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Thread: Pressure treated planking

  1. #71
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    I don't believe that the various gradings of PT have anything to do with the quality of the lumber. The grading is based on the preservative used and the time spent in process , ie; in vacuum and under pressure.

  2. #72
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Oakland, California

    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    MNDave - That's terrible advice in the context of planking a hull. The thing is planking a hull isn't anything like using PT on a house...we're not talking about cutting to length & nailing/screwing PT where gloves & a good dust mask would be suggested - at a minimum... We're talking about working all sides of the PT with tools - as would be necessary to fair the rough PT enough to fit the planks & attach any thing to it, glass/ply/epoxy whatever...
    Ignore the "poison wood" rubbish as well
    ah...the reason to use PT in the first place is it's permeated with poison! Tell me, the last time you planked a boat how much dust was generated & where did all the dust go? It would make the whole work area toxic.

    PT for work deck framing in New England lobster boats is fairly common & it has some limited uses in boat building but not where you'd have to sand & finish the stuff. Any extensive shaping & working PT would require levels of personal protection & dust control way beyond the budget & patience of small shops & home builders. Moe

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    San Francisco Bay

    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Scott, I'm truly sorry that I caused you to spend so much time telling me what I already know about myself. As they say, opinions are like arseholes, everybody's got one and theirs is the only one that don't stink. But there's a world of difference between opinions and facts. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I and the majority of forumites who responded negatively to your query presumed, apparently incorrectly, that you were asking for facts.

    You asked a question: "Can I use pressure treated fir for inner planking which would be sheathed with plywood and fiberglass?" You got a lot of absolutely correct answers, but they were not the answers you wanted. Be honest with yourself. You really were looking for people to tell you, "What a great idea!" But it wasn't a great idea for a whole lot of very sound reasons. Some told you that gently and others, like myself, after "gently" didn't seem to convince you, said the the same thing a bit more bluntly.

    You are building a 41' trawler with the intended purpose of offshore cruising. That's not the same as building a small "lumberyard" plywood vessel. Mr. Buehler, I am sure, knows more about boat design than I'll ever know. He chose, most likely for financial considerations, to design for and promote "backyard boatbuilding," which he marketed to a certain segment of people who dreamed of building their own boat, something that can be a very seductive fantasy. He tried to make their dreams come true by simplifying the process. "You, too, can do it!" is the primary attraction of his body of work and many have done just that. I'll hazard to guess that Buehler would never, ever, recommend the materials selection about which you asked. You asked us and we answered your question. As a "Buehler Builder," you could have asked the Buehler office directly, but you did not. Had you done so, you'd probably have learned that in the naval architecture business, the customer is not always right.

    Buehler has produced many interesting designs, many perhaps somewhat odd-looking, but one can't argue much with happy owners and successful voyages if you are in the business of designing boats. Considering that someone wanted to build a 41' hard-chine Buehler trawler design into which they were going to put their family and take off blue water cruising, my opinion would be that the best material to do that, hands down and without exception, would be to build the hull of steel and the deck housing of aluminum or even all of steel or all of aluminum, although the latter might make more of a dent in the budget than one might wish. (The aluminum deck housing on a steel hull, a common technique, lowers the vessel's center of weight.) If welding wasn't a DIY option for a self-builder, I'd advise having the hull and deck housing built by a competent yard and then finishing the rest of it oneself.

    If Brian's report is correct and you have your build in frame and the rabbets cut, you're going to have to "dance with the girl you brought." Considering your aversion to traditional carvel planking, I'd suggest strip planking or, much better yet, again in my opinion, WEST System cold molding with a quality wood species. (This doesn't have to be fine mahogany. Douglas fir or Alaskan yellow cedar, for example, would be just fine and relatively inexpensive... a lot less expensive than plywood, I'd expect. I'd steer clear of white oak for planking due to it's lower decay-resistance.) WEST System cold-molding is a very forgiving construction method that is seemingly not as intimidating to the less-initiated than traditional carvel construction and produces a good stout hull. (It is my opinion that repairing a cold-molded hull is far easier than a strip-planked hull if the need arises.)

    Please don't abandon this forum on my account. I'll be happy to not respond to any of your future posts. This is what most seasoned forumites choose to do in circumstances similar to this instance. That way, you won't have to ever worry about getting your feelings hurt by something some opinionated jerk such as myself might write on the internet, which isn't the real world after all, is it? When a poorly built boat carrying you, your wife, and your children suffers a catastrophic failure of some sort hundreds of miles offshore in nasty weather and, if you are really lucky, some Coast Guard crewmembers are able to locate you and risk their lives trying to effect a rescue, man, that's the real world to keep in mind when you are building your boat. Not what you read on the internet.

    Ta-ta for now, my friend. Fair winds and calm seas to you and your family.
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 04-09-2018 at 10:55 PM.

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Lindstrom, MN

    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Quote Originally Posted by MoePorter View Post
    MNDave - That's terrible advice in the context of planking a hull. Moe
    Moe - The part about understanding the material before deciding whether to use it? Such as the fact that if it isn't at least GC, it isn't treated well enough. How about my glowing description of the soggy unstable wood? Maybe the idea that careful (time consuming) selection of each stick was too encouraging? Would you really feel all that encouraged to use PT pine based on the rather weak encouragement that it just might work? You bring up some good points about PPE, but the personal affront was a rather harsh segue to the industrial hygiene lecture. Perhaps I can sympathize with the OP about the gentle way some of us present their advice.

    In the unlikely event that you read any of the links you might... oh never mind. The idea was to help the OP make an informed decision, not to tell him what to do. Mostly I thought that some of the opinions about PT needed to be more informed opinions.
    The 1st layer of PT planking I’m describing will not be caulked, it’s purely for adding mass and strength to the hull, helping us get to our final hull thickness of 1.5 inches. I'm not concerned about VG or quarter sawn planking stock for the same reason, this is just the first layer of a composite lamination that will be formed with adhesive and fasteners into a monolithic skin.
    The guy wants to consider strip planking the inner layer with something rot resistant. That is not a layer that gets too much fondling and finishing, so the dire warning about toxic airborne dust could be tempered a bit. The construction should lead to a pretty dry bilge anyway, and if I was trying to save a buck, I'd use the $1/bf WO, not the $1.80/bf AC2, and slather it with epoxy like Mr 13. I think the best advice is to just strip plank with WO, but I was addressing the lack of good information about PT wood.
    ...and theirs is the only one that don't stink.
    Nah, it's just the only one that can't get within 3 feet of their nose. Bad assumption based on the inability to test the hypothesis.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Pressure treated planking

    Wanting to know what this is actually all about I found an excerpt from Buehler's book about this planking method of his. It's at for all to read. There is no talk about any PT lumber, he talks about fir 2x6 from the lumberyard ripped to strips. He basicly reinvents cold molding over strip planking, and proposes roofing cement with nails between the striped layer and the plywood skin instead of epoxy. Its actually funny to read. First he does not want the strips glued to the frames only nailed, then he wants glue between the strips, then he concedes one may use epoxy between strips and plywood but proposes roofing cement and nails, and finally epoxy or resorcinol with nails between the two outer plywood layers, then glassing it all to protect the plywood. The real treat comes at the end when he abandons strip planking for the bottom and instead recommends it to be crossplanked "just like conventional planking" before cold molding over it with plywood.
    Buehler may have drunk his own cool aid when reinventing this particular wheel. If one designes a slab sided single chine boat and use epoxy anyway one can put on the thickest ply that takes the bend and use the minimum of layers. If one wants only wood and no epoxy double diagonal (or Ashcroft) with white lead (or maybe even roofing cement) in between is also easy to do on this type of hull. And if one wants no plywood but with epoxy a single layer of strip planking to the required thickness is all it takes. Any one of this methods is simpler and cheaper than his proposed planking scheme.

    To the OP I reccomend taking one of the above routes. Either all ply, or double diagonal with white oak and white lead (if it's still available to him) or strip planking with douglas fir (or other epoxy suitable wood) and epoxy inside out.
    Last edited by Rumars; 04-10-2018 at 02:44 AM.

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