Farm Life

Farm Life

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cabin in the Woods Part V: Our Chinking Process

          Now that the logs were up and the roof was on we needed to fill between our logs with chinking. Because we are building debt free, it makes no sense to take all the money we have saved and pour it into a ready made chinking. After searching the internet, we came up with a recipe that we had success with. We used 3 parts sand, 1 part Portland cement, and 1/3 hydrated lime. I decided to try a little straw in my mixture which gave us a better texture to work with plus added strength. I then added water to make a thick consistency, yet spreadable.
Our Mixing Process
                   To prepare our walls to take the chinking mixture, we first had to drive nails between our logs to give the mixture something to adhere to. This was extremely time consuming. After this I started chinking the inside. When I finished an inside wall we then filled the other side with strips of insulation and then added more nails. The chinking then covered the nails and completed the wall. 
Nails are in and chinking has started.
  The tools that I found to work the best were unconventional, but hey, they did the job well! 
A spoon was my tool of choice.
           Yes, I used a spoon! It worked the best to gently pack the chinking between logs and smooth it out for a clean uniform look. 
Chinking mixture ready to be placed.
              Monotonous does not even begin to describe this chore. I worked at this inside the cabin most days all summer long. A friend suggested I hold a ladies "chinking party" to help finish up the work. I hate asking for help, but this was becoming unbearable by myself. I was overwhelmed! So, I sent out some invitations.....
Chinking Party invitations.
                 My mom and I provided the food and some sweet ladies forfeited their Saturday for a day of hard work. My mom, my sister, my aunt Bonnie, my cousin Elisa, and my friends Penny, and Patty showed up to learn the chinking process. My dad joined us to mix our chinking, and after work Patty's husband, Chuck stopped by and helped out too! The progress we made was amazing! Everyone pitched in and was quick to learn. I am so thankful for their help which was such an encouragement as I saw some of the walls reach near completion!
Insulation and nails complete on outside wall. Ready for chinking.
Driving nails after insulation has been added for chinking to adhere to.
Adding chinking over the nails and insulation.
Strips of insulation hang ready to be stuffed into cracks.
Chinking progresses.
A completed wall with chinking left out for window placement.
                             Our south end still needs to be chinked, but this won't be a huge task as most of the wall will be made up of windows. The rest of the walls are nearly done! And this brings you up to date on our cabin progress. As soon as this massive amount of snow melts and temperatures warm, we will be completing the chinking, adding windows, and closing in the peeks. I can't wait to share more progress! This is the year we hope to move into our cabin in the woods! 


  1. This is so interesting! Thank you for sharing!

  2. I recognize the chink in that last picture! Lol. I had such a blast that day; it wasn't like work at all. My partner, your dad, was the greatest. He taught me well !

    1. I know Penny! You were an expert chinker in no time! :)