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Author Topic: Red Pine Plan  (Read 546 times)

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Offline cgsemrau

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Red Pine Plan
« on: July 10, 2019, 03:03:11 PM »
I have been reading the forum for a while, but can't quite find what in need from forum searches.  If I am asking something addressed already let me know please.  

I am building a hand hewn cabin with red pine off my land in Northern Wisconsin.  I am planning at this point to do a full scribe as well.  I girdled the trees last fall, cut them last winter and have skidded out over half of the logs at this point.  I have 48 red pines for my materials down, half are cut to length and elevated off the ground, the ones I am still skidding have the trunks propped off the ground with a few strategic branches, but are otherwise delimbed.   The pines are 15-28" diameter at the base and up to 60 ft in length after topping them.

  I have a good system in place after trial and error and plan to have the rest of the logs out by labor day.  I will then start running them through my friends portable saw mill and hewing my timbers.  All the wood for the project will come from the property.  I have done a fair amount of log home repairs with a previous home I sold to buy this property, and process a lot of staves for self bow making some I am familiar with the steps involved in processing and air drying wood, but I unfortunately do not have the time to properly handle this degree of wood.  In order to save time I have not scrapped the logs since I will be hewing and sawing them starting this fall with time set aside to have completed by next may.  I figured that the hewing and milling will take care of the bark, and bark on will minimize cracking and checking.  This has been effective in handling my bow woods at least.  Cutting in winter after girdling seems to have helped as there is very little sap when I was bucking the logs this last weekend, especially compared to some of the trees I cut in may while clearing my building site that are pouring out sap still.  

My biggest concern is infestation naturally with the red pine species.  I was planning to spray borate this coming weekend on the logs that are already stacked.  I have also cut a inch groove with my chainsaw the length of the tree to break the bark as I understand that many infestations travel circumferentially around the bark and this will hopefully slow them down.  I peeled a few strips off a couple trees sunday and the sap wood is still very sound, only one had signs of the bark loosening but no visible tracking/hole/or sawdust.  

Given that I do not have time this year to strip each log, as this will continue to delay skidding out the remaining logs and processing, I wanted to get suggestions.  I am ok with "decorative" worm marks, etc.  Many infestations are also cosmetic and I am removing the majority of the outer sapwood on the logs, I am really trying to minimize a catastrophic scenario short term.  Are the skidded logs best stored tarpped or left open to air?  I've heard opinions of increasing air flow/drying with tarp off, as well as preventing rain exposure with tarps on. 
Second question is wether a product like Tim-bor would be best for my situation, vs an alternative such as diesel fuel.  

I realize that there is a "best way " for a reason, but I am trying to do my best to move ahead with a lifelong dream with my available time and resources rather than look back when I'm to old to do this and wish I had started when I was younger.  :)  I have seen red pine cut by my dad's cabin that was absolute garbage after only a year, and I have seen other red pine that has sat for years and was still able to be cleaned up for a usable timber.  Some other logistics on why I may be reinventing the wheel.  Build site is 2 miles off the road, I live 2 hours away, tools include a couple chainsaws, some axes, and a FORD 3600 tractor.

Thank you again for all the knowledge on this site.  

Offline TimFromNB

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Re: Red Pine Plan
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 03:38:26 PM »
Sounds like an interesting project! I had Red Pine logs sitting without tarps from April to beginning of June last year. They were just starting to get worms in them when I milled them early June. I also had a White Pine log off-cut that had worms under the bark. I peeled it off and no worms since. I don't have any experience with Borax but have seen that suggestion on this forum before. Peeling them sounds like a big job, but might be worth it. I'll let others with more experience chime in ;D

Offline K-Guy

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Re: Red Pine Plan
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2019, 04:30:10 PM »
I'll leave dealing with the bugs for others but here are some red pine facts from the USDA website

General Wood Characteristics: The sapwood of red pine is nearly white to yellow, while the heartwood varies from red to reddish brown. It has an oily feel and has a resinous odor. It is straight, even grained, medium textured and moderately heavy. It is intermediate in density between longleaf and eastern white pine. It is also relatively strong and stiff and is moderately high in shock resistance. It is moderately durable for uses not in contact with the ground and is easy to treat with preservatives. It has moderately large shrinkage, but is not difficult to dry. It is easy to work with hand tools, holds nails and screws well, finishes well, but has difficulty holding paint.

Uses: poles, pilings, cabin logs, posts, lumber for construction (girders, beams, joists, studs, stair parts and trusses), house siding, framing, shelving, trim millwork, lawn and garden furniture, woodenware, novelties, toys, pulp and paper. The trees are planted for wind breaks and Christmas trees. The bark is used for tanning and the old stumps are used for turpentine and rosin production.
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Offline barbender

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Re: Red Pine Plan
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2019, 11:07:49 PM »
The best thing you can do for those logs is get them scribed in a wall and under a roof.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Andries

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Re: Red Pine Plan
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2019, 11:32:42 PM »
What barbender said x2.
I've built log homes in NW Ontario, using red pine. Beautiful logs and a perfect tree for your project. We found that the sooner you peeled the log and the quicker you got a preservative on them, the brighter the log stayed. Bugs and blue stain came on really quickly on logs that were left with bark on.
The solution: cut, peel, scribe and build in small batches. Get them into a wall and treated as soon as you can.
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Offline cgsemrau

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Re: Red Pine Plan
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2019, 10:21:45 PM »
Thank you for the feedback.  I rearranged a few weekends and got out all but five trees out now, and am getting my friend up to mill this fall yet, probably in September.  I have 85 logs 16-26 feet long up and bark grooved.  Interestingly there was no notable bug activity 9 days ago, this last weekend I was finding ants and some larvae under the bark.  The logs that Id put up earlier this summer with the bark groove had little to no activity.  The most activity was in the most recently moved wood which had been on the ground longer.  The logs are in five separate locations on property to minimize contamination hopefully.

From my original post above, what sort of products can I use to buy me a little more time?  I can start some peeling in August now that the logs are up, and about half the logs will be milled this fall.  I have a half day July 26th I can sneak up north and spray if it will be of any help.  I was thinking a general insecticide to cover the bugs.  Would a product like Tim bor be helpful before I remove the bark?

I got too far ahead of my self worrying about cutting while sap was down.  The remaining logs will be cut when needed in manageable numbers.

Offline cgsemrau

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Re: Red Pine Plan
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2019, 10:12:52 PM »
Just a follow up.
I sprinkled ant/insect killer on/around the logs after coating them with Tim-Bor.  Worked great a couple weeks later on inspection.  I have plans for most of the logs to be sawn up labor day weekend.

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