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Sweet Gum to Frame a Workshop?

Construction may not be the best use for Sweet Gum: its beauty exceeds its durability. October 3, 2009

Question
I have lots of sweet gum. Thinking of building a 20 X 50 shop. It will be on piers about a foot off the ground. I would like to take about 10 inch gums, and cut the top and bottom flat to use as sills. The flooring would be 2x6 and 2x8 tongue and groove gum. This would be my first work with gum. If the gum is straight after drying and installed, will it work? What kind of problems should I expect later on? What other framing could I use the gum for?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor A:
PPBs will eat that shop up here. Gum is bad for twist and not very rot-proof. Saw up the gum into 5/4 lumber and thicker and bring it here and I will swap you for pine to build with. It is very pretty wood and stable once dried and machined flat.



From the original questioner:
Thanks. I am located in the lakes area of East Texas. Long way to haul lumber. I was going to clamp and dry to see how straight I could get it. I wanted to bake it to kill the PPBs.


From contributor A:
PPBs will move in after it is dried and put up. Clamping does not do much good. Besides, what's a few miles between friends?


From contributor W:
Hey, if it's like the stuff I've got, then don't use sweet gum for that. Mine was left out in the weather in log form and it has the nicest spalt I've ever seen. Crazy colors in the sapwood - pretty punky, too. Warps like eucalyptus. Why not do this: make heavy slabs of the stuff, leave it out in the weather under a pile of leaves for a year, and sell the stuff for $6/BF after it gets spalty? Anyway, good luck.


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