kitchen / Logs / maintenance / renovations

What I have to do to the logs…

Okay I am taking a break from writing my paper and I am thinking about how can I repair the chinking on the logs.  I looked it up on the Internet (of course) and found that the supplies cost over a hundred dollars.  Out of my budget constraints as this was not originally factored in it.  But lo and behold I found  a recipe.  I am copying these instructions from Bearfoot Lodge:

  • one (1) part white portland cement
  • three (3) parts masonry sand
  • (4) parts masonry lime.

The consistency you are trying to achieve is like that of thick peanut butter. You want to be able to mix just enough water to it so that when you form a ball of the mix with your hands — it holds.


TOOLS: use basic tools — nothing special – a 3″ rectangular trowel and a mortar board – just a flat piece of board on which to place the mortar.Place an amount that is comfortable on the mortar board – hold it up to the gap between the logs at the chinking line and using the trowel push/press the mortar into the space. Make sure you get in and around nails and using a smooth swipe or two  give the freshly chinked spot a smooth finish making sure that it is sealed both to the top and bottom log.


Ideally the chink lines are about 2 inches wide although this of course depends on the curvature of the logs above and below. Sometimes lines are wider sometimes thinner – the variation is determined by the shape of the logs.

Does it matter if your chink line is convex, concave, vertically straight or not in relation to the log? — No not really as that is more of a personal preference – whichever you choose – just be consistent.

If you are touching-up, skim coating older chinking or filling gaps in chinking then use enough water to make it the same consistency of toothpaste or thereabouts.   You can even use a pastry bag or masonry bag to apply it to gaps or cracks.

Once the mixture cures it will turn a light gray. Clean the mortar off the log with a wire brush.

If you have repaired an area or replaced a section of chinking then the fresh chinking will no doubt look different from the area of chinking that still exists. In this case, you want every thing to look uniform, so  make the same mix as you used to chink but this time  add enough water to achieve a consistency similar to that of house paint and using a brush simply paint it on. But  do not do this step until all the areas you chinked are thoroughly cured.

So there you have it…how to re-chink.  Now I have it documented on my blog.  Pictures to follow when I try it.  I guess I best go on and get myself a wire brush LOL.

I also looked up how to clean logs…

A mixture of one tablespoon TSP (Tri-sodium phosphate) per  gallon of water.  If we are dealing with caked on or embedded dirt on a log wall, we  use a product called OxiClean®. Diluted in water, this product does not leave a film behind if rinsed off thoroughly. OxiClean® can be purchased in many stores including your grocery store.  Another cleaning solution we recommend  is TSP mixed with water. Again, this in non-film forming soap and can be purchased at your local hardware or paint store. You do not want to use dish soap or chlorine bleach. These can leave a film behind and can cause problems with the stain adhering.

2 thoughts on “What I have to do to the logs…

Feel free to comment here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s