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Author Topic: Building with green or dried live oak?  (Read 556 times)

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Offline Riverwood dawg

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Building with green or dried live oak?
« on: November 11, 2022, 09:42:36 AM »
 Hello all, I am in the planning stages of building a small open air pole barn. I am located in south east Georgia and have an over abundance of live oak trees available. I am curious if green 12"x12" or 16"x16" beams would be usable or would they warp/twist as they air dry?   
 
They will be fully covered by the roof, but exposed on the sides. Our relative humidity is extremely high throughout the year and I'm not sure how dry I could even get them in a kiln. 

Just curious if anyone has any experience in live oak beams of that size. I know it's a lot of work but the tree is very interesting to me.






Offline caveman

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Re: Building with green or dried live oak?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2022, 06:45:59 AM »
I've never cut any live oak beams that size but several years ago we sawed some live oak 3" thick.  It air dried for about two years before it went into the kiln, and it had a high internal moisture content.  Live oak does not like to give up its moisture.  If you cut the beams out of straight logs that came from trees growing straight up and center the heart, your beams may behave.  We did saw a 7"x14"x 8' live oak mantle and suggested to the customer to let it dry in place over the fireplace.  

Two things are for sure.  Those beams will be heavy, and you won't be driving any nails into them after they start to dry.

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Re: Building with green or dried live oak?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2022, 12:29:25 PM »
I agree with the above statement and just hope you have the equipment necessary to handle the logs large enough to make those beams. the beams will be extremely heavy, but not as heavy as the logs. I wish you luck and hope you use good safe practices in all you do handling these logs and beams.
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Offline Riverwood dawg

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Re: Building with green or dried live oak?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2022, 08:38:48 PM »
I'm running a baker 3638, and I have a 4x4 lull rated for 6k lbs. Not worried about weight, I cut big stuff all the time, but it's mostly old growth pine, and cypress. I know live oak is a different animal, just curious if anyone has any experience with it. Thanks y'all.

Offline customsawyer

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Re: Building with green or dried live oak?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2022, 06:53:13 AM »
Live oak that size probably wont be dry in 4 years so you might as well use them semi green. Let them set a bit to see if they are going to behave and if they are then put them up. Live oak is bad about having the grain go in some strange directions so just be prepared for it to move. Don't know how long of beams you are going to need but to get a 16x16 timber you will need at least a 24" dia. log. If it is much over 16 ft long then you may not have enough loader for that log. As strong as live oak is you might be just fine with the 12x12 timbers or even smaller, depends on the load you are putting on it. Where at in Ga. are you?
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Offline Riverwood dawg

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Re: Building with green or dried live oak?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2022, 08:11:36 AM »
They're only gonna be 8ft long, bolted to concrete standing up verticle, supporting pine 12x12 beams bolted horizontal across the top. I'd like to use all oak, but I don't have enough logs. 

I know the sizes are complete overkill, and I could get by with 8x8. I just want to build an impressive showpiece. I'm gonna end up building a small home/apartment on top. I got the logs and the equipment to do it. I like the challenge of trying.

I'm just outside woodbine GA, its a tiny 1 red light town on SE coast. 

Offline Don P

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Re: Building with green or dried live oak?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2022, 08:49:48 AM »
Ahh, posts rather than beams, it gets better. Can you fix the top to your beams and connect the bottom down but allow (anticipate) twisting. In other words hold the bottom of the post in place but leave it free to rotate?
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Offline Riverwood dawg

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Re: Building with green or dried live oak?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2022, 09:50:00 AM »
Good idea. I don't see why not, I was gonna cut some 4" or 6" angle iron to use as brackets. I could bolt them down, on all 4 sides of the Oak, to the concrete pad and not secure it to oak for awhile. 

I was gonna use as post and beams but I don't have enough oak, so I'm gonna use pine as the beams. 

Thanks for the idea


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