View Full Version : Rub Rails

09-09-2003, 03:16 PM
Getting ready to start thinking about rub rails on the weekender and was thinking about doing them in cedar. Called a local place here and they said they had some used western red "panelling" which they said was about 3/4" x 11" x 16' which they would sell for $2.00 BF, which would come out to about $32 a board.

Does this sound like a good price? Would you use western red cedar on rub rails?


George Roberts
09-09-2003, 03:56 PM
It is a little bit soft.

09-09-2003, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by George Roberts:
It is a little bit soft.Ditto-I can dent my cedar fence boards with a fingernail.

Around here, South Looziana, new cypress 4/4x12x12' goes for $2/BF. Up in N.E. white cedar can be had for around a $1.00/BF.

You need something harder, maybe not as rock hard as oak or black locust. Mahogany is a tradional choice. Walnut and cherry have been used.

High C
09-09-2003, 05:10 PM
Pressure treated pine is excellent for this, if you get it tight grained and dry it a few weeks if its not already dry when you get it. Some of the 5/4 x 6 decking lumber is very good, and the extra 1/4" is nice for those rubrails.

Bob Smalser
09-09-2003, 07:45 PM
Careful...a lot of pressure-treated stuff is Hemlock.

I'd look at Doug Fir heartwood cut from 2X rafter stock for 60 cents a BF builder's price.

Leon m
09-09-2003, 09:52 PM
I like White Oak for rub rails.Hard as a rock,
looks good,cheap,resists rot...What more can
you ask for from a peice of wood.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-09-2003, 10:09 PM
Ditto Leon

09-10-2003, 06:09 AM
The white oak sounds good, but it is kinda pricey around here. On my last boat I used doug fir as a rub rail, so maybe I'll go that way again.


High C
09-10-2003, 08:51 AM
Originally posted by Bob Smalser:
Careful...a lot of pressure-treated stuff is Hemlock.
Ooh, we never see hemlock down here, and fir is tough to find, too, except at boutique top dollar hardwood stores. The treated pine 5/4 x 6 decking lumber we see a lot of around here is very good. Straight, tight grained, and available in up to 20 feet lengths. I also like the extra 1/4" thickness for some things.

As always, be careful with the stuff. It's loaded with toxins.

[ 09-10-2003, 09:55 AM: Message edited by: High C ]

Alan Peck
09-11-2003, 06:56 AM
Pressure treated pine sounds like it has some advantages. How paintable is the stuff? Do the chemicals bleed through the paint?

stan v
09-12-2003, 05:31 AM
Originally posted by Alan Peck:
Pressure treated pine sounds like it has some advantages. How paintable is the stuff? Do the chemicals bleed through the paint?Paintable, and no bleed through. Good stuff.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
09-12-2003, 05:35 AM
Iroko is a common choice, here. Dimensionally stable, and tough. Should not be left bare, though, as it surface checks.

09-12-2003, 06:47 AM
Got to thinking last night. My neighbor is having the roof rebuilt on her garage (remember the tree that fell on my boat). Her house was built in the early 50's so I wonder what those roof joist are made of? If its SYP it might be worth salvaging and making rub rails from.


09-12-2003, 10:10 AM
Good idea! Get ALL the fasteners out.

Bob Smalser
09-12-2003, 10:35 AM
Yellow Pine would be fine.

Leon m
09-12-2003, 10:45 AM
I wonder if by the time you get done putting
goop ,varnish ,cpes,or whatever it takes to seal
the pine, fir, etc.If it comes out to the same
price (or close)as white Oak with just a simple finish?.
If it where in the same ball park I'd go
with the white oak ,because it would still out last all the others ,even with the goop and
stuff...Buy the white oak once ,or the others
twice...Just a thuoght.

High C
09-12-2003, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by cs:
Her house was built in the early 50's so I wonder what those roof joist are made of? If its SYP it might be worth salvaging and making rub rails from.

ChadI like it. And that lumber will likely have been cut from old growth trees that have tighter grain than most of what's available today. With a 1x2x16' stick, the quality of the grain is VERY important. One knot or flaw can cause it to break before you get it installed. Those long pieces are flexible and hard to handle, so quality really counts. Also, many of the screws will be covered up behind the seats, so replacing the lower rail would be a big job in the future.

On Vacation
09-12-2003, 12:00 PM
Any knot in pine, will bleed through a lot of lighter color paint. If you run into a piece that has even a small pin knot, before painting the rails, use kilz to prime over the knot. The spray can works great on this job. This is only if you are using an oil base paint.

09-12-2003, 12:06 PM
I was kinda planning on leaving the rub rails clear. That is if I can make the scarf joints look good.


Bob Miller
09-12-2003, 10:14 PM
cs, where in the **** ARE YOU? that will determine what you you use for rails. Give me a clew and I will give you a recomenndation. Bob Miller

Leon m
09-12-2003, 11:33 PM
Uh...Bob...I'd say judging from the bottom
of his post(right behind the word "from")
CS is from Chattanooga TN.

CS,just curious...What does White Oak sell for down your way,I pay $3.50 a board foot here.

09-13-2003, 10:53 AM
Ash, anyone? If the free for the labor to get it lumber proves unusable?

09-13-2003, 02:17 PM
Bob I have a heck of a time even finding white oak around here. Nobody hardly seems to carry it. I'll check monday with one of my sources, but I reckon it will be in the $5 range. I can get ash for about $2 bf and had thought about using that, but I worry about the rot.


Bob Smalser
09-13-2003, 03:20 PM
Heck...they're just rubrails and are easily replaced. And on your trailer boat they'd dry out pretty well.

Cedar would get dented up pretty quick, if DF, Yellow Pine or White Oak are hard to find I know Red Oak isn't in Tenn...not as rot resistant as White....but it'll work just fine on your boat....and last I was down there one could find some pretty clear pieces.

09-15-2003, 12:06 PM
Called a supplier this morning and he gave me a quote of $2.01 a board foot for white oak. I'm not to sure that is right though cause from the same place ash cost $2.20 a board foot. It it is true though I can get what I need for about $32. If I get Doug Fir it will be about half of that. Or if my neighbors garage pans out it wont cost me anything.

I have also probably found me some ridge beams from a GP medium tent. These beams are about 4 x 4 and about 6' long. They have an almost reddish tint to them. New ones are made from pine, but I believe that these are Doug Fir. I can get these for free also. Will look into that some more.


Leon m
09-15-2003, 10:02 PM
Psssst...White oak....you wont be sorry ;)

Wild Dingo
09-16-2003, 09:25 AM
Chad salvage the wood from the neighbors garage ANYWAY!... always good to have extra wood for those "one day" jobs and the ridge poles too... then look at the white oak! :D

A mans gotta have is wood! :cool:

09-16-2003, 09:54 AM
White oak for the same price as used cedar?

No brainer! Get the oak!

What Dingo said, too!