View Full Version : Frame material
07-12-2001, 05:57 AM
I am having trouble finding white oak in my area, the fisherman are using Tammarack (Hackmatack) instead. Other local woods are ash, birch, maple, red oak. Will any of these substitute. The boat currently has red oak frames now, steam bent 1.5 " X 2". I am reframing the whole boat. This is for a thirty foot schooner. The area people building skiffs and whatnot are using Ash. Any comments.
I'd try the Hackmatack first and the ash second.
07-12-2001, 09:33 AM
Cheap and easy to get will cost you in durability. How long do you want your work to last? Percentage wise, it will not cost that much more to obtain and use the best materials and you won't have to feel bad about it later.
07-12-2001, 10:30 AM
What area are you in? Shipping the appropriate lumber is not that expensive when you consider the alternative of using the wrong materials and the attendand problems.
Red Oak, Maple and Birch are pretty rot-prone. Judging by the woods you list, I'd look for black locust, since it grows in many of the same places those woods do.
Not many lumberyards carry it, but if you call some of the local tree services, you should be able to get ahold of some that they are cutting and get it sent to a local sawmill.
07-12-2001, 11:50 AM
Sorry for the lack of clarification, I am in New Brunswick Canada. Is the locust steamable, how well does it bend, what price should I look to pay, is it close to as durable as White Oak? Thanks What about Hackmatack?
If you can get straight grain clear green hackmatack, steam it not quiet an hour an inch with good wet steam and it will work fine. As you note it has long been so used in your area. You could think about steaming in two stages half molded thicknesses to laminate if you can't get the full thickness to bend fair, but! you should be able to do it. The hack stays a little stiffer than steamed oak but if you walk the pieces in and fasten to pull and hold them against the planks it will work.
07-12-2001, 01:13 PM
Take a look at WB issue #160 for a good exposition on black locust. It's pretty much indestructable. It's steamable, but it's hard enough that it's not REAL easy to work with. It's also not real conducive to gluing, but for a mechanically fastened boat it's possibly one of the best choices of native wood.
Prior to putting your frame stock into the steam box slather each piece with linseed oil. Steaming actually dries wood out, it does not add moisture to the wood, that's why you have to start with green/wet wood to begin with. The linseed oil helps to keep the existing moisture in the wood during the steaming process and thereby make the stock more flexible once it's steamed. It will also prolong the "window of opportunity" when driving those stubborn frames in. Try linseed oil on some frames that you steam versus some frames without linseed oil, I think that you will notice the difference. Go with locust, white oak or hackmatack. Good Luck
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