Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: wood for carvel planking

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    9

    Default wood for carvel planking

    Can one use spruce for carvel planking of a 40 foot troller in the southeast Alaska area, Is yellow cedar better, How about good straight grain hemlock. All the above would be cut on my own saw mill and quarter sawed. I have heard that hemlock is related to fir, just of poor quality.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Canada - From Sea to Sea
    Posts
    1,060

    Default Re: wood for carvel planking

    Hi Luther..that's a big project you're undertaking. I'm not expert enough to 'compare' the wood species in your locale, but here's a neat link to Alaska tree species with characteristics, workability, and general uses such as boatbuilding. Hopefully, others will be along to give more helpful information. Good luck with the boat!

    http://www.dced.state.ak.us/oed/fore...pub/sttfr3.pdf


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: wood for carvel planking

    Hi Luther,
    I'm a novice at this so I bought the Collins Complete Woodwork manual... it says that Sitka Spruce (or Silver Spruce) is a non durable wood so as durability of planking is pretty important I'd avoid it. Looking at Shagrock's link Western Hemlock also has low decay resistance. I also see that Western Red Cedar is a local wood, so if I were you I'd use that, it has quite high decay resistance and is frequently used for planking.

    Cheers,
    Graham

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    The land of reefs
    Posts
    32,865

    Default Re: wood for carvel planking

    Yellow Cedar is good. Spruce bad (except for spars). Your "Hemlock" is different from our "Hemlock", but I think it's probably safer to go with the Yellow Cedar if you have it. Quarter sawing is not a particularly good idea due to splitting issues. Better off to rift saw (45 degrees to the grain).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sharon CT
    Posts
    404

    Default Re: wood for carvel planking

    I agree with the comments so far. For a project this big, invest the money in materials that are going to last. Hemlock fir rots faster than pine as does spruce. Yellow Cedar is good

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Carbonear, Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    1,510

    Default Re: wood for carvel planking

    Nothing wrong with spruce,plenty of oldboats here planked with it.You're in Alaska, shouldn't have the same problems with rot as the people down south,in the heat.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: wood for carvel planking

    Thanks guys,
    since I posted I found several guys that have had experience with both spruce and yellow cedar. They said spruce worked ok but was soft, Red cedar was ok but was soft and split pretty easily. Yellow cedar seemed to work the best but had a tendency to split on the ends and you needed to drill pilot holes. I was hoping to take this on later in my retirement. Forty foot is what I want but in reality it will most likely be smaller. Red cedar is south of my location and would be difficult to get. The rest of the wood is near me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Canada - From Sea to Sea
    Posts
    1,060

    Default Re: wood for carvel planking

    Quote Originally Posted by Luther View Post
    Thanks guys,
    since I posted I found several guys that have had experience with both spruce and yellow cedar. They said spruce worked ok but was soft, Red cedar was ok but was soft and split pretty easily. Yellow cedar seemed to work the best but had a tendency to split on the ends and you needed to drill pilot holes. I was hoping to take this on later in my retirement. Forty foot is what I want but in reality it will most likely be smaller. Red cedar is south of my location and would be difficult to get. The rest of the wood is near me.
    According to this lumber source, Yellow cedar has always been prized as a boat building wood in the state of Alaska.

    http://www.bearcreeklumber.com/SPECIES/ycedar.html


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Seabeck, WA
    Posts
    9,986

    Default Re: wood for carvel planking

    Quote Originally Posted by Luther View Post

    .... They said spruce worked ok but was soft, Red cedar was ok but was soft and split pretty easily.

    ....Yellow cedar seemed to work the best but had a tendency to split on the ends and you needed to drill pilot holes.
    I'd stay far away from rot-prone Sitka Spruce in the hull, leaving it for the spars for which it is better suited. It might be OK in an open dinghy hull, but even though you are in a cold climate, troller hulls have too many enclosed areas that aren't well ventilated. Plus it's as or more expensive as either cedar. That alone makes it a poor choice.

    You'll find all these woods like to split at the ends when they get exceptionally dry by the end of the building season, although among them you'll find Alaska Cedar the easiest to work. And you'll need pilot holes for your nails anyway. The pilot hole is there to insure the nail follows the line you want it to without bending, and overall they take less time to do than the time required to dig out and pull even a small percentage of bent or misdriven nails.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 10-07-2009 at 08:31 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •