Building a Goat Barn #15: Cordwood Walls at last!

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Blog entry by David Bareford posted 11-11-2014 05:19 PM 2663 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: Covering the Roof Part 15 of Building a Goat Barn series Part 16: New Residents »

My wife and I have been interested in building with cordwood for almost 5 years now. Initially, we planned to use the technique to build our Washington home ourselves but we found great home that was already built that saved us the work.

Cordwood masonry is a centuries-old technique that uses short, debarked logs (like you might use for firewood) set in mortar to form structural walls or else fill in a timber frame structure. It’s a great way to use woods that otherwise would not be structurally useful. I harvested and collected all the wood from our property last winter, debarked the logs, and left them to dry for nearly a year. Here are a few pictures of the walls in progress:

You may notice a few animals photobombing the pics: the dog is Zeus, our 6-moth old Akbash (a Turkish livestock guardian breed). And one of the goats, who’ll I’ll introduce in the next post…

6 comments so far

View dbray45's profile


3147 posts in 2195 days

#1 posted 11-11-2014 05:28 PM

Interesting – never saw that before but makes sense

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Julian's profile


1009 posts in 2109 days

#2 posted 11-11-2014 05:38 PM

Looks cool. The goats and your dog seem to like it also.

-- Julian

View JoeinGa's profile


7360 posts in 1425 days

#3 posted 11-11-2014 09:45 PM

Wont the wood eventually rot out?

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Jeff's profile


27 posts in 711 days

#4 posted 11-11-2014 10:31 PM

Wont the wood eventually rot out?

- JoeinGa

As long as they can keep it dry it will last for years. We built this style barn almost 30 years ago in michigan and it stands tall and strong to this day. The boulders are a nice touch to keep the moisture off the bottom rows.

Nice job you two and I’m sure the young ones as well. you have some serious rustic charm going on there. two thumbs up from me!! :-)

-- To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 1049 days

#5 posted 11-13-2014 07:58 AM

Good thing the part2 and 3 are already here, not much to add, other than this is amazing, I am getting some good ideas. :)

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View David Bareford's profile

David Bareford

66 posts in 1025 days

#6 posted 11-13-2014 02:05 PM

We built this style barn almost 30 years ago in michigan and it stands tall and strong to this day.
- ThinkTwice

Great to meet another cordwood builder! This was our first foray into the craft. I am glad we followed Rob Roy’s advice and started with a barn or outbuilding…our work definitely improved as we gained experience. That first wall will be strong, but it’s nothing pretty to look at!

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