Just like The Little Engine that Could (a children’s book about determination and perseverance), this is the story of The Little Cordwood Cabin that Could (be built). Explanation from this very talented anonymous builder: “The shed was a two-part project as the rock base and walls took one full spring/summer.

  • Rebar reinforced walls.
  • 3:1 portland mix with mason’s sand.
  • Vapor barrier is under the shed floor.
  • Ran out of stone so I used brick for the front face.
I inherited the 8″ cedar ends from a neighbor that was going to do a cordwood project but got old and retired off the island.  Those cedar ends sat in a shed for over twenty years.”
  • The cedar post and beams were done by an Alaskan chainsaw. They are 8×8’s
  • The shed was built to code – and then some.
  • Insulated roof, eight windows, cedar walls, and ceiling milled on the island.
  • The floor was done with 700 pounds of flagstone from Utah.2:1 mix/mason’s sand
  • The front door was reclaimed (from the ’60s) that a neighbor had salvaged.

The carpentry was done by a local carpenter who is a friend of our family.
Although he was paid to do the job his workmanship was done as if he was building his own shed.
The cordwood mix was from Richard Flatau of Cordwood Construction Resources
  • 3 masons sand
  • 2 softwood sawdust soaked and drained
  • 1.5 Type S Hydrated Lime
  • 1 Portland 
There are close to two thousand hours of work in the shed.
The site was dug out by hand and all the materials were carried by hand /wheelbarrow down a steep 130′ pathway.

I bought the property 42 years ago. sold it to my brother 22 years ago who sold it to my uncle 10 years ago. My uncle passed on and I built the shed as I wanted to try my hand at cordwood. I did many years of stonework on the property.
The estate just settled and the property will be sold.
I am hoping some child has a magical fort to grow up in.
Thanks for all your help, Richard. You were great.

Check out the beautiful mending plates for the 8 x 8′ timbers below. 

  • The author/builder has asked to remain anonymous.

Interested in learning more?  Visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org and click on each of the 9 pictures to learn more about his old-fashioned method of building.

Should you get interested and want to build one that is warm and energy-efficient?  Want to learn from other’s mistakes and not have to repeat them?   Then you should get a copy of Cordwood Construction Best Practices.

Click on the picture below to find out how.  


Click on a picture to find out how to order these best practices books and videos.