Chinking - but INSIDE 10/26/2022

Started chinking the inside of the cabin - almost as much trouble as the outside. I started with the kitchen because we want to get the upper cabinets hung so we can figure out the base cabinets. The soapstone people are a mess! I'm sure I'll write about that in another post, but let me just say: ordering a piece of soapstone from the only public supplier (that I know of) has been, hands down, the hardest process we've been through during this build.

Ok, back to chinking - it's almost as much trouble as the outside, with a few benefits:

  • something solid and flat to stand on - the subfloor! Outside, it was just uneven dirt. It makes a difference, really when you can stand on the floor and reach 5 - 6 rows at the same time.
  • shorter sections of chink - I don't have to commit to a huge area of chink all in one session - I can break it up into smaller pieces.
  • weather inside the cabin is a bit more cooperative than the weather outside the cabin.

Still need to fill in the larger areas with metal lath (screen). Still need insulation to give the mortar something to push up against, and still need thousands and thousands of nails. But it seems to be going quick, and I think it looks good. In this pic, you can see the already dry mortar (white mortar in upper right corner), with still-wet mortar (the gray stuff). It will all dry to a light color eventually. Where two lines of chink meet up and don't match - will be covered by cabinets. I made sure all the exposed lines will be evenly colored by doing them at the same time.

For the uninitiated:

  • I'm using an old LHBA recipe: mortar, sand, lime in some proprietary ratios (unique to LHBA).
  • Insulation ("RockWool" / "mineral wool") is installed first into the gap - over the top of any electrical.
  • Then nails are installed every 3" in front of the insulation for small gaps. Large gaps get metal lath stapled in place but only to the bottom log of the gap.
  • Chinking is mixed up by the bucketful and applied with a trowel or spatula or spoon (yes!) depending on the situation.
  • Vertical and upside down gaps are the hardest - the chink wants to fall out due to gravity. You have to massage it into place. It's an art.

In this photo, I had to cut away some of the knots and other protrusions in these logs because we want all our kitchen cabinets to line up. In other areas of the house, we are not making the logs accommodate us.