View Full Version : Meranti
10-09-2001, 08:49 PM
How does Meranti finish up 'bright'? I know this is subjective, but I would like to know what you think. Does it have enough 'color' and 'character' in your opinion to 'properly' enhace the look of a new wooden boat? http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif
10-09-2001, 10:02 PM
You can get just about any color you want. The dark red stock seems to finish brighter. The Meranti is one of the woods that were and are commonly marketed as Phillipine Mahogany.
10-09-2001, 10:24 PM
Thank you! So it is comparable to Mahogany, huh? Can you provide me with any other comments (workability,what about a smooth finish, etc.)? http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif
10-09-2001, 10:30 PM
Idunno Capt,I finish my meranti's with a dash of very dry vermouth. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/biggrin.gif
Far as I can remember,it finishes very much like hond.It takes a stain well and if bleached,can even be a reddish golden color.
It's a matter of taste really,as it is a very pretty interrior wood,a trim wood,and great for instrumented bulkheads.
10-09-2001, 10:44 PM
Some years ago (perhaps 10) a company in Martha's Vineyard was building reproductions of N. Herreshoff's "Alerion" class sailboat using meranti veneers for the finish layer (cold-molded). They were beautifully made, and the hulls were finished bright. The wood looked like mahogany. I recall it being very reddish, like mahogany.
10-09-2001, 10:44 PM
Das, when talking stain I am assuming a water based stain (so epoxy will adhere)? Can you elaborate on the 'bleaching'?
Roger, we posted at the same time. Thank you for the description of the color (I'm getting closer). http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif
BTW I am refering to Meranti plywood!?
[This message has been edited by capt jake (edited 10-10-2001).]
10-10-2001, 12:02 AM
So what is it you are building. The meranti will finish nicely bright. But will it look good. Stitch & Glue, I would paint, because you'll have to use filler to get
a smooth hull. And no matter how good the wood looks, all your going to look at is the filler spots. Glued lapstrake, I could go either way. Finished bright, from a distance it could fool most into thinking it is built from lumber. The giveaway is the planks will have that plain sawn look. For me I like paint in and out and trimmed with some choice wood and many coats of varnish.
Remember it's suppose to be fun. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif
10-10-2001, 01:21 AM
Meranti color varies from a light cedar looking color all the way to a very dark red of the finest mohogany. I bought eight sheets a while back and found all the different shades represented in my shipment (what a pain to color-match). The light stuff finished up bright to look like occume. The dark stuff finished up like the best honduran mohogany. All of it looked good and some of it is downright beautiful. The jury is still out on how the color endures over time exposed to the sun.
10-10-2001, 02:21 AM
What Paul F said. I bought a mess of sheets, forgot how many now, like 50-60, and one side is the light color, like Okoume or cedar-ish, and the other is the dark red. Some of it I varnished up for interior cabin stuff, pretty dark, looks a lot like Honduras mahogany, but without the beautiful ribbon stripe, just plain sawn rotary stuff.
Interestingly, the grade stamps are all on the darker side, which may indicate in my experience they consider the dark side to be the "back", except it's really AA anyway. Has a really pungent smell I can't quite place, almost like cedar but different. Good stuff to work with.
10-10-2001, 07:43 AM
Question for Paul and Mike: Is it easy to judge the color by looking at the raw sheet?
On t'other hand, I guess all you need to do is flood it with mineral spirits (or some such) to get a sense of what it'll look like varnished.
10-10-2001, 08:38 AM
Iwould love to hear from some of you "meranti" users!!!! Who did you buy it from??? Did you buy 1088 or 6566????? what are your experiences with these sources???? How did the wood behave??? For encapsulated use the 6566 Merantit seems to me like a hands down winner in the "bang for the Buck" department. It is comparably priced with Fir plywood without the finishing problems inherent with the soft/hard wood surfaces. Also the companies that I spoke with, Edensaw and Noahs state that it is viod free and uses the same glues as 1088 products but the surface veneers do tend to be thinner than the 1088. If you are encapsulating that should not be an issue.
10-10-2001, 08:38 AM
One thing to keep in mind is that Meranti is very splintery. You need to use a very high angle ATB blade like a chip free laminate blade to get a clean edge or pre-score cuts across the face grain with a razor knife.
10-10-2001, 08:47 AM
Plywood or solid stock? Anyway, I just finished a Meranti ply lapstrake boat, and finished the inside bright. It looks good, darker and redder than the Honduras Mahogany pieces on the same boat. Very pretty, really, although the grain isn't very interesting. Water on the raw wood makes blackish stains that are hard to get out (I never did). The grain of the plywood is pretty open, even rough on a very small scale. CPES didn't fill it completely. If you wanted a miror-like varnish finish, I think it would take a bit of work to fill the grain, but I'm not that much of a perfectionist. I used West Marine's equivalent of Cetol (not orange) over CPES. Definitely good enough for me, and the longest-lasting bright finish I know of, barring exotics like Smith's Five Year stuff.
I bought mine from Lake Elmo Hardwoods just outside of St. Paul MN. $28/sheet for Malaysian 5-ply 6mm, stamped BS1088, although whether it really is I have no idea. I also got half a sheet of 18 or 19mm 13-ply for about $50 which I used for the rudder and centerboard. I was worried after reading a previous post about possible delamination problems with Meranti ply and did an impromptu boil test, which it passed with no problem. It's relatively heavy, splintery as Gashmore said, seems strong, has no voids at all as far as I can tell. I'd use it again, definitely.
[This message has been edited by Keith Wilson (edited 10-10-2001).]
10-10-2001, 09:11 AM
Keith!!!! Bless you:) :) :) you are the first person in 3 or 4 months that has actually answered a question on this topic. Every answer has been so qualified that I felt there must be a "modertor/censor for the Plywood lobby out there. "DON'T LET OUT ANY REALISTIC INFORMATION"!!!! Well today we have made some progress. How about a discourse on 1088 versus 6566?????????
10-10-2001, 10:03 AM
Geez, thanks, but I just told you what I saw while building one little boat . .
I don't know much about the pros and cons of 1088 and the other stuff, but that doesn't prevent me from having an opinion. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif It seems to me that for small boats on relatively protected waters, it doesn't matter much. As I understand it, the difference between the two grades is pretty small, much less than between fir and Meranti, or even than between Meranti and Okoume. The heavier surface veneers might be more durable under one's feet, but the lower price is good too. Pay yer money and take yer choice. I used what I did because I had a good and relatively cheap local source.
[This message has been edited by Keith Wilson (edited 10-10-2001).]
10-10-2001, 10:35 AM
Jee, have you ever tried the little search thingie in the upper right corner? http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/wink.gif All this has been gone over before....I personally just answered in another of Jake's threads about where I bought mine, which was Edensaw.
I bought both Meranti and Okoume, around 90 sheets, in both 1088 and 6566 (four different types/grades). I'm building Stambaugh's Puffin 28, a cold molded diesel sedan cruiser. http://www.cmdboats.com/puffin.htm
There's another recently active thread here that discusses the grading, with links to LLoyds, etc.
I bought the 1088 Meranti in 1/4"--6mm for cold molding my bottom (four layers)after looking at both the 6566 3-ply Aquatek and the 5-ply 1088 Hydrotek (Edensaw's names I guess).
My (older) plans called for fir (which would have been three-ply in 1/4") in the double-double diagonal bottom, I was concerned if I used the five-ply 1088 Meranti, it might be too stiff (some real bends up forward), But it worked fine. It was about $33 a sheet. The 3-ply Meranti Edensaw sells is called Aquatek, and is $20 a sheet in 6mm.
The 18mm (3/4") went from a low of $53 for the 9-ply Aquatek to a high of $98 and change for the 13-ply 1088 Okoume. So Keith's $50 half sheet is about right.
I'm leaving some of the dark red and the lighter Meranti bright in the cabin (bulkheads mostly), and definately the Okoume hull sides.
Edensaw was great to work with, especially John Montgomery. Highly recommended, at least from my experience.
(had to edit this post...I thought I used 3-ply on the bottom laminations, just went out to work on the boat and saw I used 5-ply...too many epoxy fumes before breakfast, hehehe)
[This message has been edited by Mike Keers (edited 10-10-2001).]
10-10-2001, 11:06 AM
Capt.,can't say much about epoxy coating over stain,since I have only stained with z spar products which are oil based.I have only varnished over,never epoxy coated.
Took a lot of material since the wood has a kind of pores grain, but the results were beautiful.
Bleaching is no different than routine bleaching of any wood.A good commercial product or mix your own if you know how.
This wood has many colors,but I was referring to the hond.looking stuff being bleached to a reddish golden color.That will happen naturally if the piece is exposed to sunlight routinely.In fact the sun will render a more golden if not blondish tone.
10-11-2001, 12:36 AM
Now I feel dumb. All this discussion about Meranti looking much like mahogany and all the while I thought meranti was mahogany. When I started building my boat, I went to the local lumberyard and asked about (solid) mahogany 1x stock for my framing. They said "sure, we have it" and sold me 1 x 10 and 1 x 4 stock, for a great price, too. Looking at my invoice later, I noticed it said "red meranti mahogany". From there on, I assumed that meranti was a variety of mahogany. I guess I was wrong?
10-11-2001, 05:38 AM
The term "Mahogany" is used to cover a number of woods. When you are talking about real mahogany, Honduran Mahogany is what you generally think of (Swietenia Macrophillia). African Mahogany is a different species (Khaya Spp.)
"Phillipean Mahogany" or Meranti is actually lauan or luan. The wood can be from any of almost 200 different species of the Shorea genus. The term was cooked up by the plywood trade associations to increase sales of cheaper SE Aisian woods.
To complicate things, here is a list of some of the "mahoganies". Keep in mind that Swietenia is the only true mahogany.
Mahogany (Chloroxylon swietenia) Mahogany (Sickingia salvadorense)Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla)Mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni)
Mahogany bean (Afzelia quanzensis)Mahogany bean (Gymnocladus dioicus)Mahogany eucalyptus, Red (Eucalyptus resinifera)Mahogany, African (Khaya grandifoliola)Mahogany, African (Khaya nyassica)Mahogany, African (Khaya senegalensis)Mahogany, Australian red (Eucalyptus resinifera)Mahogany, Bastard (Carapa guianensis) Mahogany, Belize (Swietenia macrophylla)Mahogany, Benin (Khaya grandifoliola)Mahogany, Benin (Khaya senegalensis)Mahogany, Big leafed (Swietenia macrophylla)Mahogany, Bigleaf (Swietenia macrophylla)Mahogany, Cuban (Sickingia salvadorense)Mahogany, Cuban (Swietenia mahagoni)Mahogany, Dominican (Sickingia salvadorense)Mahogany, Dominican (Swietenia mahagoni)Mahogany, East Indian (Pterocarpus dalbergioides)Mahogany, Entandrophragma (Entandrophragma angolense)Mahogany, Entandrophragma (Entandrophragma candollei)Mahogany, False (Andira inermis)Mahogany, Heavy african (Khaya grandifoliola)Mahogany, Honduras (Swietenia macrophylla)Mahogany, Jamaica (Sickingia salvadorense)Mahogany, Jamaica (Swietenia mahagoni)Mahogany, Kentucky (Gymnocladus dioicus)Mahogany, Khaya (Khaya grandifoliola)
Mahogany, Khaya (Khaya senegalensis)Mahogany, New England (Prunus serotina)Mahogany, Nyasaland (Khaya nyassica)Mahogany, Pod (Afzelia quanzensis)Mahogany, Red (Eucalyptus resinifera)Mahogany, Red (Khaya nyassica)
Mahogany, Santos (Myroxylon balsamum)Mahogany, Sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum)Mahogany, Senegal (Khaya grandifoliola)Mahogany, Senegal (Khaya senegalensis)Mahogany, Straights (Melanorrhoea spp. syn. Gluta spp.)
10-11-2001, 06:55 AM
Meranti = poor man's mahogany.
Stains up to look like the real thing.
I use it for cheap window and patio door frames. Huge range of colours from blond to black through red. Full of worm holes. Generally soft. Poor durability if untreated and un-protected. I wouldn't give it space on a boat.
A friend used some 1088 marine ply in a bank re-fit [as the spec called for] and in 6 months *inside* use it started to delaminate and the whole job was condemed. Big law suite still dragging on years later as each supplier sues the other down the line. This was mega expensive marine ply, stamped and tested, and it failed. Just imagine if it was a hull already!
10-11-2001, 08:52 AM
While looking through the list posted by Gashmore, I did not find mention of Curupixa (Micropholis Venulosa). This particular marine plywood is stocked by my local lumber dealer, but I haven't been able to find out too much about it. Anybody here have experience with this wood?
10-11-2001, 09:28 AM
Originally posted by Smacksman:
Poor durability if untreated and un-protected. I wouldn't give it space on a boat.
In the immortal words of Charlie Brown (as Lucy pulls the football away again):
I framed my entire hull in the stuff. Time to take out the gasoline and a match? http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/frown.gif
Captjake, by now you've probably determined that meranti is not suitable for wood boat construction, for a number of reasons. Doesn't matter if it's plywood or solid lumber. There's lots of other choices out there, perhaps at a slightly higher price. However, you are building a boat not a set of garage shelves. Don't go cheap, that tends to be a very expensive route, especially when it comes to boat building.
You're profile states that you live in Olympia, WA.. There are alot of outfits close to you that are reputable (to varying degrees) providers of boat lumber. Using them is worth while, even if all you do is pick there collective brains. In responding to your original post, personally, I don't care for the look of meranti, even for garage shelving. It's porous, looks cheap, it's non-durable, weak, splinters easily, doesn't hold fasteners well, etc. I built an epoxy coated litter box out of meranti plywood for my sister's cat once, it didn't last long. Good luck.
10-11-2001, 10:55 AM
Geez, now am am confused. I am looking at Meranti as an alternative to Okoume (seems like Okoume isn't too highly thought of for longevity and durability). Meranti appears to be more duarable and only slightly heavier (designer states this is important). Yes, price is of some concern, but not a major one (though I don't want to spend $150/sheet either). Am I to assume that the opinions on this are as varied as the people who build boats?
RGM, I have only found Edensaw and Resources Int. Is there somebody else that I am missing? Locally, I get blank stares of disbelief.
I think I need an aspirin http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif
[This message has been edited by capt jake (edited 10-11-2001).]
10-11-2001, 11:22 AM
To confuse things even more, I know that John Brooks suggests Sapele(SP?) for his small boat designs. I have used some and it is nice to work with. I don't know how it holds up. Anyway, I would suggest that plywood is not the best place to save money. Just buy the imported, high grade, marine stuff from a respected vendor that deals in boat building, and you will probably be OK.
Captjake, I'll reach you offline thru your e-mail address.
10-11-2001, 01:24 PM
You guys are getting way off base about Meranti. While it is not really a mahogany and there are much better and cheaper domestic dimension lumber species for boatguilding, there is nothing wrong with using meranti plywood as long as it is properly installed. Meranti is the second most popular boatbuilding plywood in the world. Okoume is #1 but only because it is lighter and bends easier. Meranti is considerably more durable than okoume and slightly more stable. Meranti is also head and shoulders better than US fir marine plywood.
If someone experienced delamination in a 1088 plywood, it was a manufacturing or installation fault, not the species of wood. As with any plywood used in boatbuilding, meranti should be encapsulated.
10-11-2001, 06:11 PM
Now shurely guys,['stop calling me Shirly' as was said in the film] if we are talking ply then the meranti is only the 0.0001 mm thick [plus or minus a nats] outer decorative skin and its durability doesn't really come in to it, as if it is not carefully and meticulously protected it will crack/split/delaminate whatever it is built up from.
The British Standard 1088 marine ply has hardwood core and guaranteed no voids in the veneers as i remember it. The glue is water/boil proof stuff the same as 'far eastern' ply which is perfectly ok for above water use. Brunzeel is the best ply I've seen with a good thick outer veneer but was £285 an 8'x4'x3/4" sheet so I was told. [I certainly didn't have to buy it but at that price I measured thrice and cut once]
Ref. the marine ply in the bank - yes it was obviously a duff batch from a respected manufacturer/supplier but my point was the horrer it would be if it was put in a boat. Under EEC regulation IS/-balls/201 you would get the sheets of ply replaced. Great! The best guarantees are sometimes worth nothing in practice.
10-11-2001, 07:16 PM
So, Smacksman, what are you professing? No to Meranti and yes to, what? I am still fighting this plywood headache!
I think I need another aspirin (with codiene!!) http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif
10-11-2001, 07:50 PM
Sorry cap'n, i confuse myself most of the time.
See, your No.1 post was about meranti which I think of as wood. Then somehow the thread moved onto ply, which in my view is, well, just ply. You can't talk much about it really, different flavours maybe, different shades, more or less veneers. You can see two sides and just pray that there is something in the middle that will last. It is handy stuff for many jobs and is quick and cheerful to cut and fix.
But each wooden wood has certain natural qualities that lend them to different jobs and some woods to no jobs at all on a boat, well, maybe in the stove.
As a veneer on ply, just about any wood is as bad as another. No, thats a bit strong. I use ply a lot and it is good for many jobs.
Use ply and be happy. Just keep it well protected, touch up any knocks as they occur and it will see you right for many, many months. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/wink.gif
ps. love your wee pirate schooner
pps. It takes ages for my posts to appear. Do they have to swim across the pond?
10-11-2001, 07:59 PM
Headache is starting to subside. 'Pirate schooner"? Are you refering to the 'Weekender' (bought the plans but decided against it)? That was the look I wanted, though this is more realistic in these waters. I am building Princess http://www.bandbyachtdesigns.com/princess.htm for those who may be wondering. Sorry about the confusion early on, didn't realize Maranti was also in 'timber' form. Yes I am refering to Plywood. I am intending upon trimming her with Mahogony (sp?)
10-11-2001, 09:11 PM
Just to clear up another misconception, Bruynzeel Multipanel is a Dutch Manufacturer of plywood not a type of wood. They have plants all over the world producing plywood from many types of wood and are generally recognized as producing the best quality marine product with Shellman Swiss Atlantic coming in a close second.
10-11-2001, 09:19 PM
Gashmore, are you trying to build up my headache again? http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif Thanks to all on this topic. I am still rather confused as to what I will buy (type of plywood). I am almosts ready to 'pin the tail on the donkey" (so to speak), just pick a supplier and go for it!!
Uh Oh, here come that headache again! http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif
10-12-2001, 04:40 AM
Cap'n, the pirate schooner i referred to was your gif -
She moves well.
I had a look at Princess and she looks just the job for exploring the creeks around here. I get lots of pleasure from that.
Just use good quality ply, support it well, seal the edges from water ingress and keep it well protected with epoxy/varnish/paint or whatever and it will last ages. A friend of mine has a 37 year old Ballerina class [about the same size as your Princess] and she is as sound as the day she took to the water - and she hasn't an ounce of epoxy on her, just paint and varnish. Not that i have anything against epoxy - wonderful stuff - its just that sometimes we forget that ply has been a successful material long before epoxy was invented.
Build her and enjoy her.
10-12-2001, 09:31 AM
Cedar seems to be the choice of wooden boat builders for both cold moulding and carvel planking, canoe strips etc. Why don't they make a marine plywood from the stuff???????????????
[This message has been edited by frameshop (edited 10-12-2001).]
10-12-2001, 08:12 PM
I don't have any personal knowlege of meranti. I've heard that the quality is variable and below that of the "good" stuff, that is, marine occoume, sapele and khaya from the usual reliable suppliers.
It's been said many times and is worth repeating that the differential cost that can be saved in building the hull from a cheaper material is small relative to the cost of the whole project. If you are not personally knowlegeable enough to judge for yourself, I'd advise that you get plywood that has been found suitable by the majority of builders.
Any question such as that which you posed to the group will usually bring a broad range of replies based on the experience, or lack of, of the poster. Nothing strange there and confusion is normal. Find someone you trust and follow their advice. The Princess and the work you will put in her demand that you use material that will not cause you regret later.
Best of luck and get on with the fun part.
10-12-2001, 08:25 PM
Thanks, Tom. It appears that Okoume is not as durable, hard, and rot resistant as Meranti. Additionally, Okoume is a lighter wood that doesn't satisfy my taste (color). These are the reasons I have thought about Meranti. Yes, cost is a small consideration, but I am not going to limit the boat to cost only. I do have a little heartburn spending $158 for one sheet of Serapelli (sp?), when I need 25 sheets. I am just trying to find a compromise (I guess). Besides, The fact that Okoume isn't as durable (I hope this boat will last many moons after I am gone). http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/confused.gif
10-12-2001, 08:57 PM
You could always use sapele for the garboards where you need good bending properties and meranti for the rest. If you paint the hull, you will never know the difference.
10-12-2001, 09:36 PM
As noted above, Meranti is the second most popular marine plywood after Okoume.
I've been around this joint a year now, and something I've noticed is there is a definate bias against plywood, plywood boats, and the builders of same by some of the crowd here. One could almost say there is a certain 'snob' attitude about plank on frame boats. Maybe it goes back to the whole "plywood for backyard builders" thing from the old Mechanix Illustrated days or sumpin, versus the elitist 'Yott' builders and owners. Who knows?
My advice is to ask all your questions, weigh all the answers and then do what the hell you want anyway. Buy your plywood, build your boat the best you can, build it right, and then use it, enjoy it, and don't forget to maintain it.
A year ago I was in the same place you are now, looking at 90 sheets of ply, a boat to build, and a tight budget. I asked my questions, I talked to suppliers and builders, and in the end I bought the 1088 Meranti for my cold molded hull. I'm just finishing up laminating 28 sheets, about $1000 worth, on the bottom; and if you think I'm gonna put a torch to it on a few peoples' sneering at plywood or the plywood I finally chose, you're crazy.
Build your boat, and if both our boats fall apart in a 'few months', we can buy each other a beer to cry in. Or you can spend the rest of your life getting conflicting advice and walking around with a headache and never build a boat.
As for plywood boats rotting and all, last time I checked about half the people in this joint are talking about repairing and replacing 'real wood' on their boats. Plywood certainly hasn't cornered the market on wooden boat problems.
The 1088 Meranti I bought from Edensaw is fine stuff, no voids, no repairs, perfectly clear faces, both sides, passes the boil and soak tests, and cost me $33 a sheet.
Your mileage may vary of course. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/wink.gif
10-12-2001, 09:42 PM
Thanks, Mike!! I think my headache is starting to subside. I have been chatting with Edensaw quite a bit and feel I will probably go with them. I am starting to lean towards the Meranti Plywood again, unless (of course) somebody has grounds to knock me off-course again (which I am learning and gaining knowledge from).
10-14-2001, 06:30 AM
Woooa there Mike, I thought my winking smilie made it clear that my toungue was firmly in cheek ref. my 'ply lasting many months' jibe.
I also now realise that I didn't make it clear that my friend's Ballarina class is also a ply, hard chine construction designed by Tucker if memory serves. I thought it was a good plug for ply.
I still stand by my comment that as the face veneer is so thin, the durability of the wood used isn't really a problem. Core construction and glues used is more important and even then failures can happen to the best of plys.
Meranti varies a lot in colour so, if the plan is to clear coat the finished hull as against a stainer coat, it would be best to over order the ply and insist on a contigious run of ply ie each sheet came off the production line after the sheet before. That way the face veneers will be as close a match as you will get.
10-14-2001, 08:29 AM
Capt. Jake -- Check out the *old* news sections of the Chebacco News (CN) to be found in the website www.chebacco.com. (http://www.chebacco.com.) You'll find there that the former newsletter editor, Bill Samson of Scotland, built his Bolger-designed Chebacco (20'x7+')cat yawl using what must be Meranti ply in what we figure must be BS6566 (very thin outside veneers). He has had the boat in the water for entire sailing seasons for a number of years now and I've not heard one word about plywood delamination or rot problems. The design calls for epoxy encapsulation with fiberglass cloth on the outside.
In building the same boat myself from the same plywood (from Noahsmarine instead of Edensaw only because of shipping cost differentials to the east coast), the only change I made from Bill's approach was to use 2 layers of 1/4" instead of one of 1/2" in the bow area where substantial curves suggested as much to a novice builder. THe 1/4" stuff strained to make the curves--including the use of a Spanish windlass--but did not splinter nor crack nor delam.
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