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Author Topic: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help  (Read 19865 times)

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Offline UpInATree

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White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« on: March 25, 2011, 09:01:09 PM »
I have a new sawmill and my first customer has asked me to mill 15 large white pines.  He plans to use these for a timber framing project so he wants large beams from the logs.  Is white pine a good choice for this?  The trees are still standing on his property, and he wants me to take them down first....this part I am very experienced with so that will be no problem.  He asked my opinion about the use of the pine, and I don't BS people.  I said I was unsure, but recommended he check the Forestry Forum for similar topics, and I also am hoping for feedback from all of you experts. If we make large beams from his trees.....are they suitable for this type of construction, and do you have any pointers for me PLEASE  Thanks in advance

Matt from MA
Wood-mizer LT70HD D55 Wireless, Wood-Mizer ED-26, A whole bunch of Stihls. Alaskan Mill 74",  Bucket Truck, Log Truck, Chippers, trailers, dump trucks,   Kubota M9540, L3010D and B7510. Cord King.   Learning Timberframing under Jim Rogers

Offline Dannyboy0818

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2011, 09:20:10 PM »
I have used white pine for timber framing and it seems to be very stable. I know it not as strong as doug fir or oak but overall it is very easy to cut and stable. I wouldn't recommend it for exterior as it would rot faster then something like cypress. All in all I love using it cuts like butter with a sharp chisel.

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2011, 09:46:17 PM »
I work primarily with white pine. Both of the Dutch barns I'm restoring are almost all white pine, with the braces being oak. Timbers must be sized to the load and joinery. Dutch barns used very large timbers. These anchorbeams are 11"x22" and 11"x17", and most likely all four were from the same tree. What is the timber project? A common small frame is Jack Sobon's 12'x16' Garden Shed, which uses 8"x8" timbers. How central in MA are you? I'm down in the corner by NY and CT.





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Offline UpInATree

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2011, 10:32:31 PM »
Hi Dave,

West Boylston, MA most days....small town just outside of Worcester.  That must have been some tree.  I am not designing the project, and after reading the beginners guide to timberframing threads I will have to ask my customer if he is making the mistake of cutting the logs before he has an accurate materials needed list.   :o

Thank you for your input.  Is there a beginners guide to structural engineering?  or at least where timbers are concerned?
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Offline dukndog

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2011, 11:21:49 PM »
There's alot of books out there. Being a beginner myself, Dave and Jim are great to answer questions on the forum here. Also a great resource is the Timberframers Guild. They have just about every book on the subject.
Good luck!!
DnD
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Offline shinnlinger

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2011, 11:57:44 PM »
Reconfirm what has been said here.  White pine is a good choice, I have built a few frames out of it, but you need to size/grade your timbers to the load/span and as already been mentioned, it is not as strong as some other choices.  When in doubt, build it stout, if your gunna build it, overbuild it.

I would also ask this potential customer if he can meet the zoning/building permit criteria with his timberframe sawn on your mill.  Often you need graded lumber or an engineer to sign off on it.

Of course if you ask too many questions you won't have the job....
Shinnlinger
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living in self-built/milled timberframe home

Offline Piston

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2011, 04:40:58 AM »
Upinatree,
What mill did you get?  A friend of mine and I have an LT15 to do some hobby cutting with.  I use it mainly for cutting timbers for the timberframing hobby.  I'm just a weekend warrior and don't do it to make money, I've never sawed for anyone else.  I'm glad to have some more central ma guys around.  I'm from Upton myself, been trying to make it out to dave's place to check out his operation but haven't yet.  If you ever need a hand I'm not too far from you. 
I have only used white pine so far and love working with it. 
Welcome
-Matt
What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family; he stands alone, and all others sink before him. His courage does not exceed his temper and generosity, and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race.

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2011, 09:34:10 AM »
Looks like he has an LT-70 Wireless in his signature. Pine really is great to work, just let the surface dry for a day or two before you try to do layout, or your square and pencil will be stuck to it. :D I was roughing out a big purlin post scarf yesterday from fresh sawn pine and every time I hit the chisel I had water spraying back at me.
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Offline UpInATree

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2011, 04:25:43 PM »
Yep....I blew the whole nine yards and got me an LT-70 with the wireless remote control....it is very slick.  I'm not an expert with it yet, but I'm a fast learner and a gadget freak so I am having a blast sawing logs.  So far I have learned not to back up with the saw head while in a kerf and the blade engaged!!!  makes a lot of noise when you throw the blade off - ouch.  Also I had blood oozing through my jeans while attempting to learn how to fold that very same blade as I whipped it downward and somehow stuck it into my shin  8).  These two things I will never repeat lol

Turns out that my customer let his next door neighbor talk him out of his plans to build timber frame for fear of insects so he is conveniently taking all of the pine trees for himself (to a sawmill I understand) and my potential customer is going to use pressure treated 4 x 6 and 6 x 6 instead.  Sad to me.  Thanks to everyone for contributing to this thread.  I'll put some pictures up soon :)

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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2011, 04:34:29 PM »
What that guy who's going to use PT be Scott?
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Offline UpInATree

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2011, 06:34:38 PM »
Scott from Sturbridge yeah.  Did he contact you?
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Offline laffs

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2011, 07:38:21 PM »
id say a fair amount of the old barns in new england were maade from pine, and the bugs havent eaten them yet in a 100 years . a lot fell down because of lack of upkeep on either the foundation or the roof and then the bugs got them
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2011, 08:02:37 PM »
The biggest bug risk to pine is if it stays in the log yard uncut. Once you've made a timber out of it, and you keep it out of the weather, it will last a long time. The barn those anchorbeams came from had some PPB damage, and it is over 210 years old. I don't think much of PT for framing, and it probably isn't allowed in a habitable space. Black locust, white oak, and black cherry are good choices for areas requiring rot resistance.
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Offline bruce hare

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2011, 07:48:23 AM »
dave ,i never realized black cherry was rot resistant
nuts over wood

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2011, 08:55:13 AM »
Scott from Sturbridge yeah.  Did he contact you?

Yes he did, but then changed his mind to use PT.

Whatever you do, have fun doing it!
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Offline Rooster

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2011, 09:12:21 AM »
That's great!  Fire up the mill, and let's make some White Pine sawdust! 

Then again, what will the neighbors say?  ;D   Well, maybe Scott can appeal the neighborhood association's decision to suspend his membership.  Hopefully they'll support his White Pine timber-frame project, and let him park his bass boat in the driveway. :D
"We talk about creating millions of "shovel ready" jobs, for a society that doesn't really encourage anybody to pick up a shovel." 
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2011, 09:24:47 AM »
Hoadley lists black cherry as resistant, along with white oak, redwood, catalpa, cypress, etc. Extremely resistant is locust, mulberry, osage orange and yew. White pine is moderately resistant. Obviously the sapwood on these species is not decay resistant. I sawed up two chestnut logs that had been buried as deadmen for a derrick in a quarry that had been buried since probably the late 1800's. The sapwood was gone, but the heartwood was in excellent shape.
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2011, 10:12:14 AM »
That's great!  Fire up the mill, and let's make some White Pine sawdust! 

Then again, what will the neighbors say?  ;D   Well, maybe Scott can appeal the neighborhood association's decision to suspend his membership.  Hopefully they'll support his White Pine timber-frame project, and let him park his bass boat in the driveway. :D

Rooster;
It really wasn't a "timber frame" project. He is trying to build a pavilion structure, that is no side walls on any side, for some type of equipment shed, I think.
He has been talking to pavilion "kit" people from the mid west, and they "informed" him that pine was "not good" for such a thing. (As they are trying to sell him their kit).

He was going to have 14 or15 large pines cut down and thought that he'd use these for his posts, and plates for his pavilion. And he's buying rafter trusses for the roof structure.

What he is really making is a post and beam structure with a truss roof. With no sides he will have exposed timber posts to deal with.
I suggested that he have some type of post "stand off" bracket to keep the post bottom up away from his "finish grade" as I wasn't sure if he was going to have a concrete slab floor or not. It maybe just a gravel floor.

I did suggest the "short pole" method of creating a base for his posts. This would mean he could have a rot resistant base and still use his own trees for posts above the "short pole" of PT wood. But I'm not sure if he understood this method or not. To me it would have been a good choice. (For those of you who aren't familiar with the short pole system, I believe I wrote a story about it here on the forum. I'm quite sure that there are a couple of photos or drawings of this in my gallery, at least.)

I offered to come to his site and look over his overall idea, including his design of his pavilion, and we had made an appointment to do so. He is some 70 miles from me, kind of out of my area. But at the last minute he changed his mind and said he was going with PT. And that he didn't need me to come and look at his project.

I sent him a package of information about my "milling service" but I also suggested that he could find someone closer to him then me. Which should have saved him some money to have a local sawyer mill his trees. Maybe he will hire "upinatree" to do it after all.

Jim Rogers

PS: upinatree, if you haven't read my story about how to make "boxed heart timbers" yet you should. There is a lot to learn when you're first starting out. I'd be glad to help you any way I can.
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Offline Mad Professor

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2011, 12:19:47 AM »
dave ,i never realized black cherry was rot resistant

The heartwood is great, no so the sapwood.



Offline buildingbirchst

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Re: White Pine any good for timber framing???? Help
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2018, 09:04:32 PM »
Great conversation. I am also from MA (Douglas/ Sutton line) and planning to use Pine for my Barn. I am looking for recommendations on a saw mill. I have toyed with the idea of milling the lumber myself but I already have too much to do. I have dropped most of the trees that I need but with over 14 acres I have plenty to choose from if I need more. 


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