Folks ask: “Can I mortar logs for a stairway into a cordwood wall.”  The answer is YES, if you do it using Best Practices.  If not done correctly, the stairs will loosen in the cordwood wall and cause degradation of the mortar.

Above is an example of a cordwood stairway using heavy timbers for EACH and every stair tread.  The stairs themselves are approximately 12″ x 6″ and they are stabilized on each tread using vertical posts of the same dimension.

The sign says “Wipe Yer Paws!”  You will notice that the stair treads on the outside are still firmly attached to the mortar after decades of use.

Here is another interior picture from a slightly different angle.

Below is an outside view of a half log stairway being mortared in the wall.  You can see the bracing on the inside as these half logs extend into the interior 3 feet.

This is how it looks on the interior. 

Below is an example of how NOT to do it.

Here are examples of different types of stairways using posts and not mortar.

These are huge log slices screwed, glued and bolted to each other and a central bearing post.

This final photo has a large center post, with stair treads lag screwed to a railing and then bolted to the post.  The railing is a single piece of ash that was boiled in a pipe and then bent to shape and lag screwed into the railing stringers. 

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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 Workshop DVD (2018),  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print 2017) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their Cordwood Bookstore.  The books & DVD are also available as ebooks for a quick and easy shipping free download.