by Sasquatch
(Eastern NC)

Loblolly Bay Tree

Loblolly Bay Tree

I am thinking about building a cabin on my hunting land in eastern NC. There is a good stand of loblolly bay trees on the land. I hear they are in the magnolia family. They are supposedly one of the hardest soft woods. Would this be a suitable wood for a cabin?

Also I am wanting to build this as a rough cabin - kerosene lanterns,hand pump well, etc. - but would like to design it towards possibly adding power,water & sewer @ a later date.

I have ordered several books on building cabins, just doing some research so far. I would appreciate any pointers I can get about size design layout or anything else you can offer. I don't want one of those mansions that are called log cabins but do @ least want a loft for sleeping.

Banjoe answers:
The US Forest Service lists the magnolia tree in the category of "Slightly or Not at All" rot resistant. Poplar is also listed in this category and I have seen a number of cabins built from that softer wood.

If you are designing for longevity, you might want to go for a more rot resistant wood, but if the main consideration here is free wood on your own land, you can plan ahead to minimize any moisture problems and still get many good years from those logs.

The things you will want to do are:

MAKE SURE all bark is removed! Don't let there be a chance of moisture getting behind bark and rotting your logs from the inside.

Plan at least a two foot roof overhang on all sides to keep water from running down the logs.

Keep your first course of logs at least 20 inches or more off the ground to eliminate any water from splashing off the ground onto the logs when it rains.

As for your other questions, I am almost finished with a thorough ebook (with lots of photos) on building your own log cabin and I am looking for a few people to read it and give me some feedback. Let me know if you are interested and I will get you a copy just as soon as it is finished.

Best wishes!

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