Questions on building local trails / dirt and wood

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Questions on building local trails / dirt and wood
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Posted: Jan 21, 2021 at 8:41 Quote
So, I decided to get involved in my local building community and I'm making a trail with dirt jumps and a wooden drop. As I don't have that much experience on building, I'd like to get suggestions on which wood is best and which dirt is best.
I live in New England so it can get very very dry in the summer and very very wet in the winter/spring when all the snow melts. The dirt I can dig up either turns to mush and doesn't absorb water well or turns into a one inch layer of dust.
Also, I don't know what wood to get cuz I can't be replacing it every 3 months, I'm looking for something to last at least 2 years.
Anyone got any suggestions on the best type of dirt and wood I can buy?

Posted: Jan 21, 2021 at 8:52 Quote
timotheysski wrote:
So, I decided to get involved in my local building community and I'm making a trail with dirt jumps and a wooden drop. As I don't have that much experience on building, I'd like to get suggestions on which wood is best and which dirt is best.
I live in New England so it can get very very dry in the summer and very very wet in the winter/spring when all the snow melts. The dirt I can dig up either turns to mush and doesn't absorb water well or turns into a one inch layer of dust.
Also, I don't know what wood to get cuz I can't be replacing it every 3 months, I'm looking for something to last at least 2 years.
Anyone got any suggestions on the best type of dirt and wood I can buy?
I would suggest cedar, but I think pretty much anything will last pretty well if you paint it. Just do not use wood that feels light because that means it is probably rotted or just not too strong, but if you are buying the wood from a store that won't be a problem. I dig for dirt when I build things, but try to find dirt that reminds you of how clay, most of the time my friends and I would build most of a jump out of just normal dirt, then we would use dirt that is similar to clay on the outside because it hardens up nice.

Posted: Jan 21, 2021 at 8:55 Quote
AdinK wrote:
timotheysski wrote:
So, I decided to get involved in my local building community and I'm making a trail with dirt jumps and a wooden drop. As I don't have that much experience on building, I'd like to get suggestions on which wood is best and which dirt is best.
I live in New England so it can get very very dry in the summer and very very wet in the winter/spring when all the snow melts. The dirt I can dig up either turns to mush and doesn't absorb water well or turns into a one inch layer of dust.
Also, I don't know what wood to get cuz I can't be replacing it every 3 months, I'm looking for something to last at least 2 years.
Anyone got any suggestions on the best type of dirt and wood I can buy?
I would suggest cedar, but I think pretty much anything will last pretty well if you paint it. Just do not use wood that feels light because that means it is probably rotted or just not too strong, but if you are buying the wood from a store that won't be a problem. I dig for dirt when I build things, but try to find dirt that reminds you of clay, most of the time my friends and I would build most of a jump out of just normal dirt, then we would use dirt that is similar to clay on the outside because it hardens up nice.

Posted: Jan 21, 2021 at 11:44 Quote
for wood:

In my experience the priority goes: structural water management -> wood species -> paint.

Paint is expensice, requiers constant maintenance, isnt too eco freindly and wears of under braking

Wood species: if you have any chance get acacia or Oak. ask the local forestry dudes if the have any leftovers and then take a chainsaw and mill boards yourself. buying these species is insanely expensive. otherwise take ceder or larch. last resort woudl be pine from the hardwarestore, if possible preassure treated.

Structural water management is the most important and effective but also most complicated way. avoid any horizontal surfaces where water can for puddles, try not to have any skrews or nailheads upwards, water will seep in and rot. just look up some best practice

Posted: Jan 21, 2021 at 16:56 Quote
Luneec wrote:
for wood:

In my experience the priority goes: structural water management -> wood species -> paint.

Paint is expensice, requiers constant maintenance, isnt too eco freindly and wears of under braking

Wood species: if you have any chance get acacia or Oak. ask the local forestry dudes if the have any leftovers and then take a chainsaw and mill boards yourself. buying these species is insanely expensive. otherwise take ceder or larch. last resort woudl be pine from the hardwarestore, if possible preassure treated.

Structural water management is the most important and effective but also most complicated way. avoid any horizontal surfaces where water can for puddles, try not to have any skrews or nailheads upwards, water will seep in and rot. just look up some best practice

Alright, thanks! I definitely was not going for paint anyways because I hate it when it peels off and anyways I don't think it looks good. I'll ask around for wood.
On dirt, yeah I heard something clay-ish was good. There are different types of soil. Is it like sub-soil? cuz I know top soil just crumbles away cuz its made of organic matter

Posted: Jan 21, 2021 at 19:26 Quote
timotheysski wrote:
Luneec wrote:
for wood:

In my experience the priority goes: structural water management -> wood species -> paint.

Paint is expensice, requiers constant maintenance, isnt too eco freindly and wears of under braking

Wood species: if you have any chance get acacia or Oak. ask the local forestry dudes if the have any leftovers and then take a chainsaw and mill boards yourself. buying these species is insanely expensive. otherwise take ceder or larch. last resort woudl be pine from the hardwarestore, if possible preassure treated.

Structural water management is the most important and effective but also most complicated way. avoid any horizontal surfaces where water can for puddles, try not to have any skrews or nailheads upwards, water will seep in and rot. just look up some best practice

Alright, thanks! I definitely was not going for paint anyways because I hate it when it peels off and anyways I don't think it looks good. I'll ask around for wood.
On dirt, yeah I heard something clay-ish was good. There are different types of soil. Is it like sub-soil? cuz I know top soil just crumbles away cuz its made of organic matter
In my experience you will usually find clay a little bit underground in a riverbed, at least that is where me and my friends find it so you could probably find it around water or in a dry riverbed or pond maybe.. (we get ours from a dry riverbed) Hope this helps.

Posted: Jan 22, 2021 at 7:26 Quote
SenditforJesus wrote:
cedar, oak, juniper.

any recomendations for where I should buy it cuz there's none in the area that isnt either a tree thats alive and well or a rotten log

Posted: Jan 22, 2021 at 7:57 Quote
Is it private land, bureau of land management, or forest service?
If it is private land, just ask the owner if you can cut some. What trees are on the property?

Posted: Jan 22, 2021 at 8:22 Quote
SenditforJesus wrote:
Is it private land, bureau of land management, or forest service?
If it is private land, just ask the owner if you can cut some. What trees are on the property?

it is a reservation from the department of conservation, and theres no way they'll let me cut trees and all the fallen ones are rotten, i checked

Posted: Jan 22, 2021 at 9:21 Quote
timotheysski wrote:
SenditforJesus wrote:
Is it private land, bureau of land management, or forest service?
If it is private land, just ask the owner if you can cut some. What trees are on the property?

it is a reservation from the department of conservation, and theres no way they'll let me cut trees and all the fallen ones are rotten, i checked
You could find a little bit smaller trees and dig out some of the dirt around the roots and pull it out of the ground if you have a friend or 2 with you. Works for me but we do have pretty loose top soil so it might be a bit harder for you. As long as nobody notices you doing it, if you fill in the hole you wont get caught.

Posted: Jan 22, 2021 at 11:07 Quote
AdinK wrote:
timotheysski wrote:
SenditforJesus wrote:
Is it private land, bureau of land management, or forest service?
If it is private land, just ask the owner if you can cut some. What trees are on the property?

it is a reservation from the department of conservation, and theres no way they'll let me cut trees and all the fallen ones are rotten, i checked
You could find a little bit smaller trees and dig out some of the dirt around the roots and pull it out of the ground if you have a friend or 2 with you. Works for me but we do have pretty loose top soil so it might be a bit harder for you. As long as nobody notices you doing it, if you fill in the hole you wont get caught.

thing is i need chunky pieces because the drop is rather large so big pillars which I don't want in the knot of the tree so small trees wont do it

Posted: Jan 22, 2021 at 11:11 Quote
timotheysski wrote:
AdinK wrote:
timotheysski wrote:


it is a reservation from the department of conservation, and theres no way they'll let me cut trees and all the fallen ones are rotten, i checked
You could find a little bit smaller trees and dig out some of the dirt around the roots and pull it out of the ground if you have a friend or 2 with you. Works for me but we do have pretty loose top soil so it might be a bit harder for you. As long as nobody notices you doing it, if you fill in the hole you wont get caught.

thing is i need chunky pieces because the drop is rather large so big pillars which I don't want in the knot of the tree so small trees wont do it
It is harder but we have managed to get some very large trees out of the ground by hacking away at the roots with pickaxes, axes, shovels, etc. It's harder to do it like that but it should work if the pillars aren't over about 4 or 5 feet if you do enough support.

Posted: Jan 23, 2021 at 11:24 Quote
AdinK wrote:
timotheysski wrote:
AdinK wrote:

You could find a little bit smaller trees and dig out some of the dirt around the roots and pull it out of the ground if you have a friend or 2 with you. Works for me but we do have pretty loose top soil so it might be a bit harder for you. As long as nobody notices you doing it, if you fill in the hole you wont get caught.

thing is i need chunky pieces because the drop is rather large so big pillars which I don't want in the knot of the tree so small trees wont do it
It is harder but we have managed to get some very large trees out of the ground by hacking away at the roots with pickaxes, axes, shovels, etc. It's harder to do it like that but it should work if the pillars aren't over about 4 or 5 feet if you do enough support.

again, they'll never let me do that and when the new feature gets noticed, they'll probably wonder where the wood came from which isn't going to look good with a mangled tree nearby

Posted: Jan 26, 2021 at 16:31 Quote
timotheysski wrote:
AdinK wrote:
timotheysski wrote:


thing is i need chunky pieces because the drop is rather large so big pillars which I don't want in the knot of the tree so small trees wont do it
It is harder but we have managed to get some very large trees out of the ground by hacking away at the roots with pickaxes, axes, shovels, etc. It's harder to do it like that but it should work if the pillars aren't over about 4 or 5 feet if you do enough support.

again, they'll never let me do that and when the new feature gets noticed, they'll probably wonder where the wood came from which isn't going to look good with a mangled tree nearby
I guess you just gotta buy some then

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