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Thread: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

  1. #1
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    Default Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Hello,

    I am looking for input on the types of quartersawn lumber used in boat building; species, grade, dimensions, etc.

    I run a specialty band saw mill operation from a commercial log yard in Bethlehem, NH and have decided to focus on quartersawn lumber.

    FSC certification is pending and should be complete by May.

    Thanks in advance.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    White Oak, Black Locust, White Cedar (Northern or Atlantic), Hackmatack.... I assume you're talking about local woods, if not....Cypress, Osage Orange, Sitka Spruce, Teak, Mahogany, Angelique, Greenheart, Purpleheart......
    Never trust a man with a clean workshop.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Its easier if you're familiar with the components that make up a boat. Or know a few seasoned boat builders. Books smarts does not trump experience but most texts on the subject handle this topic well.

    Googles advanced book search will bring up a text or 2 from the 1900's detailing material specs. In a nut shell clear,straight grained, no spike knots, STK ok in flat sawn--tight ringed in the softwoods. Seasoned boat builders will look through low grade flitch sawn lumber for suitable stock. Or have custom lumber milled. Prepare for frugality at its best.

    Species I'm asked for that grow locally. White oak (all flavors except Chestnut), Black Locust, White Ash,Sassafras, Walnut, Cherry, Apple.
    Atlantic White Cedar, Tamarack,Spruce, Eastern White pine,dawn redwood. NH I'd look for Northern white cedar.

    The only reason I mill boat lumber is I like wooden boats. Having three at the moment and building a 4th. Boat builders RFQ's will drive you crazy. Often asking for banana shape, boomerang shape , tapered, wider than physically available or 1" & 1.5" square and 20' long (batten for lofting request). Once past that its great to be able to watch and contribute to the process. Timber frames, wooden boats,covered bridges still get me jazzed and probably always will. Locally loggers and foresters seem to enjoy the process as well (tree/log hunting).

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Regarding White Oak, from what I have heard, if you steam bend White Oak it should green, not seasoned. So, if a client wants to bend WO ribs, the stock should be cut from green lumber. I welcome any comments.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Thanks all for your information and insights; much appreciated.

    Raycon, to your points specifically, I appreciate your candor.

    I run a diesel powered Woodmizer LT40 hydraulic and rent ~3000 sq.ft. shed space in a log yard. The mill is used for custom log homes, skidder bridges, dimensional softwood, etc.

    It is a part-time operation that I use for my own uses and side projects with others. I am a member of VT WoodNet and will be part of their FSC CoC cert., should be completed by May.

    I'm getting ready to start on a 34' sea bright skiff designed by Dave Gerr and will be milling up approx. 3000 bf of quartersawn white pine. Several foresters have also suggested there might be a demand for quartersawn, even in today's market, and it's the type of cut my mill is well suited for.

    I have a passion for wood & wooden boats, but it's not my day job, so providing specialty or custom lumber might be a good way for me to get involved with some interesting projects and skilled individuals.

    Related side note - I am also studying yacht design through Westlawn, so looking for opportunities to combine the mill & boat building. I have no dillusions of getting rich from any of this, just following a passion without betting the farm.

    Cheers
    Jeff

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    I don't have it in front of me at the moment but I think Dave Gerr's book nature of boats covers wood.

    Other boat related markets for wood. Blocking, Cradles (Dave Gerr's design is what I started with) and bow sheds. Boat yards buy blocking, store boats, and need to move them. Trickle down is occasionally one gets built from scratch.

    On edit
    Opening Nature of Boats. Not much on material selection compared to other texts out there.
    Last edited by raycon; 02-25-2008 at 07:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    I'd only suggest that riftsawn stock generally works better in boats than qsawn. Most species used in boats split relatively easily, and slant grain is less likely to split in fastening than pure vertical grain. Wood screw heads are effective wedges if overdriven or pilots aren't sized exactly.

    Milling halves instead of quarters is also much easier, less wasteful, and also provides around 20% of pure qsawn stock for when qsawn is the best application. Small-boat planking stock is often desired in 5/4 so the plank can be shaped then resawn into mirror planks for each side.



    A couple books I sent to a sawyer friend who isn't conversant in boat wood were a Time-Life book titled The Classic Boat and John Gardner's Volumes I or II on Building Classic Small Craft. All should be available used at Amazon. The Time-Life book has clear exploded drawings of all the pieces and the Gardner books are very specific on how grain should be oriented in each piece. Dave Fleming sent me the Time-Life book and I've never seen one as good for identifying framing members and what they do. With those you can take an order for specific stock and get the grain right even if the customer isn't sure what he wants.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 02-25-2008 at 02:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Bob gives great answers and that one may be the best one yet!

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Hi Bob,

    That's a nice looking load of wood you've got there! Did you saw that yourself, if so what type of mill did you use?

    Thank you for your insight and experience regarding rift vs. qsawn and the book references, I'll look into them. I just ordered 'Boat Building Techniques Illustrated' by Richard Birmingham, which was highly recommended on another forum.

    Best Regards
    Jeff

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    OK now I'm confused. I thought the purpose of vertical grain for planking was to minimize movement which cuts down on splitting and checking? If you countersink your screws properly and use care driving them shouldn't that negate that risk?

    Quartersawn is 60-90 deg, and rift sawn is 30-60 deg from what I've read. That truckload of wood looks more like quartersawn to me.

    Neil

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Bob knows what he's talking about. If you use really regular clear vertical grain wood and don't stagger the fastener line (not always screws), it will often split along the fasteners when under stress from various factors/forces.

    And I'll second the recommendation of the Time Life _The Classic Boat_ book - a fantastic resource for information on wood, traditional rigging and hardware, building techniques, etc.


    http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Boat-T.../dp/0809421445
    http://cgi.ebay.com/THE-CLASSIC-BOAT...QQcmdZViewItem
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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Quote Originally Posted by neilm View Post
    OK now I'm confused. I thought the purpose of vertical grain for planking was to minimize movement which cuts down on splitting and checking? If you countersink your screws properly and use care driving them shouldn't that negate that risk?

    Quartersawn is 60-90 deg, and rift sawn is 30-60 deg from what I've read. That truckload of wood looks more like quartersawn to me.




    Unfortunately, wood terminology often depends on who is selling it. Let's call all qsawn and riftsawn Vertical Grain lumber to make things simpler. Quartersawn is quite specific and means the log was ripped into quarters, each quarter dogged on edge and all the milling done 90 degrees to the growth rings. Anything less than 90 degrees but not flat or plain sawn is called riftsawn or slashsawn.



    If the fastener penetrates more than one growth ring of a softwood plank being fastened to a frame, it is much less likely to split under stress than a fastener that penetrates dead parallel to one growth ring. This is especially important where the planks meet the stem. Softwoods all have much softer, lighter and weaker earlywood than latewood, and that difference in strength becomes a natural shear point. Here you can see that difference clearly in the significant size difference of the cells. Smaller=stronger.

    Here you can also see the light-colored rays running perpendicular to the growth rings. Wood is also prone to split along its rays for the same reasons, and as fasteners penetrate riftsawn wood at an angle to both growth rings and rays, in many species it also holds fasteners better than flatsawn wood, too.

    Riftsawn wood does move seasonally slightly more than qsawn wood, but that's much less important than a plank splitting at the hood end. All this doesn't mean you can't use qsawn planks, but they require a perfect match between pilot drill, screw, and operator and the end result isn't quite as strong.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 03-02-2008 at 10:19 AM.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Quote Originally Posted by mhtimber View Post
    ... type of mill did you use?
    I'm a practicing forest biologist, manage a couple tracts of mixed-age fir-cedar-hemlock forest, and mill for my own use as well as to trade work with loggers and other tradesmen. I grew up on carriage and later dimension mills, but now run the largest Lucas swing blade. It can mill a 8 1/2" X 17" X 26' beam.


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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    "I have no dillusions of getting rich from any of this, just following a passion without betting the farm."

    Like that, aint we all.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Bob, excellent quick tutorial.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Bob, Thanks for the clarification. This is good info because I have been trying hard to mill only vertical grain lumber on my bandsaw and avoiding rift sawn. I even did correction cuts to get back to vertical grain. Now I know this is a waste of effort. I do think V.G. comes in real handy for furniture. You can dry it quickly indoors and it's stable. My house in the Winter is very dry and I've struggled with home-made lumber. My solution was to go V.G. See photos below.

    I appreciate your mentoring and patience.





    Neil

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    I'm confused too. Specifically about softwood planking stock. I recall reading in Gardner and other books that softwood planking stock (the white cedars and white pine specifically) should be flatsawn. So what's the deal?

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianY View Post
    I'm confused too. Specifically about softwood planking stock. I recall reading in Gardner and other books that softwood planking stock (the white cedars and white pine specifically) should be flatsawn.
    Look harder at Gardner's cross section drawings showing planking end grain in all three of his books and you'll see riftsawn stock used almost exclusively. He didn't draw in the wood grain in those drawings without a purpose.

    But the Northern White Cedar Gardner often recommended is too small a tree to produce vertical grain stock, so where mentioned is usually stated or assumed to be flatsawn.

    While he mentioned ultra-wide pine garboards being traditional in dories, he is also clear that either more strakes or even plywood garboards are a better choice because wide stock is usually flatsawn, and flatsawn garboards of a single board 12 inches wide or wider will eventually split from seasonal movement. I recommend even when using vertical grain stock that narrow boards edgejoined with flipped ring cups are a better practice than using one or two wide boards. Laid-up narrow boards are less likely to split, and with flipped cups also less likely to warp.

    Look at Thorne's post on his old rowing dory and you'll see a couple hundred hours of otherwise excellent work spoiled by one mistake in stock selection and construction practice:

    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 02-26-2008 at 02:47 PM.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Hi Bob,
    I'm a "New Guy" too , so whats edge joined with flipped ring cups ???
    Not totally new to woodworking/Boatbuilding but never heard of the above .
    Cheers,
    Dave

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Boatbuilding isn't like many other woodworking trades. You don't have to get too far offshore for lives to be in the balance. For your construction to be both light and safe, you have to understand what makes wood strong and how it behaves in an assembly.



    Grain runout is probably the most important. The board on the right is around 10% weaker than its mate on the left. Such stock must be either corrected like I'm about to do on the saw or accounted for in scantling size. There are references that show how to measure and compute grain runout problems.



    How wood moves as it gains or loses moisture, how much it moves, and how you account for it in building often determines how long your assembly lasts. Wood aren't all equal in stability, and you also need references here.



    Where you need a wide, straight expanse of wood like in a centerboard case, building with multiple instead of single boards, and "flipping the cups" or alternating boards so adjacent end grain ring cups alternate in direction, cancel out the natural cupping and warp normal seasonal movement and the side remains flat. Ring cup direction is harder to see in vertical grain wood, but the practice remains the same. Joining two or more boards at their edges to make a wider panel is called "edgejointing" or "laying up", and both the glue and alternating grain make a much stronger assembly than if from a single wide board.

    Bruce Hoadley's Understanding Wood and the USN Bureau of Ships' Wood, a Manual for Use in Shipbuilding are two important references, along with a basic USDA Wood Encyclopedia. Forum member and publisher DN Goodchild reprints the Navy book.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 02-29-2008 at 02:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Hi Bob,
    Thanks for the explanation , now that I see what you meant by "flipped cup rings" I do realize that I knew that.
    Terminology , aint it grand !
    Cheers,
    Dave

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Bob or other dory guys...so instead of finding the wide garboard, we can glue it up by edge-glueing or would you not edge glue for a wide plank just something like a centerboard case, centerboard, rudder, etc.

    How about a dory bottom? If plywood was not wanted, what about edge glueing three wide pine planks to get the dory bottom? Would this last?

    Cheers,
    Clint
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    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton B Chase View Post
    Bob or other dory guys...so instead of finding the wide garboard, we can glue it up by edge-glueing or would you not edge glue for a wide plank just something like a centerboard case, centerboard, rudder, etc.

    How about a dory bottom? If plywood was not wanted, what about edge glueing three wide pine planks to get the dory bottom? Would this last?
    I'd much prefer to lay up wide planks like garboards from two or three boards instead of using one wide board. The glue joint combined with alternating grain make the garboard stronger and less likely to split. The only reason it isn't a traditional practice is that reliable, waterproof marine glues only date to WWII. You'll need to do the layups before any dogleg scarfing, to prevent the grain runout that alone can cause splitting.

    However bottoms I would continue to build traditionally with cleats, fasteners and caulked seams. There single planks with cotton gaskets offer much more resilience to cope with uneven wetting and drying, and the use of less-than-perfect wood. If the dory is sufficiently large, I'd also prefer a 5-board bottom to a 3-board bottom. The narrower the boards the less opportunity for problems.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 03-01-2008 at 07:50 AM.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    OK, Bob, tx. So the Q is now how to keep the boat reasonably tight in between rows/sails. I work with kids very afraid of water coming in the boat and I take them out on the water for their first time ever...how could we keep the boat stored between trips to the water such that she stays tight?

    Cheers,
    Clint
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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    I'll be interested in Bob's reply also.

    In my limited experience, traditionally-built/fastened/sealed boats "make water" (boat-speak for 'leak') when launched after being stored dry and trailered to the water. If that is unacceptable for the kids, the alternatives may include those that are not good for the longevity of the boat.

    The only process I've found to reduce the leaking at launch is to presoak the boat -- I will start Wed night for a Sat am launch. I'll soak the outside with a hose, and put a small amount inside the boat. My old white pine over oak Banks dory took a week of presoaking to reach acceptable levels at historical events -- when you are rowing folks around who are wearing full plate armor, they tend to get nervous about leaks.

    Here's my old Aeolus skiff (mahogany ply) being nearly swamped at Southern Ren Faire several decades ago...


    You can also wrap a plastic tarp or canvas around the hull to keep the moisture in. None of that is good for potential rot issues but sure helps tighten seams caulked with cotton. Softer woods seem to take up more quickly than hardwoods like oak.

    Trailering a long distance in dry air can 'unsoak' a boat quickly -- don't ask me how I know this... (grin) Only solution would be to tarp her in plastic or canvas for the trip but she won't look or sound pretty on that trailer.
    Last edited by Thorne; 03-01-2008 at 10:00 AM.
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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton B Chase View Post
    OK, Bob, tx. So the Q is now how to keep the boat reasonably tight in between rows/sails. I work with kids very afraid of water coming in the boat and I take them out on the water for their first time ever...how could we keep the boat stored between trips to the water such that she stays tight?
    I share your concern about weeping planks frightening kids and spoiling the experience. But new carvel bottoms shouldn't leak. It's the old ones with compression set that weep as they take up. Build to minimize compression set, and the boat can survive decades without any weeping.

    1) Forget pine for the bottom. Use a light cedar that is more stable. Western Red or Atlantic White. Add DF runners and stringers if needed to protect from wear.

    2) A flat dory bottom has no significant bends or twists to add fastener stress. This is an application for pure qsawn boards to take advantage of their stability.

    3) By all means clamp your bottom together while fastening, but don't overcaulk. Even the most stable species will expand in the water. Cotton driven in harder than it needs to be only speeds up the compression set that damages plank edges and causes eventual leaks. Small boat caulking can often be applied with a wheel alone, and definitely isn't the place to make your big mallet ring.

    4) Your new boat's either gonna be a trailer boat....or it's not. To avoid compression set, avoid leaving a new trailer boat in the water for more than a few days. And if you can't avoid it, double plank it with felt or canvas between the layers. Double planking dories and flat-bottomed skiffs isn't a lot of additional work, doesn't have to be any heavier and is your best insurance for a boat that remains leak free practically forever without a lot of fuss over compression set.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 03-01-2008 at 12:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    double plank it with felt or canvas between the layers.
    Not to detract from the quarter sawn thread, but since most of the disscussion is upon grain orientation and the natural shrinking and swelling of solid wood for trailer boats. I have recently been researching the various double planked methods, more particularly double diagonal. But with a twist of using plywood for planking rather then solid wood, and eliminating the constantly swelling and shrinking issues associated with solid wood trailer boats.

    Ruel Parker seems to disscuss this method in his sharpie book, from what I have read of online book reviews.this might be a method that needs further exploration by the back yard builder to avoid the issues above.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Double planking is of course well known in yacht building. The British used double diagonal a lot on their lifeboats. Check Ashcroft system.

    The Asa Thomson skiff is a cross planked skiff that is double planked. Mystic Seaport Museum 76.148

    Batten seam is another traditional way of getting there. Used on the best of the all wood Peterboro canoes, whaleboats, runabouts etc. It was used on other trailer boats before plywood. Think of it as double planked except one layer is really narrow...

    As John used to say, we are doing different things with our boats now than was done traditionally, and the available materials are different.

    Dories are a case in point. A bottom that is extremely difficult to repair and a garboard that is conducive to splitting. Based on availability of wide boards and wood that could be wasted. Boats that were pretty much wet all the time.
    Ben Fuller
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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Copy that on using QSawn cedar for the bottom and doing a light caulk job on the outside of the planks after the planks are nailed together.

    Some F/U Q's

    1) Do you want to clamp the bottom boards together hard before fastening the cleats and cauking? I plan to use a synthetic caulk...polysulfide the best or polyurethane?

    2) Double planking: wouldn't this put the centerboard box over a plank joint in one of the layers (inside layer I imagine)? Is this a prob?

    3) Is there a wood harder than cedar and as stable...this will be a beach boat for use so I am concerned about abuse to the soft cedar bottom.

    4) What is compression set? It is caused by leaving the boat in the water too long?

    Thanks for the help.

    Cheers,
    CLint
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Compression set: you got some planks next to each other. They get wet. They expand. And they expand beyond the wood's elasticity. So when they shrink there is a gap where there was not one before. It is the reason, for example, that wide planks get splits in them: plank expands, its edges are fixed so that the wood compresses. Wood gets crushed a little, and when the wood gets dry you get a crack. Reason that panel doors have the panels loose in the cross pieces. Its the reason that the Harrier had the wide cherry seats only fastened in one place. ( Cherry really moves around.)

    The Piscataqua River Wherry used a hard wood second bottom over cedar or pine bottom, I don't remember. MSM 73.236. That would be a good model to check for double bottom for a dory hull.

    For the trunk, nothing says that you have to be symmetrical or have everything the same width; and indeed you might want to fasten the bedlogs into the first layer, then come over with the second which could be put on in a way that you can get it off after abuse. It would be pretty easy to cut around the trunk. Or get the coverage by useing a wider board and a narrower one in the sandwich.

    For a no caulk bottom you wedged real tight, you then crushed some wood on swelling and had gaps when you dried out. But as long as you do not get paint in the seams or put anything in them they would come right back.
    If you are using caulking the tradtional bevel gives you some place to fill; you need to do this even with modern caulk. Just make sure that you do not use structural caulk e.g. 5200 as its impossible to remove.

    I also can't remember what was used in between the layers on the Asa Thompson or Piscataqua wherry. Something like roofing tar?
    Last edited by Ben Fuller; 03-01-2008 at 04:38 PM. Reason: clarity
    Ben Fuller
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    "Bound fast is boatless man."

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton B Chase View Post
    Do you want to clamp the bottom boards together hard before fastening the cleats and cauking? I plan to use a synthetic caulk...polysulfide the best or polyurethane?
    I'd only add to Mr Fuller's comments that you clamp dory bottom planks together before fastening to insure the board edges remain tight during the process and the fasteners don't move the boards around when driving them.

    All the seam compound does is fill the seam atop your red-lead-soaked cotton to level with the plank surface for painting, paint integrity being more important than the filler. Almost any nonadhesive compound will work. That leaves out polyurethanes. I've even used cheap acrylic household caulk and had it last many years.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Some places we have been known to use window putty..... With that nice caulking bevel you make, only the bit where the planks contact each other compress against each other when they swell. The rest of the plank pushes against that nice resilient cotton. Sometime the putty gets pushed out a little messing up a fancy paint job.

    But since you will have runners or a double bottom you won't see this.
    Ben Fuller
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    "Bound fast is boatless man."

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Looking into lumber now. For the bottom I will use pure quartersawn boards as Bob recommends. For fastening and bottom durability on the trailer and beaches I am considering Khaya. For sides, No W. Cedar. My Q is, what moisture content am I looking for and is it a good idea to let the boards rest in the same environment they will live for awhile to equilibrate to ambient moisture conditions (i.e., in the driveway on a trailer). Or should they sit in my shop, which is pretty dry (should I humidify it or not heat it as much...it is radiant floor heat). TX.
    Clinton B. Chase
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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    List of shrinkage rates from one of Bob's post in "tight seam" discussion

    Northern White Cedar Radial 2.2 Tangential 4.9 (R+T)/2 3.5
    Honduras Mahogany 3.0 4.1 3.5
    Khaya 2.5 4.5 3.5
    Redwood, 2d Growth 2.2 4.9 3.5
    Western Red Cedar 2.4 5.0 3.7
    Eastern Red Cedar 3.1 4.7 3.9
    Atlantic White Cedar 2.9 5.4 4.1
    Eastern. White Pine 2.1 6.1 4.1

    And....

    I just looked at Bob's list of shrinkage rates and W. Pine is only 2.1 (radial so for Qsawn wood which I'd use), a lower number than even cedar...so that # suggests that WP would be a quite stable dory bottom esp. for a trailered dory. It is also the only wood Gardner seems to recommend. This would be cheaper and lighter weight than a khaya bottom I propose in my post on the Culler Dory.

    TX.

    Clint
    Last edited by Clinton B Chase; 03-05-2008 at 05:05 PM. Reason: to add list
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    I don't recommend Eastern White Pine because in this era of cheap transportation and large regional lumber wholesalers, in most areas of the country if you don't buy it from the fella who harvested the tree, what you are buying is not likely to be EWP.

    Even in Maine, check and double check before buying. Those 35"-diameter, clear Western White Pine logs I sell that don't go to Japan get milled for the East Coast premium trim and furniture market. Lovely stock, but like all the other species in the White Pine Marketing Group except EWP, it will rot while you watch.

    Moreover, the wood from Eastern White and Western White Pine cannot be differentiated from each other with a hand lens or even a microscope. Chromatograph tests are required in a laboratory. Don't let a salesman with a hand lens and a chart BS you.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 03-05-2008 at 06:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    TX Bob. So I am looking into lumber and haven't had to think terribly hard about moisture content in my ply-epoxy boatbuilding. For bottom planking in the dory and side planks, what moisture content do I want before starting the construction? My notion is that if it is very dry 6-8% and I lay the boards up tight, then they will stay tight with slight swelling when in the water for a day long row. I am considering EWP or even Khaya for bottom planks; definitely No. W. Cedar for side planks.

    I am learning a ton, thank you guys. Now I have to make a program for kids centered around building this beautiful thing!

    Cheers
    Clint
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton B Chase View Post
    My notion is that if it is very dry 6-8% and I lay the boards up tight, then they will stay tight with slight swelling when in the water for a day long row.
    Equilibrium with the air and slightly wetter is where your planks will stabilize at on the boat, and that's the MC you should build at. 6% planks will swell too much, crushing edges and even breaking frames in larger boats. I'm guessing, but EMC for a light cedar in Maine is probably around 9-10% at the end of the summer and 14-16% at the end of winter. So with a stable wood, if your stock is 12% you'll be fine.

    This means you want to buy airdried wood, which will already be at equilibrium. If you buy kiln-dried wood at 8%, you should leave it stacked and stickered outdoors for several months first.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Bob, Why is wood wetter in winter...here in the NE part of US we can have some very dry/low humidity so wouldn't the wood get drier too? Is it worth doing an experiment and seeing what the seasonal variation is here where I live?

    Cheers,
    Clint
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton B Chase View Post
    Bob, Why is wood wetter in winter...here in the NE part of US we can have some very dry/low humidity so wouldn't the wood get drier too? Is it worth doing an experiment and seeing what the seasonal variation is here where I live?
    On the northern West Coast the moisture cycle is high in winter and low in summer. On the northern East Coast it's the reverse. But cold and overcast also play a big part, and WBM's wood technologist based at U. Maine says NE boats hauled for the winter don't dry out much at all.

    If I were building in the NE, I'd take moisture readings on existing boat planking at various times of the year to establish a local baseline so I could determine how dry or wet my planking stock should be.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    I'm going to find a meter and take some readings on our Alpha-Beach. dories at Compass Project, they have been under cover outside all winter and are cedar for the top few strakes...can these meters read right through paint? How do you know if the reading is accurate?

    TX,

    Clint
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Clint yes I think they can , we have a Mini ligno at work and it reads thru , or gives readings that I assume are pretty close.

    I "tested" this by sticking older / scrap thru paint / stain etc , then cut the same piece and stuck the fresh cut wood , same readings or very close. It only reads up to 20 percent MC if it's over that , it reads 20 , or as high as the read out goes in other words.

    So I think you'll get some good readings , unless of course the MC is higher than the meter you round up goes to.


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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton B Chase View Post
    ...can these meters read right through paint? How do you know if the reading is accurate?
    Paul's little Lignomat pinless cabinetmaker model is a decent choice for your purpose. It takes and average of the MC's through a certain depth...perhaps an inch. What it won't do is measure any moisture differential between the center of outside of a board, but that's only important when you are seasoning stock to change its MC. Boards wetter in the center than the outside like to banana peel on you when you rip them to width. It's other shortcoming is you need an upper range of 30% or higher when working with dense, airdried framing stock like oak.

    You know it ain't working if it gives a ridiculous reading. For any outdoor wood in your climate, below 10% is unlikely, below 8% is impossible, and above 20% is also unlikely for softwood planking. My guess is 12-16% will be the range you'll find in planking.

    I think its important because compressions set can be prevented by insuring your planking stock is only a couple points of MC below what the hull will experience in service. Drier isn't better.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    That model has pins , they are small , but it's not pinless. They do make a pinless model , I don't think they are a accurate at least thats what I've read about them.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Girouard View Post
    That model has pins , they are small , but it's not pinless. They do make a pinless model , I don't think they are a accurate at least thats what I've read about them.
    They are only accurate to the depth they penetrate, and they take an average just like a pinless meter. They won't measure moisture differential should additional stock seasoning be required.

    The pinless would be better for Clint's purpose if the pins are shorties that won't reach to the center of the plank. If you use one of these and need longer uninsulated pins, I probably have some for you if they mount in a collet.

    Don't approach this with a faint heart. Most of this gear is made for cabinetmakers monitoring kilned hardwoods. Kilned woods are remarkably uniform throughout their depth and length in MC. Aiirdried wood has broader swings and requires more readings to take an average. Airdried wood that's been in a boat for several years in and out of the water for months at a time with have even wilder swings in MC, requiring more readings. It's not uncommon to find wet spots in a plank or keel several points wetter than the rest of the board.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 03-16-2008 at 08:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Insulated and noninsulated electrode pins. Insulated pins take a spot reading at their tips, noninsulated pins take an average along their length. For accurate readings, the tips of the pins should reach the center of the board. In thick or hard stock that requires a slide hammer electrode.


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    Default Re: Quartersawn lumber used in boat building

    Quote Originally Posted by ahp View Post
    Regarding White Oak, from what I have heard, if you steam bend White Oak it should green, not seasoned. So, if a client wants to bend WO ribs, the stock should be cut from green lumber. I welcome any comments.
    I will second that! I tried very hard to use dry white oak when making the frames for my dinghy. I ended up soaking them in a PVC tube filled with water for 2 weeks. That helped reduce the steaming time to about 10 minutes for a 1/2" x 1/2" frame. Without being wet it would have had to be in there for hours. You'll save a lot of time if it's green.

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