I have this book on rustic shelters. It has cabins, tree houses, wikups, and all sort of things, I realized there was a garden hut made of cordwood in the book ..
I was thinking about that because it occurred to me that building a log cabin involved moving lots of large logs around and lifting them onto the cabin wall seemed like a challenge as well. Getting a saw mill to mill trees into boards on your lot involves hiring someone to do that. The cordwood hut idea seems to not have any of those problems and seems to be possibly an easier do it yourself approach. I'm not sure how strong it is and such or what drawbacks it might have. Basically say you had a 20 foot log, you'd saw it up into 40 pieces each 6 inches long and using mortar you'd cement them together and create a wall .. The wood pieces actually appear to be varying sizes also ..
Any insights into such an approach ? I think a cabin/shed between 100 - 200 square feet would be what I'd like to do .. I have hardwoods on the lot cedar, maple, a few oaks etc ..
check out these pics I found where I googled for 'cordwood hut'
From the book I have, I imagined there to be more wood and less mortar than what these pics show ..
The article says it is time consuming to build this way, but then if I am building a small cabin maybe it wouldn't take that long .. http://www.apnmag.com/spring_2009/okeefe_earthwood_2009.php
Cordwood masonry is a style of building that has quite a few advantages which attract customers. It is cheap, easy to build, energy effecient, and self-fullfilling. However, it is incredibly time-consuming, and there is quite a bit of physical labor invovled as well. People are attracted to cordwood for all different reasons.
"Some people are looking for an alternative way of building but they don't know which way to go," says Rob. "Roughly 40% actually make use of the material presented in the workshops." People looking for alternatives to traditional building have a lot of options, and the Earthwood Building school provides them with just another alternative. There are a wealth of advantages with cordwood, but there are also other options that may better suit a certian personality or area.
"It is easy to build, but it takes a lot of time, but it is also cheap," says Bruce Kilgore, who has a house in progress that is being build from cordwood masonry. "The best material to build with is the one you have." He explained that the abundance of scrap cedarwood in the area provides a cheap source of building material. "Cordwood around here is very cheap and available," says Kilgore. "Our whole house is built out of what cedar is leftover from construction. "