Building the new barn – “If you have the trees, why not?”

Massey 30B logs

Our farm is 7 years old this spring! I love the barns that my son and husband built for us, but it is time to build a new barn. A barn that is bigger, holds more, and has everything altogether. I am so excited! But…..I have to wait a while longer.

Shady oak farm
Shady Oak Farm est. 2011

My Seabee husband always has good ideas when it comes to building. When we found out that we could purchase a few acres next to us, he started planning my new barn. He certainly is not one to shy away from hard work, and sometimes doesn’t always do things the easy way. He decided all on his own that he wanted to use good quality wood and the best way to do that was to cut down the trees ourselves and make our own boards.

After doing extensive research on portable sawmills all winter, he actually decided that it would be best if we had a local Amish mill do the sawing for us. And at $.15 a board foot, it’s a steal! Louie, the man who runs the mill, says “if you have the trees, why not?”  Makes sense, I guess!

pine trees shady oak farm
Some of the trees being cut into smaller logs to haul away.

We own a good sized piece of property that has a stand of pines on it, most of which were planted to be logged off for the wood. The pine trees had to be cut down in winter when most of the sap is stored in the roots. This makes less of a mess later on. We cut down 10 trees, mostly White Pine but with one Fir thrown in. For a couple of guys and chainsaws, this was a fun project to do on a Saturday in February!

Heavily loaded trailer of logs ready to be cut.

After spring thaw, we could get our heavy tractor into the woods and start lifting the logs out.  My Seabee had a list of boards and sizes that he needed for the barn and for some other projects. The trees were cut into logs in lengths of 10′, 12′, 14′ and 16′. It took several days, 2 flat bed trailers, and some family help to get all the logs loaded and hauled to the mill. When the guys came out of the woods, they had quite a few stories to tell!

Massey 30B logs
It takes a big Massey to move those logs around!

Some of these logs were very large: almost 30″ in diameter at the large end. The small ends of the logs averaged 14 to 16″. Altogether we now have 4,244 board feet of beautiful pine wood to build with: 2×4’s, 2’x6’s, 2×12’s, 1×6’s, etc. etc.. Once we brought the boards home, they had to be stacked up in single layers with wood “stickers” between each layer so they can properly dry. And we arrive to the reason that I have to wait: the wood has to dry to be ready to use. So for a couple of months, I can wait. Meanwhile, I will enjoy the smell of fresh pine every time I walk past a large stack of fresh pine boards!

pine lumber
One of the stacks of fresh cut pine lumber drying.

building barn pine tractor 30b

2 thoughts on “Building the new barn – “If you have the trees, why not?”

  1. Great info! Considering doing this and there is a large Amish community within an hour of our farm. What kind of trailer did you use to haul the logs? We couldn’t see in the photo. Is it a standard hitch, fifth wheel, gooseneck? Weight load? What equipment did it take to get the logs out and load them? We arentcsure our trailer could handle the weight and may need to borrow one.

    We have 160 acres and need to do some select cutting of hard woods. We have red and white oak, hickory, poplar, beech, but rather than selling, we want to do this and build a big barn for weddings!

    1. Hi Kelly!
      The trailer is a deck over pintel hitch 7-ton. My husband has to use it to haul around his big industrial Massey that we have pictured. I don’t think we could have used any smaller of a tractor based on the size of the logs. He used heavy chains and a lot of hard work to get them on the trailer.
      Those boards were very useful to have around, especially this year when the pandemic caused shortages. They turned out beautiful.

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