This project was one of our first on the list. We needed a vegetable/egg stand or ‘farm gate’ to welcome our friends and customers. Something different seemed to be in order and stackwall or cordwood construction was intriguing so that was what we did. The main part of the structure was just a post and beam, all of which we scrounged from the beach as well as the wood for the log shorts that we used for the stackwall. The floor and the roof were scrounged as well though not from the beach obviously. Our local landfill helped us out there and we managed enough for the floor and the roof except for the asphalt roofing we laid on the top. All was perched on pier blocks and seems to have stood the test of time fairly well.
Once we had the floor down and the roof on we had to brace the walls as there was no lateral support so temporary braces were installed until the stackwall infill was added then they were removed. The stackwall itself is quite easy to do if you are handy with a chain saw and have access to a cement mixer. Rounds cut from logs scrounged from the beach were used and cut into equal lengths….in my case 6″ long taking care to make your cuts as square as possible. Its nice if you can get an assortment of girths of logs as no one size will accommodate all situations as you build up the wall. A cement mix using masonry sand and portland cement was used with no aggregate involved to allow easy finishing of the cement.
Starting with a layer of cement laid on the floor of the building from one wall to the other we then began to place some of the rounds on top of the cement. Having completed the first row another layer of cement is added undulating over the different sizes of logs. This is where the different girths of logs will come in handy filling in between the logs on the first row. And so the wall goes until the desired height is reached and then a sill is added after leveling the top layer of cement for the sill.
The “picky” part of the work comes now filling in the holes between the logs on the outside surface of the wall. I found that loading up my trowel with cement and pushing it off and into a cavity between the logs with another trowel worked the best and kept most of the cement off my hands. Once all the holes have been filled its nice to go over the cement again with a small trowel to smooth out all the cement work and display the logs as well as possible. I added some funky driftwood to act as corner posts and braces………..it is limited only by your imagination.