Log Cabin Chinking Repair Made Easy

Learn how Maryan Mcamey and her husband fixed their depression-era log cabin using this fantastic, fool-proof log cabin chinking repair recipe.

| November/December 1975

  • Log cabin repair
    The old homestead had been neglected for over 40 years (the house itself was built entirely by hand during the Great Depression) and we had come to bring it back to life.
    PHOTO: FOTOLIA/SERGEJ RAZVODOVSKIJ

  • Log cabin repair

In June of 1973 my husband, Butch, and I moved to our very own log home on 40 acres in the southern Oregon woods. The old homestead had been neglected for over 40 years (the house itself was built entirely by hand during the Great Depression) and we had come to bring it back to life.

The cabin was really dilapidated and in need of a new roof, foundation repair, plumbing, wiring, and a general face-lift. So we set out — with a lot of help from our neighbors — to give our new home some good old-fashioned TLC (tender, loving care). During that first summer, the place began to smile again.

By fall the dwelling's roof was on and our stock of firewood was dry. Which left just one major project to be completed before we could settle down to a cozy winter inside our spruced-up house: The whole cabin needed to be rechinked. Although bits and pieces of the original filler were still solid, we had no choice but to remove what remained and start from scratch.

Our problems began when we set out to research methods of log cabin chinking repair and sources of appropriate materials. Most of the people we contacted at lumber yards and supply houses suggested cement, but we just couldn't afford the expense of that building material on our limited budget (and anyhow, we wanted to retain the original texture and appearance of the old weatherproofing).



We rummaged everywhere for more log cabin chinking information — in the library and bookstores, at the nearby ranger station, in catalogs and old farm magazines, even in a 1926 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica — and found a lot of good advice on log cabin building and living . . . but not much on how to plug those all-important spaces between the logs.

The most helpful source was Bradford Angier's book How to Build Your Home in the Woods (hard cover edition, 1972, from Sheridan House, New York, $7.50 . . . paperback, Hart Publishing Company, Inc., New York, $3.95, both available from MOTHER'S Bookshelf) . . . only Mr. Angier dwelt mainly on what materials to use and very little on how to use them.

Tom
1/3/2019 6:12:44 AM

Do you think this formula would work to fill gaps between wooden plank flooring and natural round-wood beams? Would it have enough elasticity while people walk and whole construction is vibrating? thanks Tom


Tom
1/3/2019 6:12:43 AM

Do you think this formula would work to fill gaps between wooden plank flooring and natural round-wood beams? Would it have enough elasticity while people walk and whole construction is vibrating? thanks Tom


Craig
4/27/2018 1:47:12 PM

I'm a volunteer at Dobbys Fronteer Town in alliance, Ne. We have a log cabin that was made in the 1800's. I'm anxious to try it out. Now it has concrete for chinking and it doesn't last due to weather changes. Thanks for the recipe! Craig







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