The birth of a wooden house. Expanded

Unexpectedly we found incomplete entries of two more scenes from the manufacturing process – moss collection in the local swamp and the finishing of the frame. So we decided to make another version – extended version (2 minutes longer) to add those scenes to the movie and share them with you.

This is a documentary film that reveals the process of building a wooden home with hand tools (as much as possible) of local natural materials starting from the forest to the living space.

"I made my house with trees that I cut in winter (-20 ° C) with an ax and two men with cross cut in my own forest." I did it after researching the old carpenter's timetable that the coniferous trees had to cut the the first days of January when the new moon rises and the deciduous trees have to be cut in the winter during the old moon. In winter the trees sleep and the juice and the moisture content are very low in them. Over the course of time the wood that is cut Monastery becomes light and strong.

In the manufacturing process, I used mainly traditional hand tools for carpenters – shafts, hand saws, stairs and stairs chisels, old Stanley aircraft, gas stations, knives and especially human energy. All work on the ground for foundation and underwater digging was done by hand with shovels. The foundation consists mainly of larger and smaller rocks and boulders. The mixture of lime, sand and concrete is used only in small quantities – to keep the blocks together. The visible part above the ground level – mosaic boulder has been built with split handed local granite.

The house is built on the basis of the western part of Latvia – Kurland / Kurzeme (German influence) historic wooden architecture typical technique – Timber Frame construction with sliding frescoed walls between the posts. The house is a woodworking association – Timber Frame (typical in France, Germany, Great Britain, North America and other countries) and the traditional Latvian logging technique, between logs using moss from the local swamp.
On the walls, the wooden frame and the roof construction there I only used wood joints and wooden pins to keep the main structure together – without nails, screws or steel plates. The walls are insulated with a layer of dry pine and 250 mm thick wood shavings (left by the workshop of local cabinet makers). The total outer wall thickness is 50cm. The walls (except the windproof membrane over the roof) have not used plastic or modern synthetic materials.

In order to keep wood from hail, reputation rumors, glass, top beams and final lining boards are treated with fire and pitch pine mixed with Tung oil. This wood preservation technique was adapted from the Japanese traditional wood preservation technique Shou Sugi Ban (焼 杉 板).
The outer planks plunge every 10-15 years with Tung oil and pine or the mixture of birch pitch, the house can last for more than 500 years. As an example, Norwegian churches have been extending over 500 years to date.

The coating is three layers of white oak (10 mm thick, 120 mm wide and 720 mm long) with two directional techniques. The total amount of pebbles used is 15 000 pieces. The roof walls are insulated with eco-friendly wooden fibers and wood fibers. Above the wood fiber boards are coated natural gypsum – a mixture of sand, clay clay, lime, flax fiber, salt, wheat flour. The total thickness of the gypsum is 20 millimeters, and over any gypsum used in the walls is 5000 kilos. It also acts as a thermal mass and improves energy efficiency.

The external measurements of the house are 6.5 x 13 meters. The living space on both floors is 120sq m / m. The house is heated with a clay clay oven and a smaller oven made of clay in the kitchen. To heat both floors of the house, when outside is minus 10 degrees (Celsius), only a small oven is heated once a day. When the freezing falls below -15, -20 C, heat the bread oven. Once heated, due to a thermal mass of 5 tons, it keeps the warmth 2-3 days. To heat the house (120 m²) in the winter we do not use more than 4 m3 (1.1 strings) of dry firewood. This is the second winter we live there and we are still warming the house with the remains of wood from the manufacturing process. And it will be enough for another 3 years.

I have fulfilled my vision of building a natural, ecological home with high thermal efficiency, low energy consumption, viable, using local materials such as wood, stone, old and new bricks, moss, linen, clay, water, lime, salt and chopsticks. "

Jacob, carpenter, craftsman and founder of Northmen (formerly John Neeman Tools).