board stock

Discussion in 'Materials' started by ADAM87, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. ADAM87
    Joined: Oct 2011
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    ADAM87 Junior Member

    I am working on a small craft design that will be built plywood over frame construction. Specifying the plywood was fairly simple, however when considering the species of board stock to use for frames, chines, stringers, chine logs, transom, etc seems to be bit more open ended. What design criteria or methods do you use to decide on which species for each application?
  2. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Not easy to answer, many woods are suitable. Some expensive imports, some cheap and grown next door.

    If you are going to fasten with screws then you need a wood that holds fasteners well.

    If you intent to glue, you need a wood that glues well.

    Best to swing by your local lumber supplier , have a chat and see what he has.

    Avoid asking for advice at Home Depo type lumberyards....find a lumberyard who supplies building contractors

    Boat building woods should be rot resistant and strain grained.

    Douglas fir is a good all purpose wood and not so expensive. , cypres, oak and southern pine are good woods local to your area. Mahogony would be an example of a gold standard imported all purpose wood.
  3. die_dunkelheit
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    die_dunkelheit NA Student

    If you want technical data on a wide range of species refer to USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory publication "Wood Handbook, Wood as an Engineering Material". Everything from thermal conductivity to modulus of elasticity on a large number of wood species.

    It can be had free, in PDF format, HERE

    That and other useful publications can be found HERE
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  4. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    boats have been made from everything imaginable, even bamboo and reeds. Usually local supply in each area determines what is "traditional" wood for that area.

    Any reasonably clear, straight grained wood can be used, high strength and rot resistance a plus. Dough fir meets this requirement and is common. Hand select from lumber yard stock and rip it to size yourself. There are suppliers of boat building wood around, but their prices are pretty high.

    If you are building as a hobby to make very attractive wood boat masterpeice, than go with the costly "boat wood" supplier. If you are building an inexpensive practical boat for general knock around use, beach launched, etc. buy the lumber yard wood, cut the stringers and frames a bit larger than you might for high quality wood, and make the best of it.
  5. ADAM87
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    ADAM87 Junior Member

    Thanks for those links, but I already have them. I have several other publications that I have read and studied that suggest various species. Based on availability in my location and price the Douglas Fir seems to be the best economical choice. But I'm curious what factors others considered when specking out materials since the options seem to be quite extensive and the may not be limited in the ways I am.

  6. Nick.K
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    Nick.K Senior Member

    It is easier to decide on timber types that are unsuitable rather than what is most suitable.
    Possibly the best indicator of a suitable timber is local tradition. Wood boat building has a long history with strong local traditions which have surely evolved from what has been found to work best that is available locally for the local conditions.
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