Alabama Mountain Pine log cabin - What is your opinion?

by Mark

I have built one cabin out of chestnut oak and loved it. I decided to build another and sell it. The tree I am thinking about using is the Alabama mountain pine, which I have plenty of here on my land.

What do you thing about using pine? I plan on treating and water sealing the logs. I just want to know what you think. I love the web site I plan on using it often.

Banjoe answers:
I am not familiar with the species of pine you are referring to. I know white pine is a great wood for cabins. I have a good friend who built a Scotch(red pine log cabin. It is not a good wood and will rot quickly if exposed to a lot of moisture. He did not care and made his soffits wide to keep rain off the logs.

Check with your local forestry service and ask if they know of the rot resistance rating for this type of pine. Leaving the bark on is the worst thing you can do no matter what the wood.

I had a poplar cabin that someone had built in the mid 80's. They left the bark on. Everywhere the bark stayed on the wood was punky. The places where it had fallen off early on were hard as a rock.

Leaving the bark on creates a haven for bugs and holds in moisture. As far as the sealing of the logs I would not seal the outside unless you are prepared to do it every couple of years. The inside would look nice and obviously would need re-coating rarely.

Remember your logs will shrink considerably. This will be an issue if door and window jambs are installed too soon.If you are to antsy to wait, space must be left for shrinkage. If this is confusing get back to me and we can talk on the phone.
Good luck and be safe! -Banjoe

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Sep 07, 2011
Yellow pine for cabins
by: Leonard Bynum

I do not know about the mountain pine mentioned, but do know that yellow pine is avaiable throughout most of the Southeast. Yellow pine has been used successfully for decades to build cabins in the Southeastern United States. My wife's grandfather built one in Southern Mississippi over 70 years ago and it is still solid with no rot or insect problems. We are planning to build one down there as well. I do plan on treating the logs and lumber with a boric solution I learned about from this site: Other wood treatment solutions you can made yourself are provided on this site authored by Michael Dutton who builds cabins in Scotland. With these home made treatments you only need to re-treat every 5-7 years. They prevent rot and insect problems.

From Banjoe:
Thanks for the comment, Leonard! I am interested in learning more about the boric treatment.

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