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Thread: long leaf yellow pine VS w. oak

  1. #1

    Default long leaf yellow pine VS w. oak

    Hi,

    I was looking up long leaf yellow pine - a hardwood! Desity about equal to w. oak. So is real long leaf yellow pine tough to find, or is it abundant as back in the 60's when the Tern was designed?

    Brewer's Tern 32 calls for either wood to use as deadwood. w. oak is just down the road so it's probably what I'll use anyway.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: long leaf yellow pine VS w. oak

    Real long leaf yellow pine is really hard to find, but is supposed to be as good as white oak. In the 1980's and 1990's some folks in the northeast were salvaging it from large floor joists and beams from warehouses and resawing it into boat lumber.

    The stuff that is sold as pressure treated lumber (southern yellow pine) is not the same thing.

    Brian

  3. #3
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    Default Re: long leaf yellow pine VS w. oak

    Charleston Heart Pine has it in various flooring grades. You might find something that will work there. BTW--real "heart pine" is the heart wood of old growth long leaf pine. The biggest problem with it is its flammability due to the high resin content. But that resin is probably one of the best natural preservatives in nature, highly resistant to rot and worms.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: long leaf yellow pine VS w. oak

    white oak will probably be about a tenth the cost of real heart pine
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: long leaf yellow pine VS w. oak

    Well, all the white oak in our 77 year old boat--floors, frames, rotted away mostly due to iron sickness. 95% of the long leaf yellow pine is still there in the bilge stringers, shelf, and clamp...had to scarf in a couple repairs to the clamp and one section of bilge stringer (under the icebox in the galley) was rotted.
    "If you are going to do something, do it now. Tomorrow is too late." -Pete GossWhat we're doing now--with the boat and then with other stuff and you can Follow us on Twitter

  6. #6
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    Default Re: long leaf yellow pine VS w. oak

    Had some "heart pine" ( also known as fatwood in some places) from Old Charlston ( the city)--salvaged from Hurricane Hugo. Hard as you know what. Had to drill to get a nail in it. And heavy. Nearly got a hernia getting that beam onto the roof rack. "Stole" it from the mess of a downed old building about two blocks from a wharf. The heart pine flooring I saw in pre-Civil-War houses there had weathered many floodings and were the nicest floors I have ever seen. That old juice in there had hardened over the years and was like it was epoxy-impregnated. Would make damn nice keelwood. The person who had a stash would be one lucky boatbuilder.
    Last edited by steve sparhawk; 01-30-2009 at 02:04 AM.
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    Default Re: long leaf yellow pine VS w. oak

    I see in the December "Classic Boat" an article about Spririt of South Carolina having some planking replaced as a result of some toredo and gribble worm infestation. It looks like they overestimated their requirements and have (had) 200' of longleaf pine. It is/was at Newport Ship Yard, RI, can't find a contact in the mag - sorry.
    Larks

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: long leaf yellow pine VS w. oak

    While the southern yellow pine available today is not the same as the "heart pine" or "pitch pine" they used in the old days, it isn't bad stuff. The lousiest grades of it are the ones that get pressure treated. You can get untreated, clear, straight-grained stuff with fairly fine growth rings at pretty reasonable prices. I've found that it is strong and holds fasteners well. So far (knock on wood?) its durability has been OK, too.

    If I were going to use it as replacement for white oak I'd probably increase dimensions a little to compensate for its somewhat lower strength.

    It doesn't bend well.
    I will beg you for advice, your reply will be concise, and I will listen very nicely and then go out and do exactly what I want! (Apologies to Lerner and Lowe.)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: long leaf yellow pine VS w. oak

    I've used both and would opt for quality southern yellow pine (SYP in lumberyards) any day. Remember that white oak is not the good white oak from days of yore: it tends to be wide-grain, rock-hard, check-ridden, warp-prone, tool-resistant nasty stuff. And because there's less of it, lumberyards tend not to have stacks and stacks you can pick through. Needless to say I am not a fan.

    Whereas they DO tend to have stacks and stacks of SYP, in which sometimes you can find heavy, resinous, fine-grain beauties, if you look hard. Depends on your local availability, of course, as well as what you want to use it for.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: long leaf yellow pine VS w. oak

    Some years ago, while residing in a west suburb of Minneapolis, I found some LLSYP at a quality lumber yard (not Big Box variety) in St Paul. The fellow I was dealing with took me out to look at some Doug Fir which I later ripped up and laminated into leeboards for my Dovekie. Along the way I smelled some really aromatic pine, which he said was a new load of SYP. He said it was top-grade wood intended for scafolding, but recommended I not use it because the pitch waould not work well with epoxy adhesive.

    He did say that the best SYP is sold as "scaffold plank".

    Moby Nick

  11. #11
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    Default Re: long leaf yellow pine VS w. oak

    The SYP construction lumber in sold today is 95% Loblolly Pine and is also 90% sapwood with zero rot resistance.

    All these yellow pine species take a long, long time growing before they begin forming heartwood. No matter that it's the fabled Longleaf Pine of myth...if it takes 20+ years before any heartwood appears and if the tree is harvested at 40 years, it may smell resinous but that doesn't mean it's ideal for boats.

    If you can obtain it, old-growth Longleaf and Slash Pines (they were mixed together commercially) remain softwoods much closer in properties to Doug Fir than White Oak. Both can substitute for White Oak framing with an increase in scantlings, and both can be used for decks and other wear surfaces, but neither is as strong or as hard and neither is a good bending wood.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 01-30-2009 at 09:36 AM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: long leaf yellow pine VS w. oak

    You can still get longleaf pine from Sinkola Farms in Thomasville, Georgia which is 15 or 20 miles north of Tallahasee, FL on GA state hwy 319. They cut limited amounts of old growth, mainly lightning struck and blowdowns. I'm making a trip over there next week to pick up a few hundred square feet of longleaf flooring for my house You can get salvaged stuff, of course, from various locations, but the shipping costs from GA might be prohibitive to your location.

    I have some old longleaf decking on my boat that I got in New Orleans, salvaged from a cotton warehouse built in 1820. I planed it to 3/8" thickness and steam bent it to the curvature of my cabin top. It bent ok, although I'm not sure how a thicker plank might bend. I have some additional stock from Sinkola sitting around for more decking and a cockpit sole project if my wife will ever run out of house projects for me to do. It's really nice wood, stable and durable.

    Eric

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