Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 35 of 41

Thread: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    21,327

    Default Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Hi All -

    I am replacing some planks below the waterline on a sailboat built in Seattle in 1941.

    The planking on her (I'm 99% sure) is Alaskan Yellow Cedar. I'm finding the price on AYC to be prohibitive (at least for decent quality). Somewhere around 3x the cost. I guess especially 'cause I need (finished size) 1 1/2 by 10 & by 11 to match what's there.

    I can get a much better price for Port Orford Cedar.

    From what I've been able to learn (being an east coast boy & not all that familiar with western woods), POC is pretty close to AYC.

    Does anyone have comments/suggestions as to the suitability of POC? Another suggestion as to type of wood?

    Thanks,

    Garret

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    Posts
    1,028

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    For boatbuilding purposes, its been my understanding that they are basically the same tree. PO is a little stiffer and lighter, as well as lighter yellow color.

    Both trees are actually cypress.

    PO cedar is getting pretty rare.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Seabeck, WA
    Posts
    9,754

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post

    .... POC is pretty close to AYC.
    Yes. No problems substituting. The biggest difference is that POC smells so much better when working it. As they move seasonally about the same, just try to match the existing grain.

    Doug Fir isn't as close but could also be used in a pinch. It moves a bit more, is a harder wood, and in matching grain would be tougher on the adjacent cedar planks. VG DF would be a good choice to match flatsawn cedar however, and is more easily obtained.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    42,405

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    I don't have a lot of experience with either. I looked them up, and they seem comparable in all regards. The only things I'd mention from my (limited) personal experience are that the AYC takes a finish beautifully, and half a notch better the the POC. Also, some of the POC I've seen has been squirrellier: twisted, cupped, bowed, etc. All the AYC I've seen has been quite straight. The difference may well have been happenstance - based on how the various batches were sawed, dried, stored, etc. I'd say it's certainly worth a try, but you might quiz your supplier about squirrelly POC, and make it clear that you need quality stuff for your task. If you're buying it sight unseen, I might even ask them to warrant the quality by agreeing to cover shipping on any returns necessary.

    G'luck
    Last edited by David G; 02-06-2009 at 11:19 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    huntington,vt
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    I would agree with most of what is said here. My experience has been that AYC is alot harder and a fair bit stiffer. The quality of the material available would push my choice. The PO I have generaly seen for sale on this coast is very rapid growth with a lot of sapwood. AYC is pricey but good PO is usualy pretty stiff too. If you are getting that much better of a price I would take a close look at the material....where are you sourcing by the way?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    2,050

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    As an aside ... if by chance you end up with some primo VG sticks, some guitar builders use both those species. Give you an idea of value for the right stuff:

    http://www.lmii.com/carttwo/thirdpro...t+Orford+Cedar

    http://www.lmii.com/carttwo/thirdpro...n+Yellow+Cedar

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Shoreline, Washington
    Posts
    2,247

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by rob View Post
    I would agree with most of what is said here. My experience has been that AYC is alot harder and a fair bit stiffer. The quality of the material available would push my choice. The PO I have generaly seen for sale on this coast is very rapid growth with a lot of sapwood. AYC is pricey but good PO is usualy pretty stiff too. If you are getting that much better of a price I would take a close look at the material....where are you sourcing by the way?
    Ditto . . .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    21,327

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by rob View Post
    I would agree with most of what is said here. My experience has been that AYC is alot harder and a fair bit stiffer. The quality of the material available would push my choice. The PO I have generaly seen for sale on this coast is very rapid growth with a lot of sapwood. AYC is pricey but good PO is usualy pretty stiff too. If you are getting that much better of a price I would take a close look at the material....where are you sourcing by the way?
    Hi -

    Wow - this forum is great! Thanks all for the replies.

    I may have some new prices coming my way - so I'll see. I have gotten quotes so far from Bear Creek in WA & Easy Creek in OR. Keith from Easy Creek has the way better POC prices & seems far more helpful/friendly/like-I'd-like-him.

    I would prefer to keep the boat as close as possible to original, but I'm looking @ about 800 bd. ft of lumber - so $10/ft vs. 5 (round #'s) is a substantial amount of cash!

    BTW Rob - Rob who? & where in Huntington? I live in Buel's Gore.... Used to live in Hanksville (but had to move south 'cause of the winters ;-).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    21,327

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    I don't have a lot of experience with either. I looked them up, and they seem comparable in all regards. The only things I'd mention from my (limited) personal experience are that the AYC takes a finish beautifully, and half a notch better the the POC. Also, some of the POC I've seen has been squirrellier: twisted, cupped, bowed, etc. All the AYC I've seen has been quite straight. The difference may well have been happenstance - based on how the various batches were sawed, dried, stored, etc. I'd say it's certainly worth a try, but you might quiz your supplier about squirrelly POC, and make it clear that you need quality stuff for your task. If you're buying it sight unseen, I might even ask them to warrant the quality by agreeing to cover shipping on any returns necessary.

    G'luck
    Thanks - there's no doubt that quality plays a huge role & the supplier I'm most likely to go with (see above post) seems to be a pretty straight shooter.

    Having worked in a sawmill, I certainly understand how many factors can affect the quality of the wood.

    I like the word "squirrellier" Good description! I guess then my (full of nests) firewood pile would be "chipmunkier"... Sorry - 'twas there....;-)

    Garret

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    21,327

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Smalser View Post
    Doug Fir isn't as close but could also be used in a pinch. It moves a bit more, is a harder wood, and in matching grain would be tougher on the adjacent cedar planks. VG DF would be a good choice to match flatsawn cedar however, and is more easily obtained.
    Hi Bob -

    I also need to replace the outside 6" of a timber (approx 12x8x10' AYC) & am being offered DF for that. My concern is that the DF won't move like the AYC & therefore gluing & bolting the DF to AYC might cause some issues.

    Thoughts on that?

    Thanks -

    Garret

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    2,050

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Interesting chart linked on the right side of this page:
    http://www.cdlumber.com/species/portorford.html

    I've purchased POC decking from C&D a few times and they've been good to work with.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    huntington,vt
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Hi Garret,
    Rob Thompson. We have only been in Huntington for 5-6 years, before that up north in Belvidere, before that out westin CA
    Kieth is a good guy to do buisness with, he knows his product and should be able to send you what you want...if you are specific in asking for it. I would ask for a ring count on the PO as well as moisture on both....material that thick will take a spell to acclimize. Also, specifying sap free can be a bit trickier with PO as it takes a bit more care to spot it than with the AYC, he might groan a bit about that!But he has done plenty of work with boatbuilders before.
    Mating moisture is going to be the most important thing next to species and cut when trying to glue onto an existing timber, knowing your timbers moisture will also help choose an adhesive.
    I would tend to vote against the DF. It's good strong stuff, and reasonabley rot resistant. But in our warm fresh water and sometimes hot humid summers it isn't in the same leage in terms of the durability of the cedars....If everything else is in cedar I would stick to it if possible. But well below water line good DF wouldn't be a bad choice.
    What's the boat?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Seabeck, WA
    Posts
    9,754

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post

    I also need to replace the outside 6" of a timber (approx 12x8x10' AYC) & am being offered DF for that. My concern is that the DF won't move like the AYC & therefore gluing & bolting the DF to AYC might cause some issues.


    Garret
    JP's vendor has a cute color chart here, comparing strength and hardness, although they cherry picked the factors that make POC look exceptional. The other strength factors are similar to the other heavy cedar, Alaska Yellow, and both are closer to Doug Fir than they are to the light cedars like Western Red.

    http://www.cdlumber.com/downloads/species/POCcharts.pdf

    But in planking wood, matching stability is the single most important factor. So from USDA data I prepared this chart some time ago of relative seasonal stability of the woods commonly used for planking:

    Order of Stability in Wood Species

    Percent Shrinkage Green to Oven Dry as an Indicator of Relative Stability


    Radial, Tangential, (R+T)/2

    Northern White Cedar 2.2, 4.9, 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
    Teak 2.5, 5.8, 4.15
    Incense Cedar 3.3, 5.2, 4.25
    Alaska Yellow Cedar 2.8, 6.0, 4.4
    Purpleheart 3.2, 6.1, 4.65
    South American Cedar 4.0, 6.0, 5.0
    Iroko 4.0, 6.0, 5.0
    Sassafras 4.0, 6.2, 5.1
    Okoume 4.1, 6.1, 5.1
    Spanish Cedar 4.2, 6.3, 5.25
    Black Cherry 3.7, 7.1, 5.4
    Black Spruce 4.1, 6.8, 5.45
    Tamarack 3.7, 7.4, 5.55
    Baldcypress 3.8, 6.2, 5.6
    Port Orford Cedar 4.6, 6.9, 5.75
    Dark Red Meranti 3.8, 7.9, 5.85
    Black Locust 4.6, 7.2, 5.9
    Sitka Spruce 4.3, 7.5, 5.9
    Sapele 4.6, 7.4, 6.0
    Douglas Fir 4.8, 7.6, 6.2
    Longleaf Pine 5.1, 7.5, 6.3
    White Ash 4.9, 7.8, 6.35
    Black Ash 5.0, 7.8, 6.4
    Yellow Poplar 4.6, 8.2, 6.4
    Rock Elm 4.8, 8.1, 6.45
    Slash Pine 5.4, 7.6, 6.5
    Apitong 4.6, 8.2, 6.5
    Light Red Meranti 4.6, 8.5, 6.55
    Black Walnut 5.5, 7.8, 6.65
    Tangile 4.3, 9.1, 6.7
    Western Larch 4.5, 9.1, 6.8
    Angelique 4.6, 8.2, 7.0
    Ipe 6.6, 8.0, 7.3
    White Oak 5.3, 9.1, 8.0
    Live Oak 6.6 9.5, 8.0,
    Greenheart 8.8, 9.6, 9.2

    The average radial and tangential shrinkage values divided by two equates to the relative stability of riftsawn stock rank ordered by species from the most to least stable seasonally.

    Even in 1941, AYC was a relatively small tree, the chances that your boat was built using flatsawn wood (6.0% shrinkage on the chart) are good. If so, using riftsawn Doug Fir rated at 6.2% would be an ideal match.

    But I agree the average DF won't quite match the average POC or AYC in rot resistance, but not by a huge degree. Although it's been a while since I've been there, I have trouble equating Vermont with warm water and hot, humid summers.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 02-11-2009 at 09:20 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    21,327

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by rob View Post
    Hi Garret,
    Rob Thompson. We have only been in Huntington for 5-6 years, before that up north in Belvidere, before that out westin CA
    Kieth is a good guy to do buisness with, he knows his product and should be able to send you what you want...if you are specific in asking for it. I would ask for a ring count on the PO as well as moisture on both....material that thick will take a spell to acclimize. Also, specifying sap free can be a bit trickier with PO as it takes a bit more care to spot it than with the AYC, he might groan a bit about that!But he has done plenty of work with boatbuilders before.
    Mating moisture is going to be the most important thing next to species and cut when trying to glue onto an existing timber, knowing your timbers moisture will also help choose an adhesive.
    I would tend to vote against the DF. It's good strong stuff, and reasonabley rot resistant. But in our warm fresh water and sometimes hot humid summers it isn't in the same leage in terms of the durability of the cedars....If everything else is in cedar I would stick to it if possible. But well below water line good DF wouldn't be a bad choice.
    What's the boat?
    Hi Rob -

    Thanks for this. The boat is actually in Maine - so I'm a ways from dealing with "warm fresh water"...

    We'll need to get together & discuss boats over a beer!

    http://www.automatesoftware.com/html/boat.html

    although she's not currently listed - as I need to get all this done first!

    Best,

    Garret

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    21,327

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Smalser View Post
    But I agree the average DF won't quite match the average POC or AYC in rot resistance, but not by a huge degree. Although it's been a while since I've been there, I have trouble equating Vermont with warm water and hot, humid summers.
    Hi Bob -

    Thanks for all this info! The chart makes me wonder how far off Eastern White Cedar would be. Lot cheaper in Maine than AYC.

    re: "warm water & hot, humid summers". If the boat were here in Vermont on Lake Champlain, summers may be short, but July & August can get hot - certainly hotter than the pacific northwest - but not nby the standards of the rest of the US! Also, the top 10' or so of the lake can get to over 80 deg. by mid-late August (but go down to 40' & it's in the upper 30's). So, once again, compared to the PNW, quite warm.

    However the boat is in Maine - so the conditions are just about equal to the PNW.

    Best,

    Garret

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    433

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Bob Smalser,
    Around here yellow cedar and port orford are sometimes interchanged in name at lumber yards.
    I think of port orford as the stuff that smells like pencil shavings. Yellow cedar has an almost overpowering sweet smell. Is this correct?
    The port orford sold around here for residential decking is very knotty, the yellow cedar is generally clear. Does that sound right or are they just putting names on wood?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    2,050

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Not Bob, and I couldn't find a cute smell chart ...

    but the POC I've worked with smells 'lemony', and the AYC sort of 'musty'. Incense cedar for pencil shavings.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Seabeck, WA
    Posts
    9,754

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Hi Bob -

    Thanks for all this info! The chart makes me wonder how far off Eastern White Cedar would be. Lot cheaper in Maine than AYC.

    Atlantic or Eastern White is quite soft and very weak compared to the heavy cedars. I wouldn't use it because of those factors. A replacement plank of it would get crushed between two planks of heavy cedar and would develop instant compression set.

    It's interesting to read vendors comparing apples to oranges. The light cedars are Atlantic White, Northern White, Incense and Western Red, all with similar light, weak properties that make them great for small boat planking but otherwise suitable for non-structural members. Second-growth Redwood also fits in here, although it's a tad heavier yet weaker in shock resistance and isn't often used in boats.

    In turn the heavy cedars are closer in properties to Doug Fir and Longleaf Pine than they are to the light cedars and can be used as structural members. Alaska Yellow, Port Orford, Baldcypress and Eastern Red. As planking stock they are more suitable along with Doug Fir and LL/Slash Pine for planking larger boats.

    And I can't describe it as well as JP, but to me Alaska Yellow has an unpleasant smell unlike the other cedars entirely. I find it a buttery, even-textured wood to work however....the others are downright stringy in comparison.

    Alaska Yellow grows on our coast too (I drive by a nice one daily and am considering planting a few hundred this spring), and a call to Larry might be in order for those who need a stack of it and are considering shipping in their own:

    McClananhan Lumber, Inc. Larry McClananhan
    P.O. Box 1483, Forks, WA 98331
    Phone: (360) 374-5887 Fax: (360) 374-5800

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    huntington,vt
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Always glad to chat boats, always glad to drink a beer.
    Why are you keeping that beauty all the way over in maine???....we always need a few more here on the Lake.
    White cedar isn't as strong as either of the others, and I really doubt you will find it in 10-11" widths...even less likely at 6/4.....the trees don't tend to be that large and they taper fast. I love the stuff but it's better suited to narrower lining off.
    Best of luck with it

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    21,327

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Smalser View Post
    Alaska Yellow grows on our coast too (I drive by a nice one daily and am considering planting a few hundred this spring), and a call to Larry might be in order for those who need a stack of it and are considering shipping in their own:

    McClananhan Lumber, Inc. Larry McClananhan
    P.O. Box 1483, Forks, WA 98331
    Phone: (360) 374-5887 Fax: (360) 374-5800
    Thanks for the info & the lead. I'll call him Monday -

    Garret

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    21,327

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by rob View Post
    Always glad to chat boats, always glad to drink a beer.
    Why are you keeping that beauty all the way over in maine???....we always need a few more here on the Lake.
    White cedar isn't as strong as either of the others, and I really doubt you will find it in 10-11" widths...even less likely at 6/4.....the trees don't tend to be that large and they taper fast. I love the stuff but it's better suited to narrower lining off.
    Best of luck with it
    Sounds good. She's in Maine 'cause 1) that's where I found her, 2) She's kinda big for the lake, 3) I love sailing in Maine (the lake's nice - but doesn't smell right ;-), 4) I have friends there, 5) sometimes it's nice to get a long ways away for a while & 6) my brother helps purty up the lake with a '47 36 ft. Casey yawl & a jointly owned 38' 60's wood powerboat (that just got relaunched this year - old Basin Harbor Club boat).

    I thought this might be the case with eastern cedar - but just had to ask, being chea... oops, I meant thrifty.

    Garret

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    28,860

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Garret I know yer new here but you just got wood advice from "The Man" Bob Smalser. Bob's just about as good an expert on such matters as Jesus, Buda, & Vishnu with Shiva in tow.

    Bob tells me what to do with wood I do it.

    And yes this forum is a great resource,, just don't go down in the bilge there be monsters down there
    This post is temporary and my disappear at the discretion of the managment

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    huntington,vt
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Hey Garret,
    Well those are all good reasons! So lets get a last name and some boat names.....I am suspecting we have met before.
    I do a lot of work with the LCMM (Lois McClure an Churchill). And was working for George Darling and Jan Rosenthall the last two years rebuilding Mashnee. I am terrible with names, but the wooden boat community is small enough here that most of us have exchanged smiles at least a few times.

    Bob Smalser:
    I have hears numerous times that AYC is a species "on the way out". That is to say climate change and associated disiese/pest stresses have been reducing standing timber and limiting new growth. What's the story on this? Or is it just bunk?

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    21,327

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by rob View Post
    Hey Garret,
    Well those are all good reasons! So lets get a last name and some boat names.....I am suspecting we have met before.
    I do a lot of work with the LCMM (Lois McClure an Churchill). And was working for George Darling and Jan Rosenthall the last two years rebuilding Mashnee. I am terrible with names, but the wooden boat community is small enough here that most of us have exchanged smiles at least a few times.
    Hi Rob -

    Last name is Mott & my brother is Lawrence. My boat is Neoga II & my brother's are Gratitude (the Casey) & Dynamite. He also has a 15' Albacore named Ellen. Re: the Lois McClure: I've known Paul Rollins since high school - used to go out with his sister back then. Nice folks (& Paul has a skill or 12...;-). I probably met/saw you while the project was underway.

    For those of you from outside Vermont, the Lois McClure is a replica of a mid-1800's Canal Schooner that was built by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum & tons of volunteers. Paul headed up the project. Neat boat: http://www.lcmm.org/our_fleet/lois_mcclure.htm

    Garret

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    21,327

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) View Post
    Garret I know yer new here but you just got wood advice from "The Man" Bob Smalser. Bob's just about as good an expert on such matters as Jesus, Buda, & Vishnu with Shiva in tow.

    Bob tells me what to do with wood I do it.

    And yes this forum is a great resource,, just don't go down in the bilge there be monsters down there
    I gathered that he has a vast store of knowledge & I'm taking the advice here to heart - which is why I asked. I'll readily admit my iggerence!

    re: bilge: Too late, I'm replacing some keel bolts, so I have to address the monsters (politely of course). The years of accumulation of junk under the water tank (centerline below the cabin sole) was quite amazing. The sides of the tank will get a grate/screening to prevent future accumulation! Old socks (and worse) wrapped around the bottom of a frame do not help it a bit.... Especially when other stuff clogs up the limber holes. She's getting repaired frames, some sisters & bigger limber holes with a chain!

    Garret

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Seabeck, WA
    Posts
    9,754

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by rob View Post
    I have hears numerous times that AYC is a species "on the way out". That is to say climate change and associated disease/pest stresses have been reducing standing timber and limiting new growth. What's the story on this? Or is it just bunk?
    It's on its way out because of no market, old-growth stands usually being replanted in more marketable and profitable Doug Fir or Western Red.

    - Even the most dire global warming predictions at UW's College of Atmospheric Sciences call for the coastal Pac NW to get colder in this century, not warmer. You have to go back to the late 1940's to find years with as much snow as I had locally in the uplands this year, and snowmelt flooding last year. And winter isn't over yet.

    - AYC isn't a large tree, it's easily outcompeted by the larger WRC that grows in the same stands in much of its range, and there never was very much AYC lumber relative to its larger cousins.

    - Pine beetles east of the Cascades being an exception, we have, and have always had periodic drought cycles that slowly kill the smaller moisture-loving trees like immature hemlock and smaller AYC that are in the process of being shaded and starved out by their larger neighbors. As the trees dies, it attracts insects and later woodpeckers and bears. Disease issues are often moisture issues that are a natural part of the forest. Hemlocks exist in abundance for 90% of them to die young and provide humus to nurture their more drought-tolerant neighbors.

    - AYC was (and is) a favorite wood of the Navy and until they went composite in the late 1950's, they reserved much of it coming from federal lands for themselves. That's why you don't see very much of it in older yachts or FV's, and the resulting mythology coming from their builders. Even today drop by Bangor or Keyport where they keep their non-magnetic torpedo and sonar test and recovery boats and you can still find wooden hulls in service....many AYC like all those thousands of WWII lifeboats, tenders and gigs.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 02-07-2009 at 12:39 PM.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    21,327

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Smalser View Post
    - AYC was (and is) a favorite wood of the Navy and until they went composite in the late 1950's, they reserved much of it coming from federal lands for themselves. That's why you don't see very much of it in older yachts or FV's, and the resulting mythology coming from their builders. Even today drop by Bangor or Keyport where they keep their non-magnetic torpedo and sonar test and recovery boats and you can still find wooden hulls in service....many AYC like all those thousands of WWII lifeboats, tenders and gigs.
    Thanks for that info Bob! My boat was built by Norm Blanchard, who had a bunch of Navy contracts at the time, so maybe that's where the wood came from - or at least shows why he might've easily found AYC.

    The main reason much wood on my boat is bad is that the former owner glassed it over below the w/l. The hull above the w/l is in excellent shape (OK - a few repairs over the years - but that's almost 70! I'm 15 years younger than that & I've got a few repairs as well ;-) & the only places where there's a problem there is because of iron fastenings. Even below the w/l & after stewing under the glass & epoxy for 12+ years, 2/3 of the wood is still in good to very good condition.

    This is one reason why I'm hoping to stick with AYC.

    Once again, my thanks for your (& everyone else's) help.

    Garret
    Last edited by Garret; 02-07-2009 at 04:39 PM. Reason: spelling

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    2,050

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Seventeen, eighteen years ago, or so, I worked on a timber frame project that used somewhere around 39,000 bf of mostly POC and a smaller amount of AYC. Two small sawmill operations, one in Oregon, the other in SW Washington, provided the timbers. (I’ve worked with one of them since then for a few small orders and I know he is still operating; not sure about the other. A big part of both of their businesses was the export market.)

    Anyway, I still have a few odd pieces of PO from that project and a couple of billets of instrument grade Alaskan that one of the sawyers gave me. I haven't worked with any AYC since that project so yesterday, curious if this well seasoned material would still smell I gave them the sniff test. The PO still has the characteristic sweet smell without even scratching the surface; you just have to get close to it. The Alaskan didn’t have much odor at all, nothing like when it was green, so I planed off some shavings. These had a hint of the old “musty” smell that I remember with just a touch of “juniper/camphor” undertones. But, when I wetted the shavings, that really brought out the odor I’d describe as something like “old damp menthol cigarette butts in dirt.” The smell gave me a chuckle as it triggered a memory: There was a younger guy working on the crew (not me) cutting the project mentioned above, and after punching a mortise in one of the AY sticks he says, “whew, man, this stuff smells like old bong water”. Not the brightest thing to say in front of your boss. (me)


    Interesting and useful info Bob (what you posted). Wouldn't it be nice to come across a Navy warehouse full of mil grade AYC.
    Last edited by J P; 02-10-2009 at 04:22 PM.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    433

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    J P
    That's interesting I would have thought from my experience that it would be the opposite .

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    2,050

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by Chan View Post
    J P
    That's interesting I would have thought from my experience that it would be the opposite .
    Smell is a subjective experience but most people seem to find PO "pleasant" smelling and AY somewhat "unpleasant". I don't mind it.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Seabeck, WA
    Posts
    9,754

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by J P View Post

    ....“old damp menthol cigarette butts in dirt.”....
    A perfect description.

    And we're getting another 10"+ of heavy, wet winter as I type. The only question remains how much longer the power lines and adjacent trees will hold it.

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    21,327

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Quote Originally Posted by J P View Post
    The smell gave me a chuckle as it triggered a memory: There was a younger guy working on the crew (not me) cutting the project mentioned above, and after punching a mortise in one of the AY sticks he says, “whew, man, this stuff smells like old bong water”. Not the brightest thing to say in front of your boss. (me)
    OK - It's been at least 5 minutes since I read the post & I'm still breaking out in chuckles. I can picture the look on his face when he said that - and yours.

    Since I work for myself, I can say that the 2 smells are (now that the connection has been indelibly made) quite similar...

    It's looking more & more like POC for me - as the prices I've gotten so far are about $2,000 less.

    Still have to make a few more calls.

    BTW - that must have been some frame to use wood that nice! Or maybe it was just plain ol' stuff in 1990...

    Thanks

  33. #33
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Ballard
    Posts
    7,535

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    My experience with AYC ... horrible allergies.

    Most woods are not a big deal for me ... but any exposure to yellow cedar sawdust makes me look like I just snorted cat hair. My sinuses run and my eyes water.

    One good thing ... AYC forced me to integrate a respirator into quite a bit more of my woodworking forays. I'm still somewhat young, and there's hope for me yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    2,050

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    G'luck with the snow Bob. Power lines can get fixed back up, not so much the trees though. Tough thing for a forester too. And good on ya planting more yellow cedars.


    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Since I work for myself, I can say that the 2 smells are (now that the connection has been indelibly made) quite similar...
    Okay, if you say so.


    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    BTW - that must have been some frame to use wood that nice! Or maybe it was just plain ol' stuff in 1990...
    It was three frames actually. I hated the idea of using POC for them and spoke up against it at the initial consultations, but there was more money than sense driving things ... and away it went. No, it wasn't "just plain ol' stuff" back then, if ever, and I've always thought of these woods as rather precious, to be used for special things that take advantage of their wonderful properties -- like boats, instruments, carvings, temples (maybe), and other special structures and such. I didn't think these buildings warranted using up so much of this resource but I take some consolation in the belief that those timbers will be well preserved and re-used in the future when the structures come to the end of their useful life. Still, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and everyone else in the shop to handle and work with so much of that stuff. That word "buttery" came up a lot ... and the comments about the smell.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    2,050

    Default Re: Alaskan Yellow Cedar vs. Port Orford

    Bob, from post #13 above:

    "As you can see, on average DF is less stable than AYC 6.2 to 5.75 or by around 7%. That's not a significant amount. As even in 1941, AYC was a relatively small tree, the chances that your boat was built using flatsawn wood (6.0% shrinkage on the chart) are good. If so, using riftsawn Doiug Fir rated at 6.2% would be an ideal match."

    Have you crossed the "5.75" figure for POC with the 4.4 that the chart shows for AYC? 6.2 and 4.4 would be 29% right?

    I was looking at values on this chart for Western Larch this morning (thanks) and noticed this.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •