Mondo Metate

A crude and rusted and by its very nature crumpled and dented sheet of corrugated iron, nonetheless it deserves a second chance at usefulness.

The proper technique and right tool in hand, along with a calm and centered approach will bring an old piece of junk into top preforming condition. I start at the edges bending out the creases there and then working from the center outwards increasing constantly the circumference of my work area. I take a section from such a condition,

The primal condition
The primal condition
Near to pristine

To here where it begins to not only look nice but preform at an optimal level. Now the rain can be shed more efficiently, wind deflected with more precision, the damaging rays of the beating sun dispersed more effectively.

And the results are clear when I have installed the sheets where they will now give protection from sun, wind and rain for the coming years.

The beginnings of a good covering.
The beginnings of a good covering.





  1. What would we do without the ubiquitous and ever useful corrugated iron sheet? Nice stack of wood! I’m supposed to work at the mill next week, need to open negotiations on a 3 year old stack of oak while I’m there, there’s a floor to be done here.

  2. After wood, clay, flax and wood tar this corrugated sheet iron is my favorite building material. Problem is John, that it is hated here in Holland, simply not modern enough or, from these times, as they love to put it, so I am scrounging once again to find what I need to cover my fresh-cut wood stack. Your oak should make a fine floor. How do you mill it?

  3. Plane the best face, plane one edge, then the other parallel to it, plane a rabbet on the underside to show the standard thickness, cut tongue and groove with the match plane, adze to the thickness shown by the rabbets on each side on the bottom where it will rest on joists, then nail it in. No gym membership necessary!

  4. Now I’m glad I asked it John. That is real interesting, and not only that, sounds like great work too. Did you ever think of cutting grooves on both edges and using a floating spline? It saves wood. You can also then dispense with parallel sides and instead use the natural taper of the planks the way they come off the bole, just straightening the edges and flipping them end for end as you lay them, saving even more wood and creating a reference to a time when materials were the primary cost in building and labour was an insignificant cost, which is a more environmentally and sustainable economic model that would also provide increase employment. It can be achieved through a tax regime that eliminated the tax on labour and substantially increases taxes on raw materials.

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