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Old 05-30-2006, 11:53 AM
woodhook13 woodhook13 is offline
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Mortar chink recipes

Let me give you all some history of my cabin. The "logs" are hand hewn, most are 14"x6" and the cabin is 18 feet square. Some of the gaps are 4" or more and there are a few under 2". Most of the logs are popular the others are oak. This cabin was built before the end of the civil war and for some reason, had a barn built over it. The timbers of the barn were incorporated into the walls of the cabin. (An 80+ year man that lives nearby told me his great-grandfather built the barn and cabin.) The cabin was never chinked, just some wood nailed on the outside of some of the gaps. I dismantled the barn, saving the most reuseable lumber and timbers, and now have re-built the cabin. I have added a 12x18 feet addition for a small kitchen and bathroom using mostly the saved wood. I want to keep the cabin as much the old way as possible (I know, a kitchen, bathroom, electric,). I have built a porch that goes completely around the cabin, 10' on the front and back, 6' on the sides. When I got into looking at chinking with the modern material, I was first doubtful I could apply it and make it look good. After using some of the mortar calulators, I don't think a five gallon bucket would do more than one side of two logs. Ky is not the best place to find someone that does chinking and the ones I found on the net in other states, are quite expensive. Now, with the logs being so old, will I see the movement that newer homes see and with the porch protecting most of the cabin, is motar chinking still out of the question? Can anyone tell me where to find a recipe for a morter mixture? By the way, this is just a weekend retreat. It will probably never be lived in by me. Thanks,
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:23 PM
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Sounds like you have a great project!I think that there were a bunch of different things used to chink old cabins (mud, horse hair, grass etc). If I remember correctly, Charles McRaven's book "Building and Restoring the Hewn Log House" had instructions and a 'recipe' in it-you may want to check it out:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/155...10212?n=283155
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Old 05-31-2006, 09:28 AM
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An old receipe I recall is: equal parts wood ash (don't know what kind), clay, salt and water. Ssems it was in Muir's magazine or something from Mackie. Good luck!
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Old 05-31-2006, 10:10 AM
woodhook13 woodhook13 is offline
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Thanks, I'll check those out and keep you posted.
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Old 06-01-2006, 07:36 AM
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I built a small log cabin about 9 years ago and also looked at using the modern chinking material but changed my mind when I figured out what it would cost. I used the mortar recipe that Charles McRaven has in his book.
I believe it was 2 parts cement, 1 part lime, and 7 parts sand. We sold our cabin but I check on it every so often and I just looked at it a few weeks ago. The mortar still looks great. Only hairline cracks and very little separation around the logs. I can tell that it's still my original mortar. I forgot to mention that I applied it over hardware cloth nailed to the logs.
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Old 06-01-2006, 07:39 PM
Bill Finley Bill Finley is offline
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morter recipes

Here are few recipes for (morter) chink. I would however stay away from morter chinking. Morter over time will loose its bond with the log and cause moisture to be trapped. If this happens you will have rot problems. If possible chink the house with a good chink and morter over the chink???? I don't use morter so I'm not sure this would work. The best advise would be do a test. Bill Finley www.westcoastrestoration.com





Daubing Mixes



parts (volume) material

MIX A

1/4 cement

1 lime

4 sand

1/8 dry color

hog bristles or excelsior

MIX B

6 sand

4 lime

1 cement

MIX C

1 portland cement

4-8 lime

7-10 sand


Mix A (Donald A. Hutsler, "Log Cabin Restoration: Guidelines for the Historical Society," American Association for State and Local History, Technical Leaflet No. 74, "History News," Vol. 29, No. 5 (May 1974.)

Mix B and C are reprinted from "Log Structures: Preservation and Problem-Solving," by Harrison Goodall and Renee Friedman, Nashville, TN: American Association for State and Local History, 1980.

Last edited by Bill Finley : 06-01-2006 at 10:40 PM.
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