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Old 02-15-2016, 10:36 AM   #1
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White Oak or White Pine


I have a dilemma.

I can use white oak or white pine for the interior timber frame elements of the house I'm about to have built but I don't know which would be best. I know that white oak is harder, stronger, more rot resistant , and I think it looks better but it checks more, is less dimentionally stable, and they will cost about $4,000.00 more for what I need to have done.

The checking would not be a problem for me, in face I like the aesthetic. I think it adds character. However, the shrinking and twisting would be a problem since these timbers will be "green", i.e., not cured.

My contractor's tolerances are 1/16' but some of the spans are more than 20' and the timbers are pretty big (smaller for oak than for pine as oak can bear heaver loads for it's size) so the total amount of shrinking would be significant. I'm thinking that all this skill to join larger timbers to 1/16" may, in the end, be for naught if the timbers separate so much as they cure. As (which is a problem since this will be green timber and I expect it will shrink a lot and may twist too).

These timber frame elements will be inside and kept dry so I don't think rot would be an important consideration. The pine is not as strong but it isn't as heavy either so that may sorta even things out there.

I don't know, I really hate to give up the "look" of oak timbers but as I learned when I was married, looks are not everything. Like my great granddad told me once "Boy purddy don't last but cookin' does".

What do you guys think (about the timbers ?
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:18 AM   #2
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I am a little confused by your post. Are you building a post and beam house with custom milled timbers? I understand that green timber can be used with special techniques (see http://www.motherearthnews.com/green...z76mjztak.aspx), but I am not clear that your contractor is proposing to use the special techniques required when working with large format green lumber. As to the shrinkage and twisting, bear in mind that the shrinkage is almost entirely perpendicular to the grain, so the length of the beams changes very little, while the other two dimensions can change several percent. And the beams can twist due to differential movement cross grain.
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:29 AM   #3
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Thanks Daniel,

This will be a "hybrid" type house since I can not afford a full timberframe home. The beams will be load bearing and exposed however they walls behind the plaster will be conventional "stick" construction. So there are beams but no posts.
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:33 AM   #4
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Sorry for all the typos. Sheesh....

"in face" = "in fact"

and probably more. I wish there was an editing feature.
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Old 02-15-2016, 07:19 PM   #5
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I can not imagine you would use anything other than some size of glulam beam for that big of a span.

we have done many exposed glulams they look alright even though you can tell they are laminated.

the rough sawn texture if desired makes it harder to see the lines.

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Old 02-15-2016, 07:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrowLLLTigeRRR View Post
Thanks Daniel,

This will be a "hybrid" type house since I can not afford a full timberframe home. The beams will be load bearing and exposed however they walls behind the plaster will be conventional "stick" construction. So there are beams but no posts.
Just thought of something we have been doing a lot lately it seems. A lot of the higher end custom homes have been putting in large timbers just for the look but they are not structural. they are designing the trusses for the extra load and just hang the timbers from the trusses. They most likely saved a good chunk of change by being able to use smaller timbers and still get the craftsmen look they wanted.

here is a video of a house we built a while back at the beginning you will see the timbers on the ceiling.
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:29 PM   #7
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That looks really nice. I just can not bring myself to do it just for cosmetic reasons though. I tried
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mingledtrash View Post
I can not imagine you would use anything other than some size of glulam beam for that big of a span.

we have done many exposed glulams they look alright even though you can tell they are laminated.

the rough sawn texture if desired makes it harder to see the lines.


i misspoke. On second look the spans are not quite 20'. Here's a drawing of the upper two floors.
Attached Thumbnails
White Oak or White Pine-1st.jpg   White Oak or White Pine-2nd.jpg  
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:49 PM   #9
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Those dont show the structural page. but i am guessing the grid pattern i am seeing is the beams you want?

DO NOT use green lumber for this you Will regret it.

If you can get both types of wood signed off by the engineers. then it comes down to which species you like the look of best and what the price is.

I personally dont think its worth the extra money for the hardwood though it does have a bigger friendlier grain.

If i was doing this in my house i would use doug-fir its stronger than pine and cheaper than oak. it also has very good qualities for structural applications thats why it is the most popular structural lumber. it is stronger than pine, stronger and stays nice and straight.

here what doug-fir looks like.
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:57 PM   #10
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That's really nice. I thought about Douglas fir but here in the mountains of VA the price is about the same as oak after shipping.

Unfortunately kiln dried beams are too pricey for me or I would use them for sure.

Is that your place? It's beautiful.
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrowLLLTigeRRR View Post
That's really nice. I thought about Douglas fir but here in the mountains of VA the price is about the same as oak after shipping.

Unfortunately kiln dried beams are too pricey for me or I would use them for sure.

Is that your place? It's beautiful.
Ya in my dreams. Lol.

Ya i am on the west coast so doug fir is the cheapest way to go so thats what my opinions are based on. i was actually extremely surprised, and thought you were crazy when i first read that you wanted to use oak structural. it would cost a large fortune to get it shipped out west.

You dont have to get kiln dried but you still want them to season a bit before you start building. even air drying on a rack will lower moisture content significantly.

here is a place you might want to look into if you havent already.
http://www.mcilvain.com/softwoods/douglas-fir/

http://www.mcilvain.com/softwoods/

Quote:
sourcing Douglas Fir has become more difficult. Although the species has a wide range up and down the western coast of North America, moving large timbers more than 3000 miles to east coast projects can be both cost prohibitive and time consuming. J. Gibson McIlvain tackles this supply chain problem by maintaining a large stock of Douglas Fir at our headquarters in Maryland as well as in our storage facilities in Connecticut and on the west coast.
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:17 PM   #12
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Here are drawings with dimensions.
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White Oak or White Pine-1.jpg   White Oak or White Pine-2.jpg   White Oak or White Pine-3.jpg  
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:28 AM   #13
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After looking at your plans i think you could save a pretty good chunk of change by only using your timbers in select areas of your house to accentuate things, instead of running them everywhere, it will also look much better. You would just build your house with normal beams hidden in the walls and ceiling and then put these guys up just for looks you do have to do a little extra blocking and support for them but its not that much.

here are a few examples these are parade of homes houses. so supposedly the best designs and trends.












Another thing, not to be a downer but, i kinda feel like your entry is designed badly. It would flow better if you could move the wall between entry door and bed 1 over so that the window could be a side light for your door. course then you would need to move bed 1 upstairs and your study downstairs but its a much better design your study will be near your front door so you can conduct whatever business you need with someone with out inviting them full on into your home. your bed will be closer to the master if you ever have kids this is better to keep an eye on them. also you would be able to change the bathroom on the main floor to a powder room which would free up some space for your entry or study.

ya i know i better stop. lol.
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