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Author Topic: Any experience with Hemlock ?  (Read 1548 times)

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Offline antioch01

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Any experience with Hemlock ?
« on: July 10, 2017, 08:47:18 pm »
I have a lot of hemlock on a property I have purchased,,,, would like to do something with it other than selling it for chip wood.
I have heard it is pretty good when the bark is removed. So I thought I might saw it into 6X6 or 8X8 posts. And some 2X6 for barn repair.
Just bought a used LT40HD and getting it back in shape,, but anxious to use it. Will the posts hold up very well in the ground ? If not I will buy PT and just saw planks for trusses and bracing. Also not sure about drying time after sawing. And if the boards will warp if not laid straight to dried first.
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Online Bruno of NH

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2017, 08:57:14 pm »
Hemlock is great for post and any framing members but put it up green .
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2017, 08:58:29 pm »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum, antioch01!

Hemlock will last only a few years in the ground, it is good for beams and 2X's for strapping and rafters/joists!

When we use Hemlock, we usually put it up "green", less chance of splitting!
~Chuck~
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2017, 04:20:16 am »
Peter Drouin uses hemlock logs (bark and all) as posts for his outbuildings, not sure if he treats the bottom or anything
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Offline antioch01

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2017, 05:13:22 am »
Thanks for replies,,,, glad to hear about using them green. Will save a lot of time.
I have a 40' Low-Boy semi trailer that needs new planks as well, I wanted to use Oak but sounds like the Hemlock may hold up as well or better.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2017, 05:35:12 am »
   White oak is still going to be your preferred trailer decking as to strength and durability/weather resistance. Hemlock is cross grained as I understand so it is stronger than many other softwoods. Good luck with yours.
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2017, 05:45:21 am »
Oak or ash for trailers. Hemlock for barn boards.
Hemlock is a great wood to work with but it's a soft wood.
It's not a good wood for ground contact.
Not so bad if you tar the bottom end.
Hemlock is what I cut the most of.
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Offline antioch01

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2017, 06:05:18 am »
Lots of Hemlock in Murphy N.C. and the log buyers chip it and are not paying much, so I bought this LT40HD sawmill and figured the wood is worth more to me in framing members than it would bring in chips. Even if it only holds up half as long as the oak, it will be worth it to me. I plan to saw the planks extra thick to help with the strength.
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Offline antioch01

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2017, 06:13:08 am »
What type of boards do you saw from your Hemlock ? Is it a good looking grain for large exposed timbers for post and beam construction ?
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Case 1080 Excavator
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Online thecfarm

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2017, 06:16:43 am »
I built 2 out buildings with it. I put it up green,hot off the mill.  :D  When it dry,it can split. Can have shake in it,which gives it a bad name. It's an old timer wood to use.
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Online Don P

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2017, 07:14:54 am »
It does tend to have shake more often than most other woods, separation along the line of the rings. You can sometimes begin bucking off pieces from the butt upward and get out of the shake. It is better for siding than white pine, carpenter bees don't like it. It makes nice timbers IMO. I use it dry but that is about my pace  :D

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2017, 07:16:44 am »
What type of boards do you saw from your Hemlock ? Is it a good looking grain for large exposed timbers for post and beam construction ? 

Once Hemlock lumber/beams are in place, most any type of "clear-coat" will really bring out the grain!

Nice lookin' lumber!

Also, heavy!

Easy sawing on the bandmill!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider
Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain the Wood-Mizer.
I LOVE MY SAWMILL

Offline antioch01

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2017, 08:33:56 am »
Not familiar with "shake" ?? Never mind, I googled it, got it now. Thanks. These trees are on the mountain, and from what I read the shake is more prevalent in wet areas.
From what I have seen on the trees already cut, and on the ground for a year or two,,, there does not look like very much if any shake, but they still have bark on.

I have 4 degree blades that came with the saw, sound OK for Hemlock ?
2006 Woodmizer LT40HD,
1975 Mack RD686 Log Truck with 110 Prentice Loader,
Morooka MST600 Tracked dump truck used as skidder.
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Offline GAB

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2017, 09:30:19 am »
Not familiar with "shake" ?? Never mind, I googled it, got it now. Thanks. These trees are on the mountain, and from what I read the shake is more prevalent in wet areas.
From what I have seen on the trees already cut, and on the ground for a year or two,,, there does not look like very much if any shake, but they still have bark on.

I have 4 degree blades that came with the saw, sound OK for Hemlock ?

If you look at the ends of hemlock logs you can sometimes see some separation between the growth rings. 
These logs would be best chipped as the best they will become is expensive firewood.
Personally I would use 9* blades.
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Offline scully

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2017, 10:03:26 am »
Watch out for ring shake . If you have good Hemlock it is great for building . I have sawed miles of it ,some is better than others . Right now I need a tractor trailer load for my own barn . Welcome to the forum .
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2017, 10:18:10 am »
Congratulations on the mill! 4* might not be the best blade for the wood you have, but it will cut it well. Not sure how many blades came with the mill, but if you have a bunch of 4* they do a nice job and have less tendency to try to go over hard knots.
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Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2017, 11:08:56 am »
Hello antioch01 and welcome to the forum.  I'm right down the road from you, a few miles from Standing Indian Campground off of Hwy 64.  Just bought a Norwood HD36 and part of the reason was to try and salvage some of the many Hemlock's on my property.  Such a travesty, all these beautiful trees dead and dieing.    Anyhow, we should try to get together sometime, I'd like to see your setup.
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Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2017, 12:53:26 pm »
The devil made hemlock, the lord made pine !  I can't believe people say use it green. On timbers ok but not siding boards. In the eighties I sided my house with hemlock dried on sticks but to close to the ground and it shrunk and split bad.

Offline antioch01

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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2017, 01:21:21 pm »
Thanks for blade suggestions, only have 4 blades, and will buy some more with different angle to try.
Jim, we have property with dead and alive hemlocks also, bought a logging truck and had planned to sell the timber but prices are extremely low right now, then got the idea to buy this sawmill and use the lumber to repair the barn and possibly sell some that way. We will see. Going through the mill in Florida, have several medical appointments, then taking it to Murphy.
Look forward to getting together, can get contact info when we get up there.
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Re: Any experience with Hemlock ?
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2017, 04:56:58 pm »
I saw a bunch and sell it mostly 4/4 for siding boards and battens
some like it green some dry.
shake is an issue tho.
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