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Thread: What to look for in DF

  1. #1
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    Default What to look for in DF

    Hi , I’m about to place an order for about 3.5 cubic metres of Douglas Fir. In the past I’ve bought kiln dried from this Supplier and it’s been very good quality high ring count and clear.
    this time I’m getting their second grade down green stuff to help keep the price down. I’ve asked for clear or very small tight knots in the pieces I want to bend and laminate such as frames etc.
    Apart from high ring count, no sap wood, no grain run-out and small tight knots is there anything else I should be looking out for.
    ive got another company looking at their stocks to see if they can help me too, also to keep the first mob honest with their prices but I’m going to have a look if they can do it, and I want to go armed.
    thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    Search the forum for old posts by Bob Smalser about DF, tons of good info there.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    What's it for, Andrew?
    Rick

    Lean and nosey like a ferret

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    Gartside #194 Rick.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    Really? You're building another one? All power to ye! That's a serious build - what's the planking? Double diagonal then lateral planks? Sheathed, presumably. I AM going to make the trek to Vic to see this one at the framing or planking stage, whether you like it or not! Very exciting!
    Last edited by RFNK; 06-19-2020 at 07:49 AM.
    Rick

    Lean and nosey like a ferret

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Donald View Post
    Gartside #194 Rick.
    We're going to need to see some pics for that one!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    I think you have all the things to look for in DF covered.
    Now, If you could swap out to Alaska Yellow edar.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    Probably no way to know from where you sit, but stuff grown east of the cascades or coast mountains is inferior in rot resistance. Pretty much everything available today is from higher altitudes which has tight grain but I believe is also inferior in rot resistance. Especially if not from the coastal range. Lowland coastal old growth wood is the best, but is pretty much gone now.

    Is there no local wood you can use? This stuff has a 300-500 year replenishment timeline and we are running out.

    We all use limited resources, but I believe that if you are going to use up something scarce it should at least come from your own neighborhood.

    Really, the problem for fir is Japan and China, but the principle stands. Locally, everybody is using Sapele to replace fir. Same problem, right here in fir country.

    There is nothing particularly remarkable about doug fir, really. It has decent strength, okay rot resistance, moderate weight, glues well. But there are a whole lot of woods in that category and there must be something cheaper than sending trees halfway around the globe.

    Not picking on you in particular, just making a general observation.
    Last edited by J.Madison; 06-19-2020 at 04:56 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    At 350+ board feet/cubic meter, you are looking for 13-1400 board feet of boatbuilding quality fir? That's a tall order; be interesting to know what that is worth down under. / Jim

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    Reason I’m asking is I once picked up a piece of “quality” fir and it weighed nothing, even less than WRC. It didnt have any easily detectable growth rings either.


    Jonathon we have a little softwood left in Tasmania but it’s about 2 or3 times more $. Appreciate the info though like you say it’s hard to tell where it’s from even though the company that’s likely my selection say it’s from Canada.
    Rick, planking is 7/8” strips and two layers1/4” veneers then probably dynel, with 2 layers of that below waterline. Still researching that. Paul has designed for WRC planking.
    Youre welcome to come look but it won’t be interesting for at least a couple of years. Bring your mixing stick Freefood and beer.
    Bruce, dunno if many people have even heard of AYC down here. Thanks for your input.
    Chas, just shy of AUD 20k

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    Andrew, I'm pretty sure you could match that with some Tasmanian timber - yes, I can get you a contact. And it would be a lot cheaper with flooded gum. With stronger timber, e.g., flooded gum, you won't need the diagonals. Strips and fibreglass sheathing will give you a very strong boat. Regardless, I do look forward to watching this one!
    Rick

    Lean and nosey like a ferret

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    Rick that would be interesting to try. Please PM me the details

    Is Flooded an option? Probably about the same qualities as DF but a little heavier ? How quick would it dry and shrinkage. I do agree with the local use argument to a degree.

    thanks
    Last edited by Andrew Donald; 06-19-2020 at 05:43 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    If the boat was designed for WRC I suggest following woods as replacement:
    Cedrella odorata, aka. spanish cedar, cerdo: naturally rot resistant, weight around 430-450kg/cum
    Cupressus macrocarpa, aka. Monterey cypress, golden cypress, cypress macrocarpa: at least as rot resistant as oregon, about the same weight at 500-550kg/cum
    If the designer is willing he could also do a rescantling for paulownia (kiri).

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    Ive started investigating cypress macrocarpa and so far it looks promising. Just remains to be seen if I can get clear stuff in some long lengths or perhaps some knots would be possible.
    termite resistant too which is great where I am
    And the price is good particularly off one guy that saws his own stuff with a Lewis mill.

    Monday will be interesting.
    Last edited by Andrew Donald; 06-19-2020 at 09:56 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Donald View Post
    Rick that would be interesting to try. Please PM me the details

    Is Flooded an option? Probably about the same qualities as DF but a little heavier ? How quick would it dry and shrinkage. I do agree with the local use argument to a degree.

    thanks
    You'd need to contact mills in NSW re supply of flooded but, yes, very suitable as it's quite a stable timber, strong and reliable. The preferred timber here for trawlers and workboats. I can get you a contact for it if necessary. I'll find the details of the supplier of celery top in Tas and get back to you.
    Rick

    Lean and nosey like a ferret

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    20K Aus + 18K Can if my conversion is correct so I'd put your cost at a bit more than double (plus a bit ) for good boatbuilding fir here. I am with Jonathan on the keep the good stuff for home use, something we are poor at in this country.

    Good old growth AYC, or Nootka cedar as it's known locally, is magical wood. Here is a cubic meter or so of it as sawn for a repair project I undertook a few years back, clear rough sawn at 2x4,with a bit of 6 and 8+" stuff thrown in, longest length 19'. I ripped and planed most all to 1-3/4" or so dimensions to be useful in the multiple laminations required. Glued with WEST and reinforced with 3-4" stainless screws. Owner hasn't come after me yet, so that's good!

    IMG_0872.jpg
    They say yellow cedar is really cypress so that may help in some comparisons. Good luck! / Jim

  17. #17
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    300 year replenishment time for Doug fir? I thought all if the stuff harvested these days was 30-60 years old.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    300 year replenishment time for Doug fir? I thought all if the stuff harvested these days was 30-60 years old.
    The nasty stuff in the home center that has 3 rings/inch and is purely wet sapwood is harvested on that timeline. Some even less, I see loads of logs going down the road that might give you one 4x4 down the center and that's it. Which is exactly what they do, look at the pile of 4x4s and they all have the pith right in the middle. Fine with me, they grow it for the purpose.

    Sadly, if the odd big tree does come in from a logging operation it is often ground for pulp because many mills have retooled to only mill very small logs and can't handle the big ones.

    Fir starts to be useful at 80 or so years, starts to be quite good for boats at 150 years, and the virgin old growth that makes those beautiful vertical grain clear boards for export are often 300-500 years old. Some older.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    ...and you can't grow a 300 year old tree in 300 years, as it needs to grow slowly, in the SHADE of 600 years old trees.
    oh, here are some "pull outs", wood too good. to use sheathing my new shop.
    "Nootka Cedar"... I never heard that, I like the sound of it.


    ...this don't help.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    I’ve got boards of CVG Doug fir at the shop with 50+ growth rings per inch. It should cost a great deal more than it does.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    Quote Originally Posted by John Husky View Post
    I’ve got boards of CVG Doug fir at the shop with 50+ growth rings per inch. It should cost a great deal more than it does.
    send about 5 m3 down here.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: What to look for in DF

    I went to buy some DF locally recently, but the stock was right down to almost nothing.
    Covid has turned of the tap.
    The owner of the yard and I went through a pallet of various bits and bobs and pulled out maybe 20m of reasonably clear stuff.
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

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