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Author Topic: My opinion about long Cherry for tie beams  (Read 769 times)

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Offline Brad_bb

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My opinion about long Cherry for tie beams
« on: June 11, 2021, 10:28:07 PM »
Been without a computer/internet Since May 18.  Just got online.  Surprised I could go that long.

A timber framer I know contacted me for help.  He has clients that want to build a pavillion from all Cherry.  He needs a couple 36' long Cherry tie beams (8x12) for king post bent design.  He wanted me to help him find a sawyer that could cut that long and supply the logs.  Well the longest Cherry I've been able to cut a beam from up to the first branch/crotch etc is 24'.  

I advised him to go back to the clients and talk them into changing the species of the tie beams.  I suggested Doug fir or White oak.  I've never seen cherry logs long enough to make such a tie beam.  If I did find a log long enough, it would likely be an older tree, and would have a good chance of Carpenter ant nest inside.  In any case if you did find logs long enough, first that would be a difficult order that would be expensive, and secondly you may end up wasting your money as once you mill them you may find an ant's next or other defect which would now shorten those long longs.  I just don't see you getting a couple cherry like that.  A sawyer to mill it wouldn't the problem, the logs would be.  Do you agree or have a different opinoin?
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 Southside

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Re: My opinion about long Cherry for tie beams
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2021, 10:37:32 PM »
Can it be done? Yes. How many zeros are in their check book balance would be my question.

I have had a couple folks inquire about jobs like that and my answer is it will be time and materials price wise. That includes the logs that don't make the cut, so they are prepared to buy all that lumber as well. Oversize logs cost a premium and you can't absorb the hit on them channeling rejects into "normal" sales.

I am very upfront with them and explain all the potential pitfalls along the way and why they are getting the "price" they are.

One modified their needs, the other pulled the trigger on the job, but they have significant resources and had already asked and been flat out rejected by other mills.

Where there is a will, and finances, there is a way. 
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Offline Don P

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Re: My opinion about long Cherry for tie beams
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2021, 10:52:30 PM »
Spline a 2 piece tie through the king.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: My opinion about long Cherry for tie beams
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2021, 12:00:36 AM »
I suggested that Don, and he didn't seem too keen on it.  You'd have to have it engineered again(checked) too.  

My personal preference would be to NOT use Cherry on a project like a Pavillion exposing Cherry to the elements.  I'd prefer something else and use Cherry inside where it's protected and can retain it's color better.

I've never seen a cherry log that would do a 36' tie.  Sounds like Southside has.
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 sealark37

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Re: My opinion about long Cherry for tie beams
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2021, 09:08:17 AM »
A cherry log of that size would most likely be found in West Virginia, or Pennsylvania.  Your suggestion of a better species is good advice.

Offline YoungStump

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Re: My opinion about long Cherry for tie beams
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2021, 10:51:11 AM »
 Ive seen a lot of cherry and cut some that would fit those requirements just east of me. The Allegheny national forest is full of big, perfectly straight, tall, cherry trees. If you got in contact with the right mill around here you could possibly get ahold of the logs you need if theres enough money to make it happen.
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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: My opinion about long Cherry for tie beams
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2021, 07:13:05 PM »
Moist cherry is like candy to carpenter ants.  In my experience they  dont touch stickered air drying cherry but if you leave two boards dead stacked together there will be an ant colony in there in a week or two.  So I would worry about places in the joinery where cherry might get moist wet and dry out slowly.
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Offline jpassardi

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Re: My opinion about long Cherry for tie beams
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2021, 08:42:29 AM »
Around here, I've never seen a cherry straight enough to get that length out of it.
Yeah, spline or scarf joint may be the solution.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: My opinion about long Cherry for tie beams
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2021, 10:50:02 AM »
Where there is a will, a MILL, and finances, there is a way.
;D
the only way a cherry top is getting off the ground around me is with a scaffolding or ropes pulling up it from the oak next to it.  :D
runty cherry arches anyone?
Proverbs 19:11

Offline VB-Milling

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Re: My opinion about long Cherry for tie beams
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2021, 03:53:56 PM »
Been without a computer/internet Since May 18.  Just got online.  Surprised I could go that long.
I'm getting old...the first time I read that, I thought it said May '18 and thought "dang, good for him, but he missed a lot in 3 years...must have been busy sawing!"
No more internet for me today!


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