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Thread: scarf for 17` 1x12?

  1. #1
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    Default scarf for 17` 1x12?

    I need a 1"x12"x17`piece of cedar or white pine and I just cannot find it.
    The longest the local hardware store sells is a 8`

    This piece will then be cut into many smaller 1", 3/4", 1.5" pieces

    They also sell 6' lengths and these are a little cheaper.
    Would 3 times 6' scarfed together be suitable as gunwales?
    I assume it would be better to scarf them all together whilst they are a 12" wide piece and then cut them into stringers, etc.?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: scarf for 17` 1x12?

    There are lots of sawmills in Quebec. I'd try to search one of them out.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: scarf for 17` 1x12?

    Assuming a 10:1 scarf on a 1 inch thick board you're going to lose 10 inches to each scarf so you'll need two of 6 feet and one of 8 feet to net 17 feet.

    You will probably find that it's easier to find 6 inch wide boards than 12 inch wide boards, or that there will be lots more to pick from which will allow you to get a better grade.

    Yes, it will save a bit of time to scarf wider boards and rip out the strips.

    Quebec to me means lots of spruce, which is about as rot resistant as pine but considerably tougher.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: scarf for 17` 1x12?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Assuming a 10:1 scarf on a 1 inch thick board you're going to lose 10 inches to each scarf so you'll need two of 6 feet and one of 8 feet to net 17 feet.

    You will probably find that it's easier to find 6 inch wide boards than 12 inch wide boards, or that there will be lots more to pick from which will allow you to get a better grade.

    Yes, it will save a bit of time to scarf wider boards and rip out the strips.

    Quebec to me means lots of spruce, which is about as rot resistant as pine but considerably tougher.
    I always figured spruce was the cheaper less quality wood. It's for a canoe and kayak so isn't spruce a bit heavier? It's only stringers I guess

  5. #5
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    Default Re: scarf for 17` 1x12?

    I'd choose spruce over pine. One reason spruce is used for aircraft is that it's the toughest for it's weight. Western red cedar is lighter and way more rot resistant but it's brittle.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: scarf for 17` 1x12?

    And don’t buy lumber at a hardware store. Go to a lumberyard. The hardware store stuff will be old, over dried, twisted, bowed and cupped crap. Or at least that’s how it is around here. But I can buy very nice wood at 3 or 4 specialty hardwood shops or a dozen or so lumber yards. They don’t mind you picking through a pile for a perfect board if you leave the stack as tidy as you found it. Usually cheaper than the hardware store stuff, too.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: scarf for 17` 1x12?

    That's very good advice.

    Also, air dried will be much less brittle than kiln dried or otherwise overdried. Hence the sawmill and spruce, or better yet select through spruce framing lumber in the lumber yard. Framing lumber is only minimally dried. If you find good quality spruce that is just sawn and green don't worry, once it's ripped into strips they will dry quickly at this time of year. Glueing is better done on dry lumber.

    If you do go to a sawmill ask them to help you find enough air dried clear to build a canoe. There's a good chance that they will have a small stash of really good stuff on stickers somewhere. Don't expect to find much over 16 feet though. That would be a nice way to get out of the city for a day.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: scarf for 17` 1x12?

    Framing lumber round here is SPF (spruce pine fir)
    Does that mean the wood could be any of the 3?
    Is fir ok for stringers?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: scarf for 17` 1x12?

    The SPF in easternmost Canada is probably over 90% spruce, when you go further west there may be jack pine thrown in, but I suspect it isn't that common in Quebec. Most of what's sold as pine would be eastern white pine. "Select" isn't always better grained and often "knotty" can be a better deal if the knots are few and you can cut around them. The pine can be decent but sometimes is extremely fast grown with widely spaced rings, which makes for light and weak wood and the stringers would have to be a bit thicker.

    I expect that douglas fir of the quality you are seeking would be identified as such because it would be a premium product; they wouldn't bring in framing quality douglas fir from out west. I don't think balsam fir is cut into lumber very often except here in Newfoundland where it is super abundant and often more straight-grained than the local spruce.

    When looking for stringer and gunwale wood the most overwhelming consideration is the grain, you don't want pith or grain runout. Straight-grained wood of any species is stronger than the best species with grain runout, and funky grain doesn't bend evenly. Finding relatively knot free and straight-grained wood can involve looking through literally tons of boards, and usually the bigger ones are better. I cannot find anything longer than 16 feet, so for gunwales for boats longer than 15' I still have to scarf. For kayak stringers and gunwales the bends aren't severe, so scarfing shouldn't be a problem if done neatly.

    In my town there is a building supply store that's not a sawmill that processes raw logs, but they rip and dress a lot of wood and they'll cut and plane something for me if I'm looking for a non-standard wood size. They will also pull out some clear wood and might have a small stash put aside that I can check out. All for the price of framing SPF. This sort of place might not exist in big cities though but it might be worth it to drive for an hour to find one.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: scarf for 17` 1x12?

    That SPF will be better than splicing short pieces together.

    I’ve bought framing lumber up to 24’ locally and if I order ahead I can get up to 28’. I did that once to make pump jack poles without a splice.
    Last edited by StevenBauer; 05-14-2018 at 11:11 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: scarf for 17` 1x12?

    If you find the the SPF in your lumber yard is indeed spruce look thru the widest framing lumber where you will soon notice that the edges are often clear. You just need to avoid sapwood, it's weak and it rots very quickly.

    Douglas fir is good for what you're doing, but none of the other firs. Same thing, widest boards and no sapwood.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: scarf for 17` 1x12?

    Plenty of Red Pine and Balsam Fir,in SPF,but no White Pine.
    If you are stuck, call Goodfellow in Delson,or Commonwealth in Ottawa or Montreal.
    They might not sell to you, but can point you in the right direction

    R
    Last edited by Ron Williamson; 05-14-2018 at 11:46 AM.
    Sleep with one eye open.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: scarf for 17` 1x12?

    I am in Vermont, near Quebec. Most any building supply lumberyard will be able to order CVG Douglas Fir (Clear Vertical Grain). It can be had in lengths over 20’ by special order. It is a bit pricey. The same yards will often stock SPF framing stock in lengths up to 20’. The bigger 2x10’s and 2x12’s are frequently Doug fir as well. Good straight spruce is often easy to find.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: scarf for 17` 1x12?

    Quote Originally Posted by qwertyjjj View Post
    Framing lumber round here is SPF (spruce pine fir)
    Does that mean the wood could be any of the 3?
    Is fir ok for stringers?
    Can't speak for other designs, but for my boats, SPF will usually work fine for stringers, typically no matter which species it actually is. One just has to spend the time looking through the stacks for decent boards - or portions of boards. There's good advice about grain run-out and species and such on this thread.

    Doug fir is likely better for stringers, though relatively heavy and stiff compared to cedar. A lot depends upon what you are building.

    Good luck!
    Dave

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