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Thread: Where to buy logs in Southern California

  1. #1

    Where to buy logs in Southern California

    Howdy,

    I'm going to build an Adirondack log cabin lean-to. I'm looking for a place to buy the logs in Southern California (live near Bakersfield). Can anyone offer some suggestions? It will be about 700 lf of logs.

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Take the class first?

    I hated hearing that when I was only able to post on the public side of the boards, I really did. Hated it with a passion.

    Take the class as soon as you can manage it.


    Until then, here's what I (and inexperienced builder) suggest you keep in mind-

    Water is the enemy of your logs. Keep the logs far above the ground, well out of contact with the earth.
    Avoid having any wood touch the earth. That includes stairs. Termites and such will use wooden stairs to travel up and eat your logs. This is bad.
    Have big roof overhangs. This keeps your log walls dry, and should help keep the back-splash from your roof line far away from your logs.


    Now..take the class and find out the rest.....and gain access to a lot of people who will help you brainstorm things, find deals on tools and materials, and help you crunch the numbers. Think of it as a mandatory briefing before joining a secret society of builders.
    Last edited by LowKey; 04-03-2016 at 08:53 AM.

  3. #3
    Thanks LowKey,

    The problem for me is that I run/coach our local swim team, which means my spring/summer weekends are pretty much tied up for the next 10 or so years. I've built a few pergolas and decks, and appreciate the information about water. I've got the plans for the lean-to, they are pretty simple (considering they are relatively small 8'x16' and have only three sides), I'm just looking for a place to get the actual logs. Many of the companies I've spoken with on-line state that either the amount of logs I need is too small to fill their standard order, or they are several states away and the shipping costs would be prohibitive. Do you know of any companies in the SoCal area that would work?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    LHBA does offer classes in the winter. I attended in February for example.

    Depending on the size of the logs you need/want, try contacting tree services in your area. If what you're looking for are fairly short in length and you aren't in a rush, and have storage space, you might be able to get the logs you need from them, debark them, then store them until you have enough to build what you intend. No worries about mixing species.

  5. #5
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    That's pretty good advice for southern Oregon and probably works for southern California too. I have a tree service guy who drops off logs for my sawmill all the time. He could easily dump them in the firewood pile at his place where he sells it for $50 per pickup load but I mill a bit of lumber for him. This last fall he lined me up with 40 or 50 logs of varying length that were 2 miles from my place. I had to go get them but they were free and some are too big for my mill.

    My worthless opinion is that you are fighting an uphill battle due to location. Doesn't mean you can't win. There might be a bit of collateral damage before the war is over. There are easier places to do this stuff than southern California.




    Oh, by the way... Take the class
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

    I love the mask mandate. I hardly ever have to bruh my teeth anymore.

  6. #6
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    LowKey used to jump all over us when we'd say that. Now he's the preacher.
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

    I love the mask mandate. I hardly ever have to bruh my teeth anymore.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by loghousenut View Post
    LowKey used to jump all over us when we'd say that. Now he's the preacher.
    Not so much the preacher as a commiserate. It sucks to hear when you are serious about this stuff but just haven't been able to attend the class despite being completely willing to do so. In defense of the "old guard", how are they to know who is serious vs the casual browsers. Show up for class and they know you're more likely to be serious about this stuff.
    Last edited by LowKey; 04-03-2016 at 10:49 AM.

  8. #8
    LHBA Member rocklock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sourdough View Post
    I'm looking for a place to buy the logs in Southern California (live near Bakersfield). Can anyone offer some suggestions? It will be about 700 lf of logs.
    I was raised in Fresno. I lived about 3 miles from a yard that air dried big lumber... 2 by 12 were about the smallest. I know there is logging but near Bakersfield the tree species may be pine.

    I would suggest going to your local lumber yard and asking where they get their lumber. Some mills keep the very straight logs for building... Do not go to big lumber, go to a small local shop that buys their own...

    There are plenty of trees in the Sierra-Nevada's it just logging will be mostly in a small towns close to where the source is located.

    You also may go to your local forest service and ask about a firewood permit. I think I paid 3 bucks for mine. Many years ago I gathered my own firewood from standing deads... Felling them sometimes is an iffy proposition... Also they may have dropped them, so most of the work is done...

    If you need longer logs... and you found them, I would and have rented a 17 foot moving van to haul lumber --- logs...
    Dave
    --> The unaimed arrow never misses....
    --> If can, can. If no can, no can... Hawaiian Pidgin
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    If you are gonna be dumb, you better be TOUGH!

  9. #9
    Thank you all, I appreciate your help on this. When I first started this quest about a year ago I honestly thought things would have come together much more quickly. It was hard to find the companies that could provide the logs, and the ones that could provide were asking anywhere from $8,000 - $25,000 for less than 700 lf of 6-8" diameter logs. Something told me I would be way overpaying with those figures.
    If I take the class, do we get some sort of cool t-shirt at the end? Or is it really about getting connections? The project I'm looking to do is really not much more than a 3-sided shed in the backyard - open at one end. I will be putting my projector in a box underneath the eaves and pointing it to our screen (made from old 3/4" pipe and a stretched canvas drop cloth painted white). Right now we just watch movies out back with lawn chairs, thought this would be more of a 'drive-in' theater experience.

    Thanks!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by sourdough View Post
    Thank you all, I appreciate your help on this. When I first started this quest about a year ago I honestly thought things would have come together much more quickly. It was hard to find the companies that could provide the logs, and the ones that could provide were asking anywhere from $8,000 - $25,000 for less than 700 lf of 6-8" diameter logs. Something told me I would be way overpaying with those figures.
    If I take the class, do we get some sort of cool t-shirt at the end? Or is it really about getting connections? The project I'm looking to do is really not much more than a 3-sided shed in the backyard - open at one end. I will be putting my projector in a box underneath the eaves and pointing it to our screen (made from old 3/4" pipe and a stretched canvas drop cloth painted white). Right now we just watch movies out back with lawn chairs, thought this would be more of a 'drive-in' theater experience.



    Thanks!
    No tee-shirt, but you do get a patch.

    If you take the class it may open up possibilities that you hadn't considered before, but if all you will ever need is the shed for your outdoor theater you may be able to handle it from here as is. I'd still recommend the class, but we wish good luck to you in any case.

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