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Best type of wood for run-in shed construction?

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  • Best type of wood for run-in shed construction?

    Oak or white pine?
    My current barn was constructed with rough cut white & red oak boards. It's 8 years old, and not a single chew mark. Almost all of the pre-constructed run-ins I'm finding are made of white pine. I'm getting ready to either purchase or build a new 12x12 and want to make sure I'm not overlooking a "just as good, but more economical" option!

  • #2
    Pine is probably cheaper or more available to the pre constructed folks. Oak is harder to chew up.
    We built a few things out of pine and the old guy went after them like candy, he had the exposed 2x4 edges to chew up. The pony had plywood and has actually managed to peel one layer of ext veneer off in small spots, he runs his teeth across the stuff. This was in a stall situation - if they have plenty of hay and space at pasture they might leave a run in alone, but if you have a beaver horse in the herd, well . . .
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    • #3
      Oak is better if available at a reasonable price. Rough-cut oak was very affordable in WV where I grew up...it is basically not available here in IN so I did pine here.


      • #4
        White oak. You don't need some fancy cut, kiln dried. See if you can find a mill that cuts for a pallet mill.



        • #5
          Oak is DEFINITELY better than Pine, horses chew the pine like crazy. I have 6 premade run in sheds (Amish built) that are oak framing (inside, kick boards, frame) but have some pine portions (mostly in areas that the horses cannot get their teeth into. However, live and learn, 4 of the sheds have pine battens on the outside (to cover each seam/crack between the wall boards to prevent wind coming in).

          Boy o boy do the horse chew the battens. We learned and since the sheds are premade to order, the last shed we requested oak battens and oak cross buck on the dutch doors -- works perfectly and not a single chew mark in 2.5 years.

          Edited to add: I saw a friend of mine who had similar looking sheds to mine, but had pine framing instead of oak and no kickboards. The horses destroyed the sheds in about 8 years, with pretty much several supporting pine rails being almost chewed through. In contrast, my sheds are 11 years old and perfectly sound except for some chewing on the battens (which is totally superficial).
          Last edited by Edgewood; Jan. 19, 2013, 11:16 AM. Reason: typo
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          • #6
            Black Locus if available at least for the posts as it has natural preservatives that will fifty plus years without any care



            • #7
              I would go with Oak. Pine is just to soft.


              • Original Poster

                Ok. That pretty much confirms my thought. I like to build/buy things once, so oak it is! The local mill cut all of my previous boards, so now I just need to figure up how much board feet I need of the new stuff!

                Thanks all!


                • #9
                  Clanter, black locust is toxic! Maybe it's just the bark, but I wouldn't touch that stuff.


                  • #10
                    I'd ask if they can do rough cut cedar or hemlock too. I don't know where in PA you are but around me it's not that hard to come by, not as cheap as pine but as you know you get what you pay for.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chall View Post
                      Clanter, black locust is toxic! Maybe it's just the bark, but I wouldn't touch that stuff.

                      they wouldn't chew it down. We used black locus for fence posts and never lost a horse .... if used for the verticle posts the structur would stand forever.

                      a normally lower cost opition to oak for the cross boarding is treated poplar; it has about 70 year life.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by clanter View Post
                        Black Locus if available at least for the posts as it has natural preservatives that will fifty plus years without any care

                        Be sure that all bark is removed first! Black locust bark is very toxic!


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by Chall View Post
                          Clanter, black locust is toxic! Maybe it's just the bark, but I wouldn't touch that stuff.
                          I thought it was black WALNUT (shavings/sawdust) that was toxic. Around these parts, if you can score locusts fence posts - you've struck gold!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mali View Post
                            I thought it was black WALNUT (shavings/sawdust) that was toxic. Around these parts, if you can score locusts fence posts - you've struck gold!
                            I think it's both types of wood that are toxic. (Well, at least the bark is...)