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Thread: western larch? good and bad points?

  1. #1
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    Default western larch? good and bad points?

    Well i have my materials list and am getting setup to have a friend do a lot of milling. We have larch, Fir, and spruce around here. Spruce i know, fir i know but I haven't used larch before. what are the good and bad points of it (from folks that have used it not the book! i have the book)? Where i your opinion is it best used? Etc.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: western larch? good and bad points?

    James McMullin recently replanked a sizeable hull with larch in Anacortes.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: western larch? good and bad points?

    I didn't even know it was around here.
    It grows here?
    I thought it was yeropeean

  4. #4
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    Default Re: western larch? good and bad points?

    Eastern Washington and British Columbia, Idaho and Western Montana have large, Western Larch forests.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: western larch? good and bad points?

    A tendency to twist seems to be its biggest fault. And the grain can be stringy.

    Based on my somewhat limited experience with it (timber framing) I believe good larch can best DF in structural properties, hardness, and decay resistance. The heartwood is browner/less reddish than DF. Other than timbers, Ive seen it used for hewn wall logs, flooring, and roof shakes.

    Id mill it FOHC with as little run-out as possible, with plenty of overage in quantities, and season it enough to see what it is going to do twist-wise. Makes good firewood too.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: western larch? good and bad points?

    We will be milling it quarter sawn. most is old cured logs so i would assume most of the twist will be evident when we mill. Lots of larch up here as well as old spruce, pine and fir.
    Hi Bob! I will get hold of James. Thanks all!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: western larch? good and bad points?

    Oh great, good for fire wood. Materials list for what? What c'hup to now?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: western larch? good and bad points?

    just a little cat.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: western larch? good and bad points?

    ernie...zat you? where the heck have you been? absolutely nothing worth mentioning has happened around here.
    "Don't listen to those eastern blockheads."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: western larch? good and bad points?

    yep its us; been getting our business working and traveling all over the place. oh ya and we moved to tonasket washington. all in all its been a little busy but satisfying. A few boats have come and gone; I should have pictures up soon.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: western larch? good and bad points?

    Ernie, have you seen the yellow cedar I have been getting from Fredd Tebbs in Tacoma? $1200 per thousand bf. odd sizes. not wide boards, but for ply batten or strip planking or maybe what you may be seeking?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: western larch? good and bad points?

    I like working with it. I did a bunch of planking and deck beams and carlings. Rim log too. I heard lots of good stuff about it before I used it. So far it seems to be doing just fine.

    Good to see you, Ernie.




  13. #13
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    Default Re: western larch? good and bad points?

    hmmm looks Good Wiz might be a nice deck in there. I think we will be using the larch for all of the longs and such. its a ply boat so much of the construction is going to be stringers. the details will be where i am going to use other stuff.

    nice to see you all again.
    Hey Betty-B good on you.
    good to hear the stuff about the larch.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: western larch? good and bad points?

    For boat building up here in NE Canada we mostly use only spruce, fir and Tamarack which I understand is another name used for larch. It has been used primarily for steam bent timbers and the roots for natural knees etc. It is the only ''rot resistant'' wood we have here and it bend pretty well ( Although I find it has a lot of grain runout. Our trees may be a little smaller than yours as our climate is not kind. But the knotty tops do indeed make great firewood.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: western larch? good and bad points?

    Quote Originally Posted by Labrador Coaster View Post
    But the knotty tops do indeed make great firewood.
    Pops a lot though....
    "Don't listen to those eastern blockheads."

  16. #16
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    Default Re: western larch? good and bad points?

    Yup, as I mentioned most people here burn soft woods as they are more abundant, and easier to harvest ( done in the winter by snowmobile) we have some white birch which is our only hard wood. Following my interest in traditional schooner schooners, I understand that this birch (white or yellow?) was used for their construction all along the east coast of Canada and US for framing knees etc. Great wood for strength, holding power, lots of natural crooks, but terrible in terms of rot resistance. I guess in those ''quick and dirty ''days they were built to last 10-15yrs max.

    My thoughts are to use it (birch) on the interior of the boat, cabinetry, trimwork etc, it's not heavy when dryed properly, strong, bends really well, clear grain,a light wood that is easy on the eye when finished bright, but, so is larch...

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