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Author Topic: Long holes in timbers  (Read 1174 times)

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Offline canopy

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Long holes in timbers
« on: March 27, 2013, 08:37:40 AM »
Sometimes there is a hole in the center of box cut teak timbers that extends from a few feet to quite many feet in length. Is there a name for this defect and what is best done with timbers with such a defect: favor as a beam, post, firewood, or? The pictured timbers are 6x8's.





Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: Long holes in timbers
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2013, 08:42:33 AM »
Lack of wood for any reason could be a problem.
A post would be the best for this type of timber. Post are usually a lower grade of timber then beams.

Jim Rogers
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Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: Long holes in timbers
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2013, 08:42:41 AM »
If you have to use them, posts only, they are normally rejected because the defect could have spread rot into the interior of the timber.  Teak is know for it, as are many tropical hard woods.  If, while cutting a mortise you see more hollowing from the inside, the timber is a reject.

Regards,

jay

 ;D Jim beat me to it... :D
"To posses an open mind, is to hold a key to many doors, and the ability to created doors where there were none before."

"When it is all said and done, they will have said they did it themselves."-teams response under a good leader.

Offline canopy

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Re: Long holes in timbers
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2013, 08:59:31 AM »
You guys are amazing as always. I did reject these timbers originally, but the supplier gave me a super discount so I accepted them as extras. You might think a 20' 6x8 is small, but in Thailand it is considered huge and is very hard to find as normally plantation trees are cut at around 20 years old. To get a good 6x8 needs more like 30 years so i decided to snap them up. Now I have an idea what shouldn't be done with such stock. Much appreciated.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Long holes in timbers
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2013, 10:57:10 AM »
If you want to use them as a beam, you could set them up on end supports and hang a weight on them to measure how much deflection the internal hole along with the remaining wood contributes to stiffness.

Not a bad practice to test all timbers used as beams, as even without a visible hole, the beams can have hidden defects.

south central Wisconsin
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Long holes in timbers
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2013, 11:12:56 AM »
Before rejecting them as posts, I'd inspect a little further.  Is there active (moist) rot going on?  Is it punky or dry?  Is there rotted, weak material (dry) present?  How far up the timber does it go? Did you probe it?  What percentage reduction in size of the timber is it?  Given the strength of the tropical hardwoods, you may still have more than enough material and strength there as long as it will not continue to deteriorate.  Framers in the old days could make judgment calls using their knowledge, which unfortunately is more difficult today with codes that make it difficult to vary from perfect, uniform rules that put everything into the same box or rejects it.  From the picture it doesn't look like rot like I'm used to seeing.  What caused this space?  Was it ants like on a oak here in the US?  Or are the walls of that defect solid, devoid of rot?
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline canopy

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Re: Long holes in timbers
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2013, 08:28:41 AM »
The holes are lined with a dry, almost barky type rim. I think you can see it in the pictures if you look closely. I do remember one such log, not one of these, had an ant colony in it though I don't know if they are the cause or just moved in. I have probed them. One is a about 2 feet, the other at least 4--beyond my probe depth. I don't notice rot. I'd have to cut a few of these length wise to understand the defect more. All I really see now is just these cross sections at the base of the tree.

By the way Thailand teak strength parameters were used by Jim to size the timbers so I don't know that such problems would be more forgiving here than if found on pine.

Offline Jay C. White Cloud

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Re: Long holes in timbers
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2013, 09:45:53 AM »
After looking at it more and reading you description, each of these timbers are presenting as a natural encapsulation mechanism the growing tree triggered as the early pith of the tree was lost for some reason.  The ants moved in, and only will remove detritus, often setting up a protective colony around the tree.  There is much to learn, but many different forms of tropical Hymenoptera, (winged and wingless) have symbiotic relationships with the plants and trees they live with, often protecting them savagely from any that would disturb the tree.  Paul, also note, you could very quickly find a scaly friend in one of those holes that I would love, but you may find rather unpleasant at meeting, and in your area, extremely dangerous.
"To posses an open mind, is to hold a key to many doors, and the ability to created doors where there were none before."

"When it is all said and done, they will have said they did it themselves."-teams response under a good leader.

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Long holes in timbers
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2013, 11:29:43 AM »
Even if it turns out they are not usable for framing, you could always remill them into 2X for joists or rafters. Just use the good sections. They (holes) won't be hiding anymore if the beams are milled.

Or you could always make furniture, doors, trim and so on from them. Not going to be wasted, whatever. 8)
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Long holes in timbers
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2013, 09:18:29 PM »
If they are from encapsulation as Jay suggests(and what I was thinking), then they may be useable, by figuring how much reduction (in material/strength)they cause.  If you're having Jim do sizing, then figure those defects in as a size reduction. 
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!


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