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Boat building lumber


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  #1 Kudzu

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 04:41 PM

I have been sitting and studying the plans on Cs-20 #66 the past couple of nights. I noticed that spruce and fir were recommended for building materials. Problem is around here all we have is Southern Yellow Pine and then the generic white wood that can be any of several specie and always full of small knots.

I can probably get local cut pine at a sawmill I don't think it is going to be good boat lumber either. This is not old growth pine nor is it Loblolly pine. It's typically going to be fast rowing souther yellow pine with wide growth rings in it. To my thinking not boat building lumber. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Just wondering what everyone else is using?

  #2 Greg Luckett

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 06:19 PM

Look for locally milled Sassafras. It is a medium density wood that looks much like oak, and is really good for boat building.

We need to create a wood substitution chart....maybe there already is one somewhere?

  #3 Brad

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 07:33 PM

This link may help. http://messing-about...ber yellow pine

  #4 Kudzu

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 05:31 AM

I wish I could get a truck load of sassafras! I got my hands on one small board once, I made the supports for a swim platform on my Cris Craft. It stays wet and not a bit of rot.

I have never seen anymore. I will try lumber finder and see if there there is any being milled anywhere close.

That reminded me that there is a company that formed a couple of years ago that does timber framing. They probably know of all the sources for lumber and might be able to direct tme to someone too.

  #5 Kudzu

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 07:06 AM

Doing a little reading on southern yellow pine. Found this and thought I would post it for anyone else that is in the south and facing the choices I am.

This from a web site on the Missisquoi Bay barges
Wood Identification Results
The overwhelming majority of the wood samples taken from the Missisquoi Bay barges were southern yellow pine (52 of 57). This type of pine, which falls under the hard pine group, is divided into eleven species. Four of the eleven species make up 93% of the standing timber: loblolly (Pinus taeda), short leaf (Pinus echinata), longleaf (Pinus palustris), and slash pine (Pinus elliottii) (Hoadley 1990:148). Among the softwoods, southern yellow pine has the best combination of properties required for shipbuilding timbers. Although white oak is higher in shock resistance, holds fastenings better, has higher shear strength, resists splitting, wears less, and bends more easily, southern yellow pine is lighter in weight, lower in shrinkage and swelling, resists warping and stays in place better. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, southern yellow pine is more common and less expensive. Writing in 1880 Hall recounts the qualities of southern yellow pine:

This tree (southern yellow pine) is properly the yellow or long-leaf pine, and all from Virginia southward is of this variety…The southern pine is 60 to 80 feet in height, with a trunk from 2 to 4 feet in diameter and the grain coarse but compact and straight, and having far less sap-wood than the northern varieties…The wood is heavy, strong, and rigid, is full of turpentine, and holds iron tenaciously, being also free from the acids which destroy an iron bolt. It does not grow much more than 100 miles inland from the sea-coast, but for at least that distance it forms almost an unbroken belt of timber from the southern boundary of Virginia all the way to Texas, skipping, however, the lower part of Louisiana. (Hall 1884:246)


From the Wooden Boat Forum
http://www.woodenboa...f=1&t=010578&p=

S.Y.P.- Southern Yellow Pine - I can shed a little light onto this subject. The truth of the matter is that actually, there is no such species, but in reality southern yellow pine is a group heading that has been devised by the lumber distributors.They group together 4 species under this heading. They are short leaf pine- long leaf pine- loblolly pine - & slash pine. These 4 species are almost identical as to weight- rot resistance- strength- flexibility - grain- fastener holding ability and so forth. So when you buy southern yellow pine, it can be any one or any combination of the above,and you would have to be one primo lumber man to know the difference.

They do the same thing with other species as well, such as white pine, and white oak, they are many species that are combined to actually make up one of these groups which are sold under one heading.

Most if not all of your pressure treated lumber started life out as southern yellow pine before it was treated.

SYP is considered a slightly heavy hard wood, very strong, good flexibility and shock resistant, very high rot resistant, and excellent fastener holding ability. In weight it averages 40 lbs. a cubic foot, in comparison douglas fir and most mahoganys averages 36 lbs. a cubic foot, white oak averages 48 lbs a cubic foot.

SYP seems to be most readily available in the southern and eastern half of the U.S. At least around here almost all of your lumber yard 2by material such as 2x8 -2x10- 2x12's are syp, in other parts of the country it usually is douglas fir or hemlock.Most of it is a grade #2 which is considered construction grade.

As for pricing, At least here I can buy clear 1x6's for $1.15 a lineal foot or approx. $2.50cents a board foot. 2x10's -#2 are approx. $1. a foot. You can pick out good enough lumber though to cut frames from. Just 250 miles north of me at Lake Erie, clear -straight vertical grain yellow pine sells for $8. a board foot. Very expensive.

Buehler-This is getting right back to what Buehler is saying,you can build a perfectly good wooden boat from lumber yard lumber at reasonable prices, if you understand your species of wood, grading and grain orientation and are willing to sort through the stacks of lumber to pick out what you need.

Very few lumber yards will even carry clear straight vertical grain lumber as per say, and the price would be bad to say the least. But it is there if you look. And if you want to throw in on top of that the fact that it has to be old growth air dried, those that know will tell you, yea right we sold the last of that just before world war 11. As for ring growth, most of what I buy averages from 12 to 14 rings per inch.Ocassionally more and some times down to 10 or even 8 rings per inch, don't buy the 8 or 10 ring stuff. Yes it is plantation grown, so what.

My last boat was built from syp and my next one will be. Hopefully availability and price will not change, but since it is used in the construction business and plantation grown, I do not see any problems.It is too heavy for planking on small boats. But for the little effort it would work fine, you would just need to run the planking through a planner and plane it down to 5/8 or 9/16 for side planking. Bottom plankin 3/4.
I hope this added a little food for thought.


Guess I will do some picking and choosing and use SYP. Since I have built 3 houses with one of the local building suppliers and I know everyone there. I can go to the yard anytime and pick and choice all I want.

  #6 Greg Luckett

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 07:42 AM

Gee, now I wish I could find some of the SYP here.

Sassafras is available only from the local/small mills around this area. Most of the local lumber yards don't carry it and the one that I did find wanted over $12/bdft. I buy kiln dried 4/4 in widths from 8 to 12 inches and lengths from 10 to 12 ft for $1.50/bdft from the mills. This is the same price I pay for hard and soft Maples and the White Oaks. Walnut runs $2/bdft. I rarely buy lumber from the yards any more, the exception being Mahogany. I usually buy about $200 to $400 in lumber at a time, so not big orders.

Maybe we could figure out a way to ship some SYP up here and ship some Sassafras down to Tennessee? :)

  #7 capt jake

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 09:25 AM

I use to have a supply of SYP years ago, but now it is a bit spotty. I just found some 5/4" stair treads yesterday that are SYP. SYP is a totally different beast than White Pine. ;)

  #8 Kudzu

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 04:47 PM

Maybe we could figure out a way to ship some SYP up here and ship some Sassafras down to Tennessee? :)


Funny, I was thinking that reading your post. Then I saw your last line. :lol: :lol: If gas was not so high I would suggest we meet with a load somewhere North of the Kentucky line.

Around here SYP trees grow everywhere. Common as dirt. Most of the larger (bigger than 2x6) framing lumber is SYP.

  #9 Greg Luckett

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 05:15 PM

Charlie used SYP in Texas for the keel of the PS22 he built. I need to hunt around up here more.

Maybe we can find some trucker buddy to haul some along with his paid for load?

  #10 capt jake

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 06:25 PM

Our local Home Depot has some instock presently. 1x material and some 5/4 stari trad stock. None of the 2x size though.

  #11 Guest__*

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 06:30 PM

Lets see now. I take a load from Teen. to Gregman, pick up aload of the walnut and saasafras, return to Tenn, delivering about half of it for the other half and return home. Such an easy solution for a Knothead.

  #12 Howard

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 08:36 AM

I'm sitting here looking at a wainscote on my basement/office wall, made from yellow pine siding. The lumber yard had a small quanitity of the stuff and it had been sitting around for a while, so they gave me a good price to get rid of it. It was tongue and groove stock in a Dutch Lap pattern, but we hung it vertically and it looks good. BUT.....you had to be really, really careful when you nailed it or split on you. I think we eventually drilled pilot holes for the finish nails. Some even split after it had been up a while. My dad also tells me it's a booger to sand as it really clogs up the paper.

Aside from that, it's some good looking stuff and extremely tough.




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