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We have the cabin done and now we want to biuld a car port.  I have acres of cedar...big stuff.  I woul dlike to build the car port out of these tees and think it would look cool.  Any advice on how to do it?  I cannot find resources on use of whole tree trunks as corner posts for the builing, rafters, etc. 

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We have done this. I suspect you wanna do it yourself. Get a laser level, string and preferably some PT material on top of the concrete piers to screw these "posts" to. Then copper flash the pt material so it looks good. White oak shims, or something that won't rot needed to level and plumb the trees. Let the top run long. Then use laser level and string to cut tops in air (nice if you have a lull, lift or bucket truck rented to provide speed and safety). Don't cut tops off flat, unless under 10" in diameter. Best to notch and side lap the support girder (6x12?). That half notched top tree detail takes special talent and tools. But looks the best and secures it well.

Easter red cedar is subject to pocket rot and you don't know until you get into it. Sounds like you have enough for waste. A 12" diameter at top, might be 16" diameter 8 feet away. So piers need to be 18"x18" to look good. Maybe 16"x16" with 2" stone veneer makes a 20"x20" finished pier?

Shims are where it's at. Make sure they don't rot.

Nice....any pics?

That is great information.  The laser level and the bucket lift I think are going to be key points...and the shims. What tools did you use to notch the tops of the logs?  Simply a chain saw and then finish work with chisel?  Did you run a piece of allthreaad or rebar out of the pier and into the base of the tree for lateral stability?  Is that even necessary?

I did my posts a bit different on my porch. They are full trees 16 ft. + in the front (spaced about 8' on centers).  I built the deck first using small cedar logs flat sawed on two sides for joists (spaced 2' on centers).  I did not like attaching the posts for the porch roof directly to the deck, so I put piers in and used cedar trees as posts, notched them a bit to fit around the joist (and bolted them to the piers and the joist).  I could not do a standard level on the 32' main beam, since it is hewn tree etc. so I had to eyeball and scribe and measure.  Since the tree tops are only about 6" to 8"....I set the main beam on top and used iron / steel straps to secure the beam to the post.  It probably would have looked better to use large screws, but I do like the look of the narrow straps.

As far as really large posts....I forgot to mention Ken Pieper's Stone Mountain Cabin web site....he has a small cabin that used very large posts.....I really like the look;

Thank you.  The details are helpful to understand how you put it together.  I am thinking my corner and middle post trees should be 24 inches at the base which should put me 16-18 at the top. This thing is going to be free-standing too, so I will not have the house to stabilize it as would a porch.  I am guessing it will have to be a bit beefier to stand on its own, but I am no carpenter and really do not know.  I will likley have a contractor build it, but I want to be able to chime in and recognize issues ahead of time.  I appreciate all of the different approaches as well as it will help me to help my contractor.

Nice sized posts! 

That should hold up a tank!

I really like the look of the large posts.

Sounds like a great project.


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