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Baron
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Eastern Larch Drying and use

Hello Knarly Norwood Members! I'm helpless again and would benefit from your experience.I Would like to use Larch (tamarack) for my new deck. I have never worked with it before and need to ask advice. Is it sappy enough that it needs to be kiln dried. I only have a Solar Kiln which is great for hardwood but not for fixing resin. Can I use it green and lay it board to board and count on natural shrinkage to open the proper sized gaps?I am fixing to use it rough sawn but with one surface planed. Will that be nice on bare feet? will I regret not fixing the resin in a commercial kiln?Please advise.Thanks in advance for your comments,BaronModify message  

 

Bill
Bill's picture

I havn't cut a lot of Tamrac Baron but with western pitch has never been a problem. Give it a whirl and let us know how it turns out smiley.

Baron
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Bill,

I'm a big chicken. The Deck will be 1000 bd ft and if I loose and the sap is a problem it'll cost mor to pull up than it did to lay down. People will be calling me an Old Sap. There is a difference, I just found out, btwn western and eastern Larch an while I don't know how it affects my project I found that interesting. It seems that from somewhere around Roland to just north of you there is Larix Occidentalis (western). You and all of Canada and sporadically throughout the northeast we have Larix Laricina Eastern or American). But not the Northwest of the USA. 

Bill do you like working with Tamarack?

Maybe others can also tell us about their experience with non-kilndried Larch. Will I regret not setting the resin.

Baron

Bill
Bill's picture

Tamarack  ( Larch)  is very straight grained and very heavy when green. Wrought resistant & use here at one time for shakes on cabins because for one reason you could split them 8' long with ease & I've been told make great fence posts. Once dry you can't drive a nail in it . I have a scoffed plank 12' long I've been using for over 30 years and when I stand in the middle it doesn't deflect 1/8" but it's heavy. 

   Cut a couple boards and put them out in the sun for a few wks. and observe the results then you can decide.

Baron
Baron's picture

Okay Bill. You forced the truth out of me......I was fix'in to buy the Larch.....at a premium. That is why I need to be sure ahead of time. Please don't tell anyone that I bought lumber while owning a nice mill. 

Your idea of setting a test peice out in the sun is interesting. Is it your idea that the resin will either come to the surface or won't, thereby determining if I'll need to kiln dry it or not?

I have had White pine beams become a total mess after leaving them in the sun for a week uncovered. In general I have very little experience with conifer lumber

 

Bill
Bill's picture

If it's going to bleed it will sitting in the sun and if there are small beads of pitch ( 1/8 " dia. )after a wk. if they are hard you should be able to sweep them off if not go to plan B smiley.

r.garrison1
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I have a couple logs sitting that I want to use as a bridge; I don't see any sap in them, and they have been sitting a couple years.

I cut a little last year; similar to doug fir when green. Gave the wood to my brother-in-law for helping me tune up the mill.

Sorry for the delay in response, because I've been out of touch the last couple weeks in a trench; getting a permanent water system in (finally).

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9hiGcsIM8WPTnJCNzkyM1l3WDQ

 

Bill
Bill's picture

Looks like a large water system yes.

Baron
Baron's picture

Bill I'll try that Idea. Sure does worry me though. Do you kiln dry western red cedar?

Roland, when is your water powered mill going in. I see you standing in the raceway. Are you putting the waterwheel right onto the LM29? My what a trench. I bet you'll love not having to carry water anymore. 

r.garrison1
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Yeah, I'm developing an Advanced Dynamic - Hydraulic Operated Cutting system (AD-HOC).

The trench is that deep for frost heaving, combined with big rocks in the area. 

That isn't a pipe, but is the garbage can I use to carry the gravel to places where I can't get the tractor between the trees or piles of dirt.

I'm using 2" pipe.

Baron
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Should'a dug a bigger trench. AD-HOC, eh? 

Bill
Bill's picture

You can dry  it but for a deck IMHO it would be a waste of time every winter it would swell and every summer shrink the gap would vary from 3/8" to tight depending on the season.

Baron
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So you also would lay it green? I'll have it stickered for about 6 weeks when I lay it board-to-board and I thought it may be 1/4-1/2  during summer. I cant decide weather to finish it before installation (3 sides) or wait a year and wash it and apply finish to the top only. 

Please advise.

 

r.garrison1
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Sounds like an opportunity for some tongue in groove or something.

 

Bill
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Baron both sides or only the top ? it wouldn't hurt to do both sides but as far as the top goes any deck not under cover from my experience using a doz. or more products is that expect to do it every couple years . I had a small experimental deck and for over 10 years I tried different products on it some lasted 6 mons. some a year and non ever made it where it would look good still after the sec. year. As a result when asked what to use I have no good suggestions how to finish a deck except put a roof over it.

Baron
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We used Drain oil and creasote on our self-unloading silage wagons and they lasted for many years. I don't intend that for this projectsmiley

Technically if the deck dries rapidly after rains it should last for years without any treatment. I will probably use an oil twice a year out of a pump sprayer. I like tung oil but it is too expensive and I like linseed but it is too short-lived. I'll probably use something cheap and watery on a frequent basis. Something like Thompsons that can be sprayed and rolled out. They also work to keep snow from sticking fast if put down in late fall. 

Wouldn't tongue and groove trap water and create freezing and rot issues. I sounds temping but........

 

Bill
Bill's picture

Thomson's is paraffin based and last about a mon. probably the best thing maybe not cheap but will keep the wood from rotting is Called ( Life Time.)

Baron
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I see it is in some Ace stores and also in Goodies in East haven Connecticut. I was just there a week ago. Sounds like its up my Alley. Thanks 

r.garrison1
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I can't attest to how long it lasts, but I like linseed oil combined with turpentine as an undercoat. The turpentine sucks the oil into the wood.

Baron
Baron's picture

I like the patina that Linseed puts onto wood and I had forgotten about the tupentine. But the Lifetime is water based and only one application ever. I wonder if it could be applied over stain and linseed combinations. Lifetime turns Silver and I want light brown. I guess its time to go play with them. photo lifetime-wood-treatment-logo 3_zpsecoer8db.jpg

Baron
Baron's picture

There is also the Borate products. Lovitt makes a bunch, and others. 

 

With Larch is there allot of sapwood and if so should it be eliminated from the deck? I wish I could hear from someone that has worked with eastern Larch.