Minnesota is home to not only strong Viking ancestors, Lake Wobegone and the Spam Museum (the canned meat), but also to a number of beautiful cordwood homes, cabins, cottages and saunas.   Here is a cordwood sauna being built near Tower, Minnesota by Paul Harney.   Paul has so many friends of Finnish descent that they have nicknamed him Harney-maki and encouraged him to love sauna. [These pictures are all courtesy of Paul Harney.]Paul Harney cordwood wall 6

The building is post and beam framed with the roof installed before the cordwood. This insures a place to keep materials dry and it allows mortaring to be completed in inclement weather.

Paul Harney cordwood wall 5   This portion will be the sauna and the other side will be the changing room. 

Well organized mortaring station2aPaul has a well organized work station for his mortaring.  Bags of cement and lime are under cover, there is a screen for sawdust, scaffolding is at the ready and the cement mixer is close at hand.

Paul Harney cordwood wall 2After mortaring for the day, Paul would tightly cover his days work.  This helped the mortar to slowly set and cure.

Tuck pointing 1aHe used a 1″ putty knife, then the convex side of a spoon and finally a paint brush.  He did a very nice job of tuck pointing and his walls look clean and finished.Paul Harney cordwood wall 4

Not quite finished,  Paul has been sharing pictures on the www.daycreek.com Forum.  His pictures and thoughts are under the title “A Cordwood Blessing.”

If you are interested in more information on cordwood construction go to www.cordwoodconstruction.org or visit my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cordwoodconstruction/

You can also email me (Richard Flatau) at Flato@aol.com or richardflatau@gmail.com is you have any questions.