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Hardware for natural log column? Tree choice?

tharv's picture

I am installing three 10-12 inch x 7 ft logs on concrete pilings. They will support a porch roof.

1) Is there any pre-existing hardware for this purpose? I found this post that discusses a flitch plate

and i suppose I could have one made to an engineer's spec, but I was hoping for a store-bought solution.

2) What is the best kind of log to use? I am thinking that something like locust or cypress would be rot-resistant. Are there other considerations I should think about?



In Norway, for ship masts, (post #207016, reply #1 of 3)

In Norway, for ship masts, they pick pine trees and girdle them while they're growing, then let them stand for several months.  This captures the pitch in the tree and creates a sort of natural creosote.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

i have used cedar tree trunks (post #207016, reply #2 of 3)

i have used cedar tree trunks for porch columns in cabins here in Texas and Oklahoma. i use a Simpson/ strong-tie stand off base.

go to the simpson site and look for PBVPC or CPS . it is a 1" standoff base with an all-thread rod that gets epoxy into the slab or bolted to rim joist.


i just re-read you post and am not sure if you are asking about columns or horizontal beams. either way Simpson makes Heavy angles and Gussets that i have used in timber frame structures.

good luck


I checked into the simpson (post #207016, reply #3 of 3)

I checked into the simpson hardware, but it just wouldn't work for what i was doing, and they're like $70 a piece. So, I got some 3x4 steel angle and made brackets. The bottom of the bracket hides under the log, and has a slot cut into it. I installed the bases with lags through the slots(the lag heads act as a stand-off too), left them a tad loose, installed the log, tapped in the bases tight to the sides of the log, and lagged through the sides. Was going to do the same for the tops, but just went with hidden timberlocks.  I used poplar because we had a huge pile come off the site, but it's not necessarily a good choice. I'm fine with it because I live on the same property(it's my in-laws house), and worst case i can always cut down a few locusts and replace them.