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Rational Root
04-22-2007, 06:57 AM
http://bp2.blogger.com/_-jLgHzfXWAU/RitDrWbol8I/AAAAAAAAAGM/jxp3vY8A02g/s200/Future+Boat.JPG
I went down to Lisnavagh (http://www.irishwoods.com/) yesterday to get some Oak boards, and picked out a few boards with the help of William Burnbury (http://www.irishwoods.com/about/index.htm). They have a system to track every board, so they can show you where it came from. They even print you off a photo of the tree. They are very much into sustainable use of the resources. William was kind enough to email me the picture of the tree for my blog. From the history that William provided this fell itself so I don't even need to feel guilty about it being chopped down.

Now all I need is some good weather to turn this old tree into a boat.

Rational Root
04-23-2007, 07:23 AM
Apparently the leprechauns have pictures of every tree in the country, and if you ask nicely they'll give you a copy.

Just don't mention Crock's of Gold. They get all antsy if anyone mentions Gold.

D:p


Hold on a minute, Rational!

Are you saying that they took the picture and then the tree just HAPPENED to fall down ?!?

And was it an Irishman who told you this....:D :D :D

Paul Girouard
04-23-2007, 08:56 AM
Apparently the leprechauns have pictures of every tree in the country, and if you ask nicely they'll give you a copy.

Just don't mention Crock's of Gold. They get all antsy if anyone mentions Gold.

D:p


Humm your theory doesn't seem very well rooted in rationality :rolleyes: :D

Rational Root
04-23-2007, 09:43 AM
There's been books written about them.
They exist under many names, eg "the little people".
There's even been a movie about them.
The fact that they are hard to find is easily explained by them protecting their gold.

So they must exist. :D

And If you say they don't exist then I'll take you to the UN for disparaging the beliefs of a minority group (The Irish Leprachaun Anti Denialist Socitey) - So there. :p:p:p



Humm your theory doesn't seem very well rooted in rationality :rolleyes: :D

Tom Hoffman
04-23-2007, 05:00 PM
:confused: :confused: Why would you feel guilty about cutting a tree down for a good use. What better use is there than building a boat. Frankly I am getting really POed at all the guilt the environmentalist nut jobs try to heap on us every time we all don't jump through their little hoops.

Look forward to seeing your boat.:D :D

irishwoods
04-26-2007, 06:29 AM
Hi all,

William Bunbury from the Lisnavagh Timber Project (http://www.irishwoods.com/)here. Google alerted me that there was some internet banter about us going on here, so I thought I'd take a quick look (and then signed in as a forum member!).

To clarify Jim's point about the photo taken before the tree came down:
In the Traceability Report given to Rational, the Reason the tree came down is shown as "Tree is dead". In other words, the tree had died, but was still standing when the photograph was taken. We then felled the (already dead) tree. I am not certain of the cause of death, but I think butt rot is most likely. So, we DID take a photograph of that tree before it came down.

Regarding Tom's comments on feeling guilty about cutting down trees:
A good point, well made. This is particularly so when it comes to mature trees which are being felled as part of a sensible forestry or woodland management plan.

However, I would alert you to the fact that between 25% and 50% of the hardwood timber being imported into Ireland is illegally logged, and probably not from a sustainable resource. The rest of Europe is the in the same boat, with the EU putting an average of 40% illegal imports down as their best guess. I am not an "environmental nut job", but I am concerned about that fact - and so should you be!

At Lisnavagh, we provide totally traceable timber, including photos of the tree most of the time. Why? Because it's easy and because we can.

All the best,
William Bunbury

Bob Smalser
04-26-2007, 08:25 AM
...In the Traceability Report given to Rational, the Reason the tree came down is shown as "Tree is dead".

In other words, the tree had died, but was still standing when the photograph was taken.

I am not certain of the cause of death, but I think butt rot is most likely.



Ouch.

Boat wood milled from standing snags and old windthrows works fine in cedar and cypress, but can easily be a disaster in only moderately rot-resistant species like Doug Fir, the pines and the oaks. Incipient rot.

Moreover, the criticality of standing snags over 18" DBH for cavity-nester habitat is such that taking one does more damage to the environment than taking 75% of the live trees surrounding it. Accordingly, it violates Forest Practice Board rules in most western states to take standing snags unless they are also danger trees within range of a road or habitation.

Paul Girouard
04-26-2007, 08:30 AM
Hi all,

William Bunbury from the Lisnavagh Timber Project (http://www.irishwoods.com/)here. Google alerted me that there was some internet banter about us going on here, so I thought I'd take a quick look (and then signed in as a forum member!).

To clarify Jim's point about the photo taken before the tree came down:
In the Traceability Report given to Rational, the Reason the tree came down is shown as "Tree is dead". In other words, the tree had died, but was still standing when the photograph was taken. We then felled the (already dead) tree. I am not certain of the cause of death, but I think butt rot is most likely. So, we DID take a photograph of that tree before it came down.

Regarding Tom's comments on feeling guilty about cutting down trees:
A good point, well made. This is particularly so when it comes to mature trees which are being felled as part of a sensible forestry or woodland management plan.

However, I would alert you to the fact that between 25% and 50% of the hardwood timber being imported into Ireland is illegally logged, and probably not from a sustainable resource. The rest of Europe is the in the same boat, with the EU putting an average of 40% illegal imports down as their best guess. I am not an "environmental nut job", but I am concerned about that fact - and so should you be!

At Lisnavagh, we provide totally traceable timber, including photos of the tree most of the time. Why? Because it's easy and because we can.

All the best,
William Bunbury


Thanks , Europe has a tree problem eh? Another well kept secret from us Yanks :eek:

So where do RR's leprachaun's work into your business:D

BTW welcome to the forum :cool: Your input on matters of wood will be interesting.

irishwoods
04-26-2007, 01:01 PM
Thanks Bob
The species of oak is Pedunculate oak - perhaps different to the oaks you are familiar with in America. It was widely planted throughout the British Isles to supply the British Navy in the days of sail-powered war ships. It's perfectly suited to boat building!

Butt rot (if indeed there was any in this tree) is a fungal infection that usually gains access through a wound on the trunk. This is usually caused through mechanical damage of some kind at the base of the tree. The rot extends in a cone shape to about 6 to 8 feet above ground level. Above this the timber is perfectly sound.

We do not sell rotten oak!

Regarding standing dead trees (I imagine that's what "snags" are?), I totally agree with you about leaving them for fungi, insects, wood peckers and so on. This is all very important, and we do have such a policy here. The evidence is in the woods here - they are full of wonderful wildlife!

This particular tree was dangerous though, and right beside a roadway. It was also interfering with a neighbouring tree, if I remember correctly (just to the left in the photo) which is now growing on into maturity and a much happier tree!

Bob Smalser
04-26-2007, 02:39 PM
The species of oak is Pedunculate oak -

Of course you don't sell anything but the best woods. The issue is how long stock milled from snags will last in marine conditions compared to the more typical stock milled from fresh trees. As you know, most stock is milled immediately to minimize the amount of time the wood spends at above 20% moisture content while also above 55 degrees F...conditions where decay fungi and their insect carriers thrive in the logs. Snags and blowdowns OTOH, spend literally years and decades in those undesirable conditions.

We've had some bankrupting experiences here in the past decade using Doug Fir salvaged from standing snags and blowdowns in the forests surrounding the Mt St Helens volcano, trees that had been dead in some cases less than a decade when they were harvested. These were relatively small, 30 rpi slow-growing old-growth trees, too, producing some of the best looking stock anywhere. Well, it looked good, but it rotted quickly when used in boats because of incipient rot present nobody detected. In hindsight, it should have been relegated to interior cabinetry, where it performed just fine. As there is no species in the white oak group any more rot resistant than old-growth DF heartwood, I can only counsel caution in using timber from oak snags for boats. Moreover, if you write Dr Jagels, WBM's wood technologist, he'll counsel avoiding even salvage sinker cedar and cypress for the same reasons...salvage wood I've had no problems with.

irishwoods
04-26-2007, 06:12 PM
most stock is milled immediately to minimize the amount of time the wood spends at above 20% moisture content while also above 55 degrees F...conditions where decay fungi and their insect carriers thrive in the logs. Snags and blowdowns OTOH, spend literally years and decades in those undesirable conditions.

Bob

I am still unsure what "snags" are, but will continue to assume that they are standing dead trees!

The tree was felled on 20th March 2002 and sawn into boards on 20th June 2002. As 1" boards, they will probably have air dried by the autumn of 2002 - 4 1/2 years ago. (We maintain this level of traceability for all boards in stock by the way!) So it's thoroughly air dried by now.

With regard to incipient rot, I was led to understand that fungal spores exist in all timber throughout a tree (gathered while it grows), but that (while a tree is living) it's defencive mechanisms prevent the fungus from developing. When a tree dies, the defencive systems are barely there, the fungus can take hold, rot the timber, let insects eat the soft remains and thus return the wood back into the ecosystem. However, fungus needs moisture and I agree with you that once a board is air dried to the centre (18 to 20%MC), the fungal activity ceases.

If that information is correct (and I will listen to anyone's advice) then surely one could argue that incipient rot is present in all timber. It just needs the right conditions (i.e. damp) to move from incipient to active fungi.

By the way, we have use oak fence posts here on the farm in Ireland for years. We just re-fenced a wood that was last fenced in 1962. Most (admittedly not all) of the oak fence posts are sound enough to re-use again. The most vulnerable part of the fence post (i.e. where indications of rot were most prevalent) was at ground level. Above ground (where posts can dry out after rain) and below ground (where posts are always wet), the timber is fine. But at ground level, where posts are wet/dry/wet/dry, the fungal rot takes hold sometimes. That might be of interest... I'm beginning to waffle!

I'm not a boat builder, and will therefore not profess knowledge about the qualities of timber for the purpose. We have sixteen boat building customers though, and so I am interested.

irishwoods
04-26-2007, 06:27 PM
Thanks , Europe has a tree problem eh? Another well kept secret from us Yanks :eek:

So where do RR's leprechauns work into your business:D

BTW welcome to the forum :cool: Your input on matters of wood will be interesting.
Thanks.
I think the leprechauns must have been helping keep the 16ft planks steady on RR's roof rack on his way home.

donald branscom
04-26-2007, 07:24 PM
Of course you don't sell anything but the best woods. The issue is how long stock milled from snags will last in marine conditions compared to the more typical stock milled from fresh trees. As you know, most stock is milled immediately to minimize the amount of time the wood spends at above 20% moisture content while also above 55 degrees F...conditions where decay fungi and their insect carriers thrive in the logs. Snags and blowdowns OTOH, spend literally years and decades in those undesirable conditions.

We've had some bankrupting experiences here in the past decade using Doug Fir salvaged from standing snags and blowdowns in the forests surrounding the Mt St Helens volcano, trees that had been dead in some cases less than a decade when they were harvested. These were relatively small, 30 rpi slow-growing old-growth trees, too, producing some of the best looking stock anywhere. Well, it looked good, but it rotted quickly when used in boats because of incipient rot present nobody detected. In hindsight, it should have been relegated to interior cabinetry, where it performed just fine. As there is no species in the white oak group any more rot resistant than old-growth DF heartwood, I can only counsel caution in using timber from oak snags for boats. Moreover, if you write Dr Jagels, WBM's wood technologist, he'll counsel avoiding even salvage sinker cedar and cypress for the same reasons...salvage wood I've had no problems with.

Could the boards be microwaved Bob?

Bob Smalser
04-26-2007, 10:23 PM
Could the boards be microwaved Bob?

Sure....but anything sufficiently hot to kill those hard-to-kill spores found at the margins of every growth ring will also damage the wood's lignin.


Bob

1) I am still unsure what "snags" are, but will continue to assume that they are standing dead trees!

2) If that information is correct (and I will listen to anyone's advice) then surely one could argue that incipient rot is present in all timber. It just needs the right conditions (i.e. damp) to move from incipient to active fungi.

3) ... Above ground (where posts can dry out after rain) and below ground (where posts are always wet), the timber is fine. But at ground level, where posts are wet/dry/wet/dry, the fungal rot takes hold sometimes. That might be of interest... I'm beginning to waffle!



1) Sorry. We call standing dead trees "snags" and blowdowns "windthrows", unless too far gone to harvest where they become "nurse logs".

2) Yes. The issue is how long a period one allows the right conditions to exist, encouraging those spores to germinate. In most milling operations from live tree to boards drying on the stack is only a matter of weeks, or at most one drying season, to take the green boards below 20%. And until those boards reach below 20%, the stack's air flow and dry stickers discourage the production of active fungi. Snags and windthrows OTOH, exist under the right conditions to produce active fungi at 30% moisture content or higher for years and decades, as they only season below 20% at the rate of an inch or so of thickness a year.

3) Fence posts and other above-ground wood that dries out regularly aren't an analogy to the conditions boat wood endures. Foot bridges aren't either, but they come a bit closer:

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL12/1104763/3075040/248677123.jpg

This log and plank footbridge across a stream on one of my tree farms was built in 1940 of old-growth Doug Fir heartwood milled on site. The deck remains serviceable, but the logs are so far gone only the stream bottom now supports the bridge.

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL12/1104763/3075040/248677120.jpg

Why did the logs rot decades before the planks? They certainly drained standing water both by their shape and the gaps between the decking. They rotted first because they stayed above 20% EMC at least 20 years longer than the decking. Sapwood was less a rot factor than usual because in these old-growth logs it wasn't much thicker than the bark.

Boats have similar problems. It's not the water they float in that rots them first, it's the rainwater seeping into all that joinery from above, never allowing those faying or wood-to-wood contact surfaces to dry out. All the high-speed sealers, fabrics, goos, and rot-preventative treatments are band-aids to longevity compared to beginning with the the right wood at the start, and recent experience here with salvage wood similar to yours, using the best available joinery and technique, haven't been good.

Rational Root
04-27-2007, 06:26 AM
It's amazing where discussions can lead. I just thought it was nice to have a photo of the tree.

Now I'm concerned about using this Oak? I had it earmarked for the keel amongst other things, not good if it's a high risk of rotting.

Bob, bearing in mind that this boat will be a 14' dinghy that will be kept on a trailer and bearing in mind that this is a plywood on oak frame. It's my first attempt at a boat, that I don't expect to last for decades, nor to be worthy of restoration at any stage in it's life.

Am I looking at the oak frames failing after a year or two, or after 5 years ? or 10 ? Or is that kind of like asking - how long is a peice of string ?

Can I resolve this by liberal appliation of some wood preserver ?

By the way, William, since you'll likely be following this, I have no doubt that you sold me this wood in good faith.

Bob Smalser
04-27-2007, 07:45 AM
...Bob, bearing in mind that this boat will be a 14' dinghy that will be kept on a trailer...

Then just about any stock will serve you just fine. Nor does anyone have very much invested. The problems that occurred here were of course with larger, moored boats.

http://www.woodenboatvb.com/vbulletin/upload/showthread.php?t=51496&highlight=helens

http://www.woodenboatvb.com/vbulletin/upload/showthread.php?t=60734&highlight=helens

irishwoods
04-27-2007, 11:20 AM
Bob

The planks of your bridge lasting longer than the logs beneath is an interesting analogy. Logs do dry out slower than boards. What are the undersides of the planks like?

How long does a tree need to be dead for before it qualifies as a "snag"? This tree had died over 2 or 3 years and was felled in the first year that it had no leaves.

If you went to a typical sawmill in America, would you be able to tell the difference between timber from snags and "normal" trees? If you came to us, at least we can tell you if the tree was dead or windblown, and if so, for how long before it was sawn. Is anyone in America doing that?

Rational,
I did sell you that timber in good faith and I am confident in the quality of the timber.

Bob Smalser
04-27-2007, 03:38 PM
Bob

The planks of your bridge lasting longer than the logs beneath is an interesting analogy. Logs do dry out slower than boards. What are the undersides of the planks like?

How long does a tree need to be dead for before it qualifies as a "snag"? This tree had died over 2 or 3 years and was felled in the first year that it had no leaves.

If you went to a typical sawmill in America, would you be able to tell the difference between timber from snags and "normal" trees? If you came to us, at least we can tell you if the tree was dead or windblown, and if so, for how long before it was sawn. Is anyone in America doing that?



That's a cold, fast-moving mountain stream. The plank undersides look better than the logs, and often better than the topsides, as all the underpinnings of that bridge were sheltered from the sun yet got strong air flow in the 30+ years before the logs began to collapse.

Commercial mills here won't buy snags or deadfalls, the St Helens recovery was an exception. Smaller operations generally only bother with cedar salvage, as around here Doug Fir isn't worth enough to justify the extra trouble of handling fragile and defect-ridden salvage logs.

How long does a tree have to be dead for its wood to cause problems in boats? Or will it ever cause problems...after all, in some regions trees are traditionally girdled years ahead of harvest to reduce log weight....was that problem wood, too? I think it all potentially is, that girdling was a lousy idea 400 years ago and hasn't improved with age, and that the only sound conversion principle is to minimize the amount of time the wood spends above 20% EMC after harvest.

Does the boat type matter? You bet....a trailer boat living most of its life under cover being an apple and a larger yacht moored year-round exposed to the weather an orange. Boats small enough to store under cover have successfully used rot-sensitive woods like ash and spruce for centuries, and more recently imported "marine" plywood made from rot-prone woods. RR should have no worries with oak as fresh as this.

Not that I pretend to have any definitive answers. If that St Helens wood looked good, smelled good, felt good, and milled with long resilient noodles instead of dry chunks and dust, I'd have been fooled by it too. I didn't see the wood, but I know the yards and suppliers who were caught short, and they know as much or more about their business as I do.

But it's my trade, and I've had a few years to think about the St Helens problem and its causes that I feel are important to pass on to suppliers and builders sans any sugar coating. 30bf in a trailered skiff is one thing, thousands of bf in a $60,000 replanking job can break a small business. The bottom line is that unless salvage wood is a species almost bulletproof to rot like red cedar, I won't use or recommend its use in boats.

irishwoods
04-28-2007, 05:26 PM
As there is no species in the white oak group any more rot resistant than old-growth DF heartwood, I can only counsel caution in using timber from oak snags for boats.

Bob,

I just want to check something here as I am surprised at your claim that a softwood is more rot resistant than a hardwood.

Pedunculate Oak or Quercus robur is a mighty wood. It has been used for ship building for centuries. It is one of something like 600 species of oak in the world, and I believe it's quite different to what you might know as White Oak (Quercus alba) - although it technically falls into the White Oak genus. Pedunculate oak is not native to America, and so you may not be familiar with this species. It is native to Ireland.

Douglas fir can be several species too - Pseudotsuga (meaning "false Tsuga") - I think there are five different species of Douglas Fir? However, we are probably talking about the same species - Pseudotsuga menziesii.

I am concerned that our entire conversation in this thread might not be comparing like with like in terms of oak and seek clarification of your claim that an ol' softwood is more durable than an ol' hardwood.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-28-2007, 07:35 PM
I've been enjoying this trans-Atlantic exchange.

Bob, in these islands, we have a generic distrust of what we once called "Oregon pine" and we now call "BCP" (British Colombian Pine), which I think is the tree that you call Douglas Fir. We used to be great fans of what we called "long leaf pitch pine" (you will no doubt be a great deal more precise about this wood) and "BCP" was essentially sold as a replacement for it.

On the other hand we are great lovers of quercus robor, and tend to maintain that "if treated right" it will do wonderfully well.

I suspect that the heart of the matter may be that Douglas Fir is one of your principal boatbuilding timbers on the west coast of North America, whilst pendunculate oak and larch are our principal boatbuilding timbers on the west coast of northern Europe; I dare say thatboth require understanding if they are to be durable.

Claud Worth, a great enthusiast for quercus robor, is specific in recommending autumn felled, chalk grown, oak and advises against buying oak from a tree that has been ringed for its bark (the tanning industry was, I gather, an important customer of oak bark). Such a tree would be similar to what you describe as a standing snag, but would also have been ringed when the sap was up. These trees were reckoned to rot fast.

I strongly suspect that Worth was deriving his oak knowhow from what had become enshrined in Naval shipbuilding practice, and was second nature to any wooden boat builder of the day.

It was also generally accepted that "if oak had not rotted in seven years, it wasn't going to".

I recall an odd case in which a nice 40ft ketch was largely built from a log of iroko selected and milled for the purpose. Iroko is a very reliable boatbuilding timber (and, I suspect, emphatically NOT the product of sustainable forestry!) but this particular log was reported as having had a few "mushrooms" (I did not see them) on it when it arrived. The builder was unhappy with it but the buyer insisted on using it (there would have been a delay, etc). Anyway, the boat had a remarkably short life, succumbing to dry rot within eight years. I wonder if that tree had been a standing snag?

Bob Smalser
04-28-2007, 08:45 PM
Pedunculate Oak or Quercus robur is a mighty wood. It has been used for ship building for centuries. It is one of something like 600 species of oak in the world, and I believe it's quite different to what you might know as White Oak (Quercus alba) - although it technically falls into the White Oak genus. Pedunculate oak is not native to America, and so you may not be familiar with this species. It is native to Ireland.

Douglas fir can be several species too - Pseudotsuga (meaning "false Tsuga") - I think there are five different species of Douglas Fir? However, we are probably talking about the same species - Pseudotsuga menziesii.

I am concerned that our entire conversation in this thread might not be comparing like with like in terms of oak and seek clarification of your claim that an ol' softwood is more durable than an ol' hardwood.

Just like we have huge, dark flocks of Starlings aloft and English Sparrows in every back yard from Maine to California, we've been planting Quercus robur over here since the 1600's. We call it English Oak.

And you are correct, laboratory tests classify the white oaks as high in rot resistance, more so than even P. menziesii, the one and only species called Douglas Fir (although it's a unique species closer to the larches botanically than the firs, with a strength to weight ratio second to none). Download Chapter Three of our government's wood handbook to read how we rate woods as to durability:

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr113/fplgtr113.htm

There are also more recent tests rating the different species within the white oak group for rot resistance based on tannin content, and Q. robur is again at the top of the class, especially when compared with the white oak Q. petraea commonly found on the continent.

http://www.boku.ac.at/physik/COSTE35/Meetings/Honefoss_2006/presentations/Marchal%20-%20Oak%20Veneer%20Peeling.pdf

But lab tests and history in actual service can result in two very different results, just like all one can get away with in cabinetmaking that will eat your lunch in boats.

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL12/1104763/6771586/104804800.jpg

While I use and recommend it, I haven't found WO to be anywhere near the degree of bulletproof to rot as cedars and other species listed in the same class by the laboratory. You can actually leave cedar bare and not affect its service life, but WO requires the same poisonous paint protection as DF, and perhaps even more. Moreover, your British naval journals are rife with descriptions of and complaints about your fabled Q. robur rotting within the first decade of service because the wood used wasn't adequately seasoned...and lauding the French oak used by their opponents which in many cases was the same Q. petraea that today's lab tests find inferior in durability....reporting that the French properly seasoned their wood. And seasoning is my issue here....that WO and DF snags spend too long both dead and wet before conversion to produce 100% reliable stock suitable to bet your business on.

So why are lab tests and service experience different, and why in service is old-growth DF just as if not even more rot resistant than WO? My opinion is that it's moisture content in service. A WO keel below the waterline will read 26% EMC while an identical DF keel moored next to it will read 18% or less. The same relationship applies to other framing members. Oak spends a lot more of its service life above the rot threshold of 20% than does DF. Why oak is always wetter in service than DF is largely because it's denser, and DF's ability to dry out quickly and remain dry makes a less rot-resistant wood have equal durability in actual service.

http://static.flickr.com/63/170604738_490276e864_o.jpg

Last....like this ancient nurse log Dmede over in B&R is planking his latest skiff with...a log that spent decades laying on the forest floor...salvage Western Red Cedar has an excellent track record of service in boats.

Does salvage Q. robur have a similar track record?

Mrleft8
04-28-2007, 09:09 PM
Not to be a burr under the saddle blanket....But I think your "Signature" might be pushing the rules of the forum here Mr. Irishwoods.....
Aside from that..... How ARE things in Glochamora? ;)

Bob Smalser
04-28-2007, 09:43 PM
Bob, in these islands, we have a generic distrust of what we once called "Oregon pine" and we now call "BCP" (British Colombian Pine), which I think is the tree that you call Douglas Fir. We used to be great fans of what we called "long leaf pitch pine" (you will no doubt be a great deal more precise about this wood) and "BCP" was essentially sold as a replacement for it.

...but this particular log was reported as having had a few "mushrooms" (I did not see them) on it when it arrived. The builder was unhappy with it but the buyer insisted on using it (there would have been a delay, etc). Anyway, the boat had a remarkably short life, succumbing to dry rot within eight years. I wonder if that tree had been a standing snag?

You imported Doug Fir....Pseudotsuga menziessi...and Longleaf Pine...Pinus palustris. There may have been some Slash Pine, a species of equal quality, mixed with the Longleaf, but Slash is a shorter-lived and less common tree, and was a tiny percentage of the stock. Those are the big commercial trees exported as boat wood, period. "Pitch Pine", a separate species, was a common but incorrect trade name for Longleaf, and "Oregon" and the rest are just old trade names for DF.

DF is lighter than LL, has the same rot resistance, and has a better strength-to-weight ratio. If your builders didn't prefer it, that's probably because it's a real PIA to work when it's too dry, either naturally or by kiln. At below 7% at the end of a dry summer, it's too hard to drive nails in, likes to split and is splinter city to handle.

Any log growing mushrooms has spent more time than I'm comfortable with above 20% EMC.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-29-2007, 06:08 AM
Thanks for that.

The specific crime that Douglas Fir, under the name of Oregon Pine, stood accused of, many years ago, was rotting when in fresh water after having been in salt.

However, there's an awful lot of it about, most of it labelled "pitch pine" thanks to the diligent salesmanship of generations of yacht brokers.

I reckon an awful lot of good Douglas Fir has been christened "Pitch Pine" and an awful lot of Baltic red deal has been palmed off as "British Colombian Pine", over the past hundred years.

The import of long leaf pine tailed off some time ago, and I can only positively name one boat planked with it, Mike Burn's "Sheila", built 1905, where all the records including the purchase of the log she was planked from are extant. She shows a remarkable characteristic - taking up very slowly indeed when launched after a spell ashore - Mike says this is typical of longleaf pine planked boats.

I wonder if the higher moisture take up of seasoned quercus robor in boatbuilding may be related to its more permeable cell structure? Boats with deadwood members or cutwaters of this timber often show extreme drying checks, which often vanish when the boat is returned to the water.

(I don't expect our friends in Ireland to name one of their native trees, "English Oak" any time soon!;) )

Bob Smalser
04-29-2007, 10:00 AM
The specific crime that Douglas Fir, under the name of Oregon Pine, stood accused of, many years ago, was rotting when in fresh water after having been in salt.



http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL12/1104763/3075040/248677120.jpg

In spite of modern science, education and communications, both our logging and boatbuilding lore remain full of old wives' tales. I see yours are, too. Our climates are both quite cold for rot, and my example Doug Fir bridge deck never once saw any paint yet it still supports hikers after almost 70 years of use. If it had been dipped in salt water every few years, the flora you see gradually breaking down the wood would have been quickly killed and the bridge would be in much, much better condition than it is today.

There is no more Longleaf Pine just like there is no more Sitka Spruce and Port Orford Cedar. Not for large, commercial export and use, anyway. Relics. They have largely been replaced by Loblolly Pine and Doug Fir in their respective ranges because either they don't grow fast enough for pulp or construction lumber or there is no market.

Boat wood hasn't been a market since the Navy stopped building wooden minesweepers in the 1950's. And it's not just the wood. A lot of institutional knowledge of what made boat wood different from cabinet wood went with it.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-29-2007, 05:36 PM
Our Navy's last effort in the wooden boatbuilding stakes, the "-ton" class minesweepers of the 1950's, were such a magnificent example of what NOT to do that they have passed into boatbuilding folklore.

African mahogany planking on aluminium alloy frames.

I kid you not...:rolleyes:

On the other hand wooden Admiralty small craft from the 1900's, when they did know what they were doing, are still numerous in our waters.

irishwoods
04-29-2007, 06:31 PM
I think your "Signature" might be pushing the rules of the forum here Mr. Irishwoods..... ;)
Why?
And where is Glochamora?!

Mrleft8
04-29-2007, 10:08 PM
One is not supposed to advetise one's business directly.
And I have no idea where "Glochamora" is....But it's where "Finnian's Rainbow" was... A wonderful movie I saw as a child, and have never seen since. But the song "How are things in Glochamora, this fine summer day? How are things in Glochamora, this fine summer day...." stick in my mind after nearly 40 years.....

Nick C
04-29-2007, 10:55 PM
It doesn't matter if the tree died or was cut live, the woods has use for both trees. Some birds and animals count on the dead trees for nesting and such.

Just the same I haven't heard of any great sustainable sources for wood in the United States, except for maybe one woods run by some Indians in the NE part of the U.S.

Where would you get some good white oak for boat building? You sure don't want some well watered tree with fat rings in the trunk and limbs, meaning it's low quality.

Oh, and where is the guy from, talking about Oregon Pine. In fact there is pine in Oregon, but there is more Douglas Fir. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if your local importers try to pass off fir for pine, but that's an issue you should take up with them. The switch isn't made in Oregon.

Speaking of Douglas fir, it's a decent boat building wood, but as it's pretty hard to find wood with dense rings that is acceptable for boat building. I doubt it comes from sustainable sources.

Don't get me wrong I'm all for reduced logging and sustainable forests and I mean old growth, not tree farms, but I like to build boats , too. So, what are you going to do? I don't think boat building and good forest management are great fit. There is too much competition for good wood. Especially when you look at all the crap there is compared to 40 years ago and the wood was even better 50 years before that. I recall seeing some 2 by 4 douglas fir studs, that were 50 feet long from a building that was built pre 1800. They were straight and tight. At the time they were 70 years old (from when they were milled) and they still were better wood than you could buy.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-30-2007, 06:07 AM
Oregon Pine was a trade name for Douglas Fir in Britain 100 years ago. Thought I'd made that clear!

irishwoods
04-30-2007, 08:01 AM
(I don't expect our friends in Ireland to name one of their native trees, "English Oak" any time soon!;) )

Actually, Quercus robur is commonly called English oak here! The two native oaks in Ireland are Quercus robur (Pedunculate oak) and Quercus petraea (Sessile oak) - as in the UK. The "Common oak" in Britain is Pedunculate oak, whereas the "Common oak" in Ireland is sessile oak. We found calling a species "Common Oak" was potentially misleading and so for clarification a lot of wood folk describe the species as "English oak" and "Irish oak". We find that furniture makers tend to prefer English oak - even in Ireland! However, the difference between the two species, in terms of wood working, is marginal if anything.

irishwoods
04-30-2007, 08:11 AM
One is not supposed to advetise one's business directly.
My apologies - I wasn't properly aware of the forum rules.:o
Signature is now altered - I hope satisfactorily!

Andrew Craig-Bennett
04-30-2007, 09:06 AM
Anyway, jolly glad that you have joined us!:)

Mrleft8
04-30-2007, 09:25 AM
My apologies - I wasn't properly aware of the forum rules.:o
Signature is now altered - I hope satisfactorily! No problem!
Now....... Tell me about this "Bog Oak"... Typical English Oak that's been burried in a peat bog for a few hundred years?

irishwoods
04-30-2007, 05:52 PM
No problem!
Now....... Tell me about this "Bog Oak"... Typical English Oak that's been burried in a peat bog for a few hundred years?

Rather more than a few hundred years... more like a few thousand! The oak (probably mainly sessile oak) became buried in bog and preserved there. It's semi fossilised wood - on it's way to becoming coal and is quite black in colour. It polishes up beautifully.

See http://www.ipcc.ie/infobogwood.html