Saturday, May 22, 2021

Chinking 101

First step in the process was setting up the mixing station. As there is no running water at the cabin I would need to bring in my own supply. This would be done by filling a 30 gallon garbage can in the truck then using a fountain pump to transfer the water to the two milk cans. The mighty mixer was a labor saver that would mix the batches of premixed mortar. About half a bag at a time. All I had to do was add water and turn it on! Not knowing how many 80 pound bags of mortar I would need I ordered a full "cube" 40 bags! Yikes that was 3,200 pounds for a 1/2 ton truck.

Some of the gaps between logs were pretty wide and required the placement of a strip of wire lath to be inserted to hold the first coarse of mortar as shown here. 

This had to be done on about 3/4's of all the logs, inside and out! Note: 12 by 14 cabin = 52 foot perimeter times 12 logs high = 624 linear feet x 2 (inside and out) = 1,248 feet. So that's about 1,000 feet of first coarse filler mortar and then another 1,200 feet for the finish coat of mortar.

I decided to practice on back side of the cabin to get the hang of it first. The design of the mortar joint is such that the top edge of the mortar is pressed back at the top and then brought out to the edge of of the log below it. Doing this forms a drip edge at the top and a slope that sheds the water off the log below. This is super important for the life of the logs and cabin. 

So this is what it looks like after it is cleaned up with a scraper and wire brush to remove any excess mortar from the log surfaces. You can see the sloping detail of each joint at the edge of the window frame.
Almost done with 1/8 th of the cabin.

The final step for the outside is to give the logs and mortar one last coat of the Honey Gold finish.

The inside joint is cut in a bit and held back from the face of the logs. I did this to bring out the log work more. After scraping and wire brushing off any excess mortar a nice coat of gloss polyutherane finish was applied. So it looks like 30 bags of mortar will do the job and should finish the other walls next week.

Then, while the cabin is drying it will be time to get back to work on the Treehouse Project. Here is the electrical service that I ran out from the cabin to the tree.

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