Cordwood Root Cellar with Yakisugi (Shou Shogi Ban) in the mountains of Idaho by Dave & Suzie K. 

“We burned (charred) everything.  It is very wet where we live and the wood all gets a black mold on it if left untreated.  The burning was done with a propane torch and some of the beams were immediately oiled (while still hot using thick leather gloves) using Thompson’s timber oil.  The oiling was mainly on the root cellar-every beam was oiled.
Planning on oiling the timber frame beams once all the sanding has been done.  Going to sand the cordwood on the inside and then possibly oil it as well.  We will use raw linseed oil.”

“We did this on the front of the root cellar by hanging wet towels in front of the drying cordwood (with Lime Putty Mortar Mix) and lightly misting them with a sprayer.  I have quite a few hairline cracks in the cordwood English Pub walls, none extending from the outside to the inside, so it is just cosmetic (and not structural).  My wife actually likes it (she is English) and says it gives it an “extra hundred years of age” look.  However, I would definitely err on the side of keeping the lime putty mortar moist for a few days and shaded so it doesn’t crack.
All this work was done by myself, my wife, and a few friends, project started in the Summer of 2021, total cost so far is approximately $14K.

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin, or home, please visit   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 book cover to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.

If you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at  

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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.”