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Eucalyptus for roundwood building?

 
Andrew Gates
Posts: 10
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Hi all

We're in Portugal getting slowly setup, sorted and learning.

At the moment I'm dreaming of a Simon Dale-esque roundwood framed, earth sheltered house and I'm wondering about the possibility of using eucalyptus to build with (our location in Central Portugal is covered in the stuff). Does anyone know if eucalyptus is viable for something like this? I'm having trouble finding the info.

Thanks

Andy
 
Elliot Everett
Posts: 29
Location: Coastal Uruguay. Wet winters, hot and dry summers. 1000 mm annual rain.
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What species of euc do you have?
 
Andrew Gates
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I'm pretty sure that it's Eucalyptus Globulus.... its grown here for the paper industry
 
Elliot Everett
Posts: 29
Location: Coastal Uruguay. Wet winters, hot and dry summers. 1000 mm annual rain.
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That's what we have here. Funny, I was just today talking to the guacho who runs the ranch near here and he said what they do is (after the tree has just been cut down) chop off the outer soft wood and use the heart or core. They soak them in water for a few weeks and he says they become really hard and "impenetrable". They use them for "anything" he says. Fence posts, for example.

We have treated euc roundwood for the roof beams of our house (we didn't build it). Very common in Uruguay.
 
Burra Maluca
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Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
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Hi Andrew, and welcome to Permies!

I'm in Portugal too, and the main beams in our roof seem to be home-grown eucalyptus trunks. Not sure if or how they were treated, but it seems to be a fairly common way of roofing in the more 'rustic' areas. I'll try to take a couple of photos.

I just asked my other half and he says that he thinks you have to cut the tree, get the bark of and treat it somehow to keep the insects out, but he's not sure what 'treatment' they use or is appropriate.
 
Andrew Gates
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Thanks for the info... love the name burra maluca

A Portuguese friend of mine told me a couple of days ago that he can source sweet chestnut and oak here too, which is probably preferable. Don't know about the difference in cost though, I imagine it could become quite costly...
 
Jonathan Harrison
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Andrew Gates wrote:Hi all

We're in Portugal getting slowly setup, sorted and learning.

At the moment I'm dreaming of a Simon Dale-esque roundwood framed, earth sheltered house and I'm wondering about the possibility of using eucalyptus to build with (our location in Central Portugal is covered in the stuff). Does anyone know if eucalyptus is viable for something like this? I'm having trouble finding the info.

Thanks

Andy


Hi All.
Did you found a good solution to treat your Eucalyptus ?
I start building in the south Portugal in a year ore to, we have allot of eucalyptus on the land but i have no experience with that tree im very to hear what works from you
 
J. Tabordiy
Posts: 37
Location: north-west coast of iberian peninsula
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Hi

we are currently experimenting with building a small roudwood timberframed house with timber from invasive species (acacia dealbata and eucalyptus)... you can see some pictures (stil have to update that post, though): http://www.permies.com/t/43534/timber/Ruin-structure-sketch-Roundwood-tiny

till now we didn't treat them with anything, initially the endings of the beams cracked a lot, so we lost about a meter on each side of the timbers we cut, till we read about sealing the open grain endings, we used beeswax+linseed oil, now we immediately seal them just after cutting and haven't had any cracks since...

our idea is to letting the beams dry on place (like these constructors: http://www.timberframe1.com/timber-frame-wood-species) but we are taking 2 years since cutting the first beam to build, so most of them are already pretty more than half air-dry

unfortunatly we didn't have any rainproof place to store them (and for a while we did the mistake of keeping them under a non-waterproof plastic tarp so they would not heat up under summer's sun) so a lot of mildew grew on the outside of the beams, we drawknifed and sanded it out before placing the beams, we will coat the all beam with linseed oil+terbentine when the roof is ready, and plan on reapply (on the accessible places) again later... a lot of mildew (i think it's this, a kind of green mold very superficial) regrew because of last week rain

researching on australian websites i've found references to using eucalyptus and acacias for timberframing

but it's a very hard to work wood, the fibers grow a bit spiral, so it's very slow to make timberframing connections, like tenons and mortises, eucalyptus wood doesn't behave as you see on youtube videos where they use oak or other construction wood where the grain/fibers are straighter so it's easy (and fast) to chisel out mortises...

but i completely support taking down eucalyptus for anyreason anyway...so go for it ...
 
Jonathan Harrison
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Thanks fore you reply very useful
Your projekt looks great god look to finish it.
Have a great day


J. Tabordiy wrote:Hi

we are currently experimenting with building a small roudwood timberframed house with timber from invasive species (acacia dealbata and eucalyptus)... you can see some pictures (stil have to update that post, though): http://www.permies.com/t/43534/timber/Ruin-structure-sketch-Roundwood-tiny

till now we didn't treat them with anything, initially the endings of the beams cracked a lot, so we lost about a meter on each side of the timbers we cut, till we read about sealing the open grain endings, we used beeswax+linseed oil, now we immediately seal them just after cutting and haven't had any cracks since...

our idea is to letting the beams dry on place (like these constructors: http://www.timberframe1.com/timber-frame-wood-species) but we are taking 2 years since cutting the first beam to build, so most of them are already pretty more than half air-dry

unfortunatly we didn't have any rainproof place to store them (and for a while we did the mistake of keeping them under a non-waterproof plastic tarp so they would not heat up under summer's sun) so a lot of mildew grew on the outside of the beams, we drawknifed and sanded it out before placing the beams, we will coat the all beam with linseed oil+terbentine when the roof is ready, and plan on reapply (on the accessible places) again later... a lot of mildew (i think it's this, a kind of green mold very superficial) regrew because of last week rain

researching on australian websites i've found references to using eucalyptus and acacias for timberframing

but it's a very hard to work wood, the fibers grow a bit spiral, so it's very slow to make timberframing connections, like tenons and mortises, eucalyptus wood doesn't behave as you see on youtube videos where they use oak or other construction wood where the grain/fibers are straighter so it's easy (and fast) to chisel out mortises...

but i completely support taking down eucalyptus for anyreason anyway...so go for it ...
 
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