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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 07-13-2013, 11:49 AM
problemchild problemchild is offline
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Default Building a small cabin with green lumber (fresh cut)

What are the pros/cons of building with fresh cut "green lumber?

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Old 07-13-2013, 12:06 PM
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Primarily, keeping it stable. Green lumber wants to warp, twist, and bow. Not good, if you're building. Add to that, the kiln drying process also kills bugs (powder post beetles, to name a nasty one), and I don't know why one would build anything from green lumber...unless it was absolutely necessary.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:19 PM
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Built a place out of ruff cut lumber. As geeknow said it needs to be good and dry. For framing around doors and windows finished lumber is best to use.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:34 PM
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I guess it may depend on how green youre talking. Fresh cut live trees are probably the worst for construction. Also, there could be issues of fungus and development of molds indoors. If it's a temporary shelter who cares? If its meant to be a long-term homestead it may be bad.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:42 PM
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So why would anyone buy a sawmill for their trees to cut lumber? Not many people have a kiln for 20' pieces of lumber I would guess.
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Old 07-13-2013, 3:07 PM
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Originally Posted by problemchild View Post
So why would anyone buy a sawmill for their trees to cut lumber? Not many people have a kiln for 20' pieces of lumber I would guess.
Not my area but I can imagine a sawmill would still be a valid purchase for those who dry lumber using time in the absence of a kiln. Might take years for all I know, but I believe (not sure) the result is effective.

In the link you posted previously...the wranglerstar guy...IIRC he mentioned something along those lines, but I could be mistaken
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Old 07-13-2013, 3:10 PM
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So why would anyone buy a sawmill for their trees to cut lumber? Not many people have a kiln for 20' pieces of lumber I would guess.
You dont need a kiln. We have milled a lot of our own lumber and after its cut it gets stacked and stickered to allow airflow and then covered on top (avoid direct sunlight), and left to dry for awhile. While we have never been on a real time table to use the wood, my guess is that soft woods dry in several weeks to a few months and hard woods a bit longer. (When we season our pine firewood it days out very quickly, just a few weeks and lots of the moisture is gone.)
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Old 07-13-2013, 3:15 PM
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A quick Google search and I found this PDF that is a good primer on home sawn lumber drying.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...48705608,d.aWM
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Old 07-13-2013, 3:26 PM
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I think harvesting the logs one year and building the next is fine.
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Old 07-13-2013, 3:53 PM
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My buddy built a solar kiln, very cheap, just using corrugated fiberglass panels, it worked well for drying long lengths of wood. You just have to deal with a trailer or mobile for few years.
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Old 07-13-2013, 3:53 PM
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Cut and stack trees this spring for milling and use next spring. Cutting a lot of wet wood will quickly dull your blades and gum up your machinery.

Shrinkage, twisting and warping all occur during the drying process. Head over to your local home improvement store and check out the warping on wet cut 4x4's and touch the wood a few layers down. Still wet means you have no idea on what the final product will do as it drys. I bet you have seen walls and ceiling in homes that have a few spots that just don't look flat and straight. That's wet wood construction. And that was covered by a layer of sheet rock and plaster mud to hide it.

You don't need to use kiln dried wood but it helps. Your wood just needs to be dry, that's why I said cut this year for next year, same thing for fire wood. Your desire to build a nice log home should be tempered with the thought that it should last you a life time. Do you want to build a nice home that needs occasional maintence or do you want to be sealing every a new crack or seam everyday for the next year.
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Old 07-13-2013, 3:57 PM
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Shrinkage is a big one, so be prepared for lots of after-construction caluking . . .
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Old 07-13-2013, 4:17 PM
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Hardwoods 'dry' at approximately 1" per year in CA. So a 4"thick board will be more or less 'seasoned' in 4 years. How its stacked during this time is critical.You want equal airflow over all surfaces. ideally, you are looking for 6-8% moisture content when done.

This process is not set in stone. Its more of an art.

I've spent the last 20 years in the wood business. How wood is dried makes it or breaks it.
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Old 07-13-2013, 4:18 PM
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A kiln can speed the process to 45-90 days.
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Old 07-14-2013, 9:12 AM
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Theres a reason bowlers don't use green wood, warps, bends, twist, looses balance. As mentioned above weeks to months also depends on your humidity levels.
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Old 07-14-2013, 9:21 AM
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K thanks for the input.

One last question. I have seen guys "ring" a tree so it dies in place, standing up. A year or two later they cut it down and have a nice dried log to work with. Opinions?
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Old 07-14-2013, 9:29 AM
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rocket science.
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Old 07-14-2013, 9:42 AM
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rocket science.
threadcrapping, I always get at least one
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:25 PM
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I've seen 2x4's do a full 180 twist like a pretzel during the housing boom when they were using some of the wettest wood I've ever seen. They were slamming them together so quickly it was the only wood they could get, and would have to put sheetrock on as soon as possible to prevent the twisting. The water would literally drip/squirt out when nailed.

If you do this expect to stack and space the wood for even drying like stated above by others.
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Old 07-14-2013, 3:06 PM
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Ringing a tree will kill it and leave it standing. The trouble is falling the tree without having it bust up when it hits the ground. You have to also skin the tree, get the bark off of it before you use it for building.

Getting good strait logs to build with is a chore.
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Old 07-14-2013, 7:06 PM
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Carpenters that framed my house didn't want kiln dried. Dried lumber would split when they drove nails. I just got the typical lumber you see at every lumber yard, it still has moisture and will shrink. My house has plywood sheathing for shear walls, that held the wood in place until it dried.
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Old 07-16-2013, 7:43 PM
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ProblemChild,

You can build a hotbox and seriously increase the drying speed. There is nothing wrong with drying wood this way.

BUT
As Klewan mentioned you must be carefull not to dry the wood out too much. Normally 9-13% moisture is great for bows, they will bend with out breaking but will not take a set. I would assume this is about the same as good house lumber.
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Old 07-16-2013, 8:20 PM
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Frame your house or building with wet lumber, put up your shear panels paper and siding...roof too. Block all your stud bays, ceiling joist and roof rafters every 4 feet. Then toenail strong backs along the block lines of the wall and ceiling joist. This switches up the grain so that the boards have to fight each other to move or twist. Let the building sit unfinished for one summer than remove the strong backs on the walls, leave the ceiling strong backs on the ceiling....they are on the attic side. Plane the walls and ceiling with an electric plane to 1/8 of an inch using an 8' straight edge to check. Shim any ends of boards which have become too short.
Finish the interior....walk away without looking back. Lumber is never perfect.
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Old 07-18-2013, 5:46 AM
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Quote:
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Frame your house or building with wet lumber, put up your shear panels paper and siding...roof too. Block all your stud bays, ceiling joist and roof rafters every 4 feet. Then toenail strong backs along the block lines of the wall and ceiling joist. This switches up the grain so that the boards have to fight each other to move or twist. Let the building sit unfinished for one summer than remove the strong backs on the walls, leave the ceiling strong backs on the ceiling....they are on the attic side. Plane the walls and ceiling with an electric plane to 1/8 of an inch using an 8' straight edge to check. Shim any ends of boards which have become too short.
Finish the interior....walk away without looking back. Lumber is never perfect.
I have no idea what you just said but what are you doing next summer? Will you be near Idaho?
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Old 07-18-2013, 6:41 AM
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GC's been using green "pond dry" lumber for residential/commercial framing forever and will continue to do so if it meets the plan's specs. It's not so much the moisture content in the wood that causes reactionary twisting, warping and splitting, it's the grain structure of the piece itself. Go to a lumber yard and look at the end grains in any dimensional unit of material. You will see wide variations in the growth ring structure from pieces that were cut from the outer area of the tree right down to the heart center cuts "bulls eyes". The most docile pieces are from the outer areas, the most volatile pieces from the center area. Use the center cuts for blocking, bracing, bridging, etc. When selecting beams, be damn sure to spec F.O.H.C. free of heart center.
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Old 07-18-2013, 7:07 AM
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Excellent post....even though the OP is milling his own lumber he can still use this method of selection.
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Old 07-18-2013, 6:10 PM
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Up here in Eureka you can trade in logs for lumber, turn in your cut sheet/build list, and they will give you a estimate of how many logs (and dimensions) they need. Some are rejected (you don't get it back) though. But it has its advantages, and I found was much cheaper than buying from a retailer.

You can use greenwood in building construction, However some of the techniques it requires might be a little daunting without woodworking experience. But if you can make a table scarf join, and squinted shoulders to hold the beam up, you can build a house without nails and even stronger. Greenwood joints use the shrinking of lumber over time to make the structure rock solid. However it is a lot more work. We actually have a restoration society that teaches the techniques and then restores Victorians...but the liberals at the local college are trying to close the program that teaches people the arts (even though his program has paid for itself and is producing the college a profit.) But you might see if your local historical society or restoration groups can steer you in that direction.
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