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Author Topic: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding  (Read 3450 times)

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Offline calb

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Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« on: December 27, 2016, 08:00:56 AM »
Good Morning Forestry members, I don't get on here very often but I view it everyday.  I will be building a small 20'x24' storage garage up at my cabin int eh upper peninsula of Michigan this summer- July or August. I am planning on using board and batten siding and I need some advice regarding cutting,drying and storing the material.  I have large (22"+ dbh) Cottonwood trees that I can have sawed by a local band saw mill.  I've read information saying that cottonwood should be put up green and others have said to stack, sticker and use it when it has dried.  If possible, I'd like to go with dried 1x9 boards.  So here we go again- is ti a Ford vs Check question or what's the best advice.  Sorry, I wanted to go with White Pine but I don't have enough trees for the lumber I need so it's back to the Cottonwood.

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2016, 08:20:37 AM »
Have you actually harvested any of your cottonwood yet?  My experience with big cottonwood in Northern michigan is that many times it has shake. Not that you couldn't saw usable lumber, but you usually have very low yield from shake trees..
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Offline calb

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2016, 08:35:23 AM »
The trees are still standing here on my property in southern Michigan Jeff.  Can you see any shake from the butt cut of the log or the log ends?  The trees will be dying of old age/deterioration so it's time to harvest them and I hoped that I could salvage them for the siding if possible.

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2016, 08:40:57 AM »
Generally, yes. Look for distinct colored rings in the log ends. This would indicate separation of the grain.
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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2016, 08:48:17 AM »
I'd add, that is the logs are sound, I would put it up green if you are using wide bats to cover the shrinkage you will get, but don't paint it until it is good and dry. It won't take long. nailed up and standing on end. Keep the board ends well away from the ground and have good overhangs on the building Make sure you don't over nail it to keep it from splitting when it shrinks.
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Online Bruno of NH

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2016, 09:17:45 AM »
I have sawn a lot of cottonwood this summer .
Over night the logs will split and check bad
You can saw around it as Jeff says and I did find shake also
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Offline Mt406

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2016, 10:58:48 AM »
I would put up green. Like Jeff said don't over nail but up tight It will shrink maybe 1/2-3/4 gap, you may want to put up battens after its dryed awhile.
I haven't found much shake here mostly rot.
I have found I will have to replace a board now and then putting up green.
I have lost up to 40% stacking and drying no mater how much weight I have putt on it.

That's my two cents good luck

   

Offline Magicman

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2016, 11:11:36 AM »
Green, and place the pith side outward (bark side inward) and nail it down the center.  You will nail the edges when you put the battens up after it dries.
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Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2016, 12:47:39 PM »
Green, and place the pith side outward (bark side inward) and nail it down the center.  You will nail the edges when you put the battens up after it dries.

MM,
I think I know what you mean, not what you wrote.  You nail the Batten on (one nail) and the edges of the Batten will hold the Board to the wall, correct?  No extra nails in the Board.  It must be free to expand and contract from the single center nail in the Board.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2016, 02:03:10 PM »
There are many different ways and none are wrong if you nail in such a way that the board can expand/contract.  My favored way is to nail the center of the board, and then the center of the batten.  Both boards can still move under the batten.  That way it can all be put up green and nothing will split.
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Offline gww

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2016, 09:34:59 PM »
Wish I had seen this before building my stuff.  I didn't know about the bark in part.  When I did mine and I did pretty much of it on a couple sheds and buildings, I nailed down one side of the board and then put the batton on and nailed the center of the batton. 

I used a lot of ratty board and some that already had some pith rot and knot holes but mostly it looks pretty good and I am only a year or two into it but it seems to be holding up.  I used every kind of wood immaginable and in a coupe of years I will know if it is really bad to use hickory or sycomore etc. 

I put most up right off the mill.

I also did not know of the letting the board dry before putting up the batton. 

I really like the board and batton and it seems to be pretty forgiving looks wise even if you are not using the cream of the crop boards though if you were, I believe it would truly beautiful.

I am going to try and incorperate some of the tips into the next thing I use board and batton on and see if I can do better not that I am sad about what I already have done yet.  That might take years to figure out.
Thanks for the tips
gww

Offline Larry

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2016, 10:27:24 PM »
I used to live up in NW Missouri.  There were two counties that grew tobacco and it was all barn cured.  Those barns were huge tall things and some built over a 100 years ago.  I would guess the majority were cottonwood everything.  Framing and siding.  The siding was just nailed on in one place and left to shrink.  I've seen battens added later.

I've sawed a lot of cottonwood and noticed logs from the river bottoms had a lot of shake but from other places hardly ever saw shake.  Guess the luck of the draw.

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Offline 4x4American

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2016, 10:51:35 PM »
following
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Offline ozarkgem

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2016, 07:32:00 AM »
How would you keep Oak from cupping just by nailing it in the center? I don't think the batten would hold it down. Maybe dry the Oak first. I used Sycamore on my kiln so we will see how it works. It had been air dried first though.
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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2016, 08:57:02 AM »
Place the pith side of the boards outward (bark side inward) when you nail it down the center.  The board edges will then tend to cup toward the building.
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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2016, 09:02:10 AM »
How would you keep Oak from cupping just by nailing it in the center? I don't think the batten would hold it down. Maybe dry the Oak first. I used Sycamore on my kiln so we will see how it works. It had been air dried first though.

Whoops, I see he beat me to the post :D

If you face it the way Magicman talked about the natural tendency when drying should make it want to cup to the frame, every stick is its own thing. There was a building supply I visited that had oak B&B siding that they had nailed across the green lumber when installing, the battens were nailed to the siding. Nearly every board was split and it looked terrible.
If the boards are narrowish I'll put a single nail at each bearing in the middle of the board. If they are wider I'll space a pair of nails no wider than 4-5" apart on the face at each bearing, then battens can go up and hold the edges.

To seal the bottom edge I run a horizontal board with a 15 degree rip along the lower edge of the wall and cut the ends of the boards at a 15 degree bevel. The battens cover all of that, nobody notices but it keeps critters out of the gaps, the bevel sheds water. You can see relatively closely spaced screws in the centers of widish boards in the pic. There isn't so much shrinkage in that 4-5" to cause a split where if I had pinned out at both edges it would most certainly split as the wood dries. As an aside, we have the same prohibition when bolting framing in green wood, like bolting 2x12's to a post on a deck frame. No wider than a 5" spacing to avoid splitting.

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Offline clintnelms

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2016, 02:34:04 PM »
I'm planning on using board and batten siding on my shop I'm building also. How far apart do you typically space the nails down the center?

Offline calb

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2016, 03:20:51 PM »
Thanks for all the information guys but I may be turning a 180 on the cottonwood.  I do have three 20"+ white pine, straight with no limbs for the first 15'-20', on my U.P property that are in the process of dying.  They are just starting to show the effects of a 2016 beaver flooding.  I have taken care of the beaver (you can never eliminate them in the U.P.) but they will be turning brown probably within the coming year.  I can't get back to them with any equipment to haul out logs as it would be too expensive to build a half mile of road and cross three creeks.  I can, however, get right up to the trees with my quad without too much trouble.  I'd rather use the white pine than the cottonwood and here's the situation/scenario I am thinking through.

I believe that I have possibly contracted sawdust fever, or at least am living with the virus, from some or all of you!  I'm investigating a Lumbersmith Elite portable sawmill.  I will probably get 1,200-1,500 bft out of those pines.  The Elite is very light weight and I believe I can make it work for my needs.  I do realize it is a small machine but I can haul it back to the trees with the quad and I can haul out the lumber with the quad.  I do hate to just let those pine go to waste.  I am pretty sure i can convince momma that the mill would be good for me as I am planning on retiring in another year or two (I'm 67) from a full time job as a Civil Engineer.  I do know she will not tolerate me purchasing a "real" sawmilll that I hear all of you talking about on the forum.  Who knows, maybe I can get her infected too and then.........  I do have use for the Elite once I am finished with the pine for my woodworking hobby so it wouldn't be a one time thing.  Any reflections on the Lumbersmith Elite?  A word of caution- momma exhibits a mean streak and if she finds out one of you tried to expand my horizons on the sawmill she will find you!

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2016, 03:43:57 PM »

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Offline gww

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Re: Using Cottonwood For Board and Batten Siding
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2016, 06:35:20 PM »
Not as professional as don.s and clint I put it on perlings or stringers spaced every two feet so one nail every two feet and then one in the batton every two feet.
 

 
Cheers
gww


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