Asked by Greg from Indiana
I enjoyed your interview with Jack Spirko.
We have been planning to build a garage to attach to our existing log home via an enclosed breezeway.
What are your thoughts on a post and beam barn attached to an existing structure?
We have a wood-mizer mill and an abundance of nice ash trees. I purchased the 22×30 plans which would fit nicely If I dropped the lean two on one side and tied it into the log home with the previously planned breezeway.
I read your recommendation about not kiln dry structural timbers but we also have available a dry kiln which could reduce movement issues where tied into the existing structure.
Thank you for your question. Yes attaching to an existing structure would work just fine. I’m glad to hear that you will be utilizing some Ash borer killed Ash trees in your project.
If you want to use a kiln to dry your timbers of course you could and since you are using Ash it may be better than taking the risk of movement or twisting after your barn is built.
I would still paint the end grain of the timber to prevent them from cracking deeply when the timbers are drying out. If you have the time the very best thing to do is to air dry your timbers before building.
Even if all you do is cut the trees down and stack the logs for a few months, that would be better than using fresh cut green ash.
I think the main cause of stress in timbers when drying in a kiln is the heat. If you can use a kiln that uses a dehumidifier instead of heat to remove moisture that would be more like the natural drying process.
Any seasoning you can allow your timbers would be that much better. In other words if your lumber has even a few weeks to dry a little that would be preferable to taking the timber right off the mill and using them.
Again, the slow natural seasoning process would be best.
For those of you who would like to hear the interview I did with Jack Spirko that Greg mentioned here is the link to that.
My interview on The Survival Podcast