Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Misuse of Wood
 At 60 years old, I consider myself in about the third grade when it comes to wood. This is funny to me because I have been sawing commercially for over 20 years and have a few million feet under my belt.
Here is a little tidbit that I am working on:
 I advise people when building barns and such to not forget the less desirable wood for interior use. Doing this can usually save the customer twenty percent on the cost. This has been received as revolutionary, and although people are doing it.  They are still skeptical.
 The woods that I am recommending range from poor-grade walnut – that is walnut not usable for fine furniture and in line with Oak in price - on the bottom run in stalls. The walnut is rot resistant and horses don’t crib. Use beech, elm, hackberry, gum and others on the inside walls. These come as the off boards and commercially they are used in the pallet industry for pennies compared with other wood.
 Now that I have shared the revolutionary information, let me share what the professor has enlightened me with.  The professor is the five structures on my new farm. They range from 150 years old to about 60 years old.
The original cabin that was built in about 1900 is a pole structure with two rooms and a porch with a side shed. The walls inside the structure are beech. Beech was and still is a less desirable wood. It appears they needed a structure to stay dry and used the cheapest wood available. It still stands testimony to a good roof.
The second cabin more elaborately built next to the old cabin has beautiful wood walls that are striking. The grain pattern is 15 years per inch. The hue reflects the sun like no wood I have ever seen. Oh, by the way it is GUM.  
Here is the lesson that I am just beginning to get through my dense scull. It is good management to use the lessor grades of wood, and this means there is a higher profit margin for your homestead.
An old timer had me cut a barn pattern years ago, and a lot of this is from that start. I pulled up to his farm and set up in the shade of some of the finest timber in the country. When I started cutting that was not what he had there for me to cut.
The following is the lumber list:
Post Oak for the sills
Red Oak for the rafters and joist
White Oak for the Banding
Hackberry for the loft
Sycamore for the pearling
Poplar for the siding

Each had a strength and a use. This is what I hope your homestead can evolve to. 

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