Project builds #53: I seem to have a timber fetish

I’ve finally found a decentish supplier of large section and long length soft wood suitable for pergolas and garden structures etc. It is always exciting to poke around these merchants and see what they have to offer.

This particular merchant has larch and spruce up to 400mm square and up to 6m long.

Having a garden pergola to do for my cousin I got to buy some yesterday. For years all I’ve built with is cheap treated spruce timber because it’s all I have needed as I spent about 3 years solid building fences and buildings doing concrete shuttering etc.

That was 5 years ago and I got quite excited yesterday about buying some larch and spruce for this pergola.

I had to buy a 6m 200mmx200mm for the top beam that will be cut down to 4m that piece is spruce as are the posts which are 3m 200mmx200mm.

I got some stunning larch 250mmx50mm for the braces and all the 150×50 for the rafters is also larch I think but this was already treated so I could not tell so easily.

For me larch, sweet chestnut and Douglas Fir are the king of out door timbers they all show exceptional resistance to weather and rotting with out any form of chemical treatment.

The spruce is not so good for out door use as it will rot quickly in ground contact and is also resistant to treatment. It is how ever and exceptional building timber it is one of the strongest timbers out there compared to its weight.

My plan for this batch of timber is to plane it up, cut the pergola frame then have it all pressure treated. The pergola will be painted by my cousin so as part of that it will have superior protection with the tantalising chemicals on the surface of the timber.

Tags: larch spruce professional woodworking

Dreaming of a sawmill, feels like a museum. Thanks for looking Adam.

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Manitario ...

Buying awesome wood is so exciting. My wife doesn’t really understand it but the best part of my month is the trip to the wood store.
I’ve never worked with Larch; we have a N. American species of Larch called Tamarack, which I only know of b/c it turns a brilliant shade of yellow in the fall (and makes great firewood, burns hot and long). Is it comparable to pine in hardness?

Whitacrebespoke ...

Our larch sounds just like yours I believe the are the only deciduous coniferous trees. I think it’s nice to work its its durability that really impresses me though it really is a hard wearing timber.

Manitario ...

Interesting! I’ll have to see if I can find some to work with, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it sold for anything other than cordwood.

Whitacrebespoke ...

I’ve just seen a company in Wales that had made a timber frame deck from larch it looke very smart.