How to chink a butt and pass log wall
Insulate between the logs
Before chinking, get some 6 foot by 1 foot sill seal fiberglass bat. Cut into 1 inch wide strips. Lightly push into both sides of the crack. Leave an air pocket between the two pieces of fiberglass to allow air circulation that will prevent any moisture from settling in the gap.
Run any cables that you need for lighting, power outlets etc…
Nail hot dipped galvanized finishing nails at an angle into the crack on the lower log. Bend them up towards the top log. You can use a hammer to do this (takes a while) or a nail gun with an adapted head (can nail a home in a day).
When the logs shrink, the chinking will pull away from the top log which makes it really easy to touch up the chinking later.
Tip: Chinking nails are spaced every 3 inches
Mortar mixture – This mixture will breathe and costs a fraction of any other chinking alternative
- 1/2 part lime
- 1 part Portland cement
- 3 parts masonry sand
Add water to the consistency of peanut butter
Push the mortar into the cracks from the mortar board with a cake spatula or putty knife. Ensure that you push enough mortar through the nails “to grab” the nails when the mortar is dry. Keep your putty knife wet and smooth out the mortar as you work a long the wall. After the mortar has dried you can use a stiff brush to remove any loose bits.
Get some friends or family to help you out and you can have a nice “chinking party”. Have a system where one person pushes the mortar in to the crack and the second and third help smooth it out. This way you can chick a wall fairly quickly 🙂
A diagram of what the wall should look like:
I suggest that you use some spare logs to practice before you start on your home, it will only take a short time for you to get the hang of it.
Below is an example of beautiful chinking: