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Thread: I may cry

  1. #1
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    Default I may cry

    I met with a guy who wants to buy my 4" x 4" x 16' spruce (I have 13 sticks). This stuff has 30-40 rings per inch and I had hoped someone would buy it to use for spars on a wooden boat (that's what I bought it for). I talked with the buyer...he is going to cut it up into 8' lengths and resaw it in half to make a table out of it!!

    I may have to watch him cut it in half...Oh the humanity ....I will just cry.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: I may cry

    If he is going to cut it in half, charge him twice as much. Tell him you're selling it by the piece.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: I may cry

    You have 13 !!!!?
    Can you find a boat builder, even someone here?
    Jim Ledger ? He's the top choice if you wanna send the wood to good karmaville.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Where are you in MA?
    Contact me by PM

  5. #5
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    Default Re: I may cry

    If you want to sell it in a bunch, contact Steve up at Shaw and Tenny. Or contact Mystic. Or anyone else who builds oars commercially. The ApprenticeShop in Rockland may be able to use some; I know they have to build some spars for current projects and oar making is always happening. Alec Brainerd at the Artisan boat shop is also always working on smaller sailing craft.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Where in MA?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Is this eastern spruce? Sitka?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  8. #8
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    Default Re: I may cry

    I believe it is Eastern.

    The story I was told when I bought them 8 years ago was that there were cut in the 1950's and "Aircraft Grade"

    Here are a couple of pictures...see why I don't want to see them made into a table.

    2011-06-02_14-42-33_127.jpg2011-06-02_14-42-00_493.jpg

  9. #9
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    Default Re: I may cry

    So, is it sold or not?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: I may cry

    NOT!

    I can't bring myself to have them made into a table.

    The karma would just be too bad.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Quote Originally Posted by rregge View Post
    NOT!

    I can't bring myself to have them made into a table.

    The karma would just be too bad.

    EEEXXXXXcelent

  12. #12
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    Default Re: I may cry

    So, I know this must be a dumb question, but, aside from spars and oars, what else can be done with them in a boatbuilding project? (It's tough being the slow pup.)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Quote Originally Posted by rregge View Post
    NOT!

    I can't bring myself to have them made into a table.
    Good on ya. Hope you can find a worthy buyer.

    So, I know this must be a dumb question, but, aside from spars and oars, what else can be done with them in a boatbuilding project? (It's tough being the slow pup.)
    I, for one, could make a pile of boats.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Quote Originally Posted by Wadsworth View Post
    So, I know this must be a dumb question, but, aside from spars and oars, what else can be done with them in a boatbuilding project? (It's tough being the slow pup.)
    Those two applications are the major ones. They take advantage of the best qualities of spruce. There are other applications, but they are minor, and mostly can be just as well - or better - served with another species.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  15. #15
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    Default Re: I may cry

    "Aircraft grade" is Sitka...

  16. #16
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    "Aircraft grade" is Sitka...

    In the 1950's when this wood was harvested?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: I may cry

    One can build a complete vessel of spruce..keel to deck, but spruce is not highly rot resistant.Quite poor,actually.
    Structural members for race boats,power or sail,especially ones that will be highly maintained/stored dry and indoors.Stringers,clamps.
    Small strippers...very good.
    But they REALLY want to be spars on Ledgers boat!
    bruce

  18. #18
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Quote Originally Posted by rregge View Post
    In the 1950's when this wood was harvested?
    Yes

    edit: I was advised (in 1980!) by the west coast lumber yard Van Arsdale-Harris (which used to be the Sitka distributor here) that there is one grade better than "Aircraft" which is "Ladder grade". "Spar grade" is below both of those. San Francisco FD still uses and rebuilds Sitka Spruce ladders, they have their own shop that does it. Wooden ladders don't melt, or get too hot to hold on to I guess.

    There is a video here on the SFFD ladder shop
    https://sf-fire.org/wooden-ladders
    Last edited by Canoeyawl; 11-17-2019 at 12:20 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: I may cry

    Where are you in MA. I am often in Plymouth? What do you want per board/foot?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    Yes

    edit: I was advised (in 1980!) by the west coast lumber yard Van Arsdale-Harris (which used to be the Sitka distributor here) that there is one grade better than "Aircraft" which is "Ladder grade". "Spar grade" is below both of those. San Francisco FD still uses and rebuilds Sitka Spruce ladders, they have their own shop that does it. Wooden ladders don't melt, or get too hot to hold on to I guess.

    There is a video here on the SFFD ladder shop
    https://sf-fire.org/wooden-ladders
    The SFFD does indeed use wooden ladders exclusively. The rails are made of select Doug fir with a minimum 8 rings per inch, "Eastern slope" old growth and the rungs are hickory. They have their own "ladder shop," which only one of two such shops making wooden ladders in the US. The wooden ladders are used for safety reasons because there are so many overhead wires in the City and a lot of them, like the streetcar and trolley bus overhead power wires, are bare and carry high voltage loads. The wooden ladders are built and rebuilt continually and last much longer than aluminum ladders, which suffer from metal fatigue. The oldest in service today are a hundred years old.

    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 11-20-2019 at 09:52 PM.

  21. #21
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    Default

    Who on God's green earth would make a Sitka spruce table? Do they like dents in the table top?
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. ó P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  22. #22
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    Default Re: I may cry

    I think Musical Instrument Grade is the highest form of spruce. If I recall correctly, Paul Schweiss had a piece that he used for a sprung thwart on a customer's gig and the boat hummed when the thwart was struck.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    I think Musical Instrument Grade is the highest form of spruce. If I recall correctly, Paul Schweiss had a piece that he used for a sprung thwart on a customer's gig and the boat hummed when the thwart was struck.
    A few years before he died ,Lucky Luke asked me to put eyes on a load of spruce he wanted to buy for spars from Fred Tebbs in Tacoma.

    40..as in 40 feet long..They had to buck a few feet to get them in the container.

    A nearby pallet was set for shipping to another customer, the salesman took me over and had me look at the address...Steinway,Germany. Soundboards for pianos.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    I think Musical Instrument Grade is the highest form of spruce. If I recall correctly, Paul Schweiss had a piece that he used for a sprung thwart on a customer's gig and the boat hummed when the thwart was struck.
    a top/"master" grade spruce for musical instruments will probably be the highest grade spruce - clear, straight and even grain, perfectly quartered, no runout, with nice uniform color (aesthetics are often the main thing for a truly master grade pieces). Air dried, perhaps for decades in the case of violins and the like. Hard to find for small instruments like violins, harder to find for large instruments like a cello, impossible for a base.

    Lesser musical instrument grades aren't anything to write home about especially for violin/guitars - large knots outside the clear aperture, grain funkiness, all kinds of garbage.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    I was at a sawmill on Vancouver Island once where they were sawing up giant old growth spruce logs into clear vertical grain as wide as possible to go to europe where some rich fool just had to have it for the ceilings in his mansion. Funny thing though, there wasn't any spruce that big available though so they were sending him hemlock at spruce prices. It's hard to tell the difference with the really tight grain.
    happy ending !

  26. #26
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Quote Originally Posted by rregge View Post
    I believe it is Eastern.

    The story I was told when I bought them 8 years ago was that there were cut in the 1950's and "Aircraft Grade"

    Here are a couple of pictures...see why I don't want to see them made into a table.

    2011-06-02_14-42-33_127.jpg2011-06-02_14-42-00_493.jpg
    Often top quality quarter sawn Douglas fir can be mistaken for Spruce and vise versa! Both woods are valued as spar building stock. The idenfication becomes relevant when the softness, weight and smell of the wood is tested. Sitka Spruce and other members of the spruce family such as Blue Spruce and Eastern Red Spruce which are valuable for instrument work can be more easily dented by one's thumbnail than can Douglas fir. Spruce has a more vanilla smell, when given the sniff test, than that of Douglas Fir. Fir is defiantly harder and heavier than spruce is and not as flexible. It also has more of a Christmas Tree smell to it than spruce has. One of the most desirable factors of Sitka Spruce is its vertical crushing strength when compared to its weight per cubic inch when compared to that of fir.
    Jay

  27. #27
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    Default Re: I may cry

    I had to lightly plane the boards when I got them...NOT Douglas fir (I know that smell)

    Again based on what I was told, the trees were harvested in the 1950's...and I suspect they were red spruce. They do not look like any Sitka spruce I have ever seen. Just looked at pictures of old growth red spruce online...that is what it looks like.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: I may cry

    I should think you are right! Visualy it does resemble quarter sawn Douglass fir. That is why weight, hardness and smell are factores to consider. Looks like you have done your homework and that is some very nice looking stock.
    Jay

  29. #29
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Had 13...sold 4 down to 9

  30. #30
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    Default Re: I may cry

    wooden ladders donít conduct electricity and they are lighter than f glass ladders
    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    Yes

    edit: I was advised (in 1980!) by the west coast lumber yard Van Arsdale-Harris (which used to be the Sitka distributor here) that there is one grade better than "Aircraft" which is "Ladder grade". "Spar grade" is below both of those. San Francisco FD still uses and rebuilds Sitka Spruce ladders, they have their own shop that does it. Wooden ladders don't melt, or get too hot to hold on to I guess.

    There is a video here on the SFFD ladder shop
    https://sf-fire.org/wooden-ladders
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: I may cry

    It has all been sold, however you may be able to see it being made into a boom on this site.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    I think Musical Instrument Grade is the highest form of spruce. If I recall correctly, Paul Schweiss had a piece that he used for a sprung thwart on a customer's gig and the boat hummed when the thwart was struck.
    Just caught back up with this thread. I built a 32’ Cornish Gig for a rowing club in Eureka, CA. The planking, stringers, thwarts were all Sitka Spruce. The thwarts were fastened and kneed to the seat riser and i wake, and then a turned post was added between the thwart and keel to bow the thwarts upward and acted as a truss with the keel.
    I happened to drop a block of wood on one of the thwarts after all the posts were in place and the entire boat thrummed...it was electric!
    So naturally we started dropping chunks of wood on everything, but just one or two thwarts were the right combo of all the parts to make that fantastic hum.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Now that is "Harmony " for sure! Check it out with at A 432 tuning fork and see if it matches the boat vibes. If it does, then you have a Fibonacci boat that is in harmony with the universe! What more could a fella want?
    Jay

  34. #34
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Unfortunately Jay this all happened in 1978 or so. It was almost impossible to record something easily, either visually or for sound.
    ...and, no tuning fork in my toolbox!

  35. #35
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    Default Re: I may cry

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    I was at a sawmill on Vancouver Island once where they were sawing up giant old growth spruce logs into clear vertical grain as wide as possible to go to europe where some rich fool just had to have it for the ceilings in his mansion. Funny thing though, there wasn't any spruce that big available so they were sending him hemlock at spruce prices. It's hard to tell the difference with the really tight grain.
    This is interesting, I was getting all my Spruce from Fred Tebb and Sons in Tacoma. Their other big product was gorgeous Hemlock. And my research into our PNW forests shows that Hemlock would be the ‘climax species’ for many if our forests if they were left alone by logging, fire, etc.

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