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Hemlock #360 01/25/03 01:38 PM
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Mike MV Offline OP
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I live in upstate NY and have quite a bit of hemlock on my property. I was considering using it for my timber frame. Is this advisible? Does it have to season? I am in the begining stages of this and don't know alot about it.
I want to build a 24 by 40 ft, one story addition to a existing building.
I wonder how much this will cost eek
Thank You

Re: Hemlock #361 01/26/03 03:43 AM
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jekbear Offline
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Mike - I recently built a 24'x36' timber frame barn from green hemlock from the southern tier. Its main problem is that is prone to shake. I had a good batch in which only 3 beams out of 90 beams total showed the problem. The frame has been up for 18 months and so far has shown only minor movement. It works very easily green and is progressively harder to work as it dries. Good luck with your project. jekbear

Re: Hemlock #362 01/27/03 12:38 AM
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John Milburn Offline
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Mike, I used a little hemlock in my frame and found it very hard to work. The trees I cut were tall, free of limbs for up about 40 feet, close grain, and had no shake. The logs laid at the sawmill 9 months before milling. I found it more difficult to cut tenons, and when paring across the grain found it to be stringy and difficult to obtain a smooth finish. This is only my opinion, I would rather work with hard woods or white pine before I would use hemlock for timbers again. I to am also interested to hear feedback from some of the other members. Good luck, John...

Re: Hemlock #363 01/27/03 01:36 PM
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Mike

I've worked as the designer/Engineer for a few projects with Hemlock, and shake was a major concern. In some cases, up to one-quarter of the pieces had very heavy shake; the timbers were supplied from mills all over Nova Scotia, Canada. It was also quite a bit tougher to work with, as compared to White Pine (see above post re: paring across the grain). However, Hemlock does clean up nicely, and yileds a nice yellowish hue when oiled.

Mark Gillis

Re: Hemlock #364 02/06/03 12:18 PM
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Annemarie Roseberger Offline
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We use hemlock quite a bit. It is one of my favorite woods, I really like the grain and the color of hemlock. It is heavy and stronger than pine. We always use it green. We also spend quite a bit of time grading the timbers. Our sawyer knows what we require, and is great about sending good quality timbers to us. But we still check for extreme shake in every timber. If you look at the butt end of the timber, check the growth rings. If there is a separation in the rings, there will be a problem with shake...don't use the timber for anything structural. Make sure you check both ends.

As the good timbers dry in place there will be minor shake,small paper thin areas where the top ring has separated. These aren't a problem. We have never had a timber in a house shake beyond that because we are careful.

In our area, hemlock is around the same price as pine. There is a lot of hemlock where we are. It is used for pulp wood, and as the number of paper mills diminishes in our area, the loggers have a hard time getting rid of it, so it is easy to get.

Re: Hemlock #365 02/06/03 01:40 PM
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To follow up on Annemarie's comments, Hemlock in Nova Scotia is about 15-25% less expensive than Pine, and is mainly used as flooring. In-service, it tends to act a lot like Pine; the crew just don't like working with it...

On another topic, we've been discussing Eastern Hemlock, but does anyone have any comments on Western Hemlock? I know that the Canadian Wood Design Manual rates "Pacific Coast Hemlock" second only to D.Fir/Western Larch in many strength categories, and that a number of companies out west are using it regularly.

Any comments?

Mark Gillis


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