View Full Version : Using boxed heart white oak for a keel

01-29-2006, 07:57 PM
I need to make a keel for a sailboat and need two 4 1/2" X 11" X 17' pieces of white oak. I wanted to use clear wood but am having trouble finding what I need. Boxed heart wood is avalible but I'm worried about checking and water migrating through the pith. Am I being parinoid or should I be picky about the wood.

01-29-2006, 09:23 PM
I'd be picky. You might check with Duke at:

860-693-8425 VOICE
860-843-7636 FAX

Bob Smalser
01-29-2006, 10:33 PM
Originally posted by Adamant:
Boxed heart wood is available but I'm worried about checking and water migrating through the pith. Me, too.

Boxed hearts have been used successfully in no shortage of primarily working and fishing vessels, but most of those were built relatively quickly by full crews and launched before the timber dried excessively. Boxed hearts in a one-man project over a much longer period of time portend the problems you describe.

I'd rather laminate 2X stock than use a boxed heart, if I couldn't get FOHC stock.

Jay Greer
01-30-2006, 03:24 PM
Do yourself and the next owners a favor and avoid boxed heart timbers. Aside from the probable checking and pith rot, there is also the possibility of axial distoration that can cause problems in scarfs and keel rabbets. Ok for short lived working fish boats but, lousy for a finely built cruiser!

[ 01-30-2006, 03:25 PM: Message edited by: Jay Greer ]

01-31-2006, 12:02 AM
Thanks. I just wanted to know if the tough road was worth the effort and cost and it sounds like it is.

Grinding foreward because reverse is not an option.