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Author Topic: North vs South  (Read 6458 times)

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Offline Don P

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North vs South
« on: November 06, 2001, 10:21:59 am »
I'm not sure whether this is strictly proper but I wanted you to see some parts of posts on another forum and give me your thoughts.

..............
Here we go, this thread will get people going.
So, here is my un-biased answer. There is no real need to kiln dry a log as long as the manufacturer engineers and designs for settling. Some manufacturers (those who really push the kiln drying issue) need to because they have a bug infestation problem in their logs. These are usually companies that are located in the mid (NJ, PA, etc) part of the country and get their logs locally. Kiln drying will kill the bugs.

Yes I have to agree........logs from colder climates is true. The logs for our handcrafted log homes are harvested in the colder climates of B.C. Canada.....slow growth..less shrinkage and far less bug infestation. The trees we use are 100 plus years old...in my opinion you need old growth timber with straight grain and 0% rot. Keep in mind your home is your wood
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Offline CHARLIE

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2001, 02:42:15 pm »
DonP, I believe that for cabinet building kiln dried wood is more stable and has less movement because the moisture content is less.  Also, slow growth wood (tighter rings) gives a cabinet builder less movement and more strength.  For house construction purposes, I think air dried would be fine, but I think that large lumber companies kiln dry wood so they can move it to market faster and not because of the bugs. Just my opinion though and I don't have a danged thing to back it up with.......but I'll go down fighting. :D :D

By the by......I got my 4th tree! I'm a Senor' now!  8) 8)   I think one more post and you'll be a Senor' too! 8) 8) :o
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Offline swampwhiteoak

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2001, 03:20:09 pm »
DonP,
Your post seems to be refering to kiln dried logs not lumber.  Are we talking about cabin building here?  I ask cause I never heard of drying logs before they're sawed.  I also can't imagine using anything but kiln-dried lumber for building purposes.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2001, 03:21:44 pm »
Well, some guys up here kiln dry and some don't.  We cut cabin stock as well as post and beam stock.  Never kiln dry a single piece.  But, they are well air dried.

Not sure what you mean about bugs.  I have seen very few bugs in white pine.  Not in the log or the lumber.  You get carpenter ants and carpenter bees in untreated and exposed wood.  Paint takes care of the bees.  Keeping it dry will take care of the ants.

I do know guys that tent the stock, then have Orkin come out and fumigate.  It is a lot cheaper than kiln drying and a good insurance for the home owner and builder.

To kiln dry 6x8 pine would take some time.  I don't think you could force it too much.  I imagine it would check even faster than air dried.  Besides, wouldn't the kiln dried will swell after it gets out into humid air?
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Offline Don P

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2001, 03:54:43 pm »
Thanks for the input guys. I didn't want to write anything more at first so as not to influence any responses. What had me wondering was not the issue of whether or not to kiln dry (have my own opinions there, and the one responder being a handscriber can not really be expected to kiln dry his stock) but the comments about the superiority of northern wood. I can see that fungi and bugs have a shorter munching season but nature always seems to find a way to recycle. Is the slower grown northern wood also better as far as stability? Yes this was on a log home forum.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2001, 02:27:59 pm »
It's not so much how slow the wood grows, some of the northern species just don't shrink as much.  Northern white cedar shrinks 7.2% while loblolly pine shrinks 12.3%.  

One thing about KD stock in stores; most of the stuff is marked SD.  That stands for skin dry.  Stock is put into a kiln for 48 hours.  Dry on the outside, still wet on the inside.  Not all KD is equal.
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Offline Tom

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2001, 03:00:14 pm »
Oh yes, Northern wood is far superior to Southern wood.   I have it on good account from the Southern pulpwood mills who use southern Hardwoods for furnace fodder.  

Why, if southern hardwoods were as good as northern hardwoods then their expense would be too great to use in a boiler furnace.  The paper mills have told us from the beginning that our wood is no good.  Now the pine will make paper and is worth a little bit so they are doing the land owner a favor by providing him some salary for his pines.  Enough money that most folks will replant.  The rest of the trees though aren't worth spit and the paper companies have provided an outlet to landowners to dispose of their fire damaged pines and other species, oaks, cedars, bays, gums, etc.  They actually will give a little bit of money to help offset the cost of fuel hauling the wood to the mill.  How wonderful it is to have such neighbors to look out for the welfare of their suppliers.  When Pulpwood prices were in the neighborhood of $45 per cord (app. 5200 lbs) These fine organizations offered as much as $3 per cord for  hardwoods.

Now, don't tell anybody but, I have found markets for locally grown hardwoods at $.50-$1 per board foot rough and green and there is a growing black market of hardwoods making its way to local cabinet makers and craftsman. Shhhh-h-h-h, don't tell anybody. If the trend catches on then the paper companies will find themselves in dire straights to come up with fuel for their boilers.
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Offline Don P

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2001, 03:34:32 pm »
Thats right, KD is an unquantified stamp on its own.
I do take issue with the S-Dry definition though...I just got out my canadian wood council span book. S-DRY is surfaced dry, at a moisture content of 19% or less at the time of surfacing. S-GRN is surfaced green at a MC of 19% or greater at the time of surfacing. KD 19 is another stamp meaning 19% or below. KD15 is on alot of shelf board and interior type wood...although interior woods should really come in at 8-10%.
We always called it sorta-dry :D
I know what your talking about with the shipping dry, just enough to knock down the mold and remove some weight ...thats the job alot of logs get too. Both doors open and the load rolling thru the kiln, marketed as KD :(
I advise people to quantify the MC in the purchase agreement,  just as is done in industry.

When I spoke with an authority on drying he suggested I shed dry first and then finish in a kiln to get the MC's down to my target levels and set pitch. Actually I would like to build with logs a little below their final, or equilibrium, moisture content and then have them swell a bit in service...tight cooperage. 8) Basically on my little scale I would put one load or houseworth in a kiln while building another one...a very slow schedule as you alluded to.

But back to what was burning my shorts. These guys are inferring that southern Eastern White Pine trees are inferior to northern trees of the same species. This was not just one exchange it is an ongoing diatribe.As I was quite certain the bug issue was B.S. it called everything they said into question. I have thus far not engaged nor has anyone else challanged these assertions but am bothered by what I feel is an untruth being forwarded. Thing is, I am no more certain than I feel these individuals are. So, there it is, just want to know. I realize its going pretty much back in a circle we've touched on before but ,hey, now there's a regional twist to the question also, just to really muddy it up.

Offline Gordon

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2001, 03:54:45 pm »
Gee guess I live to far north no black market up this way. ;D

But your secret is safe with me Tom. Ta think that some people actually pay $3 for a bushel basket of wood to have a fire by. Crazy world isn't it.

A story comes to mind that happened a few years back. I was entering a campground in NJ to work on a trailer. It had been a very dry summer.

After passing the little guardhouse at the entrance of the campground the usual speedlimit sign. Then right after that a large sign that said State burn ban in effect no campfires or fires of any kind. About 100 yards down the lane was a man sitting in the back of a pickup truck with bundled wood for sale to campers. ??? hummmmm

I couldn't resist.
So I rolled down the window and asked how business was. He said it never had been so slow. I asked him if he had any idea why. He couldn't figure it out, said he was selling the wood cheaper than any other place around and still wasn't selling any. :o Makes ya wonder.

I told him it was a weekday and maybe the weekend would be busier. Wonder if it was.

Gordon

Offline Tom

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2001, 05:52:12 pm »
I really should stop talking "tongue in cheek" because I fear that I am taken too seriously too often.   :D

The point I was making is that people who can benefit from creating rules operate under a different agenda than the bulk of the population and the rules don't necessarily follow the truth.

Kiln dried wood has a place when movement is to be curtailed or speed to market is to be enhanced or insects need to be exterminated or pitch is to be set.  I understand that it is not necessary in that time will accomplish the same stability and if the wood isn't infected with insects then that eliminates that reason to kiln it.  Kilning also doesn't inhibit future infestations of insects.

There are reasons to not put wood in a kiln.  Air dried wood and green wood bend better than kilned wood as an example.

Perhaps log homes may benefit from kilned wood in the speed to market or insect control aspect but, as in the "old wives tale" that southern wood is no good,  there is money to be made by creating rules that perpetrate any form of value added process.  

I would suspect that there are a lot of "means" that may not be totally true, created for the sole purpose of validating an argument. They may not be totally true in their own right but are disguised in their truth by the argument they support. :-/

Gordon, $3 for a basketful (one fire) isn't nearly as "entrepreneurial" as $10 for a rick.(two fires) I think I'm in the wrong business sometimes.  My wife is anxious to sell firewood on the street corner for this reason and is serious enough that she bought a splitter...........for me to split wood with. :D
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Offline Gordon

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2001, 01:51:45 pm »
Tom things are looking up here is the latest prices.


Past 30 Day Southwide Average   dollars per ton
pine pulpwood  $ 7.03  hardwood pulpwood $ 5.96  
pine chip n' saw  $ 26.93  hardwood saw timber $ 21.88  
pine saw timber $ 45.83  

Sure makes you wonder how messing with pulpwood pays off.
Still don't understand how pine brings more than hardwood. Alot more market for the pine? Maybe...
Gordon

Offline Tom

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2001, 02:46:48 pm »
That's what I been tryin' to tell you Gordon.  They've been messin' with our heads and now everybody has been brainwashed into believing that Southern Hardwoods are no good. :D

At those prices I don't see how anybody but the lumber retailer can stay in business. :'(   I am partial to pine so I can see why it's worth something.  God really knew what he was doing when he made a pine tree.  Kinda like a pig.  They use everything but the squeal and would use it if they could catch it.

There aren't many landowners cutting wood down here now.  What market there is doesn't pay.  I wish landowners would form a Co-op and make the big mills beg for wood one day. :-[ ;D :D

Puttin' out a call for Ron Scott.......whaddaya think Ron? or have we camo'd the question to the point that you can't find it?
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Offline Don P

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2001, 07:47:48 pm »
Boy, now you're onto something Tom...I think it is probably perception at the levels of our use.Perhaps I would even cull more than a comperable set up elsewhere to put out the same product...but the product not the tree is where the comparison should be made. Rather than defending the qualities of my locally available wood maybe I should do like the fancy night clubs and interview my clientele to see if they are good enough for IT  :D :D.
I agree with you about time getting wood down to outdoor equilibrium moisture content. It only takes a kiln if you want to get below that level for some reason.
As for a chat line...well I missed your first response while typing mine to Ron's...by 30 some minutes :D :D I think you guys would fall asleep waiting!


Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2001, 08:41:27 am »
Tom

There are a few problems with southern hardwoods, from what I understand.  Aren't these grown where its uneconomical to grow pine.  If you grow hardwoods offsite, then the quality will be less.  Poorer sites yield poorer quality.  I see it all the time.

Up here I have always advocated growing pine on sites that don't support good quality hardwoods.  Pine gives more yield per acre in shorter amounts of time.  But, we have a very limited pine market.

Another factor effecting southern hardwoods is how they grade them, and their market.  From market reports, I see that the South has no F1F grade.  That means if it has a 1 Common back, it drops to a 1 Common price.  That is a huge price differential.

The further north you go, the smaller pieces of clear lumber are sold on the Select grade.  Minimum size is 4"x6' and can contain a 1 Common back.  In my area, we can't sell much on the Select grade.  That puts us at a disadvantage to more northern mills.  Put those grades into your southern mix, and the value would be more.

One problem I have seen in areas that are heavy to pine production is they aren't as good in manufacturing hardwoods.  The processes are different.  I saw one Oregon mill that was producing hardwoods, primarily big leaf maple and alder.  They cut all their logs 10' and sawed it up like pine.  They are considered cutting edge in their parts.

As for timber co-ops, I am a huge supporter.  I think landowners should be involved in the economic process from land to some form of product.  That would make more economic sense, and better land use practices then the hodge podge we have now.  

A 10,000 acre co-op could support a small to medium sized sawmill.  All the logs and lumber would be processed locally instead of exported to another area.  I don't see the economics of trucking logs 100+ mile to mills.  

I tried to introduce the co-op idea to the Pennsylvania Grange, figuring farmers would understand the co-op idea better.  It was shot down by their forestry committee.  Not suprisingly, it consisted only of consulting foresters, and they didn't want the competition.
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Offline CHARLIE

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2001, 09:52:46 am »
Ron, I don't know a danged thing about land management, but I certainly agree with you concerning the Co-ops. It seems that a unit of land owners would wield a bigger stick and get better attention (prices) from sawmills than indiviudally. The only problem I can see is that with any organization, someone would have to organize and run it and the participant would have the responsibility to make the Co-op successful. To often I find that a lot of people don't want the responsibility of having to make a decision.

Question:  You mentioned that the Southern hardwoods are grown 'off site'.  What does that mean?  I'm not sure what 'on site' / 'off site' is.  I think I have a pretty good idea though.  Anyway.....and here goes me putting my stupidity right out there for all to see.....Why would the wood from a tree that grows in 'inferior' soil be of less value?  I would think that the tree might grow slower and their might not be as many trees, but I can't equate that to the quality of the boards that would come from a harvested tree. ::)  
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Offline Tom

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2001, 11:47:55 am »
In all honesty there is no hardwood market down here because pine is the money tree.

Hardwoods are not grown as a crop but are allowed to exist in areas where pines are difficult to harvest or left as Residential trees in subdivisions.

Because the pulpwood industry has run the market for so many years, no interest has been shown in hardwoods until Paulownia reared its head.  Unfortunately, it is too labor intensive for Company land and to risky for private land, (he may end up with a weed tree if the paper mills don't except it.)

The best football I've ever seen was Jr. Hi School.  They are too naive to realize they could get hurt going all out.  That's what it will take to create a hardwood market in the south, Naivete
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2001, 02:26:53 pm »
Trees have certain requirements to maintain good growth.  Those include sunlight, nutrients and water.  Of those 3, foresters generally only control sunlight through limiting competition.

Soil nutrients and the ability to hold them is dependent on where the soil comes from.  If you have sandy soil, the nutrients, as well as the surface water quickly leaches out.  Some soils are more acidic and some more basic.  

Those trees that are well adapted to a specific site will grow well.  Walnut, ash and red oak do really well on a good site.  On a poorer site, they might not grow at all.

Think of farming.  They tried farming all the way to the ridge tops here in the East.  It didn't work for crops, so they tried using it for livestock.  It didn't even support cattle very well, so it was left to revert back to forest.  Farmers use the better soil for growing crops until a developer buys the farm and converts it to houses. >:(

Growing slow and failing to thrive are two different things.  A tree can be surpressed and continue to live, since it gets sufficient nutrients.  But, if a site doesn't give enough nutrients, it will struggle and become weak.  That is where a lot of defects start to form, such as rot and bug infestations.

On co-ops.  A co-op would be run by an advisory board and have an executive director.  They would also own their own logging crews and quite possibly their foresters and mill.  That cuts out 3 middlemen who all profit from the landowners initial risk of growing trees.  25% of Sweden's lumber is produced from co-op run mills.

Kinda like Tiger Woods gets more for his picture on a box of Wheaties then the farmer who put the product in the box.  Too many middlemen for the farmer to profit.  Sunshine and Blue Diamond are successful co-ops.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2001, 02:37:53 pm »
Tom

We have the same problem up here with softwood.  We have no softwood market.  I can get $1/bf for clear pine and $1.20 for clear red oak.  Pine goes for $100/Mbf and oak goes for $400/Mbf.  No competition for the pine, so the prices stay low.

We have no pulpwood market.  Most of our small stuff is left in the woods until it reaches 14" dbh and then it can be used for sawlogs.  That is poor mgmt.

Small logs have been going into fuelwood, but the oil market is so low, and coal is cheap that fuelwood markets have been weak.  

Some wood is chipped for mulch.  Some goes to scragg mills, but they are dependent on the pallet business and I have heard they aren't paying their bills.   :(

The reason pine pulpwood is higher, I believe the processing is less expensive than hardwoods.  Pulpwood prices in general have come down due to the foreign pulp market.  We have a paper mill that brings in all of its pulp from Brazil.  This threw several loggers out of work and caused a lot of mills to find alternate markets for their chips.  

The pulp is imported to Canadian ports, then sent to the mills by train.  It has also effected Canadian plants, as well.
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Offline Tom

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2001, 02:59:40 pm »
Man, I can't believe that they are importing pulp.  We have loggers playing checkers on the side of the road because the price is so low they can't run their trucks.  I've seen some pulp on trains but don't know where it is going.

To bad these southern loggers and land owners can't rig up a market with mills up there that are importing. They might could keep their U.S. dollars in the local economy.
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: North vs South
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2001, 05:41:26 am »
gordon, do you really buy and sell saw timber by the ton?  here in the northeast it is always by the 1000 bd ft measured on scale sticks.  i have bought pine as low as 50/thousand,  :)though that was during the summer stain season.  i have seen scale slips from truckers that averaged 300/ thousand for nice fat fresh pine. i have bought oak at as low as $100/thousand though i expect metal when prices are that low.  one of the local farmers had a lot of oak that he had a neighbor cut and the quality was so high that he got a $1000/thousand as logs, and the buyer picked it up at his farm.  some 25,000 feet and dollars that he split with the cutter, though these were 20 inch veneer quality. :D  good log run red oak is around $400/thousand delivered to the mill.  figure a third each for the owner, the cutter, and the hauler.  also firewood from the tops is running $220 a cord dry split delivered.
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