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Best trees in Southeast usa, for building.  RSS feed

 
brandon gross
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I know the difference between hardwood and soft wood and how to id good bit of tree species in my area (middle south georgia ish). I have been looking to build a Oehler type structure (sorta), and I recently picked up a copy of Roundwood Timber Framing (Paul's fault for reposting the permiculture Magazine podcast). In the review for Laws book it mentioned the chapter on tree species to use. WHenI got the book in the mail I excitedly flipped strait to CHapter 3 to see the tree species, then I remembered he's from england and i dont recognize any ot these species. Even worse I noticed that each specie was better used for diffrent things (poles vs Flooring Ect.).
All that a side, I was thinking I could use what ever tree for whatever aslong as it was the right size, but Mr. Law had to ruin that and bring me back to reality. So does any one know what the species generally work better for what applications. Like are oaks good for post or Pines better. More specifically goes any one in the south est know of a list or can make a good suggestion as to what tress make the best post and what not. I plan on looking through the exstention service or usda paper files but normaly a permie comes up with the best solutions.
Ran cross these guys they have done a paper or two on "wholetree" construction and have one neat places in there portfolio.
http://wholetrees.com/
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Brian Knight
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Location: Asheville NC
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White oak is pretty rot resistant too. Almost any species will work for posts if its the right size and protected from rot. Its the spanning and carrying weight part where you run into alot of variance. Youre lucky to live in the land of Southern Yellow Pine SYP, one of the most desirable species for spanning loads.
 
brandon gross
Posts: 213
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Brian not to sound dumb but I am just figuring things out. Spanning an weight would be for your roof beams correct? I have to go back through some lititure, but would diffrent species have diffren load carring abilitys ( by thiss I mean diffrent pines) or yould it depend mostly on the diamator of the trunck? The propperty I'm looking at has long leaf pine, and slash pine as well as souther red oak and I think mmaybe the wild walnut verity tthat thrives here.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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spanning weight refers to a horizontal beam that sits on top of the posts, sometimes referred to as a girt, when used to connect two bents together for structure integrity. Think top plate when comparing to stick built structures. You need a wood with enough strength to resist deflection. Yellow pine is not as desirable as a white pine, when comparing pines. White Oak is good but also heavy, Hickory too would be a good choice for the south, but I would use the hickory for posts and White oak or white pine for beams. The house I am planning right now will have hickory posts and oak beams. I have no pines available for this project. Red oak, while a decent structure wood, has some drawbacks and I have never chosen it for posts or beams. Red oak has a far more open cellular structure (straw effect) when compared to White Oak (no straw effect) which means it will do fairly well in tension but not so hot in compression. It does make nice furniture though.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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When you have a good supply on your own land, costs should be low. No need to skimp on the size of framing members. Go large and use it round. I have a giant cottonwood that may become posts. At nearly 4 ft. in diameter, even this less desirable species will be very strong.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Brandon...do you know any Timberwrights in your area? I can try to find some if I knew exactly where you are at. It can be daunting to try and design and build a timber structure without some solid background in timber framing and/or other natural building modalities. I have only been following along up to now. If you post your questions as "bullets" I can do a better job of scanning and answering. Not to take much anything from Mr Law (or your interpretation of his meaning) but wood is a very unique material species, where it grows, size and even soils can have an impact on application modality. Yes, different species have different modules of rupture, bending, compression, and shear...(all applicable to spanning and compressive loads.) There is also a great deal on the net, though some of the information is a bit "iffy."

You can cut a timber frame out of all white pine, or all oak...or even cypress, and tulip poplar (a type of magnolia.) Look forward to more questions...

Regards,

j
 
brandon gross
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Bryant, dale, and jay thanks for for all your help. I have done some traditinal (modern) framing projects helping to build extenttions on to houses and remodling. Wood is not usally my choice of medium I'm a welder and feel that metal is way more forgiving. I like the idea of tradinal jointing but honestly I hope to beat the hell out of wha ever scrap metal I can find to make custom braces.
The questions in bullets is way smarter jay I'm not sure why I haven't thought of that before. I have a couple books on the subject matter but I do hope to find someone with actual experance tast to learn from. My drunk uncles have built pole barns in the past and figured when the time came tthey would be willing to help.
Thanks again any futher thoughts and suggestions on the basics will be greatly apreciated.
 
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The $50 and Up Underground House Book by Mike Oehler - digital download
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