The Miniature Cordwood Barn

Modeled after Mother's life-sized original, this easily made toy will provide hours of fun, including diagram, instructions.

| January/February 1982

  • 073-010-01_01

  • 073-010-01_01

Modeled after MOM's life-sized original, this easily made toy will provide hours of fun.

After MOTHER's stackwood livestock shelter was completed last spring, research staffer Clarence Goosen was so taken with the building's design that he decided to build a model of it as a plaything for youngsters . . . and you can see the handsome result of his handiwork in the accompanying photo. Better still, by reading through the following construction details, you'll be able to delight your animal-loving children with a similar downhome toy. Clarence estimates that the project requires about eight hours—and a few inexpensive (or even free) materials—to complete.


To begin, cut out a 10' X 16" section of tempered Masonite hardboard to serve as the barn's floor. The frame of the model pictured here was fashioned from one-by dimensional lumber, but you could use just about any leftover wood that might be cluttering your shop or work area. Cut two 1/2" X 16" pieces and two others that measure 1/2' X 9". Then fit the shorter timbers inside the other two and nail the rectangular frame together.

Next, you'll need to make the posts to support that frame. Cut out 14 uprights, each measuring 1/2" square and 5" long, and glue them along the edge of the Masonite base . . . with five spaced evenly across the front of the building, five across the back, and two more on each end wall. Then drive one 4-penny nail up from the underside of the floor into each post, and nail the rectangle of beams atop the uprights.

The small-scale building's back wall isn't exactly like that of its "parent" (which is earthbermed) . . . instead, it's planked with 1/4" X 6" strips that are ripped from the one-by dimensional lumber and then glued onto the back of the model. (You could make this a cordwood wall, using the technique described below . . . but doing so would increase the model's total assembly time.)

Now, you can take a break from your labors, go for a walk in some nearby woods . . . and collect a goodly supply of small branches (all about half an inch—more or less—in diameter) for the stackwood end walls of the barn. Once you've gathered a bundle of sticks, use a fine-toothed saw to cut them down to little logs, each about 3/4" long. Stack the twigwood into the open spaces between the posts, leaving the middle section open on one end to provide a "side door" for the structure. Clarence used white household glue to secure the tiny timbers . . . and left the open spaces between them unchinked.

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