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Filling Gaps Between Boards  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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I am trying to figure out a way to fill some gaps between boards.

In building my tiny house, I am trying to limit how much drywall is used, yet still have a decent looking home. To do that, and get the most out of my sawmills, I thought I would use plank walls for the first few feet for the second floor bedrooms. I milled the lumber to 1/2 inch thick, and made each board 6 inches wide. But being straight off the sawmill, there is some problems with that plan. Inevitably there are some gaps between the boards as the sawmill wavered. Add in a 100 year old tiny house on a fieldstone foundation and the only thing consistent in this house is inconsitencies!

I am trying to think of something to apply within the cracks to help fill them. Bondo works really good, but would be very expensive. I thought about drywall joint compound, but am not sure it is elastic enough.

Any ideas?
 
gardener
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I'm guessing it's too late to ship lap joint the edges of the boards.  If you didn't mind the added thickness you could put battens over the joints.

Have the boards dried or will they continue to shrink?  I guess even if they are dry, seasonal humidity changes will cause them to swell and shrink so I'm guessing joint compound would crack and fall out.  Maybe some log home chinking material?
 
pollinator
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Durhams rock hard water putty.

Another option is big stretch caulk. 

Both are brand specific.  Stick with that brand.
 
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Assuming you haven't put the boards up yet, put light weight builders paper (felt roofing) over your wall first, staple it to the studs or existing wall. One, it will stop any drafts on outside walls, two, it will show only as a black strip behind the boards as they dry and shrink and doesn't have to flex with the boards, so it will never come loose or fall out, three, this is a good thing to do on floors as it will do both of the above as well and prevent any squeaking floorboards as you walk on them. You can do this on staircases too and keep any squeaking from happening. This doesn't fill the cracks of course, it just camouflages them so they don't show.
On existing walls, simply paint them black or dark brown before you put on the boards. As cracks appear, only the dark will show through.
 
Travis Johnson
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Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…..this is a hum dinger of a building project.

We are renting our current house out in 3 weeks, so we must be in our tiny house soon. I am normally very good at finish carpentry and stuff, but I just do not have the time to be fussy with what I am doing. That means I am pretty quick with the nail gun, and slow to remove a board if it does not quite fit right. It is very frustrating from how I normally am with carpentry.

The wood has not had a chance to dry at all. They were living growing trees in February and now I got 10 of the 20 walls completed. It is progress, but at a price.

I am thinking a possible solution when they finally do dry is to use manila rope stuffed into the gaps and then stapled into place like the old wooden ships hulls were caulked. That is just an idea though.
 
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You might want to consider chinking such as used on old style log cabins.

4 parts dirt
2 parts wood ash
1 part salt

Cheap, easy, & eco-friendly. Could then be touched up after the wood dries completely. I believe that if you used a fine clay as the dirt portion it could be troweled in very smoothly & paint would stick well. Don't hold me to that.
 
Mike Jay
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I'm still thinking that even after the wood has dried out, it will continue to expand and contract so whatever you fill it with will need to be flexible or under compression.
 
wayne fajkus
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I had on old farmhouse.  They tacked burlap to the interior board walls then applied wallpaper to it. 1906 stuff. Thought it was pretty cool.
 
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Well you did ask...  If it were me .... at this point I would call it another "what the hell was I thinking" and put up drywall like you could have in the beginning. Still wet wood you'll be chasing widening gaps and cracks for dunno how long and you've already spent more time on this than if you just put up drywall. And will continue to spend time as the gaps widen.
 
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Our old place had wooden floors, with some pretty big gaps between them. The previous owners had filled the gaps with a mix of sawdust and pva wood glue, before sanding and polishing the floor. If that holds for a floor without dropping out of the cracks, then I bet it would work for a wall.
 
Travis Johnson
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Michael Cox wrote:Our old place had wooden floors, with some pretty big gaps between them. The previous owners had filled the gaps with a mix of sawdust and pva wood glue, before sanding and polishing the floor. If that holds for a floor without dropping out of the cracks, then I bet it would work for a wall.



That is a good idea. I have plenty of fine sawdust from off the sawmill because it is a bandsaw mill and not a chainsaw or rotary sawmill.
 
Travis Johnson
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wayne fajkus wrote:I had on old farmhouse.  They tacked burlap to the interior board walls then applied wallpaper to it. 1906 stuff. Thought it was pretty cool.



This house had 16 layers of wall paper on the walls!! It was one of the reasons why we chose to remove the wall board and not leave it up. The other reasons were because of my chain-smoking Grandparents that made the house smell foul, and so that we could wire the interior walls with light switches and outlets.

Generally I try to do the right thing in carpentry, which often means doing it the harder way, but the time frame on this building project really sucks. It is nice though to give a 100 year old building another 100 years of life though.
 
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I wonder if you might try some Log Jam. It's flexible and slightly expansive. And even made for filling in uneven gaps between wood. That being said, I have not used it yet (seems like that project's on track for next summer) — so I don't have any personal experience with it. I don't know how big the gaps are, but I often use sawdust and wood glue to fill in gaps between fine carpentry projects by filling in the crack with glue and rubbing sawdust on it until it's smooth.
 
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