Shrinkage of Wood in Cordwood Construction

The best option is to prevent the issue of shrinking before you build.
By Jack Henstridge
May/June 1983
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When building a cordwood structure, how do you judge the shrinkage of the wood so that future air leaks are prevented?

It is best to eliminate that problem before it can develop. The amount of shrinkage in wood varies according to the age, moisture content, and species of the logs you're working with. The basic building blocks should have time to dry, shrink and stabilize before you start construction. To make sure they do, cut all of your wood and then allow it to air-dry like firewood. Debarking and splitting the rounds will speed up this process considerably, and the chores are well worth the extra time and effort.

— Jack Henstridge, the director of the Indigenous Material Housing Institute 



















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