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Author Topic: Red Pine Revival  (Read 713 times)

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Offline jessepettengill

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Red Pine Revival
« on: December 14, 2020, 08:12:57 AM »
Hey Friends,

New to the forum here, and perhaps this has been asked before.  I have access to a LOT of very straight, very tall, no knot, red pine for dirt cheap.  I would love to incorporate its use into a timber frame business I am starting.  I know a lot of people steer clear of red pine, is there any way I can use this wood structurally, and if so what precautions or suggestions do you suggest.

Kindly
JP 

Online Southside

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Re: Red Pine Revival
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2020, 11:15:36 AM »
I built a rather large timber frame barn out of red pine back before we left Maine, never had an issue with it.  
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White Oak Meadows

Offline jessepettengill

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Re: Red Pine Revival
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2020, 12:09:18 PM »
That is good to hear!  But as far as using it for a business, and marketing it as a possible structural wood to use...is that done?  

My thinking is this...I know that traditional timber frame homes with SIP's tend to be more expensive per square foot than stick built homes, but if I could find a way for non insulated buildings (garages, barns, etc.) to be more cost effective then their stick built counterparts then I feel there is a market for that in the poorer areas of Maine, and not in the huge timber frame mansions on the coast.  I know that pole barns are the cheapest way to go, and I can do that as well.  I have a local logger up here that has so much red pine and not much of a value making market for him, and he is looking to unload it.

Why are people down on red pine?  What are the drawbacks?

Kindly
JP

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Re: Red Pine Revival
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2020, 01:38:22 PM »
RJ Lloyd over in Fredericton was putting out quite a few ready to build kits using red pine.  I have not seen him in over a decade now but his quality was always top notch and he is a great guy.  He was having a couple of mills in Maine do some of his sawing, worth looking him up.

Is that red pine over towards St Francis way? I remember there being quite a bit between you and the Pelletier Brook Lake area.  
Franklin buncher and skidder
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Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.
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Offline Don P

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Re: Red Pine Revival
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2020, 07:20:32 PM »
There's nothing wrong with it. Like eastern white pine it grows a year, throws out a whorl of branches, which creates a ring of weak knots every 2' or so. Eastern white pine is used quite a bit for timberframes, both are used for log homes. Strengthwise it has essentially the same design values as eastern white pine. I've found it tends to open several smaller checks when drying vs one larger check in white pine. It is more handsome than white and smells nice.

Check out the heavy timber calcs under DonP's beam and column calcs in the toolbox at the bottom of the left hand column on this page when you get to sizing your timbers, learn how to grade and do so carefully and you should be fine.
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Offline jessepettengill

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Re: Red Pine Revival
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2020, 09:12:41 PM »
Yes, lots over the Saint Francis way.  The red pine I am talking about was planted by a logger in Eagle Lake.  

Interesting thoughts comparing white and red pine.  I will check out the DonP's Beam and column calcs.  You all are awesome.   So much knowledge.  Thank you.

How does one become good at grading.  Is it experience, or is there some kind of formal training?

Kindly
JP

Offline Don P

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Re: Red Pine Revival
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2020, 09:44:27 PM »
One other thought that occured after I posted, red pine does twist more as it dries. You can use it green and accept what comes or you can cut oversize, season as long as possible and resurface just prior to use.

Grading is both, some say there's a bit of black magic to it as well  :D. The Timberframers Guild has offered training in the past, check their schedule when life resumes, I did formal training at one of the grading agencies. Most people wing it with varying understanding, that is the hump you want to get over. Don't assume you know what you don't.. be conservative, study, ask. If in doubt, throw it out, there are plenty of non structural parts in a building to use lower grades on.
Too much for one post but this should help get you thinking.
Start by reading and asking questions, the interpretations sections here are good.
Publications for Download National Lumber Grades Authority (NLGA)

With the above in hand to help you with how to look at, and visualize into the wood, look at section 6 here;
NELMA 2017 Standard Grading Rules for Northeastern Lumber

If you work in an area with inspections check with the building department, the building code requires that a grader be trained and working under the audit of a grading agency. In that case you sould hire them to come in and grade your timbers, pass that cost through in your pricing structure, so have that figured out ahead of time. Here ag buildings are exempt, housing needs to have a grader come in. Pay attention and ask questions if you do have to have one.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline barbender

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Re: Red Pine Revival
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2020, 11:17:51 PM »
Don, forgive me if I've brought this up before, and this is an honest question- in my experience working with both red and white pine logging them, milling them, and woodworking with them, I cannot understand how they have similar design values? Forwarding, you have to be careful to not bust up white pine, it is so soft and brittle. The local stud mill (Potlatch) buys a lot of red pine, and they also take white pine when we get into it. However they told me they just buy it trying to make use of the resource, and most of it goes for pallet lumber as they can't stamp it with their SPF stud  grade. 
Too many irons in the fire

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Red Pine Revival
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2020, 04:28:03 AM »
I think the 'P' in SPF in this region means jack pine. Irving saws jack pine for lumber, not red. Their pine plantations are 95% jack pine. They have some red pine, but the one I am used to driving by to work was all clearcut after Arthur and is now spruce. Even a lot of their jack pine plantation along there was cut off and reverted to spruce. The trees grew poorly, bad form and limby, suppressed. But they have acres and acres of decent jack pine elsewhere. A local logger cut off a lot of red off woodlots for hog fuel, good weight scale, heavy as maple green.
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline Don P

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Re: Red Pine Revival
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2020, 06:51:57 AM »
Let's start with SwampDonkey's comments. In the NDS (Nat'l Design Specification for Wood Construction, the code reference manual for wood), the species combination SPF, spruce-pine-fir, allows jack pine and lodgepole pine. In the US the species combination SPFs, the little s stands for south, allows jack, lodgepole and norway (red) pine. SPFs has lower bending strength and stiffness design values than Canadian SPF. In a species combination they use the lowest strength wood in that group, in this case it is the inclusion of red. Notice they don't allow white in that group, it is in it's own stand alone category in dimensional lumber. ("dimensional lumber", sawn structural wood 2-4" thick)

In the log home manual of design values for unsawn round and one side lightly skimmed logs, red pine carries higher design values than white. Log design values are considerably higher than the design values for fully sawn timbers. Why?

When the tree is growing the fibers wrap around knots continuously creating strong straps of fiber. When we saw through those to create an easy to work with square straight timber we cut through those straps of fibers. Stress cannot follow that unbroken strap around the knots but must cross across the natural glues between fibers and follow the next strap in. If the slope of grain is too great those connections horizontally shear, the bottom fibers tear apart and the timber fails around the knot. Both pines grow the same way, they throw that annual whorl of branches. When we saw through it that is the "controlling defect" (grading term, hold on to that Jesse). Slope of grain running off the stick is the weakness rather than the knot proper. Break a 2x4, the knot doesn't break, the fiber around it running off the stick is what fails.

Or, the worst abuse we can do to a tree structurally is to saw it. Sawing sure makes it easier to use though.

Go a level deeper, look in the wood handbook from the Forest Products Labs. The tables of wood strength in chapter 4 are for small, clear, straight grained ... perfect samples. They are testing the strength of the fibers and the natural glues binding those fibers together. White pine is slightly less dense than red, slightly weaker in modulus of rupture, slightly less stiff, considerably lower in compression perp to grain and has lower shearing strength parallel to grain.

Where both trees grow together I know them as soft pine and hard pine. (Red is our only relative of european hard pine.) The ability to hold a fastener is mostly about density and depth of penetration. The hard red pine comes out ahead of the white there.

This was a shot of one of my white pine timber ends, its an old pic. I think it looks like I had just cut the top of a kingpost and this was the scrap, I must have been leaving the whorl mostly in that top for compression strength. You can see what that whorl has done to the fibers. Also notice the one major check typical of white. I wish we had red, I wish even more we had SYP, notice how they throw branches.



 
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline barbender

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Re: Red Pine Revival
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2020, 09:07:23 AM »
Thanks for the explanation, Don👍
Too many irons in the fire

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Red Pine Revival
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2020, 07:10:14 PM »
Red pine posts is all you can get up here as pressure treated posts. Them knots are 20-30" apart vertically and rings as wide as your finger. Sure ain't spruce growth. :D Our red pine here is only naturally growing on red clay ground of the Tobique River watershed and some smaller drainages. The Stewart Plains is/was a red pine dominated forest along the Wapske River, which is part of the Tobique watershed. Haven't been there for years, it might be all cut by now. Not a protected area, but it has a little history.
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Red Pine Revival
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2020, 08:08:19 PM »
We have many acres of red pine here. It is processed and used heavily for construction lumber, landscape material, studs, posts, poles, etc.


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