I have a pole barn I want to enclose for security and equipment
protection from the elements and would appreciate input from
knowledgeable members of the rec-woodworking community.
1) I plan to use rough (sawmill) cut yellow pine from a local mill in
6" and 8" widths with 2" Batten strips. If I use 3/4" rough cut
lumber versus full 1" stock I think I can save about 25% of the raw
material cost. Any problems seen with this approach? On 2000 bd. ft.
at $400 per 1000 this amounts to only $200, so maybe the view is not
worth the climb?
2) I plan to stack and dry the green lumber for a period of time. I
know the 1 year per inch rule, but this is a barn I am covering, not
furniture construction. How long should I air dry the lumber to get
'most' of the moisture to equilibrium with ambient conditions to
prevent noticeable shrinkage and warping after installation? Would 6
months be enough?
3) I would like the barn to look 'natural' after completion. Any input
on finishing the wood for bug or insect protection? Spray with a
preservative or let age naturally??
4) How much should I allow for waste? 10%, 15%, 20%???? I plan to
have the boards cut to minimum 9' Lengths (the height of the barn
The thinner material might be better, not only from a cost stand point but
it will not tend to cup as bad.
When air drying lumber use stickers at least 1 1/4" and don't allow any of
the lumber to
touch each other, gapping the pieces about 2".
Six months will probably be enough depending on the weather,
when I put up board and batten, I put one screw in the center of the wide
at each blocking and same for the batten, this will keep the wider boards
from splitting and will allow plenty of movement for moisture changes
across the width of the boards.
I like plain linseed oil for this, try it on scrap to see what you think
20%, you can never have too much lumber around.
For what it's worth, I usually use 8" boards and space them 1 3/4" apart,
this makes the material look wider and makes it possible to use a standard
for the batten.
Been there, done that... 2 years ago, shy 4/4 rough white pine vertical
I think you would be fine. The stock that I used was about 7/8" and it was
more than enough. I would also say that it depends on the distance between
girts. I kept it < 5' between horizontal members.
I kept mine outside from March to August and it was plenty dry for siding.
You don't need it dry enough for cabinet making. Plan on restackign you
wood al least once to flip the boards and mive the inside boards to the
outside. Admittedly I underspaced my boards initially with 1/2" spacing.
This resulted in some blue-stain fungus developing on some of the interior
boards. More is better for air space.
I went natural, but mitigated potential damage by putting the whole
structure 24" above the ground. I would surmise that "it depends" based on
geography (climate/fauna), roof overhang and ground proximity.
It would suck to not have enough, and we are woodworker... inventory is a
good thing, and now you have a barn to keep it in. IME, the waste factor was
actually pretty low. You will loose 5% just to drying shrinkage and some
more to ripping crook from your less behaved boards. Since you will have
essentially no longitudinal waste, I would plan on 10% waste but buy another
%5 as a safety margin.
Also... when I ordered 10' boards from my saw mill I got log-length wood.
That is, anywhere from 10'2" to 11'. so there was usually plenty of built-in
waste to get rid of the inevitable end checks. YMMV
You're not building furniture. Put the stuff up green, The
battens will cover the shrinkage, one of the reasons the style was
initiated. Hold off on exterior finish until the material is
initially dry. I doubt our forefathers waited a year or more to
air dry the materials of yore.
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
Back in '66-'68 we resided part of the barn and half the driving shed
with elm boards cut from the trees we were dropping in the woodlot
due to dutch elm disease. IIRC they were down for less than a month
before being sawn, and stacked to airdry for a couple weeks before
they were nailed to the barn - and no Battens.
The replacement beams for the barnfloor were down for about a month
before sawing - and likely sat for 3-9 months before being installed
in the barn - 3 months till the first ones went in, 9 till the last
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