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Country Discussion Topics
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About barns here - any of you building with farm lumber?
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D.Mosey    Posted 05-26-2002 at 20:40:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
Been reading and looking at some pictures here of a barm, and realized it ain't something I could do because of the money for material & labor. But I can build my own, and have.
ANY of you out there built your own barn with your own material using an Alaskan Mill? Been looking into them some. Have read some in the millimg club site on
Just want to hear from some other farmers that have MADE DO with what nature has given them to work with on their own place.
Biggest nut to crack on most farms is the cost effectiveness of capital improvement. If you are like me then maybe you got more time than money too. Don't get me wrong, time is hard to come by, but not as hard to come by as the money.

Dennis in Ma    Posted 05-28-2002 at 09:52:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]
When I cleared the land to build my house, I took the trees to a mill and they did a one-for-one deal with me. They cut one for me and then cut one for them. When all was done I ended up with about 12,000 board feet. I built a 30x40 barn with one side 12 ft high and the other 8 feet high sort of a sideways salt box design. I wanted a 12ft high door to get large equipment in. I built all the side walls using lumber placed at 45 degree angles for strength. I built it while the contractor built the house. BTW, he finished the house before I finished the barn !

DeadCarp - Aussie alternative sawmill    Posted 05-27-2002 at 10:24:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
There's a guy in the outback who has built a rather clever device for cutting beams, and in fact he makes his living cutting/supplying railroad ties. The thing rather resembles a giant tiller, but there's a circlesaw where the tines would be.

It's little more than an old car motor mounted across a 2-wheeled trailer, with a pair of long handlebars out back and the sawblade climb-cuts in front. It's tall enough to straddle the logs. He props the log a bit above the ground, snaps a chalkline for a guide, lets the blade to pull itself along the log and has individual grab-brakes at each wheel to help steer the thing. Oh, the axle has a belt-driven, idler-pulley-clutched assist.

Looks cumbersome as anything, but it's properly balanced, produces a nice heap of ties every day & sure outcuts any chainsaw.

screaminghollow    Posted 05-26-2002 at 21:37:06       [Reply]  [Send Email]
In this area, you can buy your saw mill, or if you got the logs, pay $40 per hour to someone with a band saw mill to come in and cut up your logs. If you got prime logs, some mills will cut for a share of the lumber. In 6 or 7 hours, the guy can slice and dice many dozens of logs. One guy a few miles away, had posts and beams cut from his trees and got enough to frame out several out buildings. He even built a few log structures including a goat barn. If you are contemplating one of those chain saw attachments, they are fine in the outback/deep woods, but if you are near roads, get a guy to come in with a bandsaw mill to cut it up for you.

TomH    Posted 05-27-2002 at 05:46:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'll second that. I tried a chainsaw mill once. Maybe with a proper chain (ground for ripping instead of cross cutting) it wouldn't have been quite so bad. But it's really hard, noisy, and slow work. I can't imaging cutting enough boards with one to build a barn.

A band saw mill with a proper carriage and hydraulic log lift is much safer and more efficient.

D. Mosey    Posted 05-27-2002 at 06:33:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Seems like a body can get the siding very cheap from local sawmills. Looks like all the mills sell culls that don't measure up to 4/4. Lots of 1X8 for a 1/10 of the cost of lumber yard or tin siding. Some of it is only 5/8" thick, most of it is 3/4-

The frame lumber will come from an Alaskan Mill. I wouldn't dream of using a crosscut chain.
With a big enough saw and a rip chain you can easily mill a foot a minute. Takes at least a 90cc saw to handle that kind of production. The logs will be handled with a tractor/loader, and set up at a good working height. I've used a beam cutting guide with good results this way.

The posts, rafters, headers, and such are all available right here on our place. Siding & roofing I'll have to buy. Posts will be Red Cedar
that will be ripped in half. Will set them on a rock at the bottom of a 4' hole. Just tore down a corn crib that was built that way 100 years ago. The Cedar was still firm. Convinced me, sure enough.
I've looked into the bandsaw mills here. There are 2 guys that have them. They won't bother with any work unless you hire them out for several days. Can't see that I got a days worth for a bandsaw. Need 16 posts, 38 rafters, and 8 headers to close in a 72' shed add-on for equipment & hay. If'n that bandsaw is going to cost me $600 - 800 to have here I'll be durn if that ain't yuppie high in cost-

Looks like the biggest exspense is the tin.
Any of you know of a roof material alternative?
A heavy equipment contractor once told be about some heavy vinyl sheeting they use for under crush & run in wet areas that can't be drained well. He said he has seen it on roofs & used as siding too. I can't seem to find out any more info on the stuff. Interested in your thoughts- D. Mosey

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