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Author Topic: New here, big dream  (Read 3094 times)

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Offline biker250

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New here, big dream
« on: December 19, 2011, 01:32:51 PM »
Hello everybody, I am a new user here with this being my first post.  I have just recently been introduced into timber framing and ever since, I have been hard at researching the topic and learning all I can about it.  It didn't take much time on here to figure out that Mr. Jim Rogers is quite experienced and knowledgeable, so I've started an email chain with him and he has been overly helpful, but I think I'm wearing him out with questions.  ;D

Just today I ordered 4 books:
1.  Chappell, Steve. A Timber Framer's Workshop Joinery, Design & Construction of Traditional Timber Frames, 1998. Fox Maple Press, Corn Hill Road, P.O. Box 249, Brownfield, Maine 04010.
2.  Sobon, Jack, and Roger Schroeder. Timber Frame Construction, 1984. Storey Communications, Schoolhouse Rd., Pownal, VT 05261
3.  Sobon, Jack A. Build a Classic Timber-Framed House, 1994. Storey Communications, Schoolhouse Rd., Pownal, VT 05261
4.  Benson, Tedd. Building the Timber Frame House, 1980. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, NY

First, a quick background.  I'm 26 years old.  Degree in mechanical engeering currently doing design work for DoD.  Presently, spending a 6 month stint in Afghanistan providing support to our military special forces.  Back home in southern Indiana, my wife & I own 150 acres with about 60 of it being tillable & is farmed by a family friend.  Almost the remaining acreage is wooded. 

My wife & I have a goal of building a self-sufficient (or as close as we can get) homestead.  With the way the world is going, I wish that goal could be achieved yesterday!  However, we pretty much have a prioritized list of individual "goals" we need to achieve in order to reach our ultimate goal of the self-sufficient homestead. 

Unfortunately, at the top of our list is the most expensive item on the list: a barn.  One of our objectives in reaching our ultimate goal is to also do it debt-free (mortgage payment doesn't count).  To save up and pay cash to have a barn built of the size we want/need (60'x100') would take a loooong time, so I was brainstorming alternative methods and stumbled on timber framing.  Not only is timber framing appealing because of cost-savings, but it is just downright cool!  I have my fair share of construction experience, but nothing as extensive as building a large structure from start to finish (with me in charge, to boot).

My first question to Jim was if he thought I was out of my mind to even consider such a task.  His response implied that it was very possible for me complete such a task.  Since that email, I've been spending my evenings researching and reading and reading and reading until I can't keep my eyes open.  I've been looking at barns, looking at floor plans, looking at SketchUp and trying to learn it, etc).

I've now decided to open it to the floor and hear some other opinions on some of my questions.

First, my intended uses for the barn:
1.  New garage.  I've outgrown my current garage as I repair ATVs/motorcycles and also general fabrication & design on the side.  My goal is 2400 sqft garage. 40x60ish.
2.  Livestock shelter/pens.  We will eventually have cows/a couple donkeys/maybe alpacas/maybe draft horses.
3.  Hay storage
4.  Equipment storage (tractor & attachments, logsplitter, trailers, etc)
5.  Firewood storage

I've all but mastered CAD programs such at ProE, CATIA, & Solidworks, but I am having a hard time figuring out Sketchup!!   :D  But this is what I've come up with to just illustrate what I have in mind.

The barn seen below is 32'x80' with a 16' lean-to on each side that runs the full length (I've since decided I want 100' length is possible).  The left-side lean-to is open to the inside and closed to the outside.  The right-side lean-to is opposite.  It is closed to the inside and open to the outside.  The barn is divided in half lengthwise, also.  One half will be my new garage.  The other half will be livestock area.  The hay loft will be on top of the garage.  The livestock half of the barn will be open from floor to roof.
 

 

Section view:
 

 

Cross-section showing how lean-tos are arranged.  You can also see the wall that is located halfway down lengthwise separating the garage from the livestock area.
 

 

I plan on using lumber off our land to build this barn.  I'm still not sure on plans on how to mill the lumber.  It might be cheaper to buy my own Wood-Mizer than hire it done.

Questions:
1.  Do you guys think I'm out of my mind?  Can I do this?
2.  All the research I've done lately, I haven't seen any evidence of a TF barn this big?  Are they uncommon?
3.  What are your thoughts on my lumber processing?  Buy a mill and do it myself?  Manual vs. hydraulic?
4.  I have scoured the internet looking for barn ideas.  I love old barns and want this barn to be the center of our farm for generations to come.  I want to build the most awesome barn there is.  What are some neat features (even just small details such as walkways above the livestock pens to throw hay down, etc...) that would be neat to see in a barn?  Between all of you guys, you have seen thousands more barns and neat ideas than I will in my lifetime, so if I can pull the cool ideas from you guys now, I can utilize them!!


Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to be thorough so I can get good feedback.  Thanks for any & all input.
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Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 01:53:32 PM »
I cannot help you on the timber framing.  But, there are a lot of knowledgeable folks here that can.

My input is, Welcome To The Forum.  And thanks for serving this Nation.
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Offline Radar67

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 02:25:25 PM »
Welcome to the forum. I will be building a barn for a house and have the base set of plans. Although it is not a timber frame, my plans are for a 36'x60' barn. The length can be extended as long as I want, currently I am planning for 72'. I got my plans from barnplans.com. If 36'wide is doable with conventional materials without support posts, it should be very doable with timber framing. I have read the Sobon book.

Here is a link to a 30'x54' timber framed barn. http://www.manchestervictorians.com/manchester_victo_000006.htm

As for the mill, if you decide to purchase a mill, get hydraulics. The timbers you need to cut will be heavy. Realistically, if this is all you are going to build, having someone else come in to cut your logs may be less expensive in the long run.

Hope some of this helps.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 04:03:47 PM »
That barn in the link looks great!!, (except for me the flakeboard sheathing just doesn't add to it. ;) )

Terry, look forward to seeing the barn for a house blossom.

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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2011, 04:12:56 AM »
I was in your place about 5 years ago.  Determine how you intend to insulate that building, that could be a big cost as well as the concrete/foundation work.  there's nothing wrong with that size.  Length is as long as you want, other than cost.  If you haven't already, sign up for a 6 day workshop NOW before they fill up!  I would recommend that you take one using only hand tools.  Once you master those, you may decide to stick that way, and if you then decide to try any power tools, you will have a better basis of knowledge before using one.  Are you out of your mind?  Can you do this?  That all depends on you, your drive, your planning, and your ability to follow through.  Most people have dreams beyond their ability.  On the other hand, those that are dedicated like Thomas Massie(an inspiration for me) accomplish quite a bit more than you'd normally expect out of someone.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2011, 07:10:12 AM »
biker250,welcome to the forum. You do realize this project will take over your life for a while? Building,sawing,cutting down trees will be your life. Which is a good life to have.  ;D  Hope you have some free help too. I hope the wife is on board and running with you too.
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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2011, 08:57:05 AM »
Welcome!

I too was in you shoes 5 years ago but due to time constraints, knowledge, distance and "Dang" laughing at my high hopes I decided to build another way [ICF}
Good luck and I'm looking forward to your progress.
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Offline bigshow

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2011, 09:11:13 AM »
B250,

I had no construction experience, and I built a timberframe house with my wife, dad, and myself of course. 

I am wickedly computer savvy (Network Infrastructure Admin for 11 years), and I found the AutoCAD apps ridiculous.  I went to: http://www.go-2-school.com/media/browse/sketchup_show and followed every tutorial on it 2 or 3 times.  Now, I'm pretty lethal with Sketchup..  It would only take you a few days to become really proficient in it.  Then, grab the sketchup timberframing plugins from Northern Lights Timberframing http://www.timberframecottage.com/su/ and go crazy (read the information carefully re: the plugins and practice a bit).

I would warn: DIY timberframing is NOT cheap.  If you have any plans to insulate, congratulations your building a building twice.  Timberframe + whatever enclose method you choose.  Stick framing with standard batt or blown in cellulose is probably the cheapest enclosure method - Which, you could have a pole barn built for you more cheaply by this time in 1/25 of the time (unless you insulate it - then i think the math starts to get fuzzy, and boils down to how valuable your time is).

Quite franky, anyone doing any timberframing cant kid themselves that you've opted for one of the more expensive ways to build, and you do it or pay for it b/c its awesome.

My point is: your design looks simple enough, your education and profession should come in super handy, attention span to work non stop for a year or two, and plenty of funds to keep the project rolling.  But, you can certainly do it.  Quite easily, in fact, if your heart is in it.  I wanted to throw in my .02 since I've been in your shoes.
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Offline bigshow

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2011, 09:38:42 AM »
oh, your point about a style of barn.  Look into English Barns and/or Dutch Barns.  The Dutch ones typically employ an anchor beam, which is very striking in my opinion.  Take elements you like and find a way to incorporate them.  I used the round through tenon found in Dutch barn anchor beams, and used it on tie beams in my frame.  I wish I would've added wedges for appearances, but I didnt want to take the time.  But, I really liked the lines of the English barn.  I tried to incorporate things I liked about all kinds of frames into mine. 

the books you bought, I would add:

both of the joinery books from the TFGuild, particularily the 'red' one.
The Timber-Frame Home: Design, Construction, Finishing by Ted Benson
Timberframe: The Art and Craft of the Post-and-Beam Home by Ted Benson (great pictures of various frames that you can study)
The Small Timberframe book from the TFGuild, - once again, great pictures of frames to study.

oh and this link is extremely important!!!!:
http://www.tfguild.org/joinery/joinery.html
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Offline Thehardway

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2011, 09:57:01 AM »
Biker250,

Welcome.  I express my deepest sympathy for you in contracting the TF virus that starts with reading some Sobon books and hanging out on the FF website.  Don't be surprised when it takes over your life.  Symptoms are calloused hands, aching back crusty sawdust in the nose and eyes, bashed fingers,  insomnia as you lay in bed trying to lay out joinery, and design tools to try and expedite and simplify tasks.  This disease has no cure and can become obsessive, especially when mixed with the disease of self reliance and homesteading.

On the bright side, you will experience some really intense moments of joy when you see the products that your sweat and labor can produce and the skill levels you develop.

I share many of your same goals and started at about the same age but without any land.  The land puts you ahead in the game and if you respect it and care for it, it will provide and take care of you well.

Based on your stated goals and desires I would advise adding a couple more items to your reading list. 

1.  Homesteading: A Back to Basics Guide to Growing Your Own Food, Canning, Keeping Chickens, Generating Your Own Energy, Crafting, Herbal Medicine, and More (Back to Basics Guides)
2. Audel's Carpentry and Builders Guide's 1-4 (1939 edition or earlier) check on Amazon for used or ebay. (A wealth of information with house and barn blueprints, foundation details, techniques for hand tools, layout, joinery, estimating, machinery constructions, etc.)
3. Historical Timberframe joinery guide available from the Timberfaming Guild

These books are a little broader in scope but will help you develop a strategy and realistic timeline for achieving your goals.

Although I think your barn plans can be built, I would encourage you to look at starting smaller and adding on as you go, or perhaps breaking things up into smaller structures for different tasks.  Take your queues in planning barns and outbuildings from historically successful homesteads.

There is a good reason not to mix working on tractors and gas powered equipment in the building that houses your cattle, hay and firewood.  I'll let you think that through but it has a lot to do with putting all your eggs in one basket and dealing with things that can get out of control.

Likewise, welding, fabrication, metalworking and blacksmithing are best done in a separate building as is the sawmilling, kiln and equipment storage.

Do some research on barnless cattle farming and you will find you might not need so much barn as you thought.  Barns are actually a very unhealthy environ for cattle and promote disease and illness as well as making you a lot of extra cleaning up work. Let the cattle crap on the pasture and you will have better pasture, less cleanup chores and no need for buying that manure spreader.  If you plan to have cattle for meat, start with a breed that can be raised as pasture fed only. Some require much less shelter and grain than others to reach a finishing weight. They tend to be higher in Omega 3 nutrients and have better calving habits and require much less input.

Milk might be better provided by goats than cows if only being used on a family scale for production of cheese, butter and drinking.

Spend a lot of time laying out your buildings and focusing on solar orientation, geospatial positioning and proximity to water.  This can save you a lot of time and money on energy which will become your primary out of pocket expense and time consumer.  Think sustainable.

Traditional barns used the 3-4-5 formula. This is a good rule of thumb to stick with for layout and construction and is proven to be pleasing to look at, easy to build and very functional. 

Although TF is very attractive and addictive, it is not always the best approach for a limited workforce.  You may find hybrid structures are more suitable for your workforce.  Do you have helpful friends, neighbors and family or will this be a limited crew 2 person endeavor?  The weight of TF assemblies can be imposing and a good crew is imperative for a safe raising.   

Most important rule as you get started will be the rule of time.  It is basically the rule that anything you plan to have done by a certain time will take a minimum of 5 times longer to finish than you planned.  This is exponentially true when any of the following are included in the plan: wife, children, friends, neighbors, animals, mechanical equipment, weather, and transportation.  Murphy's Law is a large component of this.

Always remember that your purpose in this endeavor is a more enjoyable and rich life experience, and ultimately more quality time with your family.  Don't let this obsession take you in the wrong direction.  Keep your family your main priority

This may all sound gloomy and discouraging. That is not my intent here.  My intent is to be honest.  TF is hard but rewarding work.  It is a lasting testimony to your resolve and skill. Homesteading is much the same.

Timberframing need not be expensive if you can provide your own source of timber and can mill it yourself. Barns do not have to be costly if their function is well designed and space and material is not wasted

OK,  warnings aside and looking back at my own  mistakes here is how I would proceed in order of importance.

1. A good small tractor with a good selection of implements.
2. A dependable chainsaw
3. A Small tractor shed/repair shop/garage well insulated and with a woodstove
4. A Sawmill/saw shed
5. A material storage shed
6. A workshop
7. Begin fencing (include wooded areas in pasture as well)
8. Build sheltering facilities in pastures
9. Acquire livestock in spring
10. Build small hay barn/storage in summer with milking station
11. Build equipment storage shed
12. Build alternative energy solutions for pumping water, lighting, heating and cooling
13. Plant sustainable harvest food sources such as fruit trees, Nut bearing trees, berries, asparagus, turnips, carrots, potatoes, heritage grains etc.
14. Build food storage faculties such as root cellar, spring house, ice house, dry storage

Keep everything as small as possible but make it scalable and leave room for expansion.

Don't build space you don't need or use everyday. You have to maintain it.


Barn designs vary widely but the bank barn seems to be a veritable favorite for functionality and construction.  The terrace level should be south facing and the bank north facing with a door on the east and west ends to move tractor and manure spreader in and out. The end doors also allow westerly winds to keep air moving through summer months.
Cattle in the "basement", equipment and storage on the main level,  and hay in the loft.  They ventilate well in summer but the earth and hay serve as insulation in the winter and your cattle are the primary heat source. Ground level barns are not quite as functional and are more difficult to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Main challenge is draining the area leading into the basement.  A milking parlor built off the back is a nice addition allowing you to keep it cleaner than the main area.  Cattle barns need not be insulated nor should they.  They need to breathe.  Anything sealed up will give you sick cattle.

If you use wood for timber framing the barn and house cattle in it, make sure it is a specie that they do not like to eat.  You would be surprised how much wood they can eat and how much damage they can do.

Design with a healthy safety margin, especially your posts and beams.  Cattle are likely to run into posts if they spook and a 1200lb cow can splinter a post readily. Hay can be very heavy, especially when just put up.  If you must use bailed hay due to lack of pasture in winter, consider round bails stored and fed outside but design barn so that it could be rolled out inside and transported in with tractor. vs. throwing it down.

Pay a visit to Amish communities of a conservative ordinate.  You will pick up some great ideas on how to limit wasted labor and do more with less.  They are usually friendly towards those who genuinely wish to learn more about self-reliance and the old ways. Their barns are exemplary. Some items of business and barter will usually open the door to conversation if you dress conservatively and remain respectful of their ways and customs.  Don't flaunt your "Englishness" or behave in a brash way.  Don't talk about military experiences around them as they are opposed to militant actions.  They hold the secrets to self sustained living and can teach you much if you are willing to learn.  Be humble and open.

Hope this helps and welcome to the Forum and thank you for your service to our country.
 

 


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Offline Piston

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2011, 11:25:56 AM »
Biker,
Sounds like an ambitious goal for sure!  Definitely a neat project and I like your thinking.  A bank barn sounds like it would be a good way to go if the terrain allowed it. 

As far as learning timber framing, I think you should make the trip out to MA for the 5 day timber framing class in June.   ;) 


Since you can always extend the length of the barn, basically as far as you want and limited only by the amount of land/money/time you have, then I would think about making something that you could always just add on to.  Maybe build half of it now, with the intention of doubling the size when your ready? 

However, if you can do it all in one shot, then all the better! 

I've read each one of those books you mentioned multiple times from cover to cover, and have learned an incredible amount on the forum.  Your on the right track.   ;)


By the way, welcome to the forum. 
-Matt
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Offline Piston

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2011, 11:29:56 AM »
Thehardway pretty much summed everything up in that impressive post!  ;)  That's one of the best replies I've ever read Hardway! 


So where did you get Biker250 from?  Dirt bikes, motorcycles? 
-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 biker250

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2011, 03:04:34 PM »
Thanks for the replies guys....

Realistically, if this is all you are going to build, having someone else come in to cut your logs may be less expensive in the long run.

After talking a little with Jim and working some numbers out, I think it would be waaay cheaper to cut it myself....even if buying a brand new mill, I would still save cash (not counting labor time).

biker250,welcome to the forum. You do realize this project will take over your life for a while? Building,sawing,cutting down trees will be your life. Which is a good life to have.  ;D  Hope you have some free help too. I hope the wife is on board and running with you too.

haha, yes I realize this and I am fine with it.  Our homestead consumes my life anyway, so this is just a component of it that just so happens to be one of the biggest components, so I will have no problem devoting all of my time and energy to it.  I can probably scrounge up some help...not free, but they take beer payments.  ;D  The wife is completely on board and ready to serve ice water during a hot days work....that's probably as involved as she'll get for construction  ;D

So where did you get Biker250 from?  Dirt bikes, motorcycles? 

Thanks for the advice, Piston.  Biker250 is a screenname I've used on all forums for years.  I have a YZ250F dirtbike that I race in harescrambles.  That hobby has unfortunately died down a bit since we've acquired our property and have diverted efforts toward the homestead.  Have to take timeouts from time to time though and have some fun...otherwise, what's the point?

Now, onto thehardways comments.  First off, thank you for such a thought-out post full of good points & ideas.  I will just read down your post and comment on it as I go....

I look forward to the virus festering and spreading.   ;D  haha I got a kick out of the detailed description of the virus.

You mentioned taking care of the land....that is one thing I have frustrated myself with many times in my head already because with that much land, there are endless options and ways to use it and I almost don't know where to start or what to do with it.  I don't want to interrupt the farming that takes place on the 60 acres and I don't want to clear any of our woods, but at the same time I could use some of the land that is currently wooded for a more productive means so I spend a lot of time thinking that one over in my head.

You made some very good points about building several smaller barns that each serve its own function rather than "putting all eggs in 1 basket" with one huge barn.  That one really got me thinking!  I liked the idea of one huge barn because I could just build the one huge barn and kill 5 birds with 1 stone and possibly save money by only needing to build 1 foundation as to 5 and only needing 1 roof as opposed to 5, etc, etc, etc...not to mention a huge barn looks just AWESOME.....but I think you're right....it might be better to break it apart a little bit.  I'll need to mull that one over.  Does anybody else have any input on that? 

I'm not planning on housing the cattle in the barn....just having it there for their shelter in bad weather.  The goats & donkeys would use the barn more than the cows as they can't tolerate bad weather.  As for alpacas & horses, I haven't even started looking into them, but I'm sure they would need some barn space for certain times regardless.  My grandpa & uncle have a dozen cattle and only a 10'x20' 3-sided shelter for them to go to if they want.  I hardly ever see a cow in there.  I also am going to try to have the chickens in the same pasture as to compliment the cattle by eating bugs out of their poo, so I'll need some space in the barn for chicken supplies and possibly brooding boxes.

It's funny you mention solar orientation.  I just received a book on Passive Heating & Cooling that I ordered.  It's hard to utilize a lot of those ideas in a re-model situation such as our house (although I am going to try because A/C is expensive!!!), but it would be easy to incorporate some ideas into a new barn.  I definitely plan on taking that into consideration.  I will probably try to use some sort of windows or even just panels that open up on both sides of the barn to increase ventilation when the weather is not cold.  And a big door on the livestock end of the barn that will remain open most of the time as to let the animals come & go as they please and also to increase ventilation.

What do you mean by the 3-4-5 formula?  I'm not familiar with that....

Thanks for the comments about the time factor and the family.  All our family is nearby and I'm sure they will be heavily engaged during the construction phase.  So I will have some help.  My dad is also an engineer so I will absolutely not allow us to breakdown and rent a crane.  For pete's sake, those expensive degrees better be good for something, we will figure out a way or I'm burning the degrees!!!  haha

I liked your list of priorities.  I see a lot of similarities!  Unfortunately for us, the most expensive one is at the top of the list and that is this new barn.  We really need it before we can proceed with the rest of our list.

I'm glad you mentioned the Amish....the Amish are amazing people!  There is a large community an hour south of us.  We go to a huge auction they host every Friday night.  It is quite a trip!  I have been working on getting in tight with some Amish so we can learn some of their ways.



Anyway.....to stay focused on the barn...what I've been struggling with lately is how I'm going to mill the wood.  I'm strongly leaning towards a chainsaw mill at this point mainly because I don't want to invest in a much more expensive bandsaw mill at this point.  Not to mention, even if I get a manual mill, I will need to get a tractor with loader to move the logs around.  Getting a tractor is on our list, but it's under the barn as a priority, so I really wanna hold off on buying a tractor until AFTER the barn is done.  So I'm heavily leaning towards a chainsaw mill right now.  Can anybody tell me why I should not consider a chainsaw mill?  I have a lot of research to do on chainsaw mills...

Thanks for everybody's input.  Please, keep the comments and ideas coming.  Getting feedback like this is very valuable in the design process.   :P
Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom

Offline JD350Cmark

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2011, 05:13:38 PM »
Realistically, if this is all you are going to build, having someone else come in to cut your logs may be less expensive in the long run.

After talking a little with Jim and working some numbers out, I think it would be waaay cheaper to cut it myself....even if buying a brand new mill, I would still save cash (not counting labor time).

Anyway.....to stay focused on the barn...what I've been struggling with lately is how I'm going to mill the wood.  I'm strongly leaning towards a chainsaw mill at this point mainly because I don't want to invest in a much more expensive bandsaw mill at this point.  Not to mention, even if I get a manual mill, I will need to get a tractor with loader to move the logs around.  Getting a tractor is on our list, but it's under the barn as a priority, so I really wanna hold off on buying a tractor until AFTER the barn is done.  So I'm heavily leaning towards a chainsaw mill right now.  Can anybody tell me why I should not consider a chainsaw mill?  I have a lot of research to do on chainsaw mills...



Biker250,

Thanks for the advice, Piston.  Biker250 is a screenname I've used on all forums for years.  I have a YZ250F dirtbike that I race in harescrambles.  That hobby has unfortunately died down a bit since we've acquired our property and have diverted efforts toward the homestead.  Have to take timeouts from time to time though and have some fun...otherwise, what's the point?


You made some very good points about building several smaller barns that each serve its own function rather than "putting all eggs in 1 basket" with one huge barn.  That one really got me thinking!  I liked the idea of one huge barn because I could just build the one huge barn and kill 5 birds with 1 stone and possibly save money by only needing to build 1 foundation as to 5 and only needing 1 roof as opposed to 5, etc, etc, etc...not to mention a huge barn looks just AWESOME.....but I think you're right....it might be better to break it apart a little bit.  I'll need to mull that one over.  Does anybody else have any input on that? 


Biker250,

If you have a good source of trees and are large enough for the timbers & other lumber needed for not just the barn, but future projects then looking into purchasing a sawmill might make sense for you.  Not to mention it could produce some income in the future?

I know what you mean...my XR600 & CR500 sit way too much...

In my opinion that it's a bad idea to attempt to incorporate everything you mentioned into one barn.  The first thing that comes to mind is fire.  There are many potential causes that a fire could start from and with everything under one roof, are you or would you be prepared for the worst case of a total loss of everything?  The second thing is having all the activities/chores/hobbies all in one section attached to the barn.  I would not want feed storage and animals near or attached to my garages mainly due to the dust.  Don't forget about the smells that all those animals produce - it may or may not bother you while you are welding, blacksmithing, woodworking etc..  As mentioned, that is a large space to heat/cool.  Do you need such a large working shop or can you have other buildings that are not heated for tractor, dirtbike, firewood, equipment storage?  If I had a sawmill cover/shed, I would want it by itself.

First off, I have never run a chainsaw mill nor do I have very much knowledge about them.  I have a hydraulic mill, plenty of equipment to support it, more often than not free help.  (even sometimes when I do not want it)  At times, it seems very time consuming when the entire day was spent cutting a tree or two down, the clean up, moving the logs to the mill, cutting the lumber and processing the slabs into firewood or to the burn pile.  I've often thought that I could have bought 500 or 1000 2x4's and been back home by 10am instead of finishing at dark and lubing mill and covering under headlights..  But, I cut down trees that need or should go and I like to mill.  I like seeing and using my own lumber.  The scope of work that I am seeing from what you mentioned is a lot for a one man show.  I think you could certainly benefit from a mill and it might be worth investigating.  It wouldn't hurt to call someone local with a portable mill and give you a price for cutting your trees.  It is not just as simple as pulling home a new mill.  You need the chainsaws, cables/chokers, some way to get the logs to the mill, some way to deal with the large beams, etc..  My final thought is this;  If there is no timeframe to finish and you have the patience to learn about milling and drying lumber, sawmill ownership might be good.  If you want to get building then having your logs sawn or buying the lumber might be the way to go.  My 2 cents as of today..




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Offline witterbound

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2011, 03:02:56 PM »
Timber framing is not a way to save money, imo.  It makes a wonderful barn, but it won't save you money.

Offline Piston

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2011, 04:57:25 AM »
Biker,
Are you referring to an Alaskan style chainsaw mill?  Or a more substantial chainsaw mill? 

An Alaskan mill is a very small investment ($100-$200) if you already have a good powerful saw (which your gonna need anyways  ;D

Most people will suggest not using one, and I'm not different, they have they're places but it would take forever (literally) to mill all the timbers you would need. 
However, I do suggest getting one if you are at all interested.  I have one and have used it only a small number of times, but it's what got me into sawmilling as it was all I could afford at the time.  It is a lot of work, and takes a lot of time, but it works a whole lot faster than pitsawing or hand hewing  :D

Long Link
There are a bunch of other threads on the subject as well. 
-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 logman

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2011, 06:59:18 AM »
I would suggest getting at least an LT10 instead of a chainsaw mill.  It will do a better job at making smooth square timbers which makes it easier when laying out joinery.  There is no reason you can't do what you want to do if you have the patience and determination.   My wife and I are just finishing up our 2nd timber frame home.  We did everything ourselves including putting up the frame without a crane.  I put most of it up by myself.  I have cut 7 frames by myself with my wife helping cut some of the mortises.  The biggest frame I cut was a 56'x56' barn.  I cut the timbers for 4 of those frames too.
It is alot of work but so is working your lifetime to pay for something someone built for you.  Like someone else said I would work on your barn in stages closing in sections as you go keeping those bents out of the weather.  As for tools I would get at least a chain mortiser and a 10 1/4" circular saw and of course a good 1 1/2" chisel minimum. 
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Offline Piston

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2011, 07:15:51 AM »
Quote
There is no reason you can't do what you want to do if you have the patience and determination.   My wife and I are just finishing up our 2nd timber frame home.  We did everything ourselves including putting up the frame without a crane.  I put most of it up by myself.  I have cut 7 frames by myself with my wife helping cut some of the mortises.  The biggest frame I cut was a 56'x56' barn.  I cut the timbers for 4 of those frames too

Logman,
That's inspiring!   8) 8)
-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 kderby

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2012, 12:07:20 AM »
Biker250 you are dreaming big but I see a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.  I am building little sheds and when one gets done, I start another.  I do have the itch to build a barn as well.

The 3-4-5 formula is a reference to "A Squared + B Squared = C Squared" basic trigonometry that will assure your 90degree angles.

Thank you for Serving, Live your dream and Welcome to the Forum.

Kderby

Offline scsmith42

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Re: New here, big dream
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2012, 06:20:33 PM »
Biker, welcome to the FF, and best of success to you with your projects.

There has been some great advice shared thus far from others; Thehardway and Brad_bb in particular offer some great insight.

By all means separate your shops into separate buildings, for fire and other reasons. 

If it were me, if you don't already have a home on the land I would start with building a barn/shop with a garage appartment above it.  Definitely go timber frame due to the "cool" factor.

Forget the chainsaw mill, unless you want to work on this project for the next 20 years....  Look into either some type of band mill (hard to beat an LT40 with hydralics) or a swing blade mill.  In particular, swing blade mills shine at milling timbers.

You're going to need a means to handle the logs too; a good, used large farm tractor with a front end loader would be a good compromise.  You want the loader to be capable of picking up at least 3000 lbs, and 5000+ would be better.

I would strongly advise against storing hay in the same structure as a shop, etc, primarily for fire reasons (plus it is messy and gets everywhere).  Usually it is best to store it in a separate building.

Ditto the others comments re insulation costs.  To the extent that you can divide your buildings into ones that require insulation versus ones that don't, that will impact your planning.

Keep us posted, and best of success to you.

Scott
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.


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