Results 1 to 33 of 33

Thread: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    637

    Default Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Hi,
    There are some streaks of discoloration in the timbers that I hope to use for my keel and other backbone members. The streaks are a lighter color than the surrounding wood. They almost look like the sapwood but are much too near the heart. They start as low as ring 24 of about 80 and good colored heartwood is both above and below them.

    What is this and do I need to avoid putting it in my keel? Is it possible that sapwood formed but never matured into heartwood? If that happened could it then grow heartwood over top in an alternating pattern?



    This was taken after a fresh coat of linseed oil. Before oiling it was not near as obvious. I would very much like to use this part of the beam for my keel but I wont if those light colored streaks do not have the normal rot resistance.

    The bottom of the beam in this picture was pretty much the center of the tree and the top was milled to be free from sapwood. The wood in the log extended another several inches above the top of this beam but I cut it off to get rid of the sapwood.

    Do any of the resident wood experts have a strong opinion one way or another about whether this wood is acceptable?

    Thanks,

    Jonathan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    For the keel timber I wouldn't not worry. First fungus and rot(Which is a fungus) need air to survive, so if it make you feel better put this face down toward the lead.

    I did have a few coloration difference on mine but not as big, but my timber have more dense ring also so... It is quarter sawn timber you gonna use.. Welcome to the club

    I am sure some BC Fir expert will show up soon !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Oh! And welcome officially in the boat timber building problem!

    It will be unexpected problem like that until the end... And even further thinking about it

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Seabeck, WA
    Posts
    9,986

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    No problem. Looks like your heartwood formed its extractives unevenly, is all. It's all still heartwood.



    Much of the color variation originates in the roots. The dark lower right log was caused by a poria fungus infection of the roots, which eventually kills the tree from the top, down. We harvested it in time to save all the wood. When you see small patches of Doug Fir in the forest with thin, sickly-looking crowns, those are often trees growing on poria-infected soil. The only cure is to plant cedar or spruce there after harvest.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 03-22-2011 at 09:11 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    637

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Thank you very much. I am quite relieved to hear that. I'll go ahead and cut the beam as planned. The discoloration definitely originates in the roots and was worse on one side of the tree than the other.

    Thank you for the help. What a great resource this forum is.

    -Jonathan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    9,788

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Dunno what yer building, but why use fir for a keel until the world is out of AYC?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    btw do not put too much oil on it if you plan some gluing later on...

    And when you cut, put regular wood glue on the exposed grain, like at the end of the beam.
    It's seal the wood and it will never check there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Seabeck, WA
    Posts
    9,986

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    PS....that's a perfect stick of wood for your purpose. VG and dead straight....which means it will remain straight. That'd be a whole lot harder to get out of AYC, because it's a much smaller, less-common tree, with the wood costing twice as much for cuts half as good.

    Drive on.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    475

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Wouldn't yellow cedar be weaker and worse at holding fastenings as well?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Smalser View Post
    PS....that's a perfect stick of wood for your purpose. VG and dead straight....which means it will remain straight. That'd be a whole lot harder to get out of AYC, because it's a much smaller, less-common tree, with the wood costing twice as much for cuts half as good.

    Drive on.

    Perfect? no. Look at is thread of building the maid, we have a talk about this. Quarter saw is not that good for big timber.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    31,714

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Looking at Peaceful's remarks on the other thread, I think Bob's right and that you'll be no more prone to trouble than Maid will have. This is based on the appearance that Peaceful's got his grain 90 degrees different from what most builders would do. My understanding of the appearance could be wrong, but I'd be surprised if Bob's was.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Looking at Peaceful's remarks on the other thread, I think Bob's right and that you'll be no more prone to trouble than Maid will have. This is based on the appearance that Peaceful's got his grain 90 degrees different from what most builders would do. My understanding of the appearance could be wrong, but I'd be surprised if Bob's was.
    Well look at the beam down here... I do not think the keel will be ticker then wider, so I have guessing the grain gonna be vertical also, just like mine.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    31,714

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but is not the normal keel and deadwood quarter sawn and laid on the boat such that when you view the endgrain it looks like a stack of pancakes, not like books on a shelf?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but is not the normal keel and deadwood quarter sawn and laid on the boat such that when you view the endgrain it looks like a stack of pancakes, not like books on a shelf?
    I will wait for Madison to answer this one, as for me it look like is beam need to be flip 90 degres and have the grain as a books on a shelf. But I do not know how wide is keel need to be so it may work the way it is also. If it's books on a shelf, I would suggest a thin lamination top and bottom to keep the grain from opening.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    wouldn't it be stiffer if it looked like books on a bookshelf?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Brown View Post
    wouldn't it be stiffer if it looked like books on a bookshelf?
    Yes it's stiffer and stronger. But look the maid thread as I talk about this. The problem is when the wood will dry the check on the wood will be vertical the same way that the bolts. This meaning splitting the boat in 2 right in the middle with nothing to hold it. Lamination will prevent that. Flat saw timber will check horizontally which even if deep check the bolt will keep the layer together. This is a major problem that do not worth the benefit stiffer if the grain vertical by my opinion

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    9,788

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    That is not sapwood, the yellow? Sure looks like sapwood to me? It does not appear to be from one of those monster old growth logs( or their kind) but of a second growth, 80 - 100 YO tree. Seems like only 4-6 rings per inch.
    Sound AYC is stronger than rotten DF.
    I'd laminate a keel, but I laminate most everything.
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 03-23-2011 at 08:16 AM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    That is not sapwood, the yellow? Sure looks like sapwood to me?
    Sound AYC is stronger than rotten DF.
    I'd laminate a keel, but I laminate most everything.
    Have you notice that all your comments were already talked about? What about reading before commenting?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    9,788

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Excuse me Peacefuljourney, I have read the entire thing, I did not look at the "other" thread.
    I do not see where what looks to me like second growth is addressed. Bill Mercer s question has not been addressed.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Excuse me Peacefuljourney, I have read the entire thing, I did not look at the "other" thread.
    I do not see where what looks to me like second growth is addressed. Bill Mercer s question has not been addressed.
    Post #4 on this thread. Ok I go back to work.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Seabeck, WA
    Posts
    9,986

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel



    There's absolutely nothing wrong with that stick of wood. Except that it's dead green @35% Moisture Content. As DF is very forgiving in drying, so you can use it green providing you support it well (green wood is substantially weaker)...but expect it to lose an eighth to 3/16 for every 12" in width as it seasons to its service MC of 12-16%.

    1) Doug Fir isn't prone to checking at all, so cracks retaining standing water isn't a concern.

    2) The only reason most builders use flatsawn timbers is that's usually all that is available.

    3) Second growth is every bit as strong, straight and hard as old growth. It's probably not quite as rot resistant, but it still enjoys moderate resistance to rot and you aren't in an area where it's is a big concern anyway.

    4) Don't confuse the heavy with the light cedars. Alaska Yellow and Port Orford are almost as hard and heavy as Doug Fir, and can be used for small-boat framing. But they cost twice or more what DF does, and in a sailboat (as opposed to a salmon troller), you are better off using stronger DF. Rigs tend to distort hulls.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 03-23-2011 at 09:15 AM.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Bellingham, Washington USA
    Posts
    181

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    What's going on with the strings on the log?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Smalser View Post
    1) Doug Fir isn't prone to checking at all, so cracks retaining standing water isn't a concern.
    Bob... I have a BC fir backbone, 21 ring/inchs. Kiln dry 4" thick that I let 1 month in my shop before working with it. During construction I had 3 bad checks 2 times 4 inches deep right vertically following the wood grain. It all happen in the not heated part of my shop where humidity it's kept to 65% minimum(Most of the time it's a 80% as bare ground). There was absolutly no defect at all in all the wood.

    1 was chisel out when I shaped the backbone, the other one I needed to repair as it was right in the middle of the gripe piece, went totally through the wood 4" deep until reach the first layer of glue. Take me a while to repair.

    BC Fir does check, sorry but you are wrong on this one. Or just say "Doug Fir isn't most of the time prone to checking"
    Last edited by Peacefuljourney; 03-23-2011 at 11:08 AM.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1,028

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    The yellow areas are not sapwood. The dark areas are staining from a fungal growth somewhere else in the log, probably what we call "root rot" around here. If you got the beam from a blown down tree and the root ball was very small that's what it was. The rot will usually extend up into the log for a short ways, I don't see any of it at the end shown, which appears to be the upper end, away from the roots. There appears to be more staining at the other end, just make sure it's not soft or pitted. A keel underwater is very unlikely to rot since there is no oxygen available. If the beam is as wet as Bob suggests it will check on the upper and lower (flat grained) faces as it dries. It will shrink and swell thickness-wise, across the beam, and a bit height-wise as it dries and wets out. I would keep it very well sealed if you're intending to use it immediately. The more slowly it dries the less it will check. So far as grain orientation is concerned that's a perfectly good beam for a keel.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    637

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Good Morning Gentlemen,

    As for the qualities of AYC I am unable to comment as I have never worked with the stuff. Laminating is something that will work- but not something I have chosen to do. I will not have any glue on this beam except possibly where a few knots may be drilled out and plugged.

    As far as the orientation of the beam is concerned, it will positioned on the boat exactly as it is positioned in this picture.



    The grain on the end will be stacked like pancakes not like books on a shelf. The lead ballast will be below the beam in this picture and the interior of the boat above it. Hopefully I can avoid checks with oil.

    I picked the beam up from the kiln yesterday and it is dried to about 20% MC. That should help prevent checking as well, as the beam does not have as far to go before reaching that equilibrium.

    For the question about the strings- they were to help me in chainsaw milling the log. You can see a complete account of the job here if interested. http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...lding-the-Maid

    Alright I'm going to get back to the shop to make myself a backbone.

    -Jonathan

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Seabeck, WA
    Posts
    9,986

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    It's all in the log you pick and how you treat it.



    These sticks and two more stacks like them were air-dried via natural convection on a hillside for 6 years under tar paper, without any checking at all, either on the ends or the surface.





    Look at the growth rings on Madison's log in Post 21. Perfectly uniform from growing on flat ground in uniform light....which means it has few internal stresses to reveal themselves as checks as it seasons. But it is also dead green, and providing he builds outdoors in a tent on a gravel surface as opposed to a heated space (or any space) having a moisture-absorbing concrete floor.....his stick won't check either.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Bob I don't want to bug you but I want to understand.

    Do you mean that this fir I got, that you can see the nice grain in the picture, even and straight (The dark spot is linseed oil over a sap cell).

    Which is stocked in a not heated shop on bare ground :


    That was not anykind of check before, but started to check where I did major cut into the wood like in this piece:


    Is because of internal stress on a straight grain? Or a bad kiln maybe... Not at all related with the environment?!

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Seabeck, WA
    Posts
    9,986

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Quote Originally Posted by Peacefuljourney View Post

    kiln
    Could be the kilning...could be the edge of an old windshake. That it was kilned makes a resulting moisture differential the immediate suspect, especially since it occurred after you cut it. Partially-seasoned or hastily-kilned wood that's drier on the outside than inside is full of stesses gently-seasoned wood doesn't have. But it's also nothing you can't spatula some 5200 in and drive on.

    Again....Doug Fir is not prone to checking. That doesn't mean it's defect-free, but there is no need to orient a timber based on the possibility that the flat-grained side will check.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Seattle. WA
    Posts
    19,946

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel



    Bob, thanks for all this data on DF.

    I had little to add on this thread but I really had to say that I like the perfectly timed arm poking up top center from the "hole" in the foundation!

    This photo is a keeper!

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Smalser View Post
    Could be the kilning...could be the edge of an old windshake. That it was kilned makes a resulting moisture differential the immediate suspect, especially since it occurred after you cut it. Partially-seasoned or hastily-kilned wood that's drier on the outside than inside is full of stesses gently-seasoned wood doesn't have. But it's also nothing you can't spatula some 5200 in and drive on.

    Again....Doug Fir is not prone to checking. That doesn't mean it's defect-free, but there is no need to orient a timber based on the possibility that the flat-grained side will check.
    Make sense... And no I didn't spatula 5200 in it... It's was a cut all the check out then glue a new piece in.
    Will see how time act for the rest of the backbone, thanks for those info.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Quote Originally Posted by Peacefuljourney View Post
    Yes it's stiffer and stronger. But look the maid thread as I talk about this. The problem is when the wood will dry the check on the wood will be vertical the same way that the bolts. This meaning splitting the boat in 2 right in the middle with nothing to hold it. Lamination will prevent that. Flat saw timber will check horizontally which even if deep check the bolt will keep the layer together. This is a major problem that do not worth the benefit stiffer if the grain vertical by my opinion
    So sorry but my post was really intended for the OP and in response to post #13

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Luc I will send you a Private message as this not belong here at all.

    You can erase the last one as you wish.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    France & Viet Nam
    Posts
    2,118

    Default Re: Wood advice needed for my Doug Fir keel

    Posts deleted.
    Your move, if you wish
    Will respond to private message tomorrow (we have time, and here it is late!) and hope for a good exchange.
    "Homme libre, toujours tu cheriras la mer" (Charles Baudelaire)

Posting Permissions

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