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Thread: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

  1. #1
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    Default Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    Hello all, I am looking to start building an Adirondack guideboat this winter, have done enough research to be fairly realistic/apprehensive about the process, but I have my mind made up I'm going to go with traditional planking, and hopefully my lack of experience will be compensated by taking my time.

    The biggest issue for me is sourcing wood. There aren't that many places near SE Michigan that readily offer QS white pine boards 6-8" wide, regardless of how far I cast my net. I have been able to find somewhere that will be able to provide me clear flatsawn pine in the lengths and widths I need; however, I don't know if this would be wasting my time. If I were to build a bottom board from flatsawn pine, would the ribs keep the board from cupping? Would flatsawn pine planks separate at the tacks over time due to cupping? Will this wood choice just result in reduced longevity due to wood instability?

    I don't see a good way to get QS white pine outside of buying a tree and splitting it myself, but that would be a project in the future for a future boat, when I feel crazy enough to figure out a way to source non laminated stems and ribs.

  2. #2
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    Quarter sawn anything is near impossible to get if you're not dealing with the sawyer or mill directly, there are as many variations on guide boat builds as there are people wanting to build them, cedar and spruce are good choices also, other than the bottom plank, I don't see where you would need six to eight inch wide planks. What /who's design are you going to build?
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    I am planning on using the measurements/plans taken from Dr. Fisher's book based on a Chase guideboat. I figure it would be necessary to source some wider boards for some of the rounds of planks with more dramatic curves.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    You can saw VG strips out of flat grained boards and edge glue them together into VG boards. If you work to templates you can glue them together with the appropriate sweep (edge set).

    Saw them out too thick then once they're glued up run them thru the planer to net the desired thickness.

    This sounds like a lot of work but it's a small boat so it won't amount to much and you'll wind up with a superior product. Besides the tendency to cup FG tends to split when it shrinks.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    If you can find a tree that is standing on private property or from a take down on public land by the city. You can saw as you wish and get the optimum grain you desire. That is what many of us have done in the past to get what is really needed.

    Leo who is re-building "Tally Ho" has traveled over both the US and Europe to get the right wood for his work. This should be where you start as the wood can season a bit while you are lofting and laying out. Sail boats built by those in the know often have or have had their masts made prior to building the hull while other stock seasons. A mast is easier to store than an entire hull on a sail boat while building is a going on!

    Wishing you good fortune with your little ship!
    Jay

  6. #6
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    Recently someone built one traditionally was beautiful and the planks started splitting... It was heartbreaking just to see I can imagine how the builder felt.
    http://www.adirondack-guideboat.com/...ack-guideboat/

    I often think my life's journey may not be complete if I hadn't or don't build an Adirondack guide boat but, I probably never will build one. Lamenting aside... I'd either go for strip build or glued lap plywood. The overriding reason not to use traditional plank building is a simple fact, they just don't spend much time in the water, they're actually drying + - 80% of the time and only wet maybe 20% of the time unless you're an exceptional avid paddlesports person.
    Last edited by DeniseO30; 09-22-2020 at 05:01 PM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    Flat sawn planking will always split

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    Yes, flat sawn planking will cup, warp, split and curl. Especially at 1/4".
    First, the wood needs to be air dried, not kiln dried. That rules out any commercial big box store or a commercial lumber yard. Flat sawn will work for the bottom board with no problems.
    You will need a 6-8 inch wide piece in order to get the sweep and curves of the planking out. Assuming that this is an 8 strakes per side. If you go to 9 strakes, you can use narrower stock.
    The lumber needs to be dried 1 year per inch of thickness. I use 1" thick stock and get a left and right mirrored plank.
    The stock does not have to be perfectly vertical grain, in fact you want the grain to be at a slight angle so that a check or split doesnt go straight thru but at an angle or bevel so you can repair it by tacking it back together like a planking bevel. You can use stock that is up to 45 deg. angle.
    In order to get an 8" wide board, quarter sawn, the log must be about 24" with no to very few small tight live knots that you can work around.
    Go north to where the big pines grow. That's where you will find what you need. Your county cooperative, state forestry dept., or the regional Wood-Miser (saw mill) office will be able to point you to people who have little mills that custom saw as a side line, and have access to good pine logs. One place to get logs is from power line clearing and trimming along roads and right of ways. But you have to go to where the pines grow.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    The Amish communities all have mills that will cut what you want.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    Thank you Chris, this exactly the information I needed.

    Thank you everyone for the suggestions and support. I'll be sure to post on the forum once I start making some tangible progress, but for now it's sourcing, planning and preparing.

    Andrew

  11. #11
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    Andrew all the best of luck to you on this but I hope you're not setting yourself up for some planking heartbreak .
    Last edited by DeniseO30; 09-23-2020 at 04:11 PM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    Flat sawn planking will always split
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Woodward View Post
    Yes, flat sawn planking will cup, warp, split and curl. Especially at 1/4".
    First, the wood needs to be air dried, not kiln dried. That rules out any commercial big box store or a commercial lumber yard. Flat sawn will work for the bottom board with no problems.
    You will need a 6-8 inch wide piece in order to get the sweep and curves of the planking out. Assuming that this is an 8 strakes per side. If you go to 9 strakes, you can use narrower stock.
    The lumber needs to be dried 1 year per inch of thickness. I use 1" thick stock and get a left and right mirrored plank.
    British clinker boats are all built from flat sawn planking. Shetland boats used white pine for the topside planking before going over to larch, although at 1/2" or above.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    British clinker boats are all built from flat sawn planking. Shetland boats used white pine for the topside planking before going over to larch, although at 1/2" or above.
    I suspect they are not All built from flatsawn.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    Homestead Hardwoods probably a couple hours drive drive SE Michigan.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    I suspect they are not All built from flatsawn.
    Why do you suspect that?

    We call it plainsawn, but a quick check confirms that it is the same thing.

    The only time quarter sawn would be specified would be for a bigger boats desk. But guide boats are not decked.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    British clinker boats are all built from flat sawn planking. Shetland boats used white pine for the topside planking before going over to larch, although at 1/2" or above.
    Yes, flat sawn can be and is used throughout the world for boat planking. But he is attempting to build an Adirondack guideboat which is a lightly constructed flexible boat. 1/4" thick planking, the boat weighs 70-75 lbs. (30-35 kg)
    Some guideboats were constructed with flat sawn Northern White cedar.(Thuja occidentalis) Most of them have split.
    150 year old guideboats that are not all broken, split or checked were all built with quarter sawn planking.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    Flat sawn might work if you can maintain the moisture content.
    But I would not leave a guide boat out in all weather.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    Rollin Thurlo sells northern white cedar, mostly flat sawn. Might be worth talking to him. http://https://www.wooden-canoes.com...sic-materials/

  19. #19
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    OP wants to use White pine let him use white pine! Looking for that a quote that people are rarely talked out of things that they know the answers to even though they ask the question
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    The question is, how will it bend and twist? You will find out.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    The majority of Adirondack guideboats were built with White pine (Pinus strobus). They have survived for 150 years. It works.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Woodward View Post
    The majority of Adirondack guideboats were built with White pine (Pinus strobus). They have survived for 150 years. It works.
    If only the quality of the white pine could be even close to the same as they had back in the day
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    It's out there. You just have to know what you're looking at. 10 rings to the inch, 20-24" dia logs.

  24. #24
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    LOL
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Planking a Guideboat with Flatsawn White Pine

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    LOL
    Our family has a stack of 10" wide white pine boards, tight-grained, quarter-sawn. Some of it was used in a few boats over the years. You can't buy it at a big-box store, but it does exist.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    OP wants to use White pine let him use white pine! Looking for that a quote that people are rarely talked out of things that they know the answers to even though they ask the question


    " A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still."

    That one?

    Kevin


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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    " A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still."

    That one?

    Kevin


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Not sure that's the particular one, but it definitely sums it up! thank you!
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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