The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: Cedar Eater on February 27, 2002, 02:15:27 PM

Title: Making a drying barn
Post by: Cedar Eater on February 27, 2002, 02:15:27 PM
This is my first post on the Sawmills and Milling board and I don't really intend to become a sawyer, but I went back through all 7 pages of threads and read almost everything in them  :o. Thanks to you all, I decided that I have most of what what it takes to build myself a new 24 X 20 X 10 pole barn (for vehicles) and I'll extend that to include a drying shed. The building materials will mainly come from my woodland. I'll probably buy an Alaskan Mini-Mill or something even smaller for the poles, which I'll cut from either cedar or tamarack (or maybe some of both to see which last longer). I'll find a local sawyer to saw the purlins, rafters and other framing elements from balsam fir and aspen. I'll use cedar or pine for the siding and metal for the roof.

But first, I have to clear about a half acre in my cedar swamp and backfill the area that will be below the vehicle barn with sand and that leads to my questions. Has anybody ever done this before and since the poles will be sunk into the sand below the cedar muck, would I need to clear out the muck and stumps or can I just put the sand on top of them. I don't plan to backfill the area under the drying shed, but I'll have racks for drying logs and stickered boards. The racks will be set on cedar posts and the area below them will probably fill in with bark, fir and pine slabs and other tree debris over time. During really wet springs, the subfloor may have standing water, but I would pile sand around the poles and the roof would have an overhang to keep the wall panels dryer. Does this sound like trouble? I really don't want to build up the whole site with sand if I can avoid it.

Title: Re: Making a drying barn
Post by: Bud Man on February 27, 2002, 03:51:59 PM
Sound's like the making's for a snake preserve- high ground in a swamp, could be very interesting !!!
Title: Re: Making a drying barn
Post by: Don P on February 27, 2002, 07:45:12 PM
I have unstickered a couple of times to find a snake just hanging out in the pile. Doesn't bother either of us too bad unless we're eye to eye, then I think they get as whacked up as me backing up :D.
Drying has to happen in a dry place, standing water at any time is out.Even though the pile is above the flood the RH of the air will be way too high. Sapstain and fungus are likely. Good drainage away from a raised site. Sounds like a layer of plastic in the sand might help, sloped to drain. Always remove all stumps and organic matter from a building site, bugs smell rot.
Debris should never accumulate around drying wood, it harbors all the agents of wood recycling, they are not your friends at this particular moment :'( :D They lose interest when the wood drops below 19% moisture but until then good practices on a good site and some luck with the weather are all you have going for you. :o
Air Drying of Lumber is a good read, click on the link below, you will need an acrobat reader.
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr117.pdf
Your drying equipment includes the yard and the shed, these are tools just like any others we use in woodworking, and every bit as important. :)
Title: Re: Making a drying barn
Post by: Cedar Eater on February 27, 2002, 08:50:01 PM
There aren't many snakes in Michigan cedar swamps for some reason. Not many mice or chipmunks either.

Thanks Don P for the reference. I'll read it tonight. There would be plenty of ventilation and the standing water would always be several feet below the pile, but maybe I can borrow a dump truck for a few extra loads of sand. In any event, the piles will always be less than 10 feet above the local water table, but my high ground is too far from the house. I'll keep the debris off the floor though.
Title: Re: Making a drying barn
Post by: Cedar Eater on March 01, 2002, 06:00:21 PM
Okay, I read "Air Drying of Lumber" (thanks again Don P) and I think I'll have to move my drying operation to higher ground or just stack it outside with some top cover.

Title: Re: Making a drying barn
Post by: woodmills1 on March 01, 2002, 06:05:31 PM
yes cedar, i was gonna chime in but i am glad you came to the conclusion your self.  dryin needs dry i watch my air dried change moisture content with weather.