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Author Topic: Preferred exposed timber in Northeast with winter milling?  (Read 479 times)

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Offline LukesScreenName

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Preferred exposed timber in Northeast with winter milling?
« on: September 19, 2017, 06:07:54 pm »
Another ignorant newbie here eager to learn from y'all.  So thank you in advance. I have no experience with constructing timber frame with traditional joinery so I apologize for the impending stupid questions. I have read a few books lol.  I live in, and have been renovating, a late 1700's center chimney cape with, what I have been told is, an impressive hand hewn frame (much of which I have exposed). It still has me in awe almost every day.

So, down to my first questions for you fine folks. 

Question 1:  I would like to build a simple small (14'x12') screened timber frame building (for outdoor sitting). Probably, 2ft eves so the frame will be exposed to the Northern New England weather year-round. I have about 40ac of Eastern white pine which I have read is a favored species (I might still buy from a lumber mill?). I wonder how E. white pine would hold up exposed to the weather? When I lived out west I used Doug fir on several outdoor structural applications but I don't know about availability in NH.  Any advice on what species I should consider? I certainly can oil but would prefer it not be a yearly maintenance need. 

Question 2: This may depend on question 1 but... I would like to be able to cut the joinery/timber components this winter in my unheated shop and then build in the spring.  Despite good intentions it could be as late a June before assembly.  How much trouble am I asking for by potentially waiting that long considering that much of the time will be very cold?

Offline LukesScreenName

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Re: Preferred exposed timber in Northeast with winter milling?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 12:53:25 pm »
Bummer. I was really hoping someone could help me out.
Perhaps I am asking irrelevant or obvious things? I'd be grateful if someone could clue me into that too. Thanks.

Offline Don P

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Re: Preferred exposed timber in Northeast with winter milling?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2017, 01:54:22 pm »
I was hoping someone else would chime in. the lower posts and anything in the splash zone is in trouble. we have a new state forest timberframed pavilion in white pine. I think when the posts rot they'll need to put in stone piers of some height.
just under the overhangs is carpenter bee country, paint or use a dense wood, or?

wood moves with moisture change rather than temperature change. the temperature affects how excited the moisture is to move and how much moisture the air can hold. wood is generally drying faster and moving around more in the warm months. fungi and insects are a bigger problem in green wood especially as it warms up, cutting and losing initial moisture when its cold is good. ewp is a stable wood to begin with. it never hurts to have some backup stock cut though.

Offline flyingparks

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Re: Preferred exposed timber in Northeast with winter milling?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2017, 07:43:26 pm »
I have never used EWP (I'm out west). From what I have read it a great species to work with. I'm raising my house next week. It is Doug Fir. I cut my frame a few months ago and stickered and stored it. The majority of the timbers were stable, however, there were a few that twisted significantly. Ideally, one would cut the frame and assemble it and raise it soon thereafter. That being said, wood is constantly moving and adjusting to its changing environment. There are plenty of frames that have been taken down and moved to a completely different climate.
I would say that any wood that will be exposed to the elements year round will need annual maintenance. I have only just begun timber framing so take this with a grain of salt. One little bit of advice about milling your own timbers...I did it for a shed. It's really rewarding and a lot of work. The trees need to be cut, limbed, have their slash dealt with, moved to the mill, loaded onto the mill, milled, unloaded, stacked, and stickered. Then after some time you are ready to cut joints, assuming you're not resawing. For my house, I ended up ordering my timbers. I must say it felt a little like cheating. But it was nice to start cutting joints right away as time was of the essence.

Offline repmma

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Re: Preferred exposed timber in Northeast with winter milling?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2017, 08:20:25 pm »
You might want to look at Tamarack, it might work better for you when it comes to being exposed to weather.  Cedar would be best but I'm not sure it's strong enough for you. Both may be found with your pine but you might have to search some or even buy logs.

Plenty of pine and hemlock is/was used for board and batten and lasts longer than most people live.  Used with ground contact is a different game though.
Thomas 8020, Ford 5030 with Norse 450 winch, stihl saws and 131 acres to manage.

Offline LukesScreenName

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Re: Preferred exposed timber in Northeast with winter milling?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2017, 07:16:32 pm »
Thank y'all for the replies.

None of the timbers will be anywhere near the ground.  For this project I will likely buy the lumber regardless.

Tamarack is an interesting idea Repmma.  I guess I can look up span charts online but do you know how it is to work and how stable it is?

I've messed around with hemlock and hand tools before... not at the top of my list but what do I know.

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Preferred exposed timber in Northeast with winter milling?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2017, 03:48:08 pm »
Hey Luke- better late than never here's my two cents: In your area I'd use white cedar first choice and oak 2nd choice. Let it dry a year or so then dope it up-I like Cabot's Australian Timber Oil or Sikkens as used for timer or logs.
You may have 40 ac of EWP but you don't own a mill plus it may be easy to work with but it's very bug prone. Log home kit companies near me borate dip their logs.
Wood bees love the stuff as mentioned. We have the tiny alien wasps that drill it too.
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