I like sugar maple for wedges, because it can take a beating without splitting or collapsing. It has great compression strength. I was splitting a hickory log, made some wedges from its branches and used them for a while, then cut down a maple sapling nearby and made some wedges. The hickory ones would last for about one drive, then they were toast. I never destroyed the maple ones. They were beaten with a steel hammer...

I tried walnut once just because I was in need of a mallet for a little bit and had some dry walnut firewood handy. not a good idea. walnut shatters. It worked for what I needed it for, but not much else (It got demoted to a can crusher)

Wild apple? ever tried hawthorn? I bet it would do the trick!

As a side note, we have been working on an old TF house, with about 3 inches under the floor between the wood and the dirt. We had to replace the joists and the sill on some spots. The sill is white oak (I think, it is very hard to tell)

The house is of generally poor quality. The joints are loose and poorly crafted. I suspect it was a hastily built setters cabin (the early settlers around me were Amish, so they build frames not log cabins. The non-Amish settlers in our area built log cabins)

To fight against rot and mold, we covered the ground with a generous helping of agricultural lime.

We also use ag lime in barns and such places with dirt floors to harden the ground. "poor man's concrete". In our horse barn the stalls all have lime underneath them to make the ground very hard (so a skid loader can clean them out easily) yet provide drainage unlike concrete. Lime is one thing people don't know about these days that is worth considering. The ground in our barns is certainly very hard and tough because of it. My Grandpa when he built the barns did not want to use concrete as he thought that it would be messier and, more importantly, be hard on the horses' legs.

What would limewashing timbers do for rot resistance? I know that in some cases in the old days wood would be whitewashed to keep it dry, I wonder how well this works? would giving exposed timbers a good lime wash help them last longer?

I have seen many times in my research the Swiss all-wood exterior timber framed houses with a whitewashed finish inside and out. Might this be part of the reason? I wonder...

Could whitewashing joints and places that might be vulnerable to moisture travel or condensation be beneficial?

Last edited by D L Bahler; 02/20/11 03:02 AM.

Was de eine ilüchtet isch für angeri villech nid so klar.