Tag Archives: construction

Roofs 4 Cordwood Homes

When planning your natural home, the roof becomes a very important part of your design.  From looking good, to insulating, to adding extra space, to protecting your walls, a good roof design is an essential part of every home.

Here are a few ideas “topping off ideas” to consider for your cordwood construction dream home design.Roof Gormely Minnesota building the roofA roundwood, log cabin style roof for the second floor. Roof king post truss.jpg

A simple “king post truss” can be handmade and spans a maximum of 16 feet.

Jessi hoy peterson9 living roof with logoA living roof needs a sturdy framework, proper waterproofing protection and good drainage.   The rule of thumb with living roofs is to build them like a fine cabinet maker. Ernie Slatter  roof framing.jpgThe angle cuts for a round living roof can be complicated for a beginner.

 

Cordwood workshop sauna 6.jpgA simple shed roof is very easy to build.Issac Haumesser MO larger pixel with logo

Issac built his own trusses and then cut his own dragon skin shakes by hand.Roof separate from structure.jpgThis roof is separate from the building structure.Kinstone 20 Tension ring and circular metal roof bracket makes for a strong system.jpg

A ring collar and tensioner helps to keep the poles in good alignment.

Truss room in the attic

This truss room in the attic adds an extra 560 sq. ft. of living space on top of our cordwood home. Flatau's Chateau winter with logo.jpg

This is how it looks from the outside, somewhat of a Swiss Chalet style. The pitch is 8/12.

Roof common gable or common rafter roof.jpg

A common rafter takes longer to install than a truss roof.

Reciprocal roof with cordwood and logoReciprocal roofs are beautiful, but do not provide adequate insulation in cold climates, but they sure do look good!Peter Turkow d Waterport NY with logoPeter Turkow’s childhood cordwood home.  Known as “The House with the Hat.”

These photos are meant to stimulate your planning juices.  This is certainly not a comprehensive treatise on how to build a roof, but rather a starting point from which to begin.  You will need to research the cost, buildability and “look” of the roof you choose for your dwelling.  Good fortune!

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.

Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

This is the Cordwood Workshop Video label. DVD label cover yellow

These are the 30 menu sections from the Video.DVD Menu 1

DVD menu 2

 

 

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Cordwood in Oregon

Don Noe built two beautiful cordwood structures in Oregon. His hybrid shed with the cordwood wall was built with 90 percent construction scrap. It was  timber framed with timbers from large machine crates. The logs  came from an arborist who was planning to use them for firewood, the stone, windows and wood siding were also recycled. Don Noe's Cordwood shed in Oregon 2The building below is a worm farm. Look at these magnificent door hinges and the Western Red Cedar doors.  The bottle brick and cordwood masonry is also very well placed. Don Noe's Cordwood shed in Oregon 1 The shed with the cord wood wall was built with 90 percent construction scrap  timber framed with timbers from large machine crates. The logs  fromarboristDon states, “The doors (above) with the limb hinges are for worm bins located on Portland Community College Campus.”

More pictures of the hybrid cordwood work shed under construction.
Don Noe's Cordwood shed in Oregon 3Below if another set of massive hinges, a beautifully decorated celtic knot timber and excellent use of a skull and antler.   The different dimensions of rock stem wall are pleasing to the eye.Don Noe's Cordwood shed in Oregon 4All I can say is nice work Don!Don Noe's Cordwood shed in Oregon 5  www.offgridquest.com slash read-more slash 19-james-noe-s-3500-cordwood-shed-is-breathtaking

Check out the carving on the vertical timber!  Don certainly knows how to reuse, recycle and make beautiful.

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

DVDandPrint

Here is a picture of the print version and the DVD label in one composite.

For more information on Cordwood Construciton, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Cordwood in Colorado at Aspen Valley Ranch

Ryan Ross of Woodland Park, Colorado was kind enough to share these photos.  Ryan wrote, “We have our own portable sawmill and cut all the timber-frame material right here on the ranch…the walls are 8″ thick because we use this as an art studio/educational space. We got a little carried away with ideas and tried to incorporate as many interesting things in the walls as we could.”Ryan Ross Aspen Valley Ranch 1Aspen Valley Ranch runs programs for philanthropy and conservation of the environment, which includes natural building.  They have erected cordwood cabins on the property  for use by the students. Ryan Ross Aspen Valley Ranch 2This is the link for accessing their website.  http://www.ppcf.org/our-projects/aspen-valley-ranch/Ryan Ross Aspen Valley Ranch 3The tree branch in the tree with glass is simply wonderful.Ryan Ross Aspen Valley Ranch 4

Ryan Ross Aspen Valley Ranch 5Note how the roof gable is filled with branches. Ryan Ross Aspen Valley Ranch 6The view is spectacular.Ryan Ross Aspen Valley Ranch 7Students need tables, a chair and an inspirational view.Ryan Ross Aspen Valley Ranch 8Beautiful bottle end/bottle brick work complete with recycled door!Ryan Ross Aspen Valley Ranch 9The round bubble window provides a porthole-like-view of the mountains.Ryan Ross Woodland Park, COTeaching the students how to build using cordwood construction was a meaningful and rewarding experience. Ryan Ross Woodland Park, CO3

Tuck pointing the top of the cordwood wall.

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for thousands of cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Here is a picture of the Cordwood Workshop Video cover, featuring the Cordwood Education Center.

DVD label cover yellow.jpg

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   Below is the 30 item Video menu. 

DVD Menu 1A 400 pixels

DVD menu 2A 400 pixels.jpg

Cordwood Patio Floor in Slovakia

Continue reading

Cordwood in New Zealand

Clifton Loveridge of Loveridge Woodcraft sent the following pictures of this beautiful cordwood build in Tokomaru Bay, New Zealand.  Clifton used Macrocarpa log ends 350mm thick (14 inches), posts were Macrocarpa and Manuka wrapped in thick plastic and mortared.Loveridge Woodcraft NZ Tokomaru Bay 2 with logo.jpgBeautiful flooring using stones and large slabs of stone.Loveridge Woodcraft NZ Tokomaru Bay 1 with logo.jpgIt boasts a “Hessian Ceiling”, (which is burlap stapled between the roundwood rafters)  glass wool (fiberglass) insulation and an iron roof.  Clifton states, “I’m keen to build more of these.”   Loveridge Woodcraft NZ Tokomaru Bay 3The cordwood building is 30′ x 20′ (600 square feet). The exterior has a few very large diameter pieces of wood.Loveridge Woodcraft NZ Tokomaru Bay 4A.jpgIt is built right into New Zealand’s  natural landscape.

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for thousands of cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Here is a picture of the Cordwood Workshop Video cover, featuring the Cordwood Education Center.

DVD label cover yellow.jpg

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   Below is the 30 item Video menu. 

DVD Menu 1A 400 pixels

DVD menu 2A 400 pixels.jpg

Cordwood Cottage in Tlaxcala, Mexico

Mario Alberto Bastida Vargas sent these lovely photos of his cordwood building project in the forests of Nanacamilpa, Tlaxcala, Mexico.   Here are some of the details.  He used red cedar and white cedar for the cordwood infill. The posts are white cedar. The beams are Oyamel wood and Pino Ocote.

Mario Alberto Bastida Vargas 9.jpg

The stone and masonry work is very attractive.

Mario Alberto Bastida Vargas 6.JPG

The adobe block bricks are used for the bathroom.

Mario Alberto Bastida Vargas 10 logo.jpg

The interior is comfortable and inviting.

Mario Alberto Bastida Vargas 5Mario has completed some other cordwood work for the Nature Sanctuary at Canto del Bosque in Mexico, like the bath house (below).Mario Alberto Bastida Vargas 11.jpg

The bathhouse was built a few years ago.  The mountains in the distance certainly add to the ambience of the site.   There is now a large round celebration pavilion made partially with cordwood near the bathhouse.

Mario in Mexico 5.jpg

Mario in Mexico 1.jpgMario used my favorite mortar recipe of 3 masons sand, 2 soaked softwood sawdust, 1 Type S hydrated lime and 1 portland cement.  He is very pleased with the results.

The Canto del Bosque Nature Sanctuary can be contacted at the following link.

 https://www.facebook.com/santuario.delasluciernagasnanacamilpa/

Cordwood Construction Best Practices is in English and although the pictures are worth a thousand words, it can be translated in any language using Google Translate (which is free).  Simply copy and paste text into the program and select the language.

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for thousands of cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Here is a picture of the Cordwood Workshop Video cover, featuring the Cordwood Education Center.

DVD label cover yellow.jpg

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   Below is the 30 item Video menu. 

DVD Menu 1A 400 pixels

DVD menu 2A 400 pixels.jpg

 

Rubble Trench: The Basics

What is the one thing that will destroy a conventional foundation?  Water (freezing, thawing and heaving).  Frank Lloyd Wright (among others) figured out a way to move water away from the foundation.  He called it a Rubble Trench.  It is basically a trench dug around the perimeter of the proposed foundation, which then has drain tile sloped to “daylight.”  The idea is that the weight of the foundation will be spread out and the water will be funneled away.  Before you dig, it is important to remove all the organic matter (grass, weeds, roots and topsoil) from the foundation site.  Use a backhoe or dig it by hand?  Your choice.  Kurt dug his entire rubble trench by hand.Rubble trench 1 by Kurt Leslie.jpgDigging by hand provides a good workout.    Machinery helps if you have roots and big rocks to move or you just want to expedite your project.  Rubble trench with backhoe and drain tileThe drain tile has gravel below and on top.   It is then tamped.  Rubble trench 2 by Kurt LeslieA rubble trench lowers the cost of your building project:  Excavation, fill, and materials (gravel rather than a concrete footer or blocks) are reduced.  rubble trench 5The center is filled with sand and the perimeter is tamped. Rubble trench with slab on top by Kurt LeslieIt can be topped with a FPSF (Frost Protected Shallow Foundation), or a Grade Beam (below).Novitch sauna 9A grade beam.jpgOr the sill plates for the foundation can be made from naturally rot resistant, pressure treated or fire treated wood.  Irish Cottage Garden Shed.jpgCreativity is only limited by your imagination.

Marie Conner-Glenfield  cordwood shed with logo.jpgOne schematic of a rubble trench (there are many variations).

Rubble Trench Drawing RCF small pixels.jpg

This rendering is an architectural rendering of how the rubble trench, foundation, cordwood and roof all tie in together.

Foundation Rubble Trench with FPSF.jpgBefore you start on any building project you should consult with qualified experts to make sure you are using the correct materials and load calculations.

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for thousands of cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Here is a picture of the Cordwood Workshop Video cover, featuring the Cordwood Education Center.

DVD label cover yellow.jpg

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   Below is the 30 item Video menu. 

DVD Menu 1A 400 pixels

DVD menu 2A 400 pixels.jpg

Swedish Cordwood Sauna by Pelle

The interior of Pelle Henriksson’s sauna in Sweden is a work of art.   It is very pleasing to the eye, sturdy,  and simultaneously, whimsical (note the blue window).   The large sauna stove screening is filled with rocks meant to produce the sacred steam (the loyly) of the sauna (when splashed with water).

pelle henriksson sauna stoveThe sauna entrance door is also excellent craftsmanship.Pelle Kubbhausta 2.jpgThis is the interior door to enter the sauna.  The hinges and wood joinery are exquisite!pelle henriksson door sauna

The other side of the door.pelle henriksson door sauna2pelle henriksson sauna benchThe sauna bench has two tiers.  The bottom is the cooler one.  The top is for those who want to feel the hot water vapor pour over them and cleanse their bodies and souls. pelle henriksson scoop stickThe water scoop stick is for pouring water on the hot rocks, thereby making the sacred steam of the sauna.  A bit of Loyly history:  “Taking a sauna begins with having a wash (usually a shower), followed by a sit in the steam room, the room being typically warmed to 80–110 °C (176–230 °F). Water is thrown on the hot stones topping the kiuas, a special stove used to warm up the sauna. This produces great amounts of wet steam, known as löyly, increasing the moisture and the heat within the sauna. The word löyly is used for this particular type of steam.”

Want to see how Pelle built his sauna?  This design would be perfect for a Tiny Cabin.   https://cordwoodconstruction.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/cordwood-sauna-in-sweden-part-2/

pelle henriksson door sauna finished 2017 small pixels.jpgShould you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home (in which to build your cordwood floor), please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

 

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for thousands of cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Here is a picture of the Cordwood Workshop Video cover, featuring the Cordwood Education Center.

DVD label cover yellow.jpg

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   Below is the 30 item Video menu. 

DVD Menu 1A 400 pixels

DVD menu 2A 400 pixels.jpg

Oldest Cordwood in the world?

Did the Pueblo build cordwood houses?  It looks like they did.  Archeological research indicated they used petrified wood and clay.  This is called the Agate House and is located at the Petrified Forest National Park in NE Arizona.Pueblo Cordwood 1 Petrified Forest National Park.jpgThe petrified wood is 200 million years old and the trees grew hundreds of feet tall. They have petrified over time into very colorful agate.

Pueblo Cordwood 4.jpg Petrified Forest National Park Agate House.jpgAncestral Puebloan people used petrified wood for a variety of purposes including tools such as projectile points, knives, and scrapers. Agate House demonstrates another innovative use of petrified wood: as a building material. The eight-room pueblo was built and occupied sometime between 1050 and 1300 in a location near agricultural fields and petrified wood deposits.

Pueblo Cordwood 2 Agate House demonstrates another innovative use of petrified wood a building materialAgate House now stands alone on top of a small hill in Rainbow Forest, but it was likely part of a much larger community. Since its excavation in the 1930s, hundreds of similar petrified wood structure sites have been found in the park. Many date to the same time period (Pueblo II-Pueblo III). Though built using original materials, the 1930s reconstruction is not a completely accurate replication of the original structure. Still it enables us to envision the daily lives of people that called it home.Pueblo Cordwood 3.jpgThe petrified wood is beautiful.  I guess it can be called cordwood even if the wood is 200 million years old :0)   A big thank you to the Klippel’s for finding and photographing this treasure on their way to the Grand Canyon!

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home (in which to build your cordwood floor), please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for thousands of cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Here is a picture of the Cordwood Workshop Video cover, featuring the Cordwood Education Center.

DVD label cover yellow.jpg

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   Below is the 30 item Video menu. 

DVD Menu 1A 400 pixels

DVD menu 2A 400 pixels.jpg

Cordwood Flooring DIY

Cordwood Flooring         

It’s not just for the walls, anymore…” 

A neighbor of mine, Steve, called one cold January evening and said,  “Richard, come on over and see my cordwood floor!”  Needless to say, we hurried over and were amazed.  Lee's Floor 1 with logo.jpgSteve is a mason by training and a general contractor by profession, so he has a knowledge and skill base that is both deep and wide.   The hard maple (Acer saccharum) slices he used were 100 years old.

During the past year, three creative souls have sent me pictures and descriptions of their experiences with “laying” interior cordwood floors.  There are, of course, commercial cordwood flooring options available, but most cordwood aficionados are looking to save money and come away with a building “statement” that “wows” and is attractive.Sunny Pettiz Lutz Cordwood floor 9.jpgSunny Pettis Lutz from Arizona was the next one to send photos and an explanation of her cordwood floor in Arizona.  While Steve Lee’s flooring was fastened to a wooden sub-floor, Sunny’s was glued to a slab-on-grade.Sunny Pettiz Lutz Cordwood floor 1 with logo.jpgFinally, Miroslav Bentley Kubala of the Czech Republic regaled me with photos of his beautiful cordwood storage garage complete with a cordwood floor. Miroslav Bentley Kubala Prague3.jpg from Pintrest site floor manufacture 3.jpgHerein follows a brief explanation of three cordwood floors with three different applications.

  1. Cordwood Floor: Steve Lee After finishing his remodeling project, Steve puzzled over what to do with the floor. He had many options in his construction skill set.  Since J & J Lee Construction had poured the foundation at our cordwood home in 1979 and assisted in the addition of a dormer in 1992, Steve thought a cordwood floor might look good in their new, open concept “great room.”  Here the idea of a cordwood floor came to fruition.

While listening to the local radio station’s “Swap Shop” program, Sharon heard about the availability of a pick-up truck load of 100 year old hardwood barn beams.  Dry as a bone, leveled on two sides, of varying diameters, these, when sliced would become the mosaic pattern for the floor.  Each eight foot timber was cut to three feet and leveled on the ends.  The log was then placed in a band saw and  braced vertically.  (Before cutting, these logs were checked with a metal detector, so any nails or screws could be removed.)  Like slicing a loaf of bread, the logs were then sawn into  5/8″ pieces.  In addition all the sawdust was saved for eventual use in the tile-grouting mixture.  The great room’s 600 sq. ft. sub floor was leveled and the cordwood slices were arranged to create a pattern. When an orientation was resolved (flat side north and south, rounded edge east and west), the construction adhesive, purchased in one gallon pails, was applied to a small section of the floor with a notched trowel. Steve suggests following the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the glue.  Dealing with only a small portion at a time is important so the adhesive doesn’t “skin over”.  The slices were firmly set and secured to the floor and the adhesive was allowed to dry for at least 24 hours.  The next step was packing grout in the spaces between the log end slices.  Steve used commercial tile grout mixed with the sawdust he had collected during the cutting process (the ratio was 80% tile grout to 20% sawdust.

After the grout had dried, an industrial sander was rented and coarse 24 grit sandpaper was used to clean the log faces.  (Steve now suggests sealing the top faces of the cordwood BEFORE grouting, so that the log faces do not become coated with grout.)   Steve sanded until he had a fairly level and smooth surface.  A non-latex, commercial varnish sealer was applied with a lamb’s wool pad to achieve a smooth, level surface.  Steve allowed the varnish sealer to set for 24 hours.  Then he used a scuff pad between coats and reapplied more sealer, until he achieved the surface he wanted.Lees' Floor 2.jpgSteve did the flooring at night and on weekends, but he projects that if someone could work full time on the floor, while allowing ample time for drying of the glue and finish coats, that it could be completed in one to two weeks.   Sharon suggests letting the completed floor set for a week before replacing the furniture.  When the furniture is returned to the room, place pads underneath of legs or pressure points to avoid damage to the final coat.

The floor creates a cozy and beautiful ambiance to the home which is filled with other wonderful examples of repurposing (cabinets, paneling, cedar ceiling, claw foot bathtub, etc.) and is a fine example of using surplus materials in a new way.  These projects show the warmth of wood and the attraction of natural materials. The Lee cordwood floor provides an opportunity for creativity when using recycled wood in the home.  One can only ponder the variations of cordwood flooring that could be produced using different patterning and cutting techniques. Visit our blogsite at www.cordwoodconstruction.wordpress.com/ to learn more about cordwood flooring.

  1. Cordwood Floor: Sunny Pettis Lutz in Arizona    Cordwood flooring by Sunny Pettis Lutz in Cornville, AZ.jpg

   Sunny Pettis Lutz sent some photos of her gorgeous, hand-made cordwood floor.  The following is a detailed list of how she and her husband, Tony, made their floor with legal pickings from the state forest.   “Get a permit to go out to the forest and harvest dead trees. In our area that means Juniper and Pine.  On this floor we are using Shaggy Bark Juniper and Alligator Bark Juniper.” Note that their flooring is on top of a cement slab.   Sunny Pettis Lutz new floor pix 2.jpg  Here are their directions:

  • Cut each piece with a chop saw set at 1 inch.
  • Sort ‘disks’ for clean, useable slices.
  • Remove any loose bark.
  • Sand both sides using a belt sander
  • Prepare concrete surface by sweeping and mopping clean.
  • Begin to layout the disks on the floor getting them as close as possible. Work in 2′ sections.
  • Glue the layout you like using Loctite PL Premium Construction Adhesive.
  • Sand the glued discs, using a belt sander until everything is smooth and level.
  • Use a shop-vac to cleanup all dust and debris.
  • Apply a light coat of polyurethane to the surface of the disks (this is to prevent the grout from adhering to the tops).
  • Grout the spaces with a mix of 80% grout & 20% sawdust.
  • Apply 2-3 coats of polyurethane to finish.  Sunny Pettis Lutz cordwood floor  Floor has 3 coats of oil polyurethane. I'll take pics tomorrow. We are VERY happy with this floor with logo.jpg
  1. Cordwood Floor: Miroslav Bentley Kubala of the Czech Republic installed his cordwood flooring on a concrete slab using the same basic techniques as Steve Lee (see above).   Miroslav Bentley Kubala near Prague25 no logo.jpg

Here are instructions from Miroslav:

  • Clean the floor.
  • Cut slices of wood (hardwood or a rot resistant softwood) 3/4″ to 1 inch.
  • Seal the top of the slices so they don’t get stained by the grout.
  • Glue the slices to the floor
  • Fill the gaps with grout
  • Miro used a mortar/bentonite/acryl mixture
  • Seal the floor with polyurethane

Miroslav Bentley Kubala near Prague28.jpgAnd now for something completely different … A cordwood floor using reclaimed cypress by Matt Marwick of www.PrecisionFloorcrafters.com out of river recovered heart cypressCordwood Flooring from FB page of Woodworking Ideas precisionfloorcrafters.com end grain cypress.jpgNote: Anyone wishing to try a DIY project like cordwood flooring is encouraged to study all the available literature and hone your skill set on a small “practice project.”  The success of your venture, will be commensurate with the skills you have acquired and the quality of your construction.  There are commercially available cordwood floor systems which can be examined through an internet search. Google “wood block flooring” and “end grain log flooring,” for starters. You’ll find manufacturers, DIY articles and videos.Cordwood countertop by precision floor crafters and Matt Marwick.jpg(Above) Matt Marwick also built this beautiful cordwood countertop.Cordwood countertop BillandVicki Jarratt 3.jpg(Above) Bill Jarratt, an excellent craftsman from Florida, built this bathroom countertop using cedar and epoxy.  Check out his article on how to do this project. https://cordwoodconstruction.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/cordwood-construction-website/      

Plus, for good measure, we have thrown in a cordwood garden pathway!Cordwood garden path.jpgFinally, many folks have seen exterior cordwood garden paths and outdoor cordwood slices laid in the soil.  This is a different animal than interior flooring.  For outdoor cordwood paths, choose a rot resistant wood (like cedar or cypress) and lay the cordwood slices – two inches thick or better – in a soil or sand base. Then tamp the wood pavers in place and smooth and stomp the soil/sand/aggregate, similar to how one would “lay” a brick or stone patio path.

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home (in which to build your cordwood floor), please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixelsIf you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at richardflatau@gmail.com  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for thousands of cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.   www.cordwoodconstruction.org

Here is a picture of the Cordwood Workshop Video cover.  DVD label cover yellow.jpg

For more information on Cordwood Construction, click on the picture or visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org

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