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Author Topic: Using sycamore for construction lumber  (Read 9087 times)

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Offline sawyerkirk

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Using sycamore for construction lumber
« on: October 15, 2010, 01:38:56 PM »
I'm going to be building a small shed, and have some huge sycamore llogs. I was wondering about cutting it into 2x6's and 1x6's to build it with. Any thoughts?

Offline ely

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2010, 02:42:26 PM »
build it green and let it dry. or buy a new drill and build it dry.

Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2010, 03:43:29 PM »
build it green and let it dry. or buy a new drill and build it dry.

 

 

Here is a shed extention to our sawshed.  All the truss and purlins were sawn from sycamore and put up fresh off the mill.

I'd add... build with it with fresh sawn lumber right off the mill while the water is still running out of it. (We have a number of times.)   

If you're thinking about letting it dry, better stack and stick and weight it down good and band it with load binders.  Then like ely said,  you'll have to drill every nail hole.
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Offline sawyerkirk

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2010, 08:29:44 PM »
that's my plan, it'll come off the mill and be put up. Thanks

Offline WDH

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2010, 08:35:51 PM »
If you don't put it up green and straight, it will warp and walk around on you as it dries unless restrained in a straight-jacket  :D.  Sycamore has more moves than the Dallas Cowboy's Cheerleaders  :).
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Offline Skip

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2010, 09:00:16 PM »
Try quarter sawing some for flooring really looks great and makes a nice floor.

Offline Okrafarmer

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2010, 11:42:11 PM »
If you don't put it up green and straight, it will warp and walk around on you as it dries unless restrained in a straight-jacket  :D.  Sycamore has more moves than the Dallas Cowboy's Cheerleaders  :).

Am I missing something? How can you build with green lumber and not have it warp and twist and your building all fall apart as it dries>

If you do build with green sycamore, is this the only species you can do it safely with? Which species can you use green, and which can't you?

We have lots of sycamore available around here.
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2010, 12:53:35 AM »
I suppose you can use any type of green hardwood for constructing an open structure like a pole barn.   

I wouldnít use any kind of green lumber to build a finished building like a house with full sheeting and interior closed tight like with drywall. 
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Offline sawyerkirk

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2010, 07:25:02 AM »
If I didn't have a huge pile of sycamore logs, I wouldn't be thinking of using it, but I do, so I am. I'm still very tempted to throw it in the kiln first. with a couple tons of weight on top. Everything is going to be 2x6 and 1x6. I have huge logs, so I will quarter saw as much as possible. maybe this will minimize the movement some.

Offline sawyerkirk

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2010, 07:27:41 AM »
My other option was hackberry, and I know it's even worse than sycamore when it comes to moving.

Offline bill m

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2010, 08:06:30 AM »
If you are using it for framing lumber won't it be weaker if you quarter saw it?
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2010, 08:34:43 AM »
Quartersawn sycamore does not move very much, unless there is some type of defect in the board.
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Offline Qweaver

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2010, 08:42:37 AM »
Maybe I was just lucky in getting some good logs but I build one of my larger sheds (24x36) using mostly sycamore framing and I have not had any problem with warping.  The lumber had been stacked for about 3 months so it was still a little moist.  I wonder if it would work for making posts and beams?  We are thinking about building another cabin using post and beam construction and I have a lot of large and small sycamore logs.
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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2010, 08:55:08 AM »
I realize that this thread is about Sycamore, but using other species green may be of interest. 

I have sawed and sold SYP to a builder.  I sawed it one day, and he nailed it up the next.  He would then come to the mill and tell me what to saw next.  He built two homes and was very unhappy when I ran out of logs and had to move.
I never got a chance to see either of these homes being built, and have no idea what happened as the framing lumber cured.

There is a third home that I do regularly see that was also built with my fresh sawed SYP.   After the OSB sheeting is nailed to the studs, nothing can really move.

I'm not saying that I recommend using green lumber, but these are three instances of entire homes being built that I personally know of.  There have been numerous barns, outbuildings, etc. that I have sawed for that were built with fresh sawed pine and poplar lumber.
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2010, 09:09:46 AM »
We sawed a house out of oak for a couple.  They'd bring a few logs and I'd saw this or that.  They'd nail that up and bring more logs.  The project lasted more than a year. The framed in house with roof staid empty for some time before siding and interior finishing was done.  It looked good when finished.

Itís a shame there ainít more and better markets for sycamore.  We have a lot of it and most make real nice lumber. 

Years ago when we were getting lumber dried for sale to the local craftsmen,  we sawed and dried out a 1,000 bf of sycamore just to sale to customers that wanted wide boards for shelves and such.  A do-it-yourself cabinet maker bought most of it and made kitchen cabinets out of it.  I didnít get to see them but he was pleased.  I would think you could stain it to look like maple or cherry. 
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2010, 09:17:55 AM »
Quote
If you are using it for framing lumber won't it be weaker if you quarter saw it?

How do you figure that to be?
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Offline Larry

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2010, 12:54:40 PM »
Try quarter sawing some for flooring really looks great and makes a nice floor.

That's interesting.  Never thought of a quarter sawed sycamore floor.  I bet it is quite distinctive.  Wonder if there is any problem with it being too soft?

I quit wearing high heels when I hit 60 so don't suppose if it would make any difference. ;D
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Offline Skip

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2010, 03:01:28 PM »
 Larry, it looks very good and holds up very well. Quarter sawed some for a customer about 5 yrs ago for his cabin and it still looks great. He told me he gets a lot of compliments on it and when he tells them it is sycamore they are amazed.

Offline paul case

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Re: Using sycamore for construction lumber
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2010, 05:18:19 PM »


a pic of my red oak paneling put u green, you can see some shrink if you look close.                                                               


a pic of my dads add on to his barn. all framed with green oak lumber i sawed. even the posts were green oak.
 i built my home out of green sawn oak lumber. it adds some interesting different challenges to building. we didnt get too concerned with shrinkage. it did some but we were going for the rustic look. it turned out great and we really enjoy it . plus there isnt a mortgage payment to contend with since i sawed all the lumber for it.  we did saw and put it up. some days i would have to go cut logs to saw so we could finish one part. it works just fine and yes all the windows and doors still work like they did when we put them in.
i have used some sycamore on projects like barns and yes put it up green or you will be drilling every nail hole. my experience is it is still pretty heavy even when dried out some. pc
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