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timgoz

Wood Species & Grades For Stringers & Deck Beams (& keel layup)

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Hello,

I am in the planning stage (& material aquisition) of construction for a lapstrake plywood 21 foot sailboat, (Dix's Cape Henry 21).

Where I work I can obtain grade 2 Douglas Fir at a good cost. This would be a suitable wood for the stringers & deck beams. But, with the abundance of not I would have much wastage and/or scarf joints. The plans call for "clear" Douglas Fir, which obviously is much more costly. Other siutable woods are Meranti, Mahoghany, or "simualar woods".

The boat will be epoxy coated and filletted. Any suggestions?

Thanks.

Tim G.

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Lowe's/Depot sell clear, straight grain "siding" material, most commonly tongue and groove Douglas fir. It's usually 1x6.

Most lumber yards (including above) carry clear SPF in 2x10 or 2x12 by 16'. This framing stock is usually as dense, if not slightly more so the Douglas fir and because it's cut as 2x10's or 12's in long lengths, it has to come from older trees, which are thicker and very commonly clear. Sort through a stack of 2x12"x16' pieces and you'll quickly find several that haven't a knot to be seen and are straight grained.

Of course these will be flat sawn and many will have pith and heart wood, but you can rip them down the middle and eliminate much of this as well as rip the edge for 1x2's (or bigger) that will be quarter sawn.

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We found around here (upstate NY) the cheapest, straightest grained semi-soft wood was tulip poplar.  No knots whatsoever.  A little harder to work with than pine, and we twisted the heads off our fair share of brass screws, but it seemed to work well and was available in long, clear lengths.

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This a is an old thread, but over here on Big Island HI, I can get No.1 grade Douglas Fir 4"x6"x20' for $60. Beautiful straight grain & no knots at all.

It's structural grade lumber so it's pretty nice lumber. Just needs resawn. I'm using these for my Wharram Tanenui Cat. Best price by far around here and beautiful wood.

Maybe check it out where your at.

 

Cheers, Allen  

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I am presently working on a Great Alaskan Skiff build (a Tolman spinoff designed by Brian Dixon) with a few of my own tweeks and mods.  Brians plans call for Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) to use for stringers.  The reason for this is that they can be obtained in long lengths, a variety of widths, are structurally tested and rated and usually made from D.Fir or SYP which both have pretty good strength/weight ratios and both are relatively rot resistant species as opposed to some of the other stuff that usually makes its way into the SPF category.  They will resist cupping, warping, twisting and all the other problems you might encounter using solid sawn timbers.  They are a little bit heavier because of glue content and I would recommend planing of the wax coat they usually ship with before applying epoxy and cloth.  Pricing varies by supplier but just about any contractor lumber supply house can get them in whatever length you need, sold by the linear foot.  You can rip wide ones to whatever dimensions you need if desired.  Sometimes 2x10 or 2X12 dimensional lumber will have internal stresses that when ripped into smaller peices can bow or twist.  BTW, these are also stronger than typical built up plywood stringers as all of the grain runs longitudinally along the strength access yeliding a stringer roughly 2X stronger than a plywood version of the same specie in longitudinal stiffness.  Might be worth consideration.

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