Wattle & Daub: Craft, Conservation & Wiltshire Case Study
3.6 Daub
4.1 Soils
4.1.3 Strength
4.2 Dung
4.2.2 Lignin
4.2.3 Urine
4.3 Fibre
5.4.2 Renewal

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3.3 Panel Types

The form of a wattle backing is chiefly determined by the shape and size of the spacing between the frame since it is necessary for the panel to be sufficiently rigid against physical damage such as from wind and being leant upon. Most were rectangular, such as the majority in post and truss and box-frame constructions: non-rectangular panels required special consideration.[24] The dauber would need to be able to fill a great variety of panel shapes, depending on location within the frame, decoration, bracing and panel size [Figure 10].
Narrow panels either result from close studding or where a stud, such as for a window or door jamb, breaks a larger panel. Two approaches to the infill were either to rotate the construction so that the staves were horizontal and withies vertical or, more frequently, especially for close studding, was to use lathing instead of wattle. The laths were either sprung into grooves made in the sides of both studs or nailed to fillets of oak which themselves were nailed to the sides of the studs.
Where the latter technique was used the daub was often absent, replaced with a haired plaster applied directly to the laths.[25] The reason for omitting the daub may have been due to the laths being nearer to the surface of the frame, being located on the faces of the fillets rather than in the grooves on the frame centre-line. Alternatively, this method may have been coexistent with a regional preference to use only plaster instead of daub.

Braces introduced tapering and curved panel edges that caused complexities in the wattling. Where laths were used, the nailed fillets could simply follow the line of the brace with varying length of lath applied between them. However, where staves were used, they needed to be short near the corners and consequently their insertion required much skill, as did the wattling if it were to be fit tightly and to fill the full height of the panel [Figure 11]. Many other methods of providing a compact wattlework were used, such as running the withies diagonally, following the line of the brace [Figure 12]. The thicknesses of struts (non-structural decorative timbers) used in ornamental bracing were often less than the thickness of the structural frame. Where wattled, the staves would often be in a plane behind the struts, thereby keeping the staves and wattling simple [Figure 13].

[24] Clifton-Taylor (1962) provides a comprehensive explanation of differences between post-and-truss and box-frame construction. Superficially, both may appear similar externally, with rectangular panels, but differ in the structural load paths.
[25] Reid (1989), p.3.  However, Clifton-Taylor (1962), p.320 states that laths were covered with daub.