View Full Version : Okuome Plywood as rot prone as Poplar Strips?

07-10-2006, 10:28 AM
How does using Okuome faced plywood compare to using Poplar or Cottonwood (underutilized Midwest US native species) when sealed with epoxy or epoxy glass? Both are a savings over more expensive and more rot resistant woods yet Okuome is accepted and recomendations for strip planking are focusing on Western Red Cedar.

The threads empasize labor is the big cost and repairing rot is unnecessary labor later on that outweighs the initial economy. But doesn't a glued strip plank boat have low internal movement like a plywood structure and unlike a plywood structure no hidden voids. Both of which would seem to give it an advantage over Okuome.

Tom Robb
07-10-2006, 11:53 AM
I tend to agree with you and so would, I think, Robb-White.
Plenty of plywood boats lie moldering in their graves. It's likely that longevity depends more on diligent maintenance and care than it does on the material the boat is made of.
I think it's more important to actually build the boat than it is to get your knickers in a knot over perfectionism. You have to staart somewhere; at the beginning is as good a place as any.

Cuyahoga Chuck
07-10-2006, 05:35 PM
The comparisons you are making are too scattershot.
Western red cedar is prefered because it is lightweight, good looking, fairly rot resistant and, most of all, easy to machine and finish. WRC is a good package. It has more upsides and fewer downsides than most of the competition. Composite strippers can be made out of anything but, a simple thing like doubling the back labor to work the strips down can be a big disinsentive.
Okoume also has a good resume. It is a tropical hardwood. It grows all year long so no earlywood/latewood bands. Being more homogenous it is more stable. It can be plantation grown so supplies will be fairly constant. It verneers well and the product can be of high quality. It is a pretty wood that improves with bright finishing. It's not high on rot resistance but is prooven to be long lasting if maintained properly.
"Populus" poplar has always been in low esteem from woodworkers. It may be due to the fact that a lot of it grows in poorer upland soils. If the trees don't get big you don't get any clear lumber.
In the east we have "liriodendrum tulpifora" poplar which is also not rot resistant but, has a good woodworking reputation. Fast growing and a prooven producer of clear lumber.