A wood store for around 50,000 - 60,000円

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Zasso Nouka
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A wood store for around 50,000 - 60,000円

Post by Zasso Nouka » Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:58 am

This wood store grew out of a conversation with Johnny LaRue over on the old forum where we were talking about method for storing a large amount of logs to dry for the winter. Johnny had the use of some sheds but the owner was seeking to use them for something else and I at the time was using racks which have a severe disadvantage during heavy wind and rain. Before getting to the sheds I'd like to share a few ideas we tried before, they sort of work but are far from ideal.

First off we used to stack cut logs on scaffold poles, they keep the wood off the ground but lacked a roof to keep the wood dry.

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So we moved onto these racks built from pressure treated 2x4 which were a slight modification of the racks you can find on Firewood for Life

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But it was still lacking a roof so we covered them in blue sheets

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Which actually turned out to be a disaster as it didn't allow the wood to breathe and dry out in Japan's humid climate so when we came to burn the wood it wasn't as dry as it could be. Putting a roof on them solved some problems but still allowed rain to be driven into the sides by high winds. We also experimented with another design that stacked the logs off the ground on long bamboo poles and covered that with an A-frame drapped with blue sheet but that also didn't allow the wood to dry properly.

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Which brought us to the point where we needed something that would protect the wood from rain and allow it to breathe and that is where I got into a conversation with Johnny LaRue about drying sheds. As our land didn't have any existing structures we would have to build something. Some of our neighbours had made structures from scaffold poles so we decided to copy from them, costs per metre are not that different to pressure treated 4x4 and maybe a little cheaper. Tanalised 2x4 is probably cheaper but possibly not durable enough for uprights and very long rafters.

We started out driving the five uprights into the ground to a depth of around 75cm and securing a frame to said uprights.

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There are a couple of different pole couplers, I'd suggest using the rigid ones for scaffold poles that are perpendicular to each other and only using the swivel type for joins where the poles are at odd angles. This makes the frame more rigid and less liable to move in the wind. There are other couplers you'll need to secure wood runners to the metal frame so that the whole structure can be sheathed in totan sheeting, this will allow you to secure a roof and side walls.

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Total cost, around 50,000 - 60,000円 including paint for roof but this should last a fair number of years given that the scaffolding poles are galvanised and won't be subject to rot and the totan sheets can be repainted easily enough to prevent them from rusting. We built another one similar on the other side of our shed to store onions, potatoes and other veg after harvesting.

Currently we cut and stack un-split logs on simple bamboo racks outside for around two years

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And then split them for use that winter

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Re: A wood store for around 50,000 - 60,000円

Post by Ian » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:27 am

ZN - Thanks for the ideas. Looks like you've tried many ways.
I'm also heading in the scaffolding poles direction to cover some of our wood at the land, we use large concrete drains too.
Getting closer to a wood stove installation at our place, so will also store wood outside. Was busy over the New Year e.g. transplanting many trees and making a brick hearth.
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Re: A wood store for around 50,000 - 60,000円

Post by Zasso Nouka » Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:49 pm

Thanks Ian,

That's an inspired use of the large concrete drains, great to re-purpose things that you on hand and really anything that keeps the rain off once you've split the logs but at the same time lets them breathe will do. We've tried so many ideas because at heart I'm a cheapskate and didn't want to spend anything when we had lots of natural materials growing in our forest and plenty of blue sheets left over the the building of our house but the bamboo doesn't last more than a couple of years on the ground yet the scaffold poles and totan should last for a very long time.

We still use bamboo poles for the initial drying of cut sections and then once we've split them after a couple of years move them into the scaffolding store at which point we replace all the poles. One thing we aren't short of is moso dake :)

How's the hearth coming along ? You must be looking forward to having the stove installed and starting some serious baking.

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Re: A wood store for around 50,000 - 60,000円

Post by Ian » Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:12 pm

The hearth is coming together nicely ZN. Decided to go for lighter bricks after talking more with the house builder (Asahi Kasei) about the flooring rating. Should be able to finish that off next week, then narrow down an installation date for the stove.
Yes, really looking forward to getting it up and running, for both heating and baking. :D

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Re: A wood store for around 50,000 - 60,000円

Post by Zasso Nouka » Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:31 am

I just realised, you split all that wood with your axe didn't you, how is your back feeling ? :D That's a truly epic amount of wood to split buy hand man :clap:

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Re: A wood store for around 50,000 - 60,000円

Post by Ian » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:19 am

Last Saturday we set up a roof (Onduline) to store firewood under at the house. Ran a 3m length of 75mm x 75mm cedar from the forest under the lower end. Will give the planter boxes a try there this year too.
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Re: A wood store for around 50,000 - 60,000円

Post by Zasso Nouka » Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:57 am

Great idea Ian,

It's always nice to have a stash close to home. How does the Onduline compare to totan for longevity and workability ? I've seen it in our local home centre but don't know anyone that has used it.

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Re: A wood store for around 50,000 - 60,000円

Post by Ian » Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:54 am

ZN - Too early to tell how the Onduline will do in our area. Not many places selling it in Kansai, so there may be some negative reasons we don’t know about yet. For now though, easy to cut with a handsaw, nail into too, and the colour suited our water tanks. I think there will be less noise from rain falling on the roof, when compared to totan. Softening of the material in summer could be an issue in some applications, but we should be fine.
Might use Onduline for covering firewood at the land too.

Onduline FAQ

And some pics at the home centre.
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Re: A wood store for around 50,000 - 60,000円

Post by Zasso Nouka » Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:36 am

Thanks Ian,

It does look like a good material to work with and won't rust like unpainted totan, plus the 15 year guaranteed life looks good. Be interested to see how your's reacts over the years. Two big home centre chains sell it over this way but so far I haven't seen it in use anywhere, could just be no more than being a relative new introduction though, rather than any issues with it.

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Re: A wood store for around 50,000 - 60,000円

Post by Zasso Nouka » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:36 am

With all the wood we've recently been getting from the local lumber yard we doubled the size of the current wood store.

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This is one of the pluses to using scaffolding poles in the construction in that is incredibly easy to extend should you want to. Just buy a few joining clamps and slot them into the relevant poles and you are away. It took only a single day to get the frame up and roof on and then another couple of hours to move the side wall over to it's new position. Probably next week we will be extending it further to accommodate another 4 truck loads of logs the zaimokuyasan is dropping off today.

The cost for this extension came in at around 20,000円 as we still had plenty of paint for the roofing left from last time and we were able to use the original side wall so didn't have to purchase new materials.

Stacking the split wood on top of bamboo poles has really worked well for us and since we've adopted this method we haven't found any termites living in the wood stored on top of bamboo. Unlike previously when we would use sacrificial logs or wood on the ground, we'd often find that they had set up home somewhere in the wood pile.