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Author Topic: Seasoning Lumber  (Read 556 times)

Vile Traveller

  • Joined Dec 2019
Seasoning Lumber
« on: February 13, 2021, 08:49:19 pm »
Question for the group mind: there'll be a few trees coming down here in my new bit of wood, among them an oak, and a very tall and straight larch. I have plans to use them in various building projects. Any advice on seasoning? Best to split or saw them before seasoning, right?

How does one get logs sawn? Do timber yards collect and re-deliver? Any idea how much that sort of thing costs?

I'm in North Wales, by the way.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Seasoning Lumber
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2021, 09:24:15 am »
Seasoning for construction requires very slow drying and this is achieved by removing the bark and soaking in some kind of oil (perhaps old engine oil, because it's black) to restrict the water loss. There are yards here that use that process, with wood in racks for years (I assume there is an industrial quick solution). Once it has been seasoned and the distortion and shrinkage splitting is known, the wood can be split and sawn to size.


We went to the Staffordshire show years ago and there was a stand with a mobile sawing unit. Basically you cut down and season your wood, then hire the saw team to come and cut it up. Best find someone to saw it first and get their advice I think VT.

Vile Traveller

  • Joined Dec 2019
Re: Seasoning Lumber
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2021, 05:36:03 pm »
Yep, I've now been advised to see about getting it planked after cutting, and then seasoning on site. I'm in no hurry, plenty to do before I get around to building my tea house. So, now to find someone in Gwynedd with an Alaskan Mill!  :tree:

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Seasoning Lumber
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2021, 12:59:26 pm »
I'm fascinated by your name VT. :thinking:


Care to share it's origin with us? :innocent:
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some like to think it's in England.
Re: Seasoning Lumber
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2021, 06:56:54 pm »
... slow drying and this is achieved by removing the bark and soaking in some kind of oil (perhaps old engine oil, because it's black) to restrict the water loss. ...


That doesn't sound very environmentally friendly, but then Chris is in France !  LoL

Vile Traveller

  • Joined Dec 2019
Re: Seasoning Lumber
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2021, 07:52:23 pm »
I'm fascinated by your name VT. :thinking:


Care to share it's origin with us? :innocent:
It's "Vile" because I'm too young to be called an Ur-Vile ... and if you get that literary reference, you're probably of the same vintage as me! "Traveller" is more prosaic, when I set up the gmail account to go with it vile@gmail.com was already taken ...

Now, my profile pic has a much more interesting story! It's one of my first-ever digital photos, shot just after a dive-bombing avian parted my hair with the wind of its passing discharge. The fact that it landed on the pavement in front of me in the shape of V for Vendetta's anarchist symbol made it clear this was no random bird dropping, I was dealing with a free spirit and a rebel, just like I was in those halcyon days ...  :poo:

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Seasoning Lumber
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2021, 08:45:04 pm »
Many thanks for the explanation. :sunshine:


(I'll have to look up Ur-Vile!) :thinking:
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Seasoning Lumber
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2021, 11:37:39 am »
I looked it up and I'm still none the wiser.


Engine oil (and every town has a tip that will take it) is a small issue Arobwk. The two big ones we have encountered are pesticides and asbestos. Three years ago they took samples of dust from inside houses near to vineyards and found them loaded with pesticides. Even worse than that one of the pesticides detected had been banned 6 years earlier, but clearly it had been stockpiled and was still being used. Our tap water is undrinkable, being officially classified as 'mediocre' quality, but containing 49 ppm of pesticides with a maximum limit of 50. Asbestos roof panels are everywhere on older properties and it is difficult and very expensive to remove and replace them- ?100 per m2 minimum. So there are many properties that are really unsaleable, just hoping for someone to buy in ignorance. Of course a lot of these panels are now reaching the end of their life, so many outbuildings shouldn't even be entered. This property is the only one of 50 odd we viewed that didn't have any.

Vile Traveller

  • Joined Dec 2019
Re: Seasoning Lumber
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2021, 07:49:48 pm »
Air-seasoning isn't really a problem for me as I have time and space (ooh, I sound like Doctor Who), so I'll be doing that - provided I can find someone to cut up the logs on site. Actually, if I can't, I'll still stack them, but it'll be a lot more elbow grease on my part splitting them by hand. Still, getting to know the material as intimately as possible is all part of the game.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some like to think it's in England.
Re: Seasoning Lumber
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2021, 09:17:28 pm »
VT - I can't really help much here, but I'm thinking back to neighbours of a property I was looking at once.  They were the "keepers" of a natural burial site and somehow managed to obtain PP for a small self-built home from "raw" materials. 
What they had done was build their own saw-bed on site for dealing with their timber requirements. Quite an undertaking on its own, but I guess they worked out it was cost effective for them.  Not sure what arrangements/machinery they had to get the logs onto the saw-bed or how it was powered:  it had a very big blade though !!!
« Last Edit: February 17, 2021, 09:22:42 pm by arobwk »

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Seasoning Lumber
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2021, 07:24:34 am »
Being French speaking they feature Quebec a bit here on TV. Showed someone building a log cabin and to cut the planking they had a jig that clamped onto the log to act as a guide for a chain saw. Quite a simple arrangement really.

Vile Traveller

  • Joined Dec 2019
Re: Seasoning Lumber
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2021, 08:01:27 pm »
Showed someone building a log cabin and to cut the planking they had a jig that clamped onto the log to act as a guide for a chain saw.
Yeah, I found that's what an "Alaskan mill" is: https://youtu.be/xdIoCBzadgw

 

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