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Thread: Cherry Clinker

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Location
    Columbus, OH, USA
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    2

    Default Cherry Clinker

    Good day,

    A few years ago I came across a large amount of cherry (like 1000+ bf) for pennies. I've used it for everything from thresholds, stairs and cabinets in my home, but still have a huge amount (750-850 bf remaining, and mostly comprised of the "best" boards, since I chose knotty pieces for "character" in my woodwork).

    Ideally I'd like to build a clinker somewhere in the 15' range, but would like to hear about any hesitations anyone might have.

    The cherry boards are 8-12 feet, but I've seen several images of boats in this style that seem to have discontinuous boards; how best might those be joined?

    It seems like cherry, aside from its cost, would be an excellent wood for boat building, strength, rot resistance and beauty; but wasn't sure of some of the limitations clinkers might have. Secondarily, something like carvel would be fine (I'd like to avoid strip), but in the general profile of a snekke.

    Lastly, any tried-and-trusted plans for clinker/carvel in a snekke profile (prop, not sail or row) in the 15'-20' range (to save double posting across forum-boards)?

    Thanks all!
    MM

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
    Posts
    4,877

    Default Re: Cherry Clinker

    Welcome aboard MM!
    I've seen cherry used for trim, not for planking yet. Joining shorter pieces for planking is "scarfing", cutting matching slopes on both parts and gluing together. You'll find discussions of it all over this forum.
    Good luck with your project, keep us posted.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
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    21,076

    Default Re: Cherry Clinker

    MM, I recon we should be asking you how it is ?
    You mention strength, rot resistance and beauty, but what about stability ?
    The one thing you do not want to do, strip, is the one thing that makes the best use of questionable wood.
    Welcome to the 4um
    bruce

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
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    4,735

    Default Re: Cherry Clinker

    Seven years ago there was this thread expounding on the virtues of cherry: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...?193605-Cherry
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    "Driftless" Wisconsin
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    909

    Default Re: Cherry Clinker

    Black Cherry (Prunus Serotina, ~ 35lb/ft3) ought to make for good boat planking if perhaps a bit heavy compared to Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis Thyoides, ~ 24lb/ft3), Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata, ~ 23lb/ft3), or Alaska Yellow Cedar (Cupressus Nootkatensis, ~31lb/ft3).

    Its stability is one of the reasons it's so often chosen for making furniture so that shouldn't be a big deal. My guess is that its use for boat planking is overlooked due to its popularity for furniture and other interior-type projects. Easily worked with hand tools or machines, glues and finishes well so there's that. 'Scarfing' will soon become second nature to you with boards 8-12' and a design length around twice that.

    If you have an ample supply for little expense I'd think it'd make a good choice for clinker/lapstrake or carvel planking if that's your goal.
    We must understand that we are borrowed stardust, bound to be returned to the universe that made it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Dorset, UK
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    Default Re: Cherry Clinker

    Was your cherry kiln dried or air dried?

    Its not exclusive but i’d be preferring air dried for clinker (steamable and less post build movement) and be thinking strip would be better if i had very dry kilned wood.

    Might be worth sticking a moisture meter on it where its stored to see where its at. Once kilned though its always going to resist steam bending if the odd plank needed it.

    How wide are your boards? Again if narrow, i’d be thinking strip, if wide then you’ve got traditional clinker options.
    https://batritningar.se/batritningar.../34-motorsnipa

    modell-34-motorsnipa-1600x1200.jpg



    Take a look at this one at 14ft..this what you’re thinking of? On a small boat i’d be pre thinking about engine weight/ crew weight distribution so the boat will sit to its lines.

    If you were going to glue it, Gartside has a 13ft double ended launch that’s cold molded...if you’ve got a good bandsaw for resawing it to veneers.

    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 01-23-2022 at 01:39 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    22,531

    Default Re: Cherry Clinker

    I used Cherry for the transom and sheerstrakes of the Oughtred Humblebee tender I built. Rub strips, too. No worries so far.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Oakland, California
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    Default Re: Cherry Clinker

    "If you have an ample supply for little expense I'd think it'd make a good choice for clinker/lapstrake or carvel planking if that's your goal." sp_clark

    I strongly agree if you've got clean enough stock. I've steam bent lots of very old, dry cherry without notable difficulty in making the curved backs of windsor chairs, it's not as bendy as green oak of course but it's way better than cedar or white pine so no problem planking with it. It's wonderful to work with! Downside is weight & cost of course. It would make for a stunning brightly finished hull it that interests you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    80,387

    Default Re: Cherry Clinker

    I see no issues using black cherry as planking. Someone mentioned movement... it's pretty stable. Comparable to several other planking species. One hint - to minimize movement - you want to pick stock as 'vertical grain' as possible. BUT - the flipside is the vertical is the most likely to split - upon impact, or with movement. So, if you have a choice, I'd aim for stock that was 'near vertical'. Good luck!
    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)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Location
    Columbus, OH, USA
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    2

    Default Re: Cherry Clinker

    Wow, thanks all for the tips and advice!
    The boards are 6-8" wide, most are 8" range, 6/4-4/4 thickness. Unfortunately I'm positive it's kiln dried, based on how it works with my other projects.
    This spring I'll pull everything out and give it a look over, as far as grain direction goes, and to get a better estimate of how much is choice (VERY snowy and miserably cold here now). Toolwise, I've got everything but a good bandsaw, might be the perfect excuse to upgrade .
    Meantime, any books on the subject to pick up? I have Skene's Elements of Yacht design and John Leather's Clinker Boatbuilding.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Brewer, Maine
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Cherry Clinker

    I used cherry for this Lincolnville Salmon Wherry since I had an abundance in the barn as well (air dried for decades).

    IMG_1387.jpg
    I will say that of all the ill-spent time in my life, that which was spent trying to steam bend the 5/8" sheer plank ranks right up at the top.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Berkeley, CA
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Cherry Clinker

    As far as books, Greg Rossel’s Building Small Boats.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
    Posts
    4,877

    Default Re: Cherry Clinker

    The Dory Book.

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