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Author Topic: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?  (Read 41879 times)

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Offline jpgreen

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Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« on: July 10, 2007, 10:08:46 AM »
The cost of chinking is close to a deal breaker on building some log outbuildings.   They want a fortune for the stuff- nearly 3- 5gal buckets for an 8x14 at over $200 per (busket) shipped.

There's got to be a mix of bucket of this, and a pail of that in the box stores that would work. 

Any ideas..  ??? :P

-$1000 goes to the winner..  ;D
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Offline Radar67

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2007, 10:35:31 AM »
Here are a couple I pulled from the net.

A modern one
one (1) part portland cement
three (3) parts masonry sand
one half (1/2) part masonry lime.

An old fashioned one:
2 parts clay (or dirt)
1 part sifted wood ashes
1/2 part salt
Water to mix

Stew
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Offline jpgreen

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2007, 10:44:12 AM »
Thanks..  :)

How would those do with shrinkage?

I was kinda thinking along the line of a flexible mix? My problem is I most likely will have to work with semi-green logs.  Dovetail joints should remain tight, but something that  will move with the gap shrinkage.
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Offline Stephen1

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2007, 11:29:09 AM »
Morning, I have an interest also, as it is time to chink my cabin. I read a website yesterday talking about the synthetic chinking trapping moisture and allowing rot behind the synthetic compound. This gentlemen believed in the mixture below.
A modern one
one (1) part portland cement
three (3) parts masonry sand
one half (1/2) part masonry lime.
I am looking for other comments on this also.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2007, 12:05:32 PM »
I have used the "modern" chinking mixture posted by Stephen and Radar, to replace chinking that was originally done with clay dirt and ashes.  Thus far, it has held up ok (was installed in 2002).

The buildings that I used this on were log cabin tobacco barns that were built around the turn of the century. 

One drawback of the "modern" chinking is that it is rigid and brittle, and so any seasonal movement of the logs will result in either tiny gaps or small cracks that show up in the chinking.  If you plan to use it on a home or building that you want to be air-tight, consider placing a tight fitting foam board in between the logs to serve as a draft barrier, with the chinking on the inside/outside.

Be careful not to use too much cement, as it turns the chinking an ugly grey.  However, you definitely need the cement as the morter mix will deteriorate and not stick well.  Preparation wise, one thing to do is to fill in the gaps between the logs with scrap lath, etc, in order to minimize the amount of mixture required.  Also, you need to set some nails or screws in the top edges of the logs for the chinking to adhere to.

Below is a "before and after" photo of one of the cabins.  In the "before" photo, we have removed most of the old mud chinking.  This was taken when we were pouring the slab in the cabin.  The "After" photo shows the cabin after we completed the chinking.

 


 

Scott
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline Radar67

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2007, 12:07:43 PM »
I can't answer your question on shrinkage of logs. Here is the site I pulled the information from Chink Mix

You may be able to dig a little deeper at this site and find what you are looking for. It also mentions being able to color the chinking.

And this is the site for the old fashioned method Old Fashioned Chink

Stew
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Offline Don P

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2007, 06:33:11 PM »
That is some nice work Scott, and I do mean work!

I'd be leery of a recipe with salt, specially if you have cows and a flimsy porch. I've been through the floor of an old smokehouse that looked good, the salt had eaten the nails.

I've used a modern mix using white portland, lime and white sand for the finish coat. We cut and nailed expanded metal lath to the logs inside and out, applied a scratch coat and then the white coat. When it was thumbprint hard we took an almost dry fine sponge and smoothed the mortar and removed the slick finish, leaving a sanded finish. That was a 1928 cabin , its been about 10 years and is still holding up very well.

The old high lime mortars could heal when cracked somewhat, lime would dissolve and move into the crack.

The green logs and hard chink will fail, you could try recessing a bit and using a brush over chink. I planned on doing that to the '28 cabin but never needed to.

Sonneborn makes some catalyzed caulks that I think would work, and in a world of colors. Don't know about cost. They won't be as user friendly, think working fast and huffing xylene.
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Offline LOGDOG

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2007, 10:11:42 PM »
Can't speak to the cost but could BONDO somehow be worked in to the mix somehow. May be totally crazy but ....?


LOGDOG

Offline LOGDOG

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2007, 10:29:35 PM »
JP ...

   I did some looking around and came up with this article:

[Q: I am looking for a natural/local way to make chinking for log houses.

A: Instead of chinking with a cementatious medium, you may want to try a mud mixture. Cob which is made from clay soil (binder), sand (aggregate for compressive strenth) and straw (for a matrix to inhibit cracking, and to provide tensile strength) may prove to be a cheap and easy solution to filling those gaps. You need to create a recipe that works and there may be some tricks to employ to make it attach to the wood. There are several different additives that you could play with to adjust the mix. For example: Need a stickier mix? Add some flour paste (essentially wall paper paste) to aid in the binding and sticking. You can make this yourself and avoid toxic additives
that are sometimes included in the manufactured pastes. Need a stronger mix? Experiment adding lime to the earthen mix to create a more durable mix. However, if there is an airleak as opposed to simple cosmetic filling I would suggest something more insulative. Need more insulation? add perlite, or sawdust. I have heard of some interesting home-made recipes using hemp oil. You may be able to adapt them for your own use. You may also be able to use other oils instead of hemp. The following recipes are from Teresa Berube, California, USA:

Wood and Window Putty
3 cups water
1 cup aloe vera juice
1/2 cup psyllium husks
1 cup Kaolin clay
Mix and add: 6 cups sawdust or hemp hurd powder. Mix with fingers if it gets too thick. Very easy to sand. Shrinks while drying. To make window putty, add hemp oil to make the mixture plastic and waterproof.

Hemp Glue (simple plastic)
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups hemp oil
1 Tblsp psyllium husks
Mix and add:
3 cups Kaolin clay
2 tbsp ground hemp hurds
This recipe is similiar to old fashioned linoleum. It can be poured or pressed into molds. When dry it can be cut, drilled, or glued to produce non toxic items of endless possibilities.]

   What such a mix in volume would cost to make up is another question. Not just for ingredients but also for your time retrieving ingedients and mixing,experimenting, etc. I'd like to see you find something that works though. I'll stay tuned in.

LOGDOG


Offline Don P

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2007, 11:35:03 PM »
I don't think there would be anyone left standing after extracting that much oil  :D.
I'd caution against using anything that can be viewed by anything as food. PPB's love starch, the flour paste sounds like chumming for insects.

Abatron's wood restoration epoxies and fillers are similar to bondo. And have a similar reputation among many. The synthetic chinking is cheaper.

I'm not recommending but here's some pics from the past.
This is some chip and dip, chesnut splits and lime mortar


Stone chinks

Cob and Daub


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Offline jpgreen

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2007, 01:09:48 AM »
Now that Hemp and psyllium concoction is definitely from some hippyfied, Burkenstock wearin', Mother Earth News readin', pot smokin' tree hugin' libs from Humboltd County California for sure..  :D

THanks for the input though and cool pics Don..  8)

I'll keep thinking on it. I want to make dovetailed square log buildings, but if the chink is going to be so darn much, it'll probably send me back to convetional stick frame construction.  Square 4x8 logs dovetailed would really speed up the process, and make good use of a pile of small logs I have on hand now.
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Offline krusty

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2007, 11:07:10 AM »
The above recipe with sand, cement and lime is the way to go. Chinking semi green logs is not the way to go!

You are better off waiting a year for the logs to dry.

Check out McRaven's book on the hewn log house for more info, or come on over and help me chink mine :)

Offline LOGDOG

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2007, 02:03:31 PM »
Now that's funny! I think you nailed it on the head. There's a website about green building alternatives that I picked it up from. Although, with the hemp thing ... it might make the work more enjoyable. Not sure ..never tried any of that stuff.  ;)

I have to say, I think once a guy does a cost analysis on the alternatives the store bought stuff will be hard to beat. Have you tried the "Log Home Store" catalog or online? I see that they have it at less than the $200.00 per 5 gallon buckey that you mentioned.

Also, what if you decreased the size of your opening between the logs to decrease the amount of material used? "Log Home Store" also has backer rod,etc,etc for the process. End of commercial.  :)

LOGDOG
Now that Hemp and psyllium concoction is definitely from some hippyfied, Burkenstock wearin', Mother Earth News readin', pot smokin' tree hugin' libs from Humboltd County California for sure..  :D

THanks for the input though and cool pics Don..  8)

I'll keep thinking on it. I want to make dovetailed square log buildings, but if the chink is going to be so darn much, it'll probably send me back to convetional stick frame construction.  Square 4x8 logs dovetailed would really speed up the process, and make good use of a pile of small logs I have on hand now.

Offline Stephen1

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2007, 02:17:45 PM »


You are better off waiting a year for the logs to dry.

My logs have been around for 5 years now, they are still shrinking. the height of my walls dropped 1\2" over the winter. I was told to expect shrinkage for up to 7 years.

Has anybody had to remove any synthetic chinking yet ? Whats underneath, how does it hold up?
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Offline Don P

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2007, 06:42:08 PM »
I have had to replace a few lateral lines of chink in a cabin that we used Weatherall 1010 (Schroeder's) on. I like the Weatherall, it seems sandier and stiffer, it is tough to gun but tools well under my heavy hand.

Anyway where it let go was mostly where I was trying to bond to "overmature" logs (punk)
It would tear out like a giant band aid, releasing from the grip strip backer. I scraped the wood trying to get into better wood and redid the lines. They seem to be holding. I also had a couple of really wide joints give me trouble, usually over 5" wide, it tries to sag before it sets up. The biggest trick is to keep it consistently thin so that it can expand and contract, a wad cannot move. I think I put 30+ buckets into that job and alot of grip strip, white beadboard (don't use blue or pink, EPS not XPS) and sprayfoam, probably close to as much $ in backer as in chink  ;)

Charles McRaven did come out to look at one job, he doesn't think much of synthetic chink... at all. I see some of his points, but the mortar chink that was improperly done had caused a whole lot of damage. If you notice in my pics of old work, they left the bark on in the joint area, I assume to provide a rough surface to stick to. That has caused major damage in every wall I've ever been into. Mac hews all of that off and all the sapwood. I just removed the bark and punk, but do agree with him there, it does make the gaps alot bigger though. He does train the park service resto crews.

I took one of the removed strips of chink and threw it on a bonfire to see how flammable it was, it will burn after awhile, but will not support flame if removed from the bonfire. I'd call it no hazard there.

Old timers went with wider joints cause mud was cheap. Nowadays I'd keep the joints small.

I've got some pics of that job up here;
ttp://ls.net/~windyhill/windyhilllogworks/padgett11.htm
(copy above link address to your browser and add an "h" to the front to find pictures---active links to off site pictures are not allowed....moderator)
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Offline jpgreen

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2007, 10:09:49 AM »
The best I can do is cut green 4x8's on my mill. Then cut all the dovetails, and set them aside until I start building which will be right away on the first building.

Then I can set that frame- unchinked with no roof in the sun, and start on the next.  We have a dry climate and lumber will dry in the sun pretty fast.  Can sometimes get some good checks too.

I want to have "Sawdust" David make me up a jig, that leaves the smallest gap possible and he's leaning towards 1/2" minimum, but I'm trying to get him to commit to somewheres closer to 1/4-3/8".

The Permachink people claim their product can be used on green logs, with a minimal tearing away of chink that would have to be redone.

I've got over 12 acres of land that has a bunch of 10-16" logs that need thinned out. Plus- they are thinning the national forests up here right next to me of the same sized logs and many are free for the taking.

Right now I'm building these shed outbuildings out of 2x6 subfloor, stick 2x4's with 4x4 rafters, 4/4 flooring and paneling, and tapered lap siding. To get decent materials of these dimensions, I need decent diameter logs, and there's more time in milling and moving/stacking, and then even though framing goes fast, it's still a lot of work and nails, and insulation, and vapor barrier etc., etc.

I've got over 12 acres of land that has a bunch of 10-16" logs that need thinned out. Plus- they are thinning the national forests up here of the same sized logs and many are free for the taking.

So my thinking is the 4" wide x 8" tall flat faced, dovetailed log construction would streamline much of the operation and save time and labor and fuel/wear on the mill, plus produce a good building.

I've never built a log building so I'm speculating here, but it would seem to me milling primarily 4x8's out of small logs- that some of the wane would leave natural edges and would give the chinking character, should save a lot of time, but I'm not so sure on costs savings as modern chinking is going to be some where around $600. BUT maybe the added value of the building would pay for it?

I'd appreciate any thoughts and input on my ideas to help me come to a decision.. 8)
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Offline Stephen1

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Re: Homade Chink? Anyone been there and done that?
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2007, 11:13:19 AM »
Why not use the 4x8 , T & G them and use a Butt & Pass method. Your gap will be down in the 1\4" range or less which will reduce the chinking required. Not as crafty as the dove tail but will still look nice as a shed. I helped a friend build his house out of 6x8 EWP and we T & G with a router, actually 2 routers so we did not have to change bits. Sorry no pictures. If you have a swing mill the T & G could be cut as you mill the logs.
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