I recently picked up a number of 6-8" diameter logs that I intend to make a
log bed from. These are from fresh cut trees (pine).
I think I should probably let them dry out before embarking on this project.
So I have a few questions I was hoping the collective
wisdom of the group could help with.
1. Do I need to dry them out or build this while they're still green?
2. If I should dry them, should I remove the bark first (to speed drying)
or leave it on?
3. Building a pseudo kiln of concrete blocks, plastic, and screen material
is possible. I want to keep bugs from invading the logs while drying so
are there any recommendations here?
4. And finally, to keep bugs from burrowing and eventually hatching, are
there any sort of recommendations regarding pesticides? I really don't want
to stain the wood with pesticide or screw up the logs for finishing later so
thought I'd ask.
I appreciate any insight.
If you put it together with the green logs it will twist, shrink and
Remove it. Not so much to affect the drying, but to keep the bug problem
Well, if you can build a dryer, then go for it. De-bark the logs first and
then dry them. It's going to take a lot of drying time to dry those logs
though. You can hit the logs with just about any commercial insecticide and
you won't cause any harm with coloration, etc.
DAGS on borate mixtures - there's a lot written about it. I don't use it,
but there's a ton of information out there. Again, just about any of the
commonly available insecticides will do the job and will not leave anything
behind that will affect your ability to finish the wood. I live in a log
home and I use Spectracide every year to treat for little critters. We keep
a very close eye for things like carpenter ants and wood boring wasps, etc.
We've lived in this house for over 20 years now and we've been able to keep
insect issues well under control this way.
Spray it on right after you peel the logs and let it work while you're
peeling the next log. By the time you're done and get your drier ready to
go, your logs should be ready as well. If you're worried, hit them again
before your put your finish on. Just give it some time to work.
Thanks folks for the suggestions. So I think I'm heading into the drying
business! I'll get the logs peeled with my drawknives and get them drying
in a cheaply fashioned kiln (cmu block!). I'll take a look at the borax and
spectracide as well. The bugs are terrible here in terms of termites and
other boring insects so it's good to know these chems won't damage/stain the
Thanks for the help.
To minimize checking, seal the endgrain now if you have not already.
Wax (like melted parrafin, it needs to be thicker than a paste-waxed
surface) is best. Shellac is good. Glue is good. Latex paint is not
better than nothing.
Left round in log form the wood might not warp or twist while it dries,
but it will check for sure. You can minimize that, but not eliminate
Read up on blue stain, I got some big pine timbers sawed and made a timber
framed staircase and didn't know how to properly let them dry. It is mold
eating the natural sugars in the sap and they leave a blue stain in the wood
that is impossible to remove but it does not harm the wood any. As I
understand it you want them outside in the wind for a while. I put mine
inside a warm garage and within weeks had mold all over them.
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