I'm about to attempt to build my first birdsmouth spar, well, my first spar at all actually.
I have a few questions regarding the wood which, if I may, I would like to submit here for the collective knowledge to comment upon.
Firstly, slash or rift sawn? Do I want the grain running as it would in a tree, or is it better to use it from radially/quarter sawn staves? To me it seems slash sawn would be more like the natural tree form. But I'm aware that in general quarter sawn timber is far preferable for most things.
The plans suggest alternating Cedar and Poplar staves. Wall thickness of approx. 10mm and diameter approx. 63mm (mast length about 6m for a lightweight skiff).
I'm building this in Switzerland and so far have had a hell of a job finding wood in general. I know that Spruce, specifically Stika, is the gold standard. Mostly however, it seems the only thing one can find easily ie, general hardware store lumber, is sold as "Fichte/Tanne" which are generically Spruce and Fir respectively. All of the easily available timber is labelled with both names as it's almost impossible to tell apart easily, which doesn't really help at all.
Short of mail ordering Oregon, or Stika, (or Poplar and Cedar) which I am loathe to do as I find having someone else select my timber to be generally a disaster, does anyone have any contacts or ideas on ways to get suitable timber for the spars?
In addition, how does Larch work for spars? Generally crap or ok?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.