Correct wood for boat building?

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crazycarl
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Correct wood for boat building?

Post by crazycarl »

I happened upon some old growth Douglas Fir for cheap.

Would this wood be good for boat building?
PhilR
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Re: Correct wood for boat building?

Post by PhilR »

Old growth Doug fir is a classic boatbuilding wood. Assuming it's well dried, it's light, strong, stable, and has good rot resistance. Doug fir can be used wherever 'white pine' is indicated on old plans. On my 20' plywood sailboat, I used old growth Doug fir for the mast and spars, and lumber for structural members such as stringers.
crazycarl
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Re: Correct wood for boat building?

Post by crazycarl »

Thanks for the reply Phil.

The planks are old bleacher seats. 1" X 9 1/2" X16'

The underside is marked; Milled in Tomahawk, Wisconsin 1949.

The grain is very straight and clear of all knots.

I purchased 10 of them for $7 each, and the gentleman has about 200 more.
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WoodnMetalGuy
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Re: Correct wood for boat building?

Post by WoodnMetalGuy »

Carl - I'm located near the WI/MN border - is this wood anywhere near me? I don't have lumber yet for my SCAMP's mast and spars and maybe this would work out for me. You can send me a PM if you don't want to post his contact information on the forum. Thanks!
-- Dave

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CLC Chesapeake 17LT, Chesapeake 14, Sassafras 12
Building blog: http://woodnmetalguy.blogspot.com
crazycarl
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Re: Correct wood for boat building?

Post by crazycarl »

Dave,

First, thanks to Joshua Colvin for getting in touch with me for you.

I bought the bleacher seats from a pattern maker in Marseilles Illinois along the Illinois river.

A friend turned me on to him. If your interested, I can ask if my friend has the gentleman's phone number and pass it on to you.

Marseilles in about 1 1/2 hours south of the Wisconsin/Illinois border, and about 2 - 2 1/2 hours east of the Mississippi river.


Carl
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WoodnMetalGuy
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Re: Correct wood for boat building?

Post by WoodnMetalGuy »

Thanks, Carl. Looks like that's about a six hour drive from me - I was hoping it was closer. I think there's a source for Sitka spruce in Madison, WI, which is about 3 1/2 hours from here, so I may take that route instead.

I understand that Sitka is a preferred wood for mast and spars, being light and strong, though expensive.

Hard to find these good boatbuilding woods here in the heart of the midwest...
-- Dave

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CLC Chesapeake 17LT, Chesapeake 14, Sassafras 12
Building blog: http://woodnmetalguy.blogspot.com
rudolphbray
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Re: Correct wood for boat building?

Post by rudolphbray »

Teak wood is the best for Boat building as it is very durable
Roy Schreyer
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Re: Correct wood for boat building?

Post by Roy Schreyer »

Fir is good but can splinter more than some other choices. I'd use it for structure but avoid it where splintering is not desirable, hand rails, duckboards, bunk edging etc. anywhere skin slides on wood. Best/Roy
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PAR
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Re: Correct wood for boat building?

Post by PAR »

There's no correct wood for boat building, though there certainly are species selections that are prefered over others. Old growth Douglas fir is a prized species that is very hard to come by now. Excellent rot and decay resistance, easy to work, though finishing can present challenges. Teak is a fine choice, but is quite heavy, very oily and will dull your tools quickly. Douglas fir is an average weight species, has has good physical attributes in terms of modulus and usefulness. I tend to not use Douglas fir in bright finishes, because it tends to check and can "washboard" if flat sawn and over milled. Vertical and quarter sawn stock can be quite pretty though. If you found some real old growth, jump on it.
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