Cordwood siding (a.k.a. cordwood veneer or faux cordwood:0) was added to the interior walls at the Merrill School Forest lodge. This is for the dining hall and the administration requested a woodsy and unique wall for the students of the Merrill Area Public Schools. Here is what we created.
There are lots of hidden gems tucked into the panels. Can you find the rabbit, mushroom, moon and stars?The bottom picture has a duck and a tree?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.The slices were laid out and approved or moved by a team of semi-artistic volunteers:0)Each slice was lifted and a pilot hole was drilled through the plywood. A dab of construction adhesive was placed where the slice was lifted. The slice was returned to its “spot” and drilled from the bottom. Large pieces received 3 or 4 screws. The plywood had been pre-cut and fitted to the desired area. It was then screwed to the existing framework. This 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. We used the cordwood siding to cover the electrical panel. Can you see the rabbit, mushroom, moon and stars?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.
The flowers reach for the suns rays.
A few other projects using cordwood slices.
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.
Please use gloves when you do this. Mortar is very caustic on one’s hands. This 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 www.motherearthnews.com archives under the title
“A Mortgage-Free, Owner-Built Cordwood Castle.” https://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/cordwood-construction-zmaz84jazloeck.aspx
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If you would like some literature, here is the latest book about doing Cordwood Construction using best practices. Click on the picture to visit the bookstore and look around. .
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