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stairway I built from my homemade mill7/19
has about 400 board feet in it and has 42 steps.
Looks like you did a cleaner job on the stringers and steps than on the rail, but maybe you were after a rustic look.
Did you get the lumber pressure treated?
No pressure treated and I was going for the rustic look.
There is a simple reason why we as a society no longer build things this way any longer. Its because when it WAS done this way there was no better option. It was the ONLY way. This isnt the case any longer. There are other ways that are simply better and in all honesty if you account for all of your expenses they are cheaper.
I think the work your doing and your passion with regards to the mill is great. But its similar to your picnic tables and other items that are simply not dry (there is no way they can be) when you build them. It will simply be a matter of weeks before the fasteners begin to loosen up because the boards they are holding are getting thinner and thinner. Virtually ANY finish you put on such a project (especially any type of film finish) is likely failing within hours of you putting it on.
There is a reason why things are done the way they are today, air and kiln drying, preservative treatments or very specific choices of species for a given project, paying attention to wood movement and cross grain situations, and so on, and its not because people just enjoy overcomplicating things or wasting time and money, its because its whats needed and whats right.
Again, I think your passion about this is phenomenal, and you commitment to working hard is obviously on par with your passion, but the sad fact is most stuff will simply self destruct in very little time. Of course if your customers are aware of this then more power too you.. just keep cashing the checks.
Ih Mark,nice write up! Maybe I should rxplain a little more. The wood that is in wood in contact with the ground is locust with from my understanding last 2 days longer then stone. Most of the rest that doesn't touch the ground is oak 'elm and poplar. I real haven't seen anyone build an outdoor stairway made from hardwood. I've had lots of pressure treated fense post rot away at ground level,so I'm no big fan of pressure treated wood. besides I have lots of schap lumber to repace what rots away. Most of this was made from short pisces that was left overs. I figure insted of burning them I would use them to build something and this is what became of scrap wood. Also my picnic tables are bolted together with carriage bolts.. If the lumber shrinks,just tighten up the nuts on the carriage bolts. It's kind of like how the us to build post and beam barns out of green lumber back in the old days.
Locust does work well a fence post for sure. I have split my fair share. Not so much though in my opinion for structural/decorative work though (interestingly this is why you dont see it regularly used as a replacement in the main stream market). Again, my point is simply that by the time your done continually replacing material that rots, you will likely have been better off to simply do it once and be done with it. Scrap or not, its not free, there is still all the consumables I listed (including your body) in every board.
With regards to post and beam structures and shrinking/tightening carriage bolts as green lumber shrinks, they are in no way similar.
Post and beam structures are built green with joinery designed specifically to accommodate the anticipated shrinkage. Other than in a few rarely used joints there is no owner/user tweaking of the structure as it ages to keep the house/barn from falling apart.
Again, Im not trying to be a party pooper, its just something to consider when you get replies. If you are charging people for any of these items they should be made aware that these items may or may not be intact in a few years and that there will most definitely have to be user attention because they will not be what they are now for long.
Keep up the good work.
Post and beam frame as it shrinks you have to go around and harmmer in the wooden pags to tighten up the joints as the shrink. After they are done shrinking then there is no more ajusting to the framing. I guess if I wanted it to last a long time I could put a roof over it and have a covered stairway. Or put some kind of wood preservative on it.
Sorry for the late post, but I doubt poplar will last 3 years outside without paint. All that vegetation will keep a lot of that wood damp. It surely will be a perpetual project.