What's your log cabin chinking mixture?

by Michael

Hi there! Great site you have here. I am planning to re-chink a restored cabin that was moved to my property. Right now it just has spaces between the logs. I read one place that you can use a mixture of clay, lime and straw for the chinking. What is your opinion on this and/or what do you use for log cabin chinking?

Hello Michael,
I use 1 part Type S Mortar to 3 parts sand. There is a masonry fortifier that is sold at most hardware stores I would recommend adding. If you do add this don't go overboard and add too much!

As far as the last part of your question is concerned I stay away from the clay,straw and lime mixtures. This is an old log cabin chinking mixture that would be perfect for historically authentic restorations.Be aware that it is much more labor intensive.

Are you doing a historical restoration? If not I suggest you use the mixture I suggest. This was the mixture Charles Mcraven gave me personally. I would have a hard time arguing his 40+ years of log cabin restorations.

Regardless of what you choose your biggest obstacle will be keeping the chinking in place through the expansion and contraction with the seasons. This is where the old style fails.
I use the mesh or "lathe" to solve this problem. If you need more explanation get back with me. Good luck and send me a picture. Banjoe

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May 21, 2013
by: Keith Searcy

A man who built his own log home close to me told me a recipe for chinking that he supposedly got off an old hillbilly he met will planning his home. The hillbilly told him to puta screw every 6 inches or so in the plate between the logs to hold the chink in place. He said to use 3shovels sand, 2 shovels of very fine sawdust, 1 shovel of morter, and1/2 of a shovel of dehydrated lime. Make the chink a little thick so it will stay in joints. The sawdust helps with expansion and contraction. When I looked at the home it looked like he had just chinked it but he told me it was 25yrs old, the same age as the house. Looked great.

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