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Author Topic: Red pine preservation  (Read 8643 times)

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Offline Jeff

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Red pine preservation
« on: November 30, 2000, 04:19:35 PM »
Let me lead you into my question...

  First, I have been looking for a piece of property to buy in the eatern U.P. that has red pine on site to build a cabin. I did find a site I like but no pine.

 I have a chance to buy some good red pine standing down here (10 to 12 dbh), in fact it is under contract until end of June and the contract holder is willing to make me a good deal.

 Problem: I have to move on these trees long before I will be ready to use them. I need to now is,
1. When will be the best time between now and June to harvest?
2. What do I do to prepare the logs as cabin logs?
3. What is the best way to preserve and store the logs until I am ready to use them? (possibly could be as long as the summer of 2002.

What I would like to do, is have them delivered to my Home here in Harrison, level an area large enough to work on, and at my leisure, begin building myself a "cabin kit" that I can tear apart and move to the U.P. site.

Any information on this will be great, and I am sure there will be a lot more questions coming!
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2000, 06:09:57 PM »
Jeff,
An ambitious project, but can be done. I know one person here on H-37 that did it in reverse. He cut the red pine logs in the UP and had them trucked here and built the cabin (home). You may want larger diameter logs, in the 12-18" class. I would visit with the Amish log home builders to get your questions well answered. Contact and or pay a visit to Natural Log Homes; 4128 S. Schwass Road; Scottville, MI 49454. Contact Elmer Miller phone# (231) 845-0497. Tell Elmer that I referred you. His father-in-law also builds log homes in the Reed City area. They have some unique labor savings methods.
Another contact is Jeff Pullen; Huron-Manistee National Forests, Cadillac, MI  (231) 775-5023 ext.8703. Jeff built a log home from the ground up, cut the logs and the whole "9 yards". His home is near the Pine River west of Tustin. Also tell Jeff that I referred you. He use to work for me. Don Krejcarek is also another contact with such experience. Don has Sunrise Forestry Consultants at Harrisville, MI; phone (517)-724-6165 and has built the red pine cabin (home) from the woods to the dwelling. Don also worked for me so feel free to call them. Also maybeome contacts for you and the Timber Buyers Network. Its good to talk to some experts on this specialty and these are as I've seen their work.  
~Ron

Offline HOGFARMER

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2000, 05:51:49 AM »
Jeff, How about Maple Island Log Homes? They have an advertisement on the Timber Buyers Network, and I'm sure they would be able to answer your questions as well.
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2000, 06:30:52 AM »
Jeff,
I believe new member Tim Karasek, Lansing may also have log home building experience.
~Ron

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2000, 02:59:05 PM »
What type of log house are you looking for?  I have sawn several and then sent them out to have them formed into logs.  It gives a rounded side for the outside, and a flat side for the inside.  We always made them from 6x8s.  Just saw and sticker.  Boxed heart is the best, since it will stay pretty straight.  Let air dry about 6 months.

The advantage to this is a consistent product.  It will be tounge & grooved.  Caulk and either nail or lag into place.  Pretty air tight.  You can also drill holes every 2 feet and put threaded rod from top to bottom.  You can also use shorter logs.  Long logs will only be needed for the lintels.

If you are looking to build with round logs, then it is best to get the logs cut in the spring.  Then you can debark the logs with a bark spud or spoke shave.  In the spring, the bark will be looser.  If you don't, bugs will get under the bark.  Keep up off the ground to deter the sapwood from rotting.  It will take longer to airdry.  

Building with round logs will make chinking necessary.  It will be harder to match the logs.

Another alternative is to square either 2 sides of the logs with either an adze or a mill.  The mill is less labor intensive and quicker.  You can slab 3 sides if you want a flat interior, which is easier to clean.  I sawed larch for a cabin like this.  

To join the walls together, you will need a post & beam system to tie the whole thing together.  4x8 joists and 8x8 posts look nice, with 8x8 beams.  You can go heavier.  You could go with round log sleepers that span from one wall to the other.  You will need something to lift them into place.

Get an issue of Log Cabin Living.  It gives a lot of ideas how different mfg across the country put their kits together.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2000, 03:34:55 PM »
Well, I went and walked the stand of Red Pine today. I think they will do nicely. Very straight healthy trees at about 10 to 12 DBH maybe slightly bigger. Didn't take a tape so I used my belt to make measurements. (No mental pictures please).

 I need to start my education, and Ron S. your right, I have been in Karaseks home and he has done a fine job. I hope he can find time to stop in and give some tips.

 Mean while.. Does any one know a good web source for notch making? I think I am planning on two siding my logs, but still notching instead of post and beam. This may change...
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2000, 06:26:14 AM »
You're going to have some problems with notching a 2 sided log.  You won't get a tight fit on the corners, and that will let air leak in.  The problem will be in getting a tight fit from an irregular shaped log.  You will either take out too much wood, or not enough, and it will take longer.

I would suggest the butt and pass system.  This gives the appearance of a notched system with logs extending beyond the wall area.  The pass log is notched out to accept the butt log.  These could be dovetailed to make a stronger corner.  Work could be done with a chainsaw, depending on your skill.  Small saw would work best.  
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2000, 07:42:54 AM »
I think I have an idea what the butt and pass system is, my question would be, to get the illusion of a notch, do you use a fake end on a run that ends in a butt? With out a fake end would you not get odd looking outside corners?

 I have been looking for some technical diagrams and tutorials on notches on the net, but so far I only find basic photo examples provided by log home manufacture's.

 There is a house not far from us using square logs, and I think those corners are of a dovetail type. when you look at the corners, there isn't the classic bypass look, but an angular appearance that is very nice. I think this home was a kit of some kind.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2000, 06:12:06 PM »
Butt and pass would give you stepladder look at the corners.  You would alternate the pass with each layer.  For example, pass West on row 1, pass North on row 2, pass West on row 3, etc.  The pass can be as long as you want, but is normally 1 or 1 1/2 feet.

That will give a gap on every other row.  I you want to fill those gaps with logs to give the appearance of solid logs, that is possible.  But, there may be problems with moisture, bugs, etc. in that area.

The old cabins had this look.  They notched, but used pretty big timbers.  They didn't notch real deep, so they had to use 6-8" of chinking.  I never really liked the chinked look, but is real popular with Southern mfg.

Dovetailing is a really strong method.  For square corners, I like an 8x8 post that is slotted to allow the log to go inside.  This should be used with square logs.  It leaves a nice reveal on both the outside and inside.  Also, a lot easier to build than trying to keep a square end while dovetailing.  Dovetailing is a little beyond my cabin building skills.

If you are sold on notching, you should be able to come up with a method of notching.  Since you don't have the fancy equipment of the manufacturers, rely on a chain saw.  Square your notches, and square the piece that needs to be fitted in.  Can also be down with old time chisels.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2000, 06:20:10 PM »
  I will have to post a pic of my only cabin building experience to date.. A picnic table! I notched it all with hand tools. I'll try to take a picture tomorrow.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2000, 02:51:19 PM »
Here is my attempt at notching by way of a picnic table!






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Offline Hugh Darty

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2000, 07:40:25 AM »
Jeff, I am building a log house from southern yellow pine, using two sided mizer sawn logs, kiln-dried and borate treated. I am using butt and pass stacking. I will post pictures if you like, as I progress.
I've looked at your site before, as I am on the about forestry forum, but haven't had time to lurk here much. We are getting a lot of bad weather along with the holidays, so computer time is more available and I just registered on your forum. I am also going to enter your Christmas contest, which is pretty neat.
Thanks
Hugh

Offline Don P

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2001, 08:11:47 PM »
Jeff, your notch is a swedish cope. Is this the style you wish to use? Joinery of this type is time tested, works,looks traditional...settles alot. Bearing surfaces are concave over convex. When the hollowing is done to the bottom of the length of the log it is directing the inevitable radial check to occur in the hollow. This reduces unsightly and water trapping random checks as alot of stress relief has happened in the unseen groove.Downside is that as the check opens the sides of the groove move apart the log moves down to a new bedding point on the convex upper face of the log it is on. B.A.Mackie advanced this branch of the craft and wrote extensively as have many of his students...wannago there or...?
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Offline Don P

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2001, 08:32:25 PM »
Oh, Borates...Solubor, an ag chemical (pepper and tomato growers use it) mix at 1lb/gal h2o. Is chemically the same as the commercial products for far less. It works best by diffusion going from areas of high concentration to low. So using it on green logs works best. My understanding is we react to it as a salt, and it pulls the fluid out of fungi and wood Eating insects. Bees and ants aren't phased by it. Below grade or exposed to wetting it will quickly leave. So don't use below grade and cover exterior with a water repellent finish.Get a garden sprayer and flood it on. If you get it on as soon as you debark it ought to prevent staining.
A laborer works with his hands
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Offline Gordon

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2001, 04:28:26 AM »
Jeff could you please give some more info on that picnic table. I think I know what I'm going to give the wife for mothers day!!!  Well one of the things!

A picture or two if possible of the outside end of the table would be great.
Thanks in advance
Gordon

Offline Jeff

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2001, 05:27:45 AM »
Sure can It's a perfect gift. Everyone wants to buy it, and NOBODY has ever asked to borrow it!! I built ours for our wedding anniversary present to my wife. The pics might have to wait, The table is now completely under snow.

The First thing you need to do is figure out log sizes. The logs in the table were carefully selected because of size. I will see if I can take a shovel out and get some measurements today.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2001, 05:01:32 PM »
I think I have desided on butt and pass, and two siding my logs. Has anybody ever seen a technique of routing a groove in both the upwords and downward faces, and using a spline to connect, and weather strip? I know the manufactured logs use a double tongue and groove, but why couldnt you use a spline?
Just call me the midget doctor.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2001, 05:21:42 PM »
I have seen a spline used.  I can't recall what the spline was made from.  I think it was hardboard, but thin pine might work as well.

Weatherstipping was used on both sides.  Caulk probably should also be used.

The biggest trick will be to get the two grooves to match up, unless you have some form of jig.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2001, 05:29:18 PM »
I figured, lay a course of logs, tack a 2x down off center as a fence, route a groove. Put some sort of marking compound on the logs, lay the logs in the next course, flip them back over, and route where your compound marks. insert your spline, then continue...
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Red pine preservation
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2001, 03:29:45 PM »
You might be able to run a spline cut with a power saw.  All you need is a chalk line and spline material the width of a sawblade.  You could get an even greater depth of cut than with a router.
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