We use Douglas Fir logs grown and harvested in New Zealand from managed plantations that are certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC). All logs are graded and warranted to be free of insects, insect holes, or decay. Douglas Fir is recognised as being one of the strongest log building timbers in the world, having high durability that is far superior to the Radiata Pine logs grown here in Australia.
We use large logs that measure 280-350mm in diameter at the tip and 450-500mm at the butt, in lengths up to 12 metres long. The logs have a natural shape and taper and are generally gun barrel straight. They all have knots, and some will have interesting scars and other character features that we usually like to make sure will be seen in the finished home.
Douglas Fir is classed as a softwood timber, this is the preferred type of timber for log wall construction. This is because softwood only shrinks about 5% during its drying process whereas hardwood can shrink up to 15%. Also, the softwood provides better insulation because its cellular structure has many tiny ‘air pockets’ through the grain.
Harwood timbers found here in Australia are not ideal for log wall construction, because they crack and shrink too much and tend to twist as they dry.
The logs arrive in the yard with their bark still on – having protected the surface of the log during harvesting and transportation. Once in the yard each log is measured and added to the inventory, noting any unique characteristics. The outer bark is removed with a ‘spud peeler’ then the inner bark is carefully removed by either pressure washing or draw knifing.
We also use Douglas Fir in our Post & Beam Homes, it is very strong and works well for large spans and has a beautiful reddish pink colour in the middle when milled.
If you would prefer to use recycled Australian hardwood timbers for your Post & Beam Home, then we can help you source it if you have not already done so. Large recycled hardwood timbers are becoming rarer and are not cheap, but they are massively strong, and timbers such as Iron Bark exhibit beautiful colours and grain feature if the surface is cleaned up correctly.
If you happen to have a supply of suitable trees on your block of land, or you can get some, then we can mill this timber into suitable members to be used in your project. Be aware though, that hardwood timber must be milled correctly, stacked correctly, and allowed to dry (2-3 years) before it can be used. Using green milled hardwood straight away as large posts and beams in your project is not a good idea, as it will shrink and move about too much. Indeed, when milling large posts or timber members, they are often milled oversize to allow for shrinkage, and some will need to be re-milled back into square after they have dried. This process can be sped up if the timber is kiln dried, but once again this can be expensive.