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Author Topic: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??  (Read 1100 times)

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Offline woodworker9

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Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« on: May 20, 2017, 01:10:27 pm »
I have recently been contacted by a person who has a stand of about 50 red pines and white pines in the 15" to 20" diameter range. 

I am presently starting to cut timber frame members for 2 upcoming builds.....1st- to build a Sobon shed for wood and equipment storage.  This build is considered practice for me leading into the 2nd build, which will be an additional workshop on my property.  I need to separate my woodshop from my metalworking shop.  Oil and sawdust make extremely poor roommates.

My question is, having ZERO knowledge of red pine.....

Is it a good species to use for the timbers of a timber frame structure, assuming correct sizing?  I have no knowledge of it's working characteristics, if it has problems in use, etc......

I am going to help this farmer fell these tree's in exchange for the logs.  They are all along a fence row and access is good and easy, and he has a loader for moving the logs and pushing the waste into a burn pile.  For me, around here, with ZERO logger presence to get logs for my projects, the idea of getting 50 decent sized logs that I can cut posts, braces, rafters, etc.... as well as 2X6 floor, wall, and ceiling T&G lumber for is a well appreciated resource.  I have had poor (at best) luck finding sources for logs around here in Northern Illinois.  It seems to be the dead zone for log availability.

Your experience with red pine and the likelihood of me liking it as a species for these projects is well appreciated.

Jeff
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Offline Brian_Weekley

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Re: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2017, 02:03:46 pm »
According to Sobon's book, red pine is slightly heavier, harder, and stronger than white pine.  However, it has a little more shrinkage rate.  It is suitable for timber frames.  It's great to use locally sourced wood and sounds very convienent to have it close by.  Go for it!
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2017, 03:24:55 pm »
Expect higher cull rates for red pine  timbers. It saws well, but that's when the fun stops. Twisting and severe bowing are common. Of course if you are scribing then it provides a break in the monotony of perfect timbers.  :D
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Offline woodworker9

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Re: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2017, 03:52:42 pm »
Expect higher cull rates for red pine  timbers. It saws well, but that's when the fun stops. Twisting and severe bowing are common. Of course if you are scribing then it provides a break in the monotony of perfect timbers.  :D

Dave,

In your experience, if put up green, does the joinery hold, or am I going to be having a shed that is going to pull itself apart if I use the red pine in it?

Also, assuming I can cut what I need from either the red or white pine, is there a better use, in your opinion, for the red pine for certain parts of a TF construction?  Beams vs. rafters, T&G wall boards, etc....??   For the shed, which is first, I'm less concerned about staying consistent with a "look" of species vs. the new shop, where I will be more concerned about starting and finishing a specific part of the project with the same timber species.  What I mean is, I won't want to mix and match as much with the shop build.  With the shed, I really don't care.  I just want it up.  I have major space issues with my current storage options.....

Thanks to both of you for your input.  I'm going to start on this stand tomorrow, and your experience helps me a lot.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2017, 05:52:20 pm »
I don't think it matters too much where you use red pine. If it stays straight, then it should be fine.
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Offline Don P

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Re: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2017, 08:47:43 pm »
I'd look more towards using the smaller limbed/ most well spaced branched wood for horizontal members that are loaded in bending and the lower quality timber for posts that are loaded in compression. As far as mixing the two, I've done it and don't think it is a problem, very few people can tell them apart at a casual look

Offline barbender

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Re: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2017, 12:38:16 am »
Red pine is quite a bit stronger than white pine, but white pine is much better behaved. If I was using red pine timbers, and especially from knotty open grown trees, I would saw them oversize, let them dry and twist, and then trim them to size.
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Offline woodworker9

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Re: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2017, 12:25:51 pm »
So far, I've been cutting everything oversized.  Being a furniture and cabinetmaker, I have this affliction with wanting everything smooth and straight.... ;D ;D  Probably will get in the way of speed on this project, but hopefully I'll adapt.  Since I'm building this "green", I will be wanting to get the joinery cut and have the bents together immediately, covered under a 30' X 50' weatherproof tarp I have.  I will "tent" it up in the air so as to not be laying directly on the bents.

If you guys, at any time, see a flaw with my plan, please do not hesitate to step in and correct me.

I've been cutting maple and ash beams, brace stock, and rafters up until this point, and if my plan goes accordingly, I will be able to use the hardwood where the extra strength is appropriate.  I will be using the load calculator in the Tool Box to make sure that everything is good.  Where I live, the only permit I need is to ensure that I do not build in the property easement, which is 20 feet in from the lot line.  Everything else is on me, as long as it is not a dwelling.  When I built my first shop 17 years ago, the building inspector showed up, gave it the "Hiawatha" from 500 feet away, knowing it was well clear of the property line, signed his name, and I never saw him again.

Thanks for all the input on this.  I'm heading out the door in an hour to see the trees, in person, for the first time.  I hope I can use them, because his plan was to burn it all until he saw my add for logs on clist.  I will make sure and compensate him, even though all he wants is a few tanks of diesel for the use of his loader.  It's got to be a fair deal for everybody involved.  I sleep well at night knowing I'm not taking advantage of anyone.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2017, 12:50:21 pm »
Designing a timber frame is more than calculating beam loads. You have to account for the joinery as well. I designed a Dutch barn/garage and the anchorbeams passed deflection easily, .029" with .729" allowable for a 40# load. The problem was in the joint. If I had relied only on the housing to support the beam, it would have sheared the face of the post off. I had to include the 3" wide tenon also to pass engineering.
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Offline woodworker9

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Re: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2017, 07:27:00 pm »
Thanks, Dave.  I'll be building the Sobon shed to the specs in his book.  It's my understanding that the joinery and spans for that shed are more than adequate for my snow load area in northern Illinois.

When it comes time to build the shop, I will definitely be taking all factors into account, and will get an engineer experienced in timber framing involved in the design.  I do not want to build something I spend 12 hours a day in that is unsafe.

I went and saw the tree's today.  Over 50 white pines with base diameters between 15" and 24", and very, very tall.  They grew in a forested setting, and the land was thinned about 15 years ago for half of them.  They only have live branches at the top 25% of the tree's, but there are dead "stub" branches sticking out roughly 2 to 3 feet all the way down the trees.

The red pines are all much smaller, and not worth cutting other than maybe 10 of them, which are of larger size.  Most are, I'd guess, in the 6" to 8" diameter range, and I won't mess with those.

I can have all I want for free.

I'm going to contact a local logger to find out how much he would charge me to haul a load the 56 miles to my shop/sawmill, which will allow me to buck them into the lengths I need as I cut them. 

Any thoughts, specifically regarding white pine species, about what diameter I should top the logs at and leave behind the tops?  I don't normally cut any hardwoods here that are less than 13" to 15" (minimum) so I don't really know how high up these white pine logs is usable for making 1X6 and 2X6 lumber.  I don't want to cut the small stuff and find out later it was a huge waste of time.

I hope I'm making sense.....
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Offline jimdad07

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Re: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2017, 12:36:33 pm »
Thanks, Dave.  I'll be building the Sobon shed to the specs in his book.  It's my understanding that the joinery and spans for that shed are more than adequate for my snow load area in northern Illinois.

When it comes time to build the shop, I will definitely be taking all factors into account, and will get an engineer experienced in timber framing involved in the design.  I do not want to build something I spend 12 hours a day in that is unsafe.

I went and saw the tree's today.  Over 50 white pines with base diameters between 15" and 24", and very, very tall.  They grew in a forested setting, and the land was thinned about 15 years ago for half of them.  They only have live branches at the top 25% of the tree's, but there are dead "stub" branches sticking out roughly 2 to 3 feet all the way down the trees.

The red pines are all much smaller, and not worth cutting other than maybe 10 of them, which are of larger size.  Most are, I'd guess, in the 6" to 8" diameter range, and I won't mess with those.

I can have all I want for free.

I'm going to contact a local logger to find out how much he would charge me to haul a load the 56 miles to my shop/sawmill, which will allow me to buck them into the lengths I need as I cut them. 

Any thoughts, specifically regarding white pine species, about what diameter I should top the logs at and leave behind the tops?  I don't normally cut any hardwoods here that are less than 13" to 15" (minimum) so I don't really know how high up these white pine logs is usable for making 1X6 and 2X6 lumber.  I don't want to cut the small stuff and find out later it was a huge waste of time.

I hope I'm making sense.....

If you don't have sizing figured yet I'd over cut a few feet when you buck them so you have room to take out imperfections.  I'm doing mine out of white pine and I have no complaints, the timbers are large enough I have not seen any movement in my timbers yet.  Good, stable wood, low moisture content compared to other species.
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Offline woodworker9

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Re: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2017, 07:54:20 am »
Thanks for the tip.  Yeah, I'm overcutting everything.  That way, if anything gets "wonky" on me, I can stick it back on the mill, get a fresh, flat surface, and square up the beam before cutting joinery.

That's the plan, anyway.  We'll just have to wait and see how it goes.  Right now, I'm going to fabricate a log arch and a log lift for my trailer.  Otherwise, logs will be laying down on the ground too long before the guy who owns the land can get a loader available. 

Working out the details......before anything gets cut.
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Offline Geeg

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Re: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2017, 05:33:21 am »
I cut this up last year and it has not moved much, all red pine. I cut it green and it cut like butter when cutting the joints. I did notice a couple of small checks but that can be expected.

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Re: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2017, 08:05:57 am »
What is that roof material?
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Re: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2017, 12:59:24 pm »
how well is it holding up? that looks like a great option for solar kiln.
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Re: Red pine vs. white pine for TF project??
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2017, 01:12:07 pm »
I thought it was basically impenetrable but found that was not the case. It did only sustain a hole that I can patch up but at least it did not shatter. This was a 8" tree that fell over and hit the peak of the roof. The limb continued to the opposite side, this is were it embedded itself. that hole is about 3/4", that was the only damage.





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