View Full Version : Best place 4 seasoned timbers (Seattle)

David Ray
08-07-2001, 07:49 PM
Does anyone know where I could find seasoned timbers (or I guess kiln
dried) in Seattle, and what the best place would be? (Oak?).

Thanks ahead of time.


08-08-2001, 07:51 AM
Eden Saw and several others. They're in the book http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/biggrin.gif

Jamie Hascall
08-08-2001, 10:33 AM
There are some lumber recycling outfits that are pulling old growth Douglas Fir beams out of some of the big old warehouses like the old Filson building that was demolished for the construction of the first new sports stadium we voted against (grrr). These will probably be very dry but there may be ones that have equilibrated by sitting in the yard for a while. I don't have a number at hand but I know where I can find the info. Let me know if I can help with more information. You might want to check with some of the folks at the Center for Wooden Boats or the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Pt. Townsend to see if they've tried this wood out and what their results may have been.

Good Luck,

PS I just noticed the request for Oak. For that I imagine you'll need to use the standard suppliers of Edensaw or Crosscut as all of that comes from somewhere else.

[This message has been edited by Jamie Hascall (edited 08-08-2001).]

David Ray
08-08-2001, 11:20 AM
Thanks! (to both of you). I didn't know there were standard suppliers for non-domestic wood in this area, I apologize if this answer was obvious.

Any opinions on substituting Doug for Oak? Adjusting scantlings etc.?

Thanks again,

08-08-2001, 12:44 PM
What's it for? As a general sort of notion I'd say use what you can get. Perfectionism is best admired from afar http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/rolleyes.gif The real world is full of compromises and doug fir for oak isn't all that bad as compromises go http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/wink.gif

[This message has been edited by TomRobb (edited 08-08-2001).]

David Ray
08-08-2001, 05:39 PM
I'm building a 32ft. cutter, I got the plans about 10 years ago (from non other than Lyle Hess) and I just rented a house in Burien that has enough space to build. I've got the boat shed staked out, and I'm rarin' to get started... following the 2 week course I'm taking in Sept. on the 8th. in Maine at - you guessed it - the WoodenBoat School.

The "Doug" question was about substituting the keel, deadwood, stem, stern and assorted knees and possibly the ribs which the design calls for Oak to be the wood to use...

How 'bout that for a long winded answer?


08-08-2001, 05:49 PM
I'll betcha if you look real close at Lyle's plans, somewhere will be the remark "oak or douglas fir"....that's the way my plans were several years ago.
The scantlings on that boat are such that you could use Douglas fir for just about everything, including the spars.

Jamie Hascall
08-08-2001, 06:09 PM
Check the Yellow pages under Lumber-used. Resource Woodworks Inc. in Tacoma looks like a good possibility. http://www.rw-timber.com/rww.htm I'm wondering if RGM is lurking around here as I think he might have a good read on this resource if anyone has. I'll try to scare him up for you.


David Ray
08-08-2001, 06:36 PM
to Paladinsfo:
Ok I'll bite, did you build one of these cutters? Got pics? What was your experience like? Oh. and you know what? I think you're right about the mention of Doug on the plans...

to Jamie:
Thanks ALOT! That looks really hopeful, I'll give them a call. Excellent lead, thanks.

to Anyone:
I would like to build this to last a LONG time, I don't think I'll build another one ever, so would that make a difference in choosing between "Doug" and "Oak" ?

Thanks to all for your time!


Bob Cleek
08-08-2001, 07:34 PM
This may be overstating the obvious, but as for pictures... Larry Pardey's "Details of Classic Yacht Construction - The Hull" (available from WB store mailorder) is a step by step discussion of building your boat with about a gazillion pictures.

08-08-2001, 08:17 PM
David, I've worked with the timber re-cycle guy in Tacoma before. He's pretty quick at snatching up the old timbers from buildings and warehouses. He grabs 'em, cleans them up at his Tacoma facility/mill then typically ships them to Colorado, Montana, California, etc. where some of his side kicks build timber frame houses for the likes of Jack Nicholson and other high rollers. That essentially is your competition. However, you may have some luck with him if you try. In my experience I believe that you'll be ahead by contacting Jack Olson at Olson Lumber in Seattle. They've been in the boat lumber game for a long, long time and are very well connected. More often than not they come thru for me when I'm on the hunt for boat lumber, more so than anyone else. Most of the Doug Fir that's worth putting into a boat anymore comes out of Canada, there are a few exceptions, not many. When it comes to selling boat lumber it's a pretty incestuous group, they're frequently working together. Go with White Oak for your frames, Doug Fir for your keel and dead wood, possibly Purple Heart for stem, horn timber and stern post. The Purple Heart is available in large dimensions and is relatively cheap. Spend the extra money and bronze fasten your boat, you won't regret it in the long haul if you do. DON'T use kiln dried material if you're in the Pacific Northwest. You should be able to find air dried stock or close to it fairly easy. Purple Heart would probably be the exception, it would most likely be kiln dried to some degree. Bob's recommendation of Pardey's book will be very useful to you if you don't already have it. Hi Jamie, how ya doin.

David Ray
08-08-2001, 08:55 PM
To Bob:
Yeah, you're right I bought it, but my enthusiasm has me hungry for any photos I get. And too, I was interested in his particular project and his impressions... Thanks for the suggestion, you are right on about the pictures and the instructional value!

Ok. So that was useful enough to be published! Thank you. I'm most worried about the keel I guess... being 14" sided 8" moulded and 22' long.

I dropped by CrossCut today - seeing all of that BEAUTIFUL wood (and the smell, oh my god!) I'm more geeked now than ever! There quote was up around $2,000 for the keel timber which I even under estimated, not having the scantlings at hand...

I will give Olsen a call or go by... Purple heart was in amazing quantities at CrossCut, so if that's any indication of the availability... I didn't see anything in huge dimensions though... I'll check it out over at Olsen. Thank you!


08-08-2001, 09:05 PM
Dave most of my photos are on the boat somewhere else right now but theres a couple on my mom's wall I will try to scan...they are offshore of Iceland. I didn't use either wood in my boat. I laminated all the frames, keel, stem, stern and kingpsts from a Malasian wood very similar to African mahogany, and strip planked it with a wood like sitka spruce and two veneers of the African variety mahogany over and e-glass and epoxy outside, furniture all rosewood, teak and holly (the real thing) cabin sole and decks, ash blocks etc. If you elect to build the boat from lesser quality fir (as opposed to oak) there could be some benefit in laminating all the timbers, coated with CPES and then use a high quality epoxy throughout, xynole/vectra or similar outside for abrasion resistance....it could last a looooong time. The oak will not take epoxy well. My boat is now 8 years old and as tight as the day it was build. I just started stacking up wood for a 36 foot version for my son...

David Ray
08-08-2001, 09:40 PM
Ok. So L. Pardey's book wages WAR with epoxy! I have about 30 books I've collected throughout the years I've been salivating about this project, but my intro to the whole topic came by way of the Pardeys... not having experience (none) with the building process I tend to trust my original mentors. He shows pictures of his attempts w/epoxy - delaminating and w/joints widening etc. This has really scared me away from the whole epoxy revolution, but like I said... I have NO experience - though I like to think of myself as being open-minded... What's up with the differing view points? I know you guys have probably teethed on boat-wright tools and will probably laugh at me, but I'm kinda scared of that stuff!!!!


David Ray
08-08-2001, 09:45 PM
Oh, I'm sorry... I just had burning questions about epoxy, but your boat sounds like you put ALOT of work laminating the various members and such. You sound as if you have plenty of experience, and your boat sounds as if it could inspire tears from the harshest of critics!

I would LOVE to see pictures if you want to post or send them! Strip planking and veneering? Sheeeesh! You put alot of love into it... The rosewood, teak and holly sounds awesome too!


Nicholas Carey
08-09-2001, 02:04 AM
Edensaw in Seattle/Port Townsend.

Flounder Bay in Anacortes (they'll deliver). Bob and Erica Pickett are really nice people.

Compton Lumber in Seattle (1st Avenue South)

Crosscut Hardwoods, Seattle (1st Avenue South -- across from Compton's).

Stay away from recyled timbers for boat use. 75 years of baking in the sun has pretty much cooked the life out of it.

08-09-2001, 06:35 AM
My boat was built in less than a year, but I had three part time gentlemen who never used a single power tool. I built the boat in Thailand and xynole, MAS, T-88 epoxies, e-glass, kevlar and carbon fiber are all on the open market and a heckuva lot cheaper than in the United States. The woods I used are available locally at prices cheaper than Home Depot pine or fir in the U.S.
It was easier and faster to work with smaller pieces of wood than monster timbers.
My "assistants" cost me about ten cents an hour, Thai wages. In addition to the availability if teak, there are several Malaysian species that are very useful. The spars were built from "maai mhion hoom" which is similar to spruce but slightly lighter but with a long interlocking grain and slightly stronger than the spruce. Carbon fiber tows were used for reinforcements. For planking "maai caba" is like Atlantic white cedar, "Maai ten" from Laos is used for the keel, stem, frames etc. Rosewood is "maai praduk" and is cheaper than the Burmese/Malasian/Thai teak. Within a year of making the formulation of T-88 epoxy over 25 years ago, Gerry Schindlers stuff became widely used there, and more recently MAS has made the invasion. My boat is being sold and I have a new 45 foot version to be similarly built but intend to use the MAS epoxies and a new product called CPES that I have been introduced to on this forum. In Thailand your boat could be built for about 75-80K, painted, spars and sails less engine and electronics stuff....you should visit a THai restaraunt before you give this thought and try the pork satay, lemon grass soup and pad thai, learn NOT to raise your voice for any reason, and be prepared to work from earliest daylight to dusk with a4 hour nap at mid day..... http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/biggrin.gif

08-09-2001, 10:24 AM
David, if you are still looking at this post, call Peter Wagner (Pacific Western Timbers, Inc) in Port Orchard at 360-674-2700. He probably has exactly what you are looking for and then some. We've used his material alot for a historic restoration that we've been involved in over the last few years. I just talked with him, he told me that he is presently cutting and well stocked with Doug Fir. Don't wait to long, by the time The Virginia V Foundation, Lake Union Dry Dock and a few others get done with him he might not have too much suitable Doug Fir left. You might want to get over there and check it out, before I do. LOL. I told Peter that you would be calling him. I'll e-mail you also, timeliness on your part will probably be important. Good luck.

Jamie Hascall
08-09-2001, 11:18 AM
Wow David, you sure asked the right question. Between RGM and Nicholas you've got some of the best regional knowledge I can imagine, and of course Paladin's descriptions of Thailand are making me salivate on the keyboard. I'm glad to know about the conditions of the recycle timber and am not surprised that they're basically kiln dried from all those years inside.

Good Luck,

Roger, I figured you'd be drawn into this. Things are going well but am having a difficulties in stopping work on the boat long enough to sail her. So it goes. See you sometime.

Dave Fleming
08-09-2001, 12:14 PM
Oh Geeze, you guys talking about the Pac No West are making me homesick!
Usta be just down the street from Bob and Ericka Pickett.
dave... who just donated 40 planks of Old Growth Vertical Grain Douglas Fir to the San Diego Maritime Museum.
Been lugging that stuff around since 1979.
Gosh it was like loosing a member of the family! But I kept the Andaman Island Padouk and Port Orford Cedar and some other goodies,just in case. Ya folla. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif

David Ray
08-09-2001, 12:51 PM
Thank you all for helping so much!

To Jamie:
You're right! The people on this forum are very generous with their knowledge. It really helps a newbie like me out to have knowledgeable people who are so willing to share their experience, you know?

To Paladinsfo:
I wrote you back in email. The interior of your boat is fabulous! The exotic substitutions of wood you selected is very intriguing. I wish I knew enough to trust the use of epoxy? But I guess for a beginner I should just stick with what is most comfortable for me, huh? Anyway, thanks so much for your responses, as usual. :)

To Nicholas:
Thanks for the handy list. That should prove very useful. I'll heed the tip about the recycled stuff also!

I'm going to look into all the things you suggested, thank you. I wrote you a couple of emails back, which have the lion's share of my responses... By the way - I think you're right about CrossCut, the gentleman did say that he would have to call "his warehouse" to get an exact price!

To Dave:
In case I want to contact you, is there an email address or number where you can be reached? My email is available here, although I'm knew to this forum and it's interface so I don't know how to get anyone's email...

Thanks all.


08-09-2001, 01:39 PM
David, to e-mail fellow forumites do the following. Check out someone's recent message or question. Look to the right of their name, you'll see the date and time of their entry (in purple), look a little further to the right and you'll see a series of icons. Click on them to see someones "profile", e-mail them direct (if available) or edit your message when you screw it up. Good luck. Have fun at boat school.

Dave Fleming
08-09-2001, 03:08 PM
David Ray, I was the one who after seeing your post to the rec.boats.building news group suggested that you come here and pose the same questions as your chance of getting an answer for Puget Sound area would be better here.
My e-mail, web site and photo site were in my signature of my post to that news group but I will repeat them here.
web site:
www.pipeline.com/~djf3rd (http://www.pipeline.com/~djf3rd)
photo albums at:

David Ray
08-09-2001, 05:23 PM
That's what those icon thingys are for...I see.

To Dave:
I folla! (re: take your time, do your research... etc.) :)


08-10-2001, 12:38 AM
So, Dave Flemming, old buddy old pal, tell me more about this Port Orford Cedar that you and Penny have been rat holing all these years.

Dave Fleming
08-10-2001, 11:16 AM
So Roger wants to know about the Port Orford Cedar in the Fleming stash eh?
Well, when we all were working at MARCO there was a fella who worked with us who came from Port Orford. The absent minded joiner, recall?
He was up in the mill one day and we got to talking about P.O. and he mentioned a fella who was cutting and selling it on his own. So I got Precious Penny's permission http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/biggrin.gif and got in touch with him. IIRC the name was Tucker. I ordered about 500 bd.ft. of 1"net x random width x random length and in about 2 months he delivered it to our hootch over in West Seattle. Mostly 10" or wider and none shorter than 10 feet. And I have been schleping it around ever since. I mentioned to some folks that I just donated 40 planks of Old Growth Vertical Grain Douglas Fir to the San Diego Maritime Museum the other week, when the fellows came to pick it up they also saw the P.O. and asked about it. They got a very nice but firm, that is not for sale or donation!
What the hell can't fault them for trying, or so says I.

08-10-2001, 11:24 AM
Dave,your last post answered my question,so I won't ask it.
What little po I have left is treated like a long lost friend.