If you would like to add a summer house to your garden, or are thinking of building a luxury log cabin in a rural setting, it is important to have a better understanding of the wood that is used. The wood that is often used today in wood cabin buildings is North European Spruce, which either comes from Russia or Scandinavia. While this type of tree is categorised botanically as a softwood, it grows in cold climates in the above-mentioned countries in dense forest pockets. As a result, the trees feature a substantially greater weight per cubic metre than other timbers in Western Europe.
Because the wood is much denser than other similar timbers, spruce wood not only machines well, but the surface is easier to finish. The wood, over time, also shows its resilience against various weather extremes.
An Economically Important Wood
Other names for the Northern European spruce include the Norway spruce or Whitewood. The species, which is broadly distributed throughout Europe, represents a timber of major economic standing. The large tree, which typically includes a cylindrical and straight trunk, is known to grow to an average height of approximately 30 metres. The diameter measures about 60 cm, or one and a half metres.
Log cabins by Simply Log Cabins are examples of log homes and buildings that are manufactured with the machined wood of the Northern European spruce. The colours of the wood can range from a creamy white to a pale yellow to reddish brown. The heartwood is not distinct from the sapwood, and the spruce’s wood features a straight grain with a regular and thin texture.
Resin canals in the tree are rather common, and the wood is both low in weight and soft. Strength properties are excellent. Again, sawing and machining are easy tasks, as is assembly. However, the product does have a slight tendency toward splitting when it is nailed.
Other Uses for the Wood
Besides being used in the building of log cabins and summer houses or buildings for gardens, Northern European spruce is also used for decorative wood accessories and finishings. Considered the most important construction and building timber in Europe, the wood is used for domestic flooring, factory flooring, interior construction, general carpentry projects and external joinery.
The wood displays exceptional resonance qualities, which makes it ideal for use in the making of musical instruments. Some of the instruments made of the wood include the bellies of guitars and violins and the sound boards of pianos.
Pressure-Treating the Wood
Like all softwoods, spruce is responsive to most of the recognised timber treatments. Treating the wood is essential to ensuring its longevity. Most log cabins showcase pressure-treated base beams. During a pressure treatment, the wood is placed in a sealed tank. Air is drawn from the tank, creating a vacuum. The wood remains in the vacuum from 15 minutes to 90 minutes. The tank is then placed under high pressure to make the wood more durable, or resistant to rotting. As a result, pressure-treated spruce can tolerate muddy and wet conditions for long lengths of time without any signs of decay.