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Author Topic: Cutting, Stacking and Stickering Timbers  (Read 1042 times)

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Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Cutting, Stacking and Stickering Timbers
« on: January 18, 2018, 02:53:48 PM »
 I have been searching this board for a couple of days now and I'm just not finding what I'm looking for.

Can someone point me to a thread (s) on proper stacking and stickering of timbers when they will be stacked green and stored for 6 months to a year. I have seen some mentions of it and in Jim's "Standard Procedures for Timber Framing" part 2 it says you should be able to find it, but I'm having a hard time doing just that. May I suggest someone insert a link to it in that post?

 Here's why I'm asking. I am building my retirement home and it will be a  timber frame. I want to use trees off of my tree farm which is where my cabin/retirement home is being built. This is truly a dream come true. I have a lot of white oak, red oak, hickory and walnut and would like to see them all represented in the cabin.

 My idea is to start sawing as soon as I have settled on a builder which I'm hoping will be in the next couple of weeks. I have a set of drawings which are being checked by a Professional Engineer. Before I start cutting I hope to work with the builder and PE to get a cut list. The earliest I would go under roof would be this fall or I may have to wait for spring 2019. But I would like to have everything cut stacked and stickered months before we start.

 Another idea is to cut the timbers oversized and cut them down to size just before the build. Is there any merit to this, I know it adds a lot of re handling of timbers. the other idea is to cut more than I need for spares. All timbers will be boxed heart.

Thanks for reading.
More later
Jon
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Online Dave Shepard

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Re: Cutting, Stacking and Stickering Timbers
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2018, 04:05:59 PM »
I would avoid letting the timbers sit too long. A year in storage can dry them enough to add time to the joinery cutting phase. You are also exposed to degrade from checking and twisting etc.

As far as storage, I don't like to have more than two sticks under each timber, unless they are long. Having three or more sticks means that everything had to be on exactly the same plane and all the sticks have to be the exact same thickness.

If your stacks will be on the ground, getting the bottom timber 12-16" up will be ideal. Tops of stacks should be waterproof, but the sides can be open, or shaded, but there needs to be airflow.
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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Cutting, Stacking and Stickering Timbers
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 05:08:05 PM »
What Dave said.

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Re: Cutting, Stacking and Stickering Timbers
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 05:20:15 PM »
I do it a little differently. I'm not a fan of green framing and believe you should indeed let those defects show themselves and possibly, if severe enough, be culled before ending up in the building. Borate, green from the saw. 2x2 stickers about 4' apart, shim the stickers if needed. Cut oversize and plan on resurfacing. Dry as long as you can. Small houses and unimportant buildings were traditionally built with green timbers, fine buildings with dry.

Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Re: Cutting, Stacking and Stickering Timbers
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2018, 09:35:56 AM »

 I feel the need to come clean here, and I don't think it will change your answers.
Course it might get me kicked off this board...  :o

I'm not building a timber frame, I am building a post and beam.
The metalwork really appeals to me.

 running-doggy

Jon
Imagine, Me a Tree Farmer.
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Offline starmac

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Re: Cutting, Stacking and Stickering Timbers
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2018, 10:27:32 AM »
Not building either one, but I too like the metal work on the post and beams.
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Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Re: Cutting, Stacking and Stickering Timbers
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2018, 12:22:47 PM »
As if by magic look what came in today.  8)
 

 
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Offline ChugiakTinkerer

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Re: Cutting, Stacking and Stickering Timbers
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2018, 03:37:51 PM »
I think Sobon & Schroeder are trying to tell you something.  :laugh:
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Cutting, Stacking and Stickering Timbers
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2018, 10:23:01 PM »
Post and beam is not sacrilege, just another building form.  It is often a misconception that it's easier, or will take less time, or is cheaper.   I don't believe any of those are true when you take everything into account.

I cut timbers for framing.  A boxed heart timber generally will be pretty stable.  You will occasionally have one that want's to do it's own thing.  I cut those 1/2" oversize because I intend to plane them before using them.   They will generally sit for a year or more before use so by the time I  go to plane them, they should be pretty stable.  You can see if they've moved at all and take some of it out with that extra 1/2" per side.  Planing them later allows me to square up two adjacent sides (or more) perfectly which makes layout nice. 

Beams that are split hear, or free of heart are more likely to move, oaks especially, a lot. 

The longer a timber is, the more it can be affected by movement.  One might want to leave a little more material.  It's a balancing game though, because the way beams dry, they can develop tension in the outer faces.  So If you remove too much material from one face, relieving the tension, it can move. 

I do not recommend storing timbers outside because they are more exposed to sun and will gray and can get wet and if they stay wet or humid enough, can develop fungus, and start to degrade.  I store all my beams in my pole barns.  I use 3.5x3.5 stickers for each layer (two 4 foot 2x4's screwed together with the screws below the surface of the wood).  Up to 16 feet, two stickers is fine.  You will not be able to weight a timber stack to stop movement.  There is just too much power in a beam as it moves.  They will do what they will.  I seal the end grain to slow drying and to make drying more even.
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Offline ChrisGermany

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Re: Cutting, Stacking and Stickering Timbers
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2018, 10:17:16 AM »
I've sawn and hewn piles of white oak and post oak for timbers in my little buildings around the farm, and I work so slow that they usually end up drying for a year before I get around to using them. Almost every one has checked, warped, twisted, or done something crazy, whether free of heart, boxed heart, etc, to some degree or another. So I just throw them back on the saw, take off enough to remove the wind, and get after it.

I like drying it a while to see where the biggest checks are going to come in, then planning my joinery around them. That may not do any good whatsoever, but it makes me feel better. Especially with a good drawbore. I'm not a professional framer, so take the advice of the more experienced folks first and mine with a grain of salt.

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." -- Matthew 6:34

Offline Andries

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Re: Cutting, Stacking and Stickering Timbers
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2018, 09:37:07 AM »
Jon:
A friend has done exactly what you're looking to do.
I do it a little differently. I'm not a fan of green framing and believe you should indeed let those defects show themselves and possibly, if severe enough, be culled before ending up in the building. Borate, green from the saw. 2x2 stickers about 4' apart, shim the stickers if needed. Cut oversize and plan on resurfacing. Dry as long as you can. Small houses and unimportant buildings were traditionally built with green timbers, fine buildings with dry.

To keep the checking to a minimum, he put a saw cut, about 1" deep, with a thin kerf blade on a skill saw.
He said it was easy to do when the timber was on the mill.
He chose the "no show" face of the timber to make the cut, in the middle of the face, from top to bottom.
He now has a hay barn with a big stack of beautiful check-free pine timbers, drying and waiting for construction day.
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