View Full Version : Englemann Spruce

03-06-2002, 05:11 PM
Can anyone tell me the particulars of "Engleman Spruce"? I picked up some long, clear, straight grained, 5/4 stock for use in Harry Bryant's Fiddlehead. I've made the boats middle frame and stems(it's double ended)and it mills and looks very nice. I was wondering how this stuff compares with other spruce used in small boat construction. It's all moot of course, since Ive already purchased and used it. The stuff sells for $4.00/b.f at Goosebay Lumber in NH if anyone is interested.

On another topic, I pay $4.25/b.f. for 5/4 Atlantic Cedar flitches at Goosebay. Am I getting hosed?

03-06-2002, 06:31 PM
picea engelmanni
'picea' is derived from the Latin word for pitch
named after the botanist George Engelmann

a straight, spire-like tree
near the ground the branches tend to droop
interbreeds with white spruce in certain areas

grows throughout the Interior and many southern areas of British Columbia
found at high elevations
this spruce prefers deep, rich soils with sufficient moisture

can grow to 50 metres in height and 1 metre in diameter

seed cones - yellow or purplish-brown; hang from upper branches; scales are papery with jagged edges
pollen cones - yellow

four sided and sharp but not too stiff
bluish-green with white lines on upper and lower surfaces
they are arranged in all directions along the twig
strong odor


not very strong

modern - plywood, violins, pianos, guitars, aircraft parts, paper pulp

traditional - roots: sew seams of baskets, make baskets; bark : cooking baskets, canoes, roofing, baby carriers; pitch: wound dressings; needles: chewed for cough control

Thaddeus J. Van Gilder
03-07-2002, 12:43 PM
$4.25 a BF for atlantic white cedar, CHRIST, It's cheap cedar.

I think you are being taken for a ride!

yes, true it does grow like weeds around here, but I pay $1.20 a bf for wide boat flitches!
And Jersey cedar is supposed to be the best of the atlantic white cedar!

03-07-2002, 01:24 PM
Mike, Nice to see another resident of the "Live Free or Die" state on the forum.

I am familiar with Goosebay and have purchased some material there. The Atlantic white cedar that I saw was milled KD, not good for boat construction but great for backyard furniture. Didn't know they had it flitch sawn. Northern white cedar can be had from a few places in Maine, lower in cost than what you were quoted for the Atlantic last time I checked.

As far as Engleman spruce, don't know about it. Not native in these parts. Suggest you give Harry Bryan a call, I am sure he would answer your question.


[ 03-07-2002, 03:50 PM: Message edited by: Andy A. ]

Art Read
03-07-2002, 02:21 PM
Does Harry have a phone way up there?

03-07-2002, 03:49 PM
Even though Harry is(was) off the grid, a phone number was published last year:

Bryan Boatbuilding
329 Mascarene Rd.
Letete,NB, E5C 2P6 Canada

From WB #159 page 75

Also see WB 132 page 40 "Of Fiddles and Fins"

03-07-2002, 06:18 PM
That price for cedar seems a little extreme to me to unless your getting wide clear and long flitches. Around here (VT) I pay 2 a foot for clear and 1.30 for most else, but that is direct from the mill and cash on the table as they say. -rob

03-08-2002, 01:31 AM
Must be time to stop drinking this strong beer. How did western spruce turn into eastern cedar? I like what Meerkat said: Not very strong (or was that the cedar?)

03-11-2002, 06:12 PM
Englemann spruce is indeed widely used in acoustic guitars, but not because it has properties of any soecial value to boatbuilders. It's a good tone wood --meaning it vibrates in nice ways -- and that's why it is used for guitar tops, along with German spruce, Western red cedar, and some other woods. Also, Englemann is available in pieces wide enough to be quarter sawn, and that's the way that luthiers want their wood to be cut Carlsboats

03-11-2002, 06:59 PM
I just bought a bunch of atlantic cedar from Viking Lumber in Belfast, Maine for $.80/bf. I saw the logs sitting on the ground at the mill, and they looked good, so I had them cut into 2 1/4" flitches to make my cabin sides. He also had some nice hackmatack logs which he sawed into 4" flitches that I made my half beams out of. This was $.45/ bf. The man to talk to there is David Flanagan. He cuts quite a bit of boat lumber, and supplies lumber for most of the Maine schooner fleet. About the only good thing that I can think of about buying lumber from a dealer instead of a mill is that almost all of it is first grade stuff. Out of that load of cedar that I got, I'd say that 75 to 80 percent is very nice, ten percent or so is good for small pieces, and the rest is good only for spiling planks. Not bad for $.80/bf.