Can I use green lumber?
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  1. #1
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    Default Can I use green lumber?

    For furniture?

    I was wanting some beams for a bed frame. Thinking 6”x6” the only thing available is green lumber, unless I was rich.

    I want to keep the beams on the floor. Was not going to do a pedistal, but I am afraid it could mold between the floor and the beams.

    Also wondering what burning the beams could do for helping using them. I hear if you seal a green beam, that the inside will rot.

  2. #2
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    In a word - no.

    When it starts to dry out,it will twist and split like crazy. Sorry

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    Get dry wood and glue it up to get a 6X6.

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    6x6 bed frame? Does your wife weigh more than your pickup truck?
    Somebody had to ask that.
    Green lumber can work fine IF you have a ton of woodworking experience designing and working with it. As it drys it will go nuts and you cannot stop it. You can make it work for you if you want that "rustic" look. Be prepared for loud checking sounds in the middle of the night.

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    I don't doo wood...But I recall reading a HS shop teacher article
    35 years ago about using
    "peg 1000" and soaking the lumber in a trash can full of it.

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    kiln dry or heat treated wood is best. why ?
    .
    heat treated is fancy way of saying they heated enough to kill any bugs in the wood. unless you like insects coming out of the wood in your house i would get the heat treated stuff.
    .
    wood going overseas they want to see HT stamp. everybody is afraid of tree bugs coming from other countries. fumigate with chemicals is another way. not sure how safe the chemicals are for people

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  11. #7
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    I'm a cabinetmaker and on several occasion, a customer brought me wood that they had cut many years ago and it was stacked in their barn for over 20 years and was "dry". The one batch was a beautiful walnut, but the boring worms were in it so bad, it was completely unusable. The owner was very proud of it and had waited all this time to use it, only for it to be worthless. The other batch was cherry that the owner used the wrong type of sticks when stacking the boards and it drew in a dark stain deep into the wood. He had lots of sticks separating the boards, so there wasn't a useful length of wood over 2' long.
    Jack

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    ...The other batch was cherry that the owner used the wrong type of sticks when stacking the boards and it drew in a dark stain deep into the wood....
    Yup, the stickers have to be dry. Bet the customer was disappointed.

    Around here, wormy butternut is popular. Don't quite know why, maybe it's because butternut is being killed by canker and there ain't gonna be no more. More slowly than the ash trees via EAB in your neck of the woods, though.

    Depending on the bed, its construction and esthetic expectations, green wood could work very well. The timberframers around here use green wood a lot, white pine, mostly. Spruce could be OK, too and quartersawed checks and twists much less than plainsawed. Knots matter too. A rectangular frame from quartersawn spruce or white pine with pegged mortise and tenon joints would outlast the OP.

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    outside there is a problem with all bare unpainted wood. carpenter bees eat holes in it and lay eggs. it can get very bad if you let them do this.
    .
    literally they get into a attic and you might find thousands of bees making holes in your house and just cause you do not see it dont mean they are not there. sometimes you go into attic after years and decades and see the damage. worse than termites sometimes.
    .
    heavily painted wood slows them down supposedly they dont like eating thick paint. i even heard the old lead paint sure its bad for people but it naturally was resistant to many insects and mold and stuff cause it is toxic

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    Instead of using a solid 6X6 you could make a box beam of 4/4 stock,or if that wasn't solid enough, make it from 6 or 8/4 stock.
    I don't see a need to make it from solid stock.
    Rick W

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    IMHO nothing beats properly seasoned wood, its so much nicer to work with than kiln dried its untrue, sure sticking it and keeping insect damage and such under control is its own art form, but the results are so worth it. If i had more space here i would have a lot lot more green stuff drying than i do.

    I have hopefully a strong lead on a multi hundred year old English oak treecirca 2'+ dia that was cut down a good 5+ years ago now, i kinda have it agreed im covering the sawing cost and in return i get 2 thick planks to make my kitchen table, once cut they will be sticked, weighted and left to dry outdoors for a couple more years then at least 2 more years inside here before i will even contemplate finishing them. the trunks amazing, have high hopes for the insides, think the grain should be wild to say the least, im sure it will have cracks and splits, but defects are kinda what you make them. Was a time i viewed every knot as a flaw, these days i see it differently, but then i kinda like stuff made out of real materials and that means warts and all!

    If you want perfect grain, perfectly flat, perfectly to size, go buy veneered chip board or spend big, but if you can see past the imperfections, you can find something so very much more!

    Tomb, yeah everything eats it because its part of the natural decay cycle, fungus, bees, wood peckers and a whole host of other life forms could not give one flying fuck some parasitic human decided to make it there home first! You want it more than them, you gotta fight em for it and the little bastards have all day and night + serious numbers on there side!

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    5 years in round? That's going to have some major checking and cracking, that's for sure. There are some who believe that if the tree is not felled directly onto your already running sawmill, it's been in round too long. Giving it 2-3 more years in its final dimension will help. My uncle kept some gorgeous live oak in 4" slabs for many years, then when my mother wanted to make a long dining room table from it, he milled it down the center and made the table right away. It split. Literally split, with cracks upwards of 1/2" wide running all the way through. It's all filled and patched now, but that was a huge bummer when it happened.

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    For my plans cracks are good, splits are too, Once its dry and stable they will get filled with resin. But above all im hopeing for seriously wild grain.

    Again if you want perfect wood you have to go buy it, if your prepaired to accept a natural product Au natural, well theres some great stuff out there and some stuff thats really best just used for fire wood!

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    My parents bought a farm a little more than 50 years ago that had a barn on it that had been built using green wood, or so I was told from an old timer in the family that my parents bought it from. Word was that they brought a portable sawmill in and dragged the trees out of the woods with horses. The men from the area did a barn raising and built it in short order. I was told that they pretty much nailed the boards up as they came off of the sawmill. Of course a barn is a little bit different than a bed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    For my plans cracks are good, splits are too, Once its dry and stable they will get filled with resin. But above all im hopeing for seriously wild grain.

    Again if you want perfect wood you have to go buy it, if your prepaired to accept a natural product Au natural, well theres some great stuff out there and some stuff thats really best just used for fire wood!
    I reckon you will be OK- oak dries very little as a log, but mill it close to the sizes you want and dry it as slowly as you can. Have you access to a pond?

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    Keep in mind that a 6x6 that has the heart running through it WILL split. May even twist to. When you make stuff with green lumber you need to know how the wood will move when it dries. No type of joint will remain tight. You have longitudinal shrinkage that is not so much, radial shrinkage that causes sections with the heart in it to split, or is that circumference? And another shrinkage, forget the name.
    I have made a few tables with green Oak, and allowed for shrinkage by pegging the tenons in some areas with tapered pegs. Tap them in a bit more when they loosen. Found one of the pegs being batted around by our cat. Winter time, tap it back in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwud View Post
    I reckon you will be OK- oak dries very little as a log, but mill it close to the sizes you want and dry it as slowly as you can. Have you access to a pond?
    I live in the uk, low humidity is not a problem we suffer from!

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    Get 6x6 glutam posts from lumber yard. They’ll have to order them in and they will cost 2x you buying 2x6 and gluing them up but they will be planed, straight, filled and done.


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