One wall to bring them all

Well, two more walls, actually. And it didn’t bring them all, but it did bring our friends Matt and Lynette.

A fine day for muddin'

Cordwooding is a great social activity; it demands less attention than, say, television, so conversation flows freely, but it also gives you something to concentrate on during a conversational lull. Plus, it gets you out into the fresh air and sunlight. Of course, it’s even better when your fellow cordwooders have a natural feel for laying up logs.

I've got my ear to the wall. Ear!

Clare and I have found the most effective method for wall building is to have an “inside man” (or woman!) and the “outsider.” I trust Clare’s eye better than my own, so she usually handles outside duties, since the outside is the only side which will be visible (remember, we’ll be building another wall inside this one). Basically, we each have a tray full of mortar, Clare slaps a log down and we both lock it into place with the mortar. After a few logs, we do a very rough pointing (smoothing the mortar between the logs) and continue the process. Since the lime putty is so slow to set, we do the finish pointing the next day.

Cordwooding is fun! Years and years of fun!

Matt and Lynette traded off, but consulted with each other a lot on log placement. Of course, they won’t have to look at the wall every day, but maybe they’ll be visiting regularly.

You can see the inside of a wall below. The silver tubes sticking out of the mortar are the “bottle-ends” we’re putting in the wall. The bottom of the bottle is on the outside, just like a log, and the neck end of the bottle is wrapped around with an aluminum printing plate. Thus, when we lay up the inside wall, we’ll stick another bottle into the tube so the bottom of that bottle is flush with the inside wall. We also laid in some fiberglass rebar shaped like a capital “I” (serif, that is). This will tie the two walls, inside wall and outside, together, providing more stability to the inside wall. We used fiberglass rebar so as not to create a thermal bridge between the two walls.

Tubeway Army?

Here are the three walls, from a distance:

This year's wall crop was pretty small...

And a bit closer up:

...but pretty tasty!

That middle one without the window took quite awhile! Marcy, a local cordwood house builder, said to put in plenty of windows and doors, or you may never finish.

Since the lime putty takes up to thirty non-freezing days to cure, and we finished the last of the three walls September 20th, it looks like three walls is it this year. That’s actually cutting it a lot closer than we ought to have, since it can get cold quickly by October up here. Not quite as many walls as we had hoped, but hey, more fun for next year! Plus, we have more time to line up some “cordwood socials” for 2009.

So, more tasks to round out the year, more on that in the next post. But first, a great time to enjoy this year’s outstanding Fall colors:

That's a lot of Longbottom Leaf

2 Replies to “One wall to bring them all”

  1. Hi Greg and Clare, I have really enjoyed reading your blog and your walls look great. Can’t wait to see what 2009 brings. Keep us posted. Love the photos.

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