Cordwood siding was added to the interior walls at the Merrill School Forest lodge.  This is for the dining hall and the administration suggested woodsy and unique walls for the students of the Merrill Area Public Schools. SF cdsiding 27 with logo

SF cdsiding 28 with logoThere are lots of hidden gems tucked into the panels.  Can you find the rabbit, mushroom, moon and stars?SF cdsiding 18 Does the bottom picture have a duck and a tree?SF cdsiding 24 Here is our recipe for SUCCESS. For these walls, we used NO mortar.  The one-inch slices of cedar, pine, tamarack, red cedar and oak were sanded, sealed and secured to painted plywood panels.  The paint was the best acrylic paint we could purchase and two coats were applied with a semi-gloss finish for easy cleaning.SF cdsiding 14 The slices were laid out and approved or moved by a team of semi-artistic volunteers:0)SF cdsiding 15Each slice was lifted and a pilot hole was drilled through the plywood. SF cdsiding 12A dab of construction adhesive was placed where the slice was lifted.  SF cdsiding 11The slice was returned to its “spot” and drilled from the bottom.  Large pieces received 3 or 4 screws. SF cdsiding 13The plywood had been pre-cut and fitted to the desired area.   It was then screwed to the existing framework. SF cdsiding 6This is B.S. (Before Slabs).  Half slabs of sanded, sealed pine were used to cover the screw holes and to make it look like a post and beam framework. SF cdsiding 4We used the cordwood siding to cover the electrical panel.  Can you see the rabbit, mushroom, moon and stars?SF cdsiding 8 How about the muskie, dragonfly, tree and turtle?All the post and beam slabs are in place and the cafeteria is ready to serve the children good, wholesome food.SF cdsiding 20

The flowers reach for the suns rays.    

A few other projects using cordwood slices. 

The Starwood Store in Backus, Minnesota (Bob & Sheryl Gormley). 

The spinning wheel cordwood siding wall. 

No mortar just beautiful craftsmanship. 

Dennis Cressman completed the entire exterior of his home in Calgary, Alberta in cordwood siding.

Dennis set up his operation on sawhorses and made a frame for each panel.  He put Tyvek first (which transpires moisture) and then added chicken wire (which he stapled) and then added his mortar mix of 3 masons sand, 1 portland, 1 soaked sawdust and 1 Type S Hydrated Lime.  He covered the panels for 7 days to let them set and cure and then he mounted them on the house framework. The inside of the house was completed with strawbales for optimum insulation.  

Tom Huber used cordwood siding on his porch.  He painted the plywood mortar white and then brad nailed the slices to the wall with a nail gun.  He used no mortar with this application.  


Cordwood siding as a top panel motif.  These were brad nailed into place.  


The first question you, dear reader, will likely ask: “Can I use mortar?”  And the answer is, of course, you can.   You put chicken wire on the plywood before you attach the slices and then you use the same mortar you have been using.  Starting from the bottom you work your way to the top.  This is also possible to do on sawhorses.  Wait a day or two for it to dry and then mount it with screws.  Here are a couple of pictures.  The first is checking the slices for proper spacing and good random patterning. Cordwood siding on sawhorses 2

Cordwood siding with mortar USE GLOVESPlease use gloves when you do this. Mortar is very caustic on one’s hands. Flatau's Chateau 1981 the invention of cordwood sidingThis picture shows the invention of “cordwood siding” in 1981 by Richard Flatau at his cordwood home in Merrill, Wisconsin.  This picture and the Mother Earth News article “A Sun-Room with a Cordwood Skin” appeared in the 1984 July/August issue.  It is online at the archives under the title

                                           “A Mortgage-Free, Owner-Built Cordwood Castle.”                                                 

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