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View Full Version : P. Heart or W. Oak



Bill Sterling
08-03-2001, 02:48 PM
For bedlogs on a Haven 12.5: Is it OK to use P. Heart or should I hold out for W. Oak? (found some 12/4s P. Heart at Edensaw). Also, should it be green, air dried or kiln dried? I figure this might be fairly important since the logs are 12/4 thick, ~ 4 feet long and they'll be sitting in the bilge. I'm mostly concerned about warping/shrinking/expansion/etc.

ishmael
08-03-2001, 03:45 PM
I've never worked with purple heart, but from what I've read it would be appropriate. You likely won't find purple heart in other than kd, while you might just find some white oak either air dried or green. Air dried would be ideal. Quarter sawn oak would be nice. Given the application, don't rule out red oak, though white would be better.

Best,

Jack

RGM
08-03-2001, 04:08 PM
Bill,are you up in Port Townsend where you can see this purple heart for yourself and measure it's moisture content? Or are you in California possibly conducting this transaction over the phone with Eden Saw? If you don't have a good moisture meter already, get one. It's an extremely important tool to have. If you go with purple heart you are likely to receive material with fewer defects than a comparable piece of white oak. Ask Eden Saw to measure the moisture content with a probe type guage that is calibrated for purple heart. Have them take the measurement in the middle of the stick, NOT at the end where it will of course be dryer and essentially give you a useless reading. If they balk at your request then you can assume that you will receive some purple heart that wants to dry out some more after you get it. This might not be so bad depending on how it's fastened in your boat. The stuff is pretty stable and usually doesn't shrink or move too much. Would you cut and install it right away or can you let it air dry and get climatized for a little while? It might react unfavorably to the move from Port Townsend (edge of the Olympic Rain Forest) to where you live in California. Just a thought. If you do install it right away and it shrinks a little bit (tangentially), can you leave access open to both ends of your thru bolts so you might be able to re-tighten them after the purple heart has had time to stabilize? Air dried is preferred for boat building because of it's stability, strength and predictabilty. But sometimes you have to use what you can get and just work with it. Good luck.

[This message has been edited by RGM (edited 08-03-2001).]

Jeff Kelety
08-04-2001, 10:36 AM
Lotsa purple heart used out this way. My oak floors were replaced with it. Very pretty wood when varnished, BTW.

jgk

Tom Lathrop
08-04-2001, 03:29 PM
Bill,

The dimensions given for the purpleheart makes me think it was imported as pallet or packing stock for other materials. They do this since the purpleheart then skips the import duty that would normally be due. If this is the case, then it will have some ugly nail holes, possible large groove down one side and other imperfections. I have bought some of this stock but it needs to be selected or you can get some bad stuff.

Ask them if the wood is virgin or used.

Nicholas Carey
08-04-2001, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by Bill Sterling:
For bedlogs on a Haven 12.5: Is it OK to use P. Heart or should I hold out for W. Oak? (found some 12/4s P. Heart at Edensaw). Also, should it be green, air dried or kiln dried? I figure this might be fairly important since the logs are 12/4 thick, ~ 4 feet long and they'll be sitting in the bilge. I'm mostly concerned about warping/shrinking/expansion/etc.

I'd go for the purpleheart. People around here (Seattle) seem to like it for below waterline stuff as purpleheart is reputed to be not terribly dimensionally stable. It's a lot more rot resistant than oak tho.

I had my eye on the 12-in x 12-in x 10-foot piece of purpleheart that Crosscut has in stock right now. ;)