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Thread: Traditional Latvian wooden house construction

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    Traditional Latvian wooden house construction

    This traditional wooden house was built by Jacob, the founder of John Neeman Tools, along with lots of help. John Neeman Tools is a Latvian company that makes hand-forged woodworking tools and knives.

    The house was built using mostly traditional carpenter's tools. The foundation was dug by hand. The walls, frame, and roof use no nails, screws, or steel plates - just wooden joinery and wooden pegs to hold everything together. The log chinking is moss from a local swamp.

    Walls are insulated with dry pine and larch shavings. Posts, beams, and final cladding boards are treated with fire, and then pine tar mixed with Tung oil. Roof is white oak shingles, and is insulated with wood fibre wool and wood fibre panels covered with plaster made from a mixture of sand, clay powder, lime, linen fibre, salt, and wheat flour. Wheat flour aside, yes, they did use a modern wind vapor breathable membrane over the roof.

    The house is heated by an enormous clay-plastered brick bread oven and a smaller clay tile oven.

    This is a 24-minute video, longer than I'll usually post here. But it's well-filmed and well-produced. The natural lighting is correct, and there are tons of shots of hand-cut logs giving up well-formed shavings to carefully sharpened axes. The aesthetic of traditional woodworking tools is correctly captured. Astute viewers will notice that the video is dedicated to family, friends, and Richard Proenneke, the pioneering Alaskan homesteader whom we previously discussed here.

    And while I usually prefer slightly fewer bare-chested men in a YouTube video, at least they're hard at work. And the music is good.

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