• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Welcome Rob Roy author of Cordwood Building  RSS feed

 
Adrien Lapointe
steward
Posts: 3430
Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
207
chicken dog food preservation forest garden fungi tiny house toxin-ectomy trees woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Source: http://Chelseagreen.com

This week rob roy will be joining us to answer our questions about cordwood building, earth-sheltered houses and much more.

There are up to four copies of his book Cordwood Building: The State of the Art up for grabs.

Rob himself will be popping into the forum over the next few days answering questions and joining in discussions.

From now through this Friday, any posts in this forum, ie the green building forum, could be selected to win.

To win, you must use a name that follows our naming policy and you must have your email set up in Paul's daily-ish email..

The winner will be notified by email and must respond within 24 hours.

Rob's website is http://www.cordwoodmasonry.com/

Posts in this thread won't count, but please feel free to say hi to Rob and make him feel at home!
 
Mark Livett
Posts: 58
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great!

I have seen your book numerous times when browsing on Amazon, they must think I am a permie because all the recommendations are for ecological buildings even though I have no inclination to build a house.

I keep getting drawn to the book because of the beautiful picture of the wall on the cover.

I look forward to the discussions.

 
Jamie Jedinak
Posts: 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
*************************************************************************

Hello Rob,
I am very interested in building my own home out of as much non toxic natural materials and I have seen some cord wood building.
I have some questions and concerns that I would love to have a chance to explore!

Thank you, Jamie, Kendall, WA

*************************************************************************
 
Ollie Taylor
Posts: 19
Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i'm just about to start reading mortgage free by Rob Roy, and lo-and-behold, I get an email about his new book Good to see you here at permies Rob, looking forward to reading your answers to green building questions and your new book too (when i finish your older one! )
 
Gypsy Brokenwings
Posts: 15
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I look forward to the discussion. Living in the NW I would like to know how the structure fairs with temperate expansion and shrinkage, and about maintenance.
 
Frances Nokes
Posts: 10
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome, Rob Roy author of Cordwood Building.
I've had a look at your website and like it a lot!
Hopefully, this is a great way to advertise it and support the flow of your business.
I've been researching a variety of topics re: growing; green building, and have not studied much on this topic yet, so look forward to further familiarizing myself, and hope to post a very basic question or two!

Cheers,
Frances
 
April Kaeser
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Alternative building methods has been an interest of mine for decades. I would really enjoy reading your book about Cord Wood building. I need a big ole boost of inspiration!
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6795
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
266
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I read all of your early stuff when I was a teenager. Whenever I see or read about wood fired hot tubs, I think of yours. In those books, Rob always credited his wife Jaki and featured her in his text and photos.

How has your rubber roof held up and how old is it now ? Rob's roof was allowed to grow whatever naturally found its way there but trees were not allowed to get very large since they might damage the membrane. Of the many log chinking products that have come and gone, witch is the best one for the money ?

Is cordwood building on an upswing, downswing or still chugging along ? Any idea on the total number built since your first book. I would assume that most of those builders would credit you as one of their teachers.

Thank you. Dale


 
M Gauley
Posts: 1
Location: BC Canada
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Am very interested in learning as much as I can about cordwood construction. I've been reading up on it for decades and can't wait for our organization to find a farm and get building! Winning a copy of Rob's book would be a great start to planning the structure. So many options.....to chink or not to chink...which medium to use; corners and windows......all valuable things to read up on before we begin. Peace & thanks.
 
Daniel Morse
Posts: 265
Location: SW Michigan
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Its a great idea. How about areas with a high water table and the moisture issues. Just curious.
 
amelia Feierabend
Posts: 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I live in rural mn and a neighbor of mine has built with cordwood. I am interested but concerned about the changing weather and wood " breathing" with the seasons and how it holds up long term. Winter leaves the wood dry exposing cracks that are filled but the summer season pressures out the fillings... Any suggestions?
 
Dave Hartman
Posts: 51
Location: Off grid in the central Rockies of Montana (at 6300') zone 3-4ish
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome Rob, I very much like the idea of using cordwood construction and looking forward to learning more. Thanks!
 
Matthew Metzler
Posts: 14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome & thaks for sharing
Be well
Matt
 
Jonathan Allen
Posts: 8
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome Rob!

Are there any permit/legal issues that we need to be aware of prior to beginning to build? Every state has different processes that need to be followed prior to beginning construction. During construction most states require inspections.

Were there any issues and solutions that we need to be aware of prior to starting construction of a cordwood cabin?

Thank you!
 
Ryan Lambert
Posts: 4
Location: Central Maryland 6b
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome, love the sauna book, would like to learn more and try some cordwood building
 
Marianne Cicala
gardener
Posts: 683
Location: south central VA 7B
82
bee books forest garden fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Rob - welcome. We live in a log house and have been chatting about a sauna - really excited about your technique!
thanks for the inspiration~
Marianne
 
Peri Gordon
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello from Dahlonega, Georgia.

I'm looking for a good retainer wall for my garden area and was wondering how a cordwood wall would fare. Also due to the wooly adelgid infestation, I have a lot of downed hemlock trees. Would it be okay to use the hemlock trees in the cordwood construction?

b'shalom (with peace)
Peri
 
Laura Jean Wilde
Posts: 77
Location: LAKE HURON SOUTHERN SHORE
1
chicken forest garden hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome to our forum. I am also curious. Have debated the cordwood building a few times before but have reservations about wood drying, shrinking then how do I keep a reasonable insulation value. is this addressed in the book? I am from Ontario (Canada) so Insulation is a necessity.
 
Lake Bleeker
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Rob, I hope your experience here is refreshing.

I am currently working on constructing small scale cord wood structures (10'X10' by 8' tall) and have decided to use wood ash from a mixture of trees as a
mortar in a sand, fiber, and morter mix. Have you had any experience with this? My expectations would be to create the structures then repare or
rebuild them after 5-10 years. the reason I have decided to choose wood ash is for cost saving, because I have a large amount redily available, and I can
grow more.

Thanks and welcome to permies.

Lake.
 
Amanda Sutters
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Rob
I'm planning on building a small cord wood greenhouse for our farm.I'm new to this type of building & live in deep east Texas piney woods. Would pine work for cord wood building? Hope you enjoy Permies!
 
Amol Adhav
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hoping to read and understand more of this process
 
Chad Arneson
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So wouldn't the cracking in the wood be reduced to almost nil if you used telephone poles? I think they might even deliver them for free to get rid of them if you asked for broken ones.
 
Desi Georgia
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Located in Georgia and new to all this stuff and love it!
 
Dan Haase
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I always liked the cordwood concept, but was troubled by the air infiltration issue. It seems like all that wood shrinking a bit would open up a whole bunch of cracks throughout the structure. Is this true and how do you get a tight shell?
 
rob roy
Author
Posts: 31
14
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
First off, thanks to all of you for the warm welcome onto the Permies site. My good friend mike oehler, of underground houses fame, has told me what a wonderful site this is, and it seems that he is right on the money with his evaluation. Some of you have asked some specific questions in this welcoming email, and I will do my best to address them now, although it seems that these questions are better discussed in specific threads.
Jonathan Allen asks about permitting issues. Great question. This varies tremendously from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Good idea to feel out the local code enforcement officer before spending a lot of money. The good news is that over the past 30 years, I have only known of 2 or 3 people who were unable to build the cordwood building they wanted to build because of intransient code officials, this out of hundreds of applications. Lots of good things came out of the 2005 Continental Cordwood Conference in Merrill, Wisconsin, but the best may have been a document called Cordwood and the Code, edited by myself, Dr. Kris Dick (PE), Alan Stankewitz and Richard Flatau. Wisconsin's top code official, the guy at the peak of the pyramid, called it the finest document he has seen concerning any of the alternative (natural or green) building systems. While it will not answer every last question an official might have, it will address the large majority of them: R-value, flame-spread, structure, etc. It is available at our Earthwood website: www.cordwoodmasonry.com
Marianne Cooper asks about a cordwood sauna. Perfect! Cordwood has a wonderful combination of thermal mass and insulation for the perfect sauna. We have been using cordwood saunas for 35 years and our present round one at Earthwood has been in use since 1982, almost every Sunday in winter. Putting water on the stones creates instant loyly - the sacred steam - but the end-grain of the log-ends soon brings the atmosphere back to dry. Wet, dry, wet, dry: this is the authentic Finnish sauna. See my book, The Sauna at www.cordwoodmasonry.com.
Peri Gordon asks about the use of cordwood masonry as a retaining wall. Sorry, Peri, I cannot recommend this. Cordwood needs to breathe through the log-ends on end-grain to prevent fungal growth (rot). Plus, it needs to be protected from above by a good overhang.
Lake Bleeker asks about the use of wood ash in the mortar. I'm afraid I have no experience in this, so I cannot comment intelligently. Over the years, my wife, Jaki, and I have developed a very successful cordwood mortar using portland cement, lots of builder's (hydrated) lime, sand, and soaked softwood sawdust. The mix by equal volume (shovelfuls) is 9 mason's sand, 2 portland cement, 3 lime and 3 sawdust. The softwood sawdust needs to be passed through a half-inch screen and completely soaked overnight. The soaked sawdust acts as a cement retarding agent, preventing mortar shrinkage cracks. If the right sawdust is not available, use a commercial cement retarder, such as Sika Plastiment, Daratard-17 from W.R.Grace, or equal, usually three ounces per wheelbarrow load. Do not mix sawdust and commercial retarders.
Amanda from Texas asks about pine as cordwood. Generally, it is good, but there are lots of different pines. You want to use the lighter, airier pines, such as white pine (in the north) and loblolly in the south. Southern yellow pine is very hard and dense and performs more like a hardwood. You can use it, but more caution must be taken.
Chad asks about the use of telephone poles as cordwood. I would only use them if they are untreated. Sometimes, the base of the pole, the part that goes in the ground, is treated, and the rest is not. You can derive 20 feet or more of good dry untreated wood from the part above grade.
 
Vivian Baumgard
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just now stumbled on this site and am facinated by the ideas contained here. I want to learn more and encourage my family to consider building structures in this way and growing food in the gardens described. I'm on a NEW Journey!
 
Adrien Lapointe
steward
Posts: 3430
Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
207
chicken dog food preservation forest garden fungi tiny house toxin-ectomy trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So I ran the winner picker app in the forum software and the winners are ...


Shodo Spring
and
Cj Verde


Congratulations Shodo and Cj!

I sent you an email to ask for the email address of the person that first referred you to Permies.com. That person (if qualified) will also get a copy of the book.
 
Frances Nokes
Posts: 10
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Adrien Lapointe wrote:So I ran the winner picker app in the forum software and the winners are ...


Shodo Spring
and
Cj Verde


Congratulations Shodo and Cj!

I sent you an email to ask for the email address of the person that first referred you to Permies.com. That person (if qualified) will also get a copy of the book.


congratulations to Shodo and CJ!
Adrien, I'm a little puzzled about how to find the threads of this topic!
Thanks, Frances
 
gary reif
Posts: 75
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If anyone is interested in cordwood building they have excellent seminars and demistrations at the MREA energy fair

https://www.midwestrenew.org/energyfair

and also lots of other things to learn and lots of friendly people, oh they have beer too

gary
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3734
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
87
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Adrien Lapointe wrote:
From now through this Friday, any posts in this forum, ie the green building forum, could be selected to win.


Frances, a link to the forum was in the first post and if you look above the tan box you'll see threads permies >> forums>> green building.
 
Frances Nokes
Posts: 10
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cj Verde wrote:
Adrien Lapointe wrote:
From now through this Friday, any posts in this forum, ie the green building forum, could be selected to win.


Frances, a link to the forum was in the first post and if you look above the tan box you'll see threads permies >> forums>> green building.


Yes, I saw that. What prompted my query was that there is no way of knowing which ones are popping up during the Roy/cordwood discussion?
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
Posts: 3734
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
87
bee books chicken dog duck fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's true navigating can be a bit tricky but I think Roy was "hanging" out in the green building thread answering questions directed to him in the various sub threads. If you open that thread the sub threads show by most recent post. Hope that helps.
 
rob roy
Author
Posts: 31
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Frances and CJ: Under Green Building, I have posted replies on the following topics during the past 2 or 3 days: Cordwood - Green Buiding, Earth Sheltered Houses Questions for Rob, R-values, Building One's Own Home, and Poplar. I assume that it is best to answer questions in their specific topics, so that is what I have done. I am new at this website! But if you want to see hundreds of cordwood questions and my replies, go to http://greenhomebuilding.com/QandA/cordwoodQandA.htm . At Green Home Building, I have done a long-running Q and A on cordwood masonry.
 
Alice Lynn
Posts: 23
Location: Tennessee
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome! I actually just purchased your book Earth-Sheltered Houses, and am in the midst of reading it. What a happy coincidence =]

I live in an area with a lot of radon, and I am very impressed that you addressed this issue in your book. I appreciate that you do a thorough job researching such issues. Sometimes authors tend to only focus on the positive aspects, and forget to mention the cautions that need to go along with them. I haven't completely committed to a design or medium for the house I will be building this year (trying to merge efficiency with cost effectiveness, and my love of local historical oddities like the dogtrot houses), but I'm definitely finding your book informative and inspirational. While the main house probably isn't going to be earth-sheltered (although it would solve some site planning issues I'm having!) because of the breezeway in a dogtrot, I do plan on building an earth-sheltered storage room for food and such into the side of the hill surrounding the house.

Cordwood houses are especially beautiful, and have a history here in Tennessee as "stackwood cabins," but I'm a little concerned about thermal bridging. If extra insulation is added on the outside, then it loses it's charm, but if it's added on the inside then there goes the thermal mass... Unless I'm missing something. I probably need to just buy the book. =] Also the bulk of the trees on the land are oak, birch, and white pine, and I vaguely remember reading somewhere that those are bad for cordwood building. Anyway, still a gorgeous way to build. I've ooh'd and ah'd over this one in particular: http://cordwoodconstruction.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/cordwood-in-spartanburg-south-carolina/
 
rob roy
Author
Posts: 31
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dear Alice -Lynn:
You say," I'm a little concerned about thermal bridging. If extra insulation is added on the outside, then it loses it's charm, but if it's added on the inside then there goes the thermal mass... Unless I'm missing something. I probably need to just buy the book. =] Also the bulk of the trees on the land are oak, birch, and white pine, and I vaguely remember reading somewhere that those are bad for cordwood building."
The log-ends themselves have characteristic of both insulation and thermal mass. There is very little thermal bridging. In the north, we like to use northern white cedar because of its high R-value of about R1 per inch of thickness on end grain. But other woods work well, too, such as white pine, spruce and quaking aspen. The mortared portion of the wall does not ahve any thermal bridging because of the insulated mortar space between the inner and outer mortar joints. Of the woods you list, the white pine is your best choice. And, Yes, that is a fine cordwood home that you give the URL for.
 
Alice Lynn
Posts: 23
Location: Tennessee
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
rob roy wrote:Dear Alice -Lynn:
You say," I'm a little concerned about thermal bridging. If extra insulation is added on the outside, then it loses it's charm, but if it's added on the inside then there goes the thermal mass... Unless I'm missing something. I probably need to just buy the book. =] Also the bulk of the trees on the land are oak, birch, and white pine, and I vaguely remember reading somewhere that those are bad for cordwood building."
The log-ends themselves have characteristic of both insulation and thermal mass. There is very little thermal bridging. In the north, we like to use northern white cedar because of its high R-value of about R1 per inch of thickness on end grain. But other woods work well, too, such as white pine, spruce and quaking aspen. The mortared portion of the wall does not ahve any thermal bridging because of the insulated mortar space between the inner and outer mortar joints. Of the woods you list, the white pine is your best choice. And, Yes, that is a fine cordwood home that you give the URL for.


Thank you so much for answering my questions =] It was the mortar portion that I was concerned about, but I wasn't aware that their was an insulated space in the middle in cordwood building. That's great news about the white pine as well. I think I'm going to do more reading, make a practice cordwood play house for my kids, and if all goes well this is looking like the building material of choice. I also like the idea of not having to buy a separate form of insulation for the walls =D

Thanks!
 
rob roy
Author
Posts: 31
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Alice-Lynn:
Building a small practice building, like a cordwood playhouse for the kids, is a great idea. Make an inexpensive mistake there instead of a very expensive one on the main structure. It sounds like you are at the very beginnings of your researches, and, before you build, it would be a good idea to obtain either a book or a DVD on the subject, or both. Then, if all goes well, and you like cordwood, consider attending a workshop where you can learn to do it much more quickly and with a higher quality: balance, pointing, etc. Our Earthwood website is just one of several out there where you can get on the trail. Go to www.cordwoodmasonry.com Then click on Books and Media. Or Workshops.
Good luck!
 
Alice Lynn
Posts: 23
Location: Tennessee
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I went ahead and ordered your book as well as Richard Flatau's. I fell in love with the look of cordwood a long time ago, but I never looked into it due to prior misconceptions, so I'm glad I posted my questions here. Thanks!
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome Rob Roy !!!, My wife and i took Robs 1 day tour around their place and it was an eye opener, Glad to see we Permies will be able to connect with rob (and his wife ?) thru these threads !
 
rob roy
Author
Posts: 31
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the kind words about our Open House tour, Allen. It may interest Permies followers in the NE that we are doing another free Open House on Saturday, May 4th, 10 am to 4 pm. It is at Earthwood Building School, 366 Murtagh Hill Road, West Chazy, NY. You can see earth-sheltered housing and living roofs, about a dozen different cordwood buildings, a strawbale guesthouse, the masonry stove, bicycle-powered water system, off-grid solar system and an astronomically aligned stone circle. Directions are at the Newsletter page of www.cordwoodmasonry.com This will be the last Open House until October.
 
I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay, I sleep all night and work all day. Tiny lumberjack ad:

World Domination Gardening 3-DVD set. Gardening with an excavator.
richsoil.com/wdg


  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!