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Thread: ash for small boat frame

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Default ash for small boat frame

    Hello folks . I am new here and to boat building. I plan on building a meteor plywood boat from an OLD magazine., it calls for oak and fir for the frame. I have lots of white ash and was wondering if that would work for the frame.
    Thanks Steel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
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    Default Re: ash for small boat frame

    Ash is not particularly rot resistant, but for a small skiff that is protected most of the time I would use it if I had nothing else.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2018
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    Bloomingdale ny USA
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    Default Re: ash for small boat frame

    Yes it is a 10 foot runabout . Will be in and out of water never left in Thank you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: ash for small boat frame

    Just seal it well, especially the end grain, including that which is exposed by bolt holes, and do what you can to exclude water from any joints. It will turn grey then black anywhere that water get's in long before it rots, but that will be your early warning.

    It's stronger than fir.

  5. #5
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    Walney, near Cumbria UK
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    Default Re: ash for small boat frame

    Dunno is US ash is more susceptible to rot than English ash, but here ash is the go to wood for steam framed skiffs. I'd say use it.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: ash for small boat frame

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Dunno is US ash is more susceptible to rot than English ash, but here ash is the go to wood for steam framed skiffs. I'd say use it.
    There is not much difference between European and American ash. http://www.wood-database.com/european-ash/ In spite of the lack of rot resistance, ash is a nice wood to work with.

    Ash does need to be sealed and is not going to be tolerant of neglect. A wood preservative would be a good idea, but keeping the boat dry is also effective. There are lots of good ideas, but taking good care of the boat is the only one that is essential.
    Management is the art of counting beans. Leadership is the art of making every being count. --Joe Finch

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Central Vermont
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    Default Re: ash for small boat frame

    I have a question:

    Haven't worked with ash before, but it was recommended for the tiller on my Lightning.

    So I have cut out a couple of rails for the tiller. When handling the board, it struck me that it was way heavier than mahogany, and felt like it was as heavy as oak. When I tried to plane it with my jack and block planes, it was like I was trying to plane steel.

    I don't doubt that my planes could use sharpening, but I was amazed how hard and heavy my ash seems.

    Is it my planes, or is ash a rock wood?

    Thanks,

    Mike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    Southampton Ont. Canada
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    Default Re: ash for small boat frame

    White and Green Ash are both pretty hard. Brown,not so much.
    The bottom couple of feet of the butt log is often much more difficult to saw(harder, more dense,more figured) than a few feet higher.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2015
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    St. Helens, Oregon
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    Default Re: ash for small boat frame

    And ash (fraxinus americans is what I've worked with a lot as a bowyer) has a very interlocked grain, like white oak. Tears out easily if your irons aren't pretty sharp and clogs the throat. But I really like it. I think a lot of canoe seats and carrying yokes are American ash and they hold up pretty well.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    SF Bay Area- Richmond
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    Default Re: ash for small boat frame

    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
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    11,821

    Default Re: ash for small boat frame

    Ash often is used for mast spreaders but even there it sometimes rots.
    Jay

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