Now that we have our evaporator we must build a "sugar shack" to house it in, along with the 150 and growing, buckets, taps and misc articles for tapping trees. I've drawn up a rough sketch and we will be building a 10x20 building. This will be timber framed and build with all local materials, with the exception of some tar paper and some iron nails and such. The building will be shingled with hand split Basswood shingles. I know what your thinking...."Basswood?" well, it's not known for it's rot resistance, but i don't have the money or the desire for cedar shingles, plus I really like the idea of using what we have around here. Cedar does grow around here, but with the high deer populations with in the last 10 years they have eaten all the young trees. There is pretty much no regeneration. So local Cedar is out of the question, for me. Besides, I've run an experiment. About 5 years ago I split out some planks from some Basswood and left them close to the ground. This past winter I cut them up and to my suprise, the wood is still good. I think that these shingles will last at least 20 years, and when they go I'll split some more. It's easy enough. Plus, not all the shingles will fail at the same time, so I can split and replace as the time goes on.
Basswood is a very straight grained wood and very easy to split, so it's a good material for shingles. We have a lot of Basswood, so cutting a few down and using the lower sections for shingles and the upper pieces for posts will work out good. We will be using most of the tree in this way.