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Thread: Cupolas, Cupolas, Cupolas

  1. #11
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    What material is best to use when building a cupola? With all the steam generated I would think you would need a good waterproof wood??
    In the past I have used MDF boards called "Miratech" or "MiraTEC". It's supposed to be super weather/waterproof. Wonder if this stuff would be good for cupolas?

  2. #12
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    Maybe with the exception of Red Oak, which rots very quickly, I think any wood will work.

    Ours is hemlock, as is the rest of the framing and siding on the sugar house.

    Cupola "doors" are maple I had sawn up from a tree on the property.

    Although lots of steam passes through, there's still lots of air movement up there.

    cupola doors.jpg
    Last edited by johnallin; 05-02-2019 at 10:44 AM. Reason: add picture
    John Allin

    14x18 Hemlock Timber Frame Sugar House 2009
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  3. #13
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    I agree and have always said a cupola sets a sugarhouse apart from every other building on the farm, or in the neighborhood! No pressure treated stuff in mine- all hemlock I believe. Yes, it's wet to the touch during and after a boil for a while but it dries out quickly.

    Steve
    2014 Upgrades!: 24x40 sugarhouse & 30"x10' Lapierre welded pans, wood fired w/ forced draft, homemade hood & preheater
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  4. #14
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    Mine's built with pine and it's still solid after 19 seasons. It does have a metal roof but the studs are rough cut 2x4's and the doors and ends are rough cut 1" boards.
    Russ

    "Red Roof Maples" Where the term "boiling soda" was first introduced to the maple producing world!

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  5. #15
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    Jun 2012
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    W. Wardsboro VT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gremlin View Post
    What material is best to use when building a cupola? With all the steam generated I would think you would need a good waterproof wood??
    In the past I have used MDF boards called "Miratech" or "MiraTEC". It's supposed to be super weather/waterproof. Wonder if this stuff would be good for cupolas?
    M y cupola was built in 1957 out of hemlock and is as good as the day it was built.

  6. #16
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    Feb 2017
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    Central Wisconsin
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    Lets keep this thread going even though you already convinced me to add a Cupola.
    1960 - 1970s 70 taps on galvanized buckets with Dad and Grandpa.
    1970s - 1985 Acted crazy!
    1986 - 2005 20-30 buckets.
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    Lots of Family and Friends and a dog named Skyy!

  7. #17
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    Mar 2005
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    Albion PA
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    Depends what type of environment you want inside when boiling? Cupola works and looks like a sugarhouse. But if you want the steam out you need hoods and steam pipes. Now they could vent into a Cupola too. I choose not to have another big hole (cupola) and went with steam pipes to vent. Very dry in our sugarhouse and visibility is good on all days.
    Just another view point. I had boiled in the rain forest for years prior to building this sugarhouse. Have not regretted it!
    Regards,
    Chris
    Casbohm Maple and Honey
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  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    North Central Wisconsin
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    I guess the reason I thought the steam would rot the wood is because I have 3 cupolas on my detached garage (and one on my house garage). Cupolas on detached garage are about 5 years old. I built them myself and last year I had to replace one because the base rotted. I looked up there one day and the cupola was leaning to one side. The other 2 cupolas were fine, just that one had problems. I replaced it using pine. The treated wood I was going to use was to wet to paint so used pine and so far it's good.

    About 20 years ago I replaced the one on my house garage. That one was starting to decay. But if you keep templates of the ones you build, replacing them is no problem.

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