina). Last month an international magazine asked for an article that would show the whimsical and ethereal side of cordwood.  Immediately three gals who had built gorgeous places with cordwood popped into my mind.  I contacted each one and “to a woman” they were overjoyed to help write a positively emotive article, showing more than construction details.

Faerie Mag page 1 high resolution

Click on the picture to enlarge the print. 

Faerie Mag page 2 high resolution

The article appears in the Summer edition of Faerie Magazine on pages 30-32.  It is a visual feast of cordwood eye candy, plus a 250 word beautiful flight of verbal fancy from each delightful author.

Faerie Mag page 3 high resolution


This article is used with permission of the editor.   If you wish to order this charming magazine go to and click on the 2014 summer issue #27.  To receive a 15% discount on anything, use the word Cordwood in the promo/discount box.

Cordwood Construction Best Practices  available in print & ebook at online bookstore.

For information on how to build using Cordwood Construction with Best Practices go to and order the newest book on the cordwood bookshelf.  Cordwood Construction Best Practices.

The entire article is also on my website under Articles “Imagine Cordwood”

Cordwood with Cob Mortar is “Cobwood”

We had the distinct good fortune to participate in a Cordwood with Cob Mortar Workshop at Kinstone Permaculture Academy.  Building a Cobwood Entrance Center for the school was the order of the day.   A kidney-shaped grade beam had been put in place and the cobwood rises off a “gneiss” stone stem wall.

The soil is first tested for clay content and the workability and firmness of the clay is determined by rolling a piece of clay for stiffness.  Note the sign which gives the cob mix proportions (2 sand, 1 clay, 1 sawdust, straw).

Cobwood workshop 14


Next the ingredients are mixed and stomped.  This can be a tedious process or a fun dance time:0)

Cobwood workshop 13


Cobwood workshop 12

A loaf of the cob mixture is laid down like a regular cordwood mortar bead.  However the cob mortar beads are thicker.  Here we are using 5 inches of cob on the inside and outside, with a 6″ insulation cavity.

Cobwood workshop 1

The walls rise similar to cordwood, except the cob will slump sooner, so the wall must be built one or two rows at a time.


Smiles are an integral part of natural building.

Cobwood workshop 3

This cobwood entrance center is an experimental build for the northern Midwest, as there are only a few examples of cobwood homes in this large geographical area.  Since cob is not a good insulator,we are combining it with an insulation cavity to see if it can be adaptable to our very cold winters (-30 degrees below zero).

Cobwood workshop 7

We will keep you apprised of our progress and how the building functions, winter and summer.

Cobwood workshop 5

The children make great cob mixers.

Cobwood workshop 6

Our plan is to keep track of the cob kiosk and see what we can offer/add to the increasing interest in cobwood construction.

Cobwood workshop 15


The stem wall is being built with gneiss stone.

Below, we laid down a lime bead to highlight the insulation cavity.  The sawdust insulation is mixed with lime to prevent insect infestation.

Cobwood workshop 8

Having the Kinstone Cordwood Chapel in the background is a valuable source of inspiration.

Cobwood workshop 9

If you have questions or comments, please email them to me at  Follow this blog for further updates.

For more information on cordwood construction using many different types of mortar go to


Cordwood Article in LaCrosse Tribune

The LaCrosse Tribune’s Allison Geyer wrote an outstanding article about Cordwood Construction in the Saturday, July 12, 2014 edition of the LaCrosse Tribune. The article not only gives a concise and accurate history of why and how we built our cordwood home in 1979, but it also details the reasons for building with cordwood in the 21st Century.

LaCrosse Tribune Cordwood Article

LaCrosse Tribrune artilce 1Kristine, Jarad and Mike decide on log placement for the cordwood sauna.

LaCrosse Tribrune artilce 2

The stunningly beautiful cordwood chapel with thatched roof,  is ready for to provide a sanctuary for reflection.

LaCrosse Tribrune artilce 3

The interior is filled with motifs from nature.  This is the sunrise wall with plants, flowers and trees.  The center of the door has wood carvings to honor the Native American  presence in Buffalo County.

LaCrosse Tribrune artilce 4

The sideways slabs are the stems and the bottles are the flowers.  Imagination knows no bounds when building with cordwood.

To learn more about Kinstone Permaculture Academy 

To learn more about Cordwood Construction

Email with questions  (copy and paste this email address)

Cordwood Workshop July 19-20, 2014 Wisconsin

One of the final Cordwood Workshops of the season will be held at Kinstone Permaculture Academy (SW Wisconsin) on July 19-20, 2014. This workshop will be a Best Practices workshop where participants will be taught by hands-on methods, how to build their own cabin, cottage or shed. The agenda will cover all the important choices that need to be made when building with cordwood.

Cordwood eNewsletter Summer 2014

The registration form is Online

You can call me (Richard Flatau) 715-212-2870 or send me an email at if you have questions or you want me to reserve your spot.

Don’t miss out on a chance to learn cordwood construction the right way.Here are some pictures of the work site and some of the workshop participants.

Kinstone Workshop June 2014

Kinstone with stone circle low rez

Workshop Kinstone JUne 2014 Jarad and Richard explain how its done

workshop kinstone june 2014 planning their work working their plan or mugging for the camera

Kinstone workshops brochure 1

Looking forward to seeing you there.  Questions?  Ask me.

Richard Flatau                        715-212-2870


Cordwood Construction Sauna Workshop June 12-15, 2014

We had the distinct pleasure of teaching a Post & Beam Framing Workshop and a Cordwood Workshop at Kinstone Permaculture Academy on June 12-15, 2014.  The students were wonderful, energetic and full of ideas.   We used the first two days to frame the Cordwood Sauna.

Workshop Kinstone JUne 2014  framework of the sauna

This is a 12′ x 16′ sauna that is next to the camping facilities and solar showers at Kinstone.

Here the students are learning to frame a building and keep it level and plumb.

Workshop Kinstone JUne 2014 leveling the post

Damp proof rolled roofing is in place (to stop water migration) and the first post is being leveled and anchored.   Holes are drilled in the foundation and 3/8″ angle iron, anchor sleeves and lag screws are added to keep the building from going anywhere.

Workshop Kinstone JUne 2014 sleeve anchors angle iron brackets and lag screws to secure the post

It is important to have “many hands on deck” to keep these large 8″ x 8″ girders in a secure place.

Workshop Kinstone JUne 2014 final girder in place

Workshop Kinstone JUne 2014 learning to use a chop saw

Students had an opportunity to learn how to use power tools safely with instruction and supervision. Many students shared their expertise.

Workshop Kinstone JUne 2014 putting on hurricane ties

Hurricane straps are important to secure the top rafters from wind shear.

Workshop Kinstone JUne 2014 Jarad and Richard explain how its doneDiscussing and learning to “problem solve” on a job site is one of the many advantages of taking a workshop.

The framing is now ready for cordwood infill.

Workshop Kinstone JUne 2014 mixing a batch with bandanas

The first step in cordwooding, is learning how to prepare and use a proper mortar.  The bandana’s are fashionable dust masks.

workshop kinstone june 2014 planning their work working their plan or mugging for the camera

Many hands make light work:0)

workshop kinstone june 2014 first row

The first row is the most important!

Folks are happy when they learn the proper techniques.

Workshop Kinstone JUne 2014 Roger and Deb

Workshop Kinstone JUne 2014 busy hands and focused intentions

Tuck pointing is a learned art.  Rubber gloves are important to keep the hands safe.

Workshop Kinstone JUne 2014  bottle end

Learning to install a recycled bottle for a “stained glass” effect.

Workshop Kinstone JUne 2014 group photo

It was supposed to rain on the last day, but the rain held-off and we were able to get quite a bit of work completed.

Workshop Kinstone JUne 2014  ready to cover with tarps

The building is now ready for the next workshop.   We will be teaching a Cobwood Workshop (cob and cordwood) on June 27-29, 2014 at Kinstone and we will do another Cordwood  Workshop on the Sauna on July 19-20, 2014. 

If you are interested please go to and click on the Workshop links on the right side of the page.

For information, photos, articles and books on Cordwood Construction, go to  if you are interested in books, ebooks, CD’s or videos check out the Online bookstore 

Cordwood 320 x 414Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices


If you have any questions please leave a comment or email me at