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Thread: Properties of wood

  1. #1
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    Default Properties of wood

    Hi,

    I searched thoroughly for threads concerned with the properties of wood when it comes to boat building and was surprised to find none. Maybe this thread could serve as a platform for exploring this wonderful material. Those who have limited experience in working with wood, including me, could use some help.

    Can the centermost plank of a flat-sawn log be considered to be of equal constructional value as a rift sawn (or whatever the technique is called when radiuses are cut) plank, or does the pith render it less usable?

    Vilhelm

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Last edited by navydog; 02-11-2018 at 02:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Suksi was speaking to two topics.
    A data base of timber properties
    Making an archive thread on the topic with a permanent sticky, an idea that I support if Admin can oblige, perhaps by starting a "Library" section
    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    These were posted some time ago, we really need a "Library" thread of good stuff worthy of keeping.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    US Department of Agriculture Wood Handbook: https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fpl_gtr190.pdf
    I will beg you for advice, your reply will be concise, and I will listen very nicely and then go out and do exactly what I want! (Apologies to Lerner and Lowe.)

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Last edited by navydog; 02-11-2018 at 03:00 PM.

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Suksi was speaking to two topics.
    A data base of timber properties
    Making an archive thread on the topic with a permanent sticky, an idea that I support if Admin can oblige, perhaps by starting a "Library" section
    What format do you want to use so it will be searchable?

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Suksi View Post
    Hi,
    Can the centermost plank of a flat-sawn log be considered to be of equal constructional value as a rift sawn (or whatever the technique is called when radiuses are cut) plank, or does the pith render it less usable?

    Vilhelm
    Yes. The centermost plank is the piece that contains 'boxed heartwood'. If you are building a house, it is not important since the wood will remain dry and the allowable stresses for design are low. For a boat or a water tank it gets more complicated. This is a link to a more detailed discussion: http://www.forestryforum.com/board/i...p?topic=4247.0

    I searched thoroughly for threads concerned with the properties of wood when it comes to boat building and was surprised to find none.
    The forum search function doesn't function.
    Try searching this in something like Google or Bing:
    site:forum.woodenboat.com wood database
    The word site followed by a colon and the site url (with no spaces in between) will confine the search to that web site. The keywords following that can be anything that you want.

    Originally Posted by Peerie Maa

    These were posted some time ago, we really need a "Library" thread of good stuff worthy of keeping.
    Good idea.

    The first two links here are several good websites and handbooks already given by alkorn and navydog. They are just more direct links to the fpl pages:
    Wood Handbook, - by chapter https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/products/p...rouping_id=100
    Wood Handbook, entire handbook Wood as an Engineering Material - fpl_gtr190.pdf https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/f...fpl_gtr190.pdf

    Other handbooks:
    The-Mechanical-Properties-of-Wood Including a Discussion of the Factors Affecting the Mechanical Properties, and Methods of Timber Testing SAMUEL J. RECORD
    https://in.okfn.org/files/2013/07/The-Mechanical-Properties-of-Wood.pdf
    Silvics of North America
    https://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/mis...f_contents.htm

    Other databases
    http://www.wood-database.com/about/
    http://www.woodworkerssource.com/wood_library.php

    Some for Peter Sibley (Australia)
    https://www.woodsolutions.com.au/woo...-list/hardwood
    http://www.fpc.wa.gov.au/about-us/publications/species

    Miscellaneous
    Picture of wood http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/person...pics/index.htm
    http://www.conifers.org/
    http://archive.is/MfbL
    https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplrp/fplrp163.pdf
    Last edited by MN Dave; 02-20-2018 at 12:32 PM. Reason: 1 forgot something 2 forgot someone
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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    The pith tends to crack easily and is more prone to rot, but the edge (vertical) grained lumber on either side of it will be the best cut of all, until you get out to the sapwood, which should never be used.

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    What format do you want to use so it will be searchable?
    I have contacted Amin with the request, we shall see what they think.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Just to add something amazing... how do you make wood stronger than steel? -- it's 'easy'
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-01600-6

    boil it in a solution of sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfite for seven hours then crush it and bake it at 100C for a day...
    I really need to experiment with this

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    I have at least a half dozen books on wood, the different species and the properties of it. The best book I have found which is even better than The USFPL Handbook for most people is "Understanding Wood" by Hoadley.
    Tom L

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Suksi View Post
    Hi,


    Can the centermost plank of a flat-sawn log be considered to be of equal constructional value as a rift sawn (or whatever the technique is called when radiuses are cut) plank, or does the pith render it less usable?

    Vilhelm
    Hi Vilhelm!
    I made that, that way you can have excellent planks. I cut one plank each side of pith, cut some 5-7 cm pith off.
    http://www.freewebs.com/maryii/apps/...otoid=26582661

    If you need local pine for your project, maybe I can help, I have contact to wood owner who has old trees, 100-200 years old and also know local sawmill man with big bandsaw.
    Contact PM here or Finnish puuvene.net
    Matti

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    What format do you want to use so it will be searchable?
    I'm new to the wooden boat forum, and I've found this is the biggest problem - tons of knowledge and experience here, but sometimes it's hard to find what you are looking for. The first suggestion I would make is that folks start using much more descriptive subject titles for threads, and when threads drift just start another one with the correct title. If you want to have a database about wood, maybe not just have one thread, but mutilple ones named like:

    Wood - Ash
    Wood - Butternut
    Wood - Cocobolo
    Wood - Douglas fir
    .........
    Wood - Zebra

    Of course this gets tricky with multiple named woods like Larch/Tamarack/Juniper , so maybe pick the most popular one first and list the others also in the subject heading. Doing this a forum search of Wood - * should quickly list them all.

    Cheers,
    Mark

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    This is my Goto website for wood structural properties...

    https://tropix.cirad.fr/en/technical-sheets-available


    Seriously good
    R
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    To help others can be futile.

    After hours and hours of Internet searching, tons of books , hours and hours of writing on forums like this:

    The person needing help still goes to the Big Box store!

    They still pick construction Lumber to build boats and furniture.
    Last edited by DeniseO30; 02-13-2018 at 10:11 AM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    L. Francis Herreshoff once commented on various woods he chose for the building of his designs in his book, "The Common Sense of Boat Design." The books were once sold in two volumes that have now been combined. This is a source of sage information well worth having in ones library of nautical knowledge.
    Another one, a gift from my wife is simply called, "The Woodbook" by Romeyn Beck Haugh. This is an, incredibley lush, collection of color photographs of nearly all North American woods that is printed in three languages, English, German and French. It is both expensive and comprehensive. But, it is a book that I treasure for its wealth of taxonomic information of wood and its uses.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    To help others can be futile.
    After hours and hours of Internet searching, tons of books , hours and hours of writing on forums like this:
    The person needing help still goes to the Big Box store!
    They still pick construction Lumber to build boats and furniture.
    There are always hopeless cases. You do what you can. A lot more people than the OP benefit from your good advice.

    When it comes to helping, I suppose that you could amend Pres. Lincoln's famous quote it to: You can help most of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot help all the people all the time because there are some people you just can't help any of the time.

    People are easier to fool than help. "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

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    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    There are always hopeless cases. You do what you can. A lot more people than the OP benefit from your good advice.

    When it comes to helping, I suppose that you could amend Pres. Lincoln's famous quote it to: You can help most of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot help all the people all the time because there are some people you just can't help any of the time.

    People are easier to fool than help. "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."
    Talking Lumber qualities and properties with experienced boat builders can be difficult, because the boatbuilder's thinking is strongly linked to top quality lumber obtained from their years and years of dealing with lumber yards, merchants and dealers they have had a professional relationships with for almost as long as they've been building boats.

    the average person looking to build a strip canoe, lumber yard skiff or a farm table not likely to wander into a sawmill.

    " Tight grain Douglas fir" comes up allot when people ask about Lumber choices. a lot of the average people looking for it become perplexed, because it's nowhere to be found. Or, found at a cost they can afford.

    http://www.core77.com/posts/24890/ho...lainsawn-24890

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by DeniseO30; 02-13-2018 at 05:22 PM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    One of my favorite books is: The Book of Trees: The Comprehensive Field Guide to More than 250 Trees of Eastern North America, by William Casey Grimm. My copy is a 1962 edition.

    The book is illustrated and identifies every tree species east of the Mississippi. The historical use of the lumber from each tree is included with a description of the wood properties. The incredible variety of trees used for commercial application has been lost to fast growing easily harvested species.

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    I would heartily recommend Wood: a manual for its use as a shipbuilding material. Prepared with the cooperation of Forest Products Laboratory, Forest Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture., First ed. published in 1945, by the Forest Products Laboratory under title: Wood: a manual for its use in wooden vessels. "Navships 250-336." This originally four volume set, a government publication, has always been in the public domain and has been republished many times in various configurations. (e.g. all four volumes in one set. If one googles the title, there are many used volumes and reprints very reasonably priced.

    The revised 1957 edition of Wood ... for shipbuilding is available online in its original format at https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?...iew=1up;seq=11

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    L. Francis Herreshoff once commented on various woods he chose for the building of his designs in his book, "The Common Sense of Boat Design." The books were once sold in two volumes that have now been combined. This is a source of sage information well worth having in ones library of nautical knowledge.
    Another one, a gift from my wife is simply called, "The Woodbook" by Romeyn Beck Haugh. This is an, incredibley lush, collection of color photographs of nearly all North American woods that is printed in three languages, English, German and French. It is both expensive and comprehensive. But, it is a book that I treasure for its wealth of taxonomic information of wood and its uses.
    Jay
    The Woodbook is both affordable and expensive. Found it on Amazon from $20 to $680. An original 14 volume set with the wood samples would be interesting to see.
    EDIT: I bought the Woodbook. It should arrive in a week.
    https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/cat...e_woodbook.htm click on view all images
    https://www.popularwoodworking.com/w...er-and-cheaper Nice review and some history.
    I have a small log of this in the shop:

    Quote Originally Posted by Redeye View Post
    This is my Goto website for wood structural properties...
    https://tropix.cirad.fr/en/technical-sheets-available
    Seriously good
    That is an interesting site. Seriously good is a fair assessment. There are a lot of woods, the musical quality factor is new to me, as is Monnin hardness. It is limited to tropical woods, a few European woods and one North American species, DF. Since I doubt most of us know (well, I didn't anyway) what Monnin hardness is;
    https://www.woodfloorbusiness.com/gr...-hardness.html
    https://wfs.swst.org/index.php/wfs/a...ewFile/965/965
    A general guide to tropical hardwoods that I found while trying to find out what the musical quality factor in the tropix datasheets meant:
    https://www.atibt.org/wp-content/upl...IDE-EN-web.pdf USER GUIDE FOR ECO-CERTIFIED AFRICAN TIMBER
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Lathrop View Post
    I have at least a half dozen books on wood, the different species and the properties of it. The best book I have found which is even better than The USFPL Handbook for most people is "Understanding Wood" by Hoadley.
    Good book. Hoadley is very good at writing an understandable description.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark0 View Post
    I'm new to the wooden boat forum, and I've found this is the biggest problem - tons of knowledge and experience here, but sometimes it's hard to find what you are looking for. The first suggestion I would make is that folks start using much more descriptive subject titles for threads, and when threads drift just start another one with the correct title. If you want to have a database about wood, maybe not just have one thread, but mutilple ones named like:

    Wood - Ash
    Wood - Butternut
    Wood - Cocobolo
    Wood - Douglas fir
    .........
    Wood - Zebra

    Of course this gets tricky with multiple named woods like Larch/Tamarack/Juniper , so maybe pick the most popular one first and list the others also in the subject heading. Doing this a forum search of Wood - * should quickly list them all.

    Cheers,
    Mark
    Yes, this can grow into a long thread with good information so scattered that it gets harder to use as it grows. The organization may require an index and summary post near the beginning that gets updated periodically. Forums grow into chronological pile files. Since only the poster can edit a post, it would become quite a task for the victim to update the thread. I doubt the software lends itself to updating Wikipedia style.

    For the most part, it will be hard to make it any better than the databases already linked by turning it into yet another database.
    Maybe Links to databases with comments from the thread.
    Wood - Ash
    Forum comments: Used for canoe frames and gunnels, ... Steam bending
    Hobbithouse: ash, white (305/266/211)
    Wood Database Black Ash
    Tropix EUROPEAN ASH.pdf
    Wikipedia Frêne commun (Fraxinus excelsior)

    Wood - Butternut
    Last edited by MN Dave; 02-17-2018 at 07:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    Talking Lumber qualities and properties with experienced boat builders can be difficult, because the boatbuilder's thinking is strongly linked to top quality lumber obtained from their years and years of dealing with lumber yards, merchants and dealers they have had a professional relationships with for almost as long as they've been building boats.

    the average person looking to build a strip canoe, lumber yard skiff or a farm table not likely to wander into a sawmill.

    " Tight grain Douglas fir" comes up allot when people ask about Lumber choices. a lot of the average people looking for it become perplexed, because it's nowhere to be found. Or, found at a cost they can afford.

    http://www.core77.com/posts/24890/ho...lainsawn-24890

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    The region a person lives in will make a huge difference in the availability of local lumber resources. The Mid Atlantic region is filled with sawmills of all types producing commercial grade lumber to custom sawyers. An individual could by standing timber and have it sawn for a project if they desired.

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    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    The region a person lives in will make a huge difference in the availability of local lumber resources. The Mid Atlantic region is filled with sawmills of all types producing commercial grade lumber to custom sawyers. An individual could by standing timber and have it sawn for a project if they desired.
    The op is in another country. Finland
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Yes, he has his own resource base, probably no big box lumber stores.

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    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    Yes, he has his own resource base, probably no big box lumber stores.
    I used to love going to the sawmill! actually bought and Ash log had it had sawn and delivered. when we were really into the boat building.

    Another time I picked up run of cherry. The waste is incredible on cherry.

    We drove to Connecticut for 18 foot white Cedar.

    Another time I had half a log of maple.

    Most recently I drove to South Jersey to get some White Cedar for the Ducker restoration.

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Every state probably has a list of forestry product producers. This is a 2014 list the Pa DCNR compiled.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...nE416vR3e15jQQ

    Another way to find lumber suppliers. http://paforestproducts.org
    Last edited by navydog; 02-14-2018 at 12:05 AM.

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    To help others can be futile.

    After hours and hours of Internet searching, tons of books , hours and hours of writing on forums like this:

    The person needing help still goes to the Big Box store!

    They still pick construction Lumber to build boats and furniture.
    I think this statement does many people a great deal of disservice. For many people their choice of timber species is not limited by their desire nor their pockets, but more often than not the simple lack of availability of anything other than box-store lumber. The degradation of DIY skills has led to a paucity of the understanding of timber in general, and there's simply no money to be made by the big stores in stocking the right wood. The reduced demand for good wood leads to fewer stockists, and the result is higher prices -> fewer purchases -->higher prices --> still fewer purchases --> small suppliers' bankruptcy --> big player the only one in town (or state) ---> monopoly --> rising prices for crap quality and reduced product offerings. Reduced to the "average" . A nasty spiral that is true to almost all the products you buy.

    I share a workshop with some furniture designers. Most have never used whole wood, and when they do it's finger jointed spruce. They're amazed that I bend wood. amazed that I buy a whole flitch and size what I want.

    In another example; in New Zealand, it is damn near impossible to buy anything other than Pinus radiata. It's usually got about 1-2 growth rings per inch, and sawn by whatever edjit was running the machine. Little to now knowledge. Talk to a builder about wood and you will more often than knot run into an impenetrable wall of ignorance concerning such things as grain direction, runout, even sapwood. Want to discuss stiffness, toughness or hardness? Fat chance. It is possible to find other timber but it's difficult to find where to buy from.

    The same in Switzerland. It took me 4 years to find a decent timber merchant (Küchler), and before that box store timber was all anyone starting out in a woodworking project could find - or they go to a schreiner or tischler and pay for timber ready cut to size and they're are still none-the-wiser.

    Knowledge and desire are good, but opportunity is everything.

    R
    R
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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Redeye View Post
    I think this statement does many people a great deal of disservice. For many people their choice of timber species is not limited by their desire nor their pockets, but more often than not the simple lack of availability of anything other than box-store lumber. The degradation of DIY skills has led to a paucity of the understanding of timber in general, and there's simply no money to be made by the big stores in stocking the right wood. The reduced demand for good wood leads to fewer stockists, and the result is higher prices -> fewer purchases -->higher prices --> still fewer purchases --> small suppliers' bankruptcy --> big player the only one in town (or state) ---> monopoly --> rising prices for crap quality and reduced product offerings. Reduced to the "average" . A nasty spiral that is true to almost all the products you buy.

    I share a workshop with some furniture designers. Most have never used whole wood, and when they do it's finger jointed spruce. They're amazed that I bend wood. amazed that I buy a whole flitch and size what I want.

    In another example; in New Zealand, it is damn near impossible to buy anything other than Pinus radiata. It's usually got about 1-2 growth rings per inch, and sawn by whatever edjit was running the machine. Little to now knowledge. Talk to a builder about wood and you will more often than knot run into an impenetrable wall of ignorance concerning such things as grain direction, runout, even sapwood. Want to discuss stiffness, toughness or hardness? Fat chance. It is possible to find other timber but it's difficult to find where to buy from.

    The same in Switzerland. It took me 4 years to find a decent timber merchant (Küchler), and before that box store timber was all anyone starting out in a woodworking project could find - or they go to a schreiner or tischler and pay for timber ready cut to size and they're are still none-the-wiser.

    Knowledge and desire are good, but opportunity is everything.

    R
    you are amazing
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    I had the opportunity to visit many of the saw mills on this list. In the past some of them shipped lumber over seas. I would think that if someone wanted a special order of lumber a few of them would ship it to you no matter where you live. The forest product manufactures in Pennsylvania are mostly hardwood mills, oak, maple, cherry, ash, hickory, black walnut & etc. A lot of these mills are giant size operations and will not cut small special orders, however many are family owned and would work with you regardless of their size. Some of them are specialty mills (usually smaller size) that cut everything to order. Very few do not have milling equipment so if you wanted a keel finished at 12"x 6' x 30' they could do it if they have a clear log.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...nE416vR3e15jQQ
    Last edited by navydog; 02-14-2018 at 05:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirc View Post
    Just to add something amazing... how do you make wood stronger than steel? -- it's 'easy'
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-01600-6

    boil it in a solution of sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfite for seven hours then crush it and bake it at 100C for a day...
    I really need to experiment with this
    On the other end of the scale, here is a company that turns white oak into noodles without steaming! It can be bent into an overhand knot and a week later it is just as hard as it was prior to the secret process.
    Jay
    http://www.puretimber.com/

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    A valuable and excellent resource (free) from the federal government is here...

    Check it out;

    https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/research/c...dfactsheet.php

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    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Any suggestions for wood species that have a combination of these properties:
    1 - excellent rot resistance
    2 - good strength (equal or better than Douglas Fir)
    3 - takes well to epoxy
    4 - is easy to work with

    I have tried to short-list a few species based on information from wood-database.com. Please comment or expand:
    Sapele
    Iroko
    Black/American Cherry
    Black Walnut
    Teak

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    367

    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Whiskey,
    The intended application is a primary consideration when chosing a wood species. Your list of charactistics would be applied after knowing the use.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    367

    Default Re: Properties of wood

    Natural durability of wood:
    A worldwide checklist of species

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...Z4dCknJlwFulNW

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