First, daubing is hard work. It's exhausting. It's technically-challenging to achieve just the right mortar consistency. It's frustrating, trying to get it to stick and stay in place. Watching it flow like lava from the mesh chinking onto the log will test your patience. If you're prone to cursing at inanimate objects, this activity will inspire degenerate ravings.
I'm pretty happy with my decision, though. Instead of a homemade mix of cement, lime, clay, and sand, I chose to use a stucco-like sand mortar mix infused with inch-long fiberglass threads. When it dries, my hope is that the threads will hold it all together and there'll be less material loss when it inevitably cracks. The dried surface also looks a little hairy -- it's kind of authentic-looking, as if I'd mixed straw and other things with a home-dug clay. On the inside, I can't see using such abrasive and potentially messy substance. The mesh lathe is fairly invisible, because the mortar pushes through, creating a dimpled surface. I'm thinking I'll use a combination of spray foam insulation and treated wool bats to both insulate and hide the interior surface of the outside chinking.
I've completed two walls and the door, and I'll hopefully finish the rest over the next couple of weeks. Then, I'll take the following sequential steps to complete the cabin:
- brush off the mortar residue with a wire brush
- caulk all of the checks with paintable latex caulking
- stain the whole cabin, inside and out, with oil-based natural-color stain
- insulate the inside walls with foam and wool
- cut and frame Lexan for the triangular windows created by the eaves
- build screen windows for the two windows
- trim the doorway with rope
- lay wide pine planks across felt paper and other floor
- stain floor
- consider coating interior walls with high gloss polyurethane
- coat floor with marine-grade high gloss polyurethane