Cypress as a deck wood

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Ray Cover, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. Ray Cover
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    Ray Cover Junior Member

    I have read In one of the Culler books or maybe it was Burke's book on Culler's designs that at one time cypress was commonly used on boat hulls. The only negative comment made was this it tended to take on a lot of water making the hull heavier over time.

    Has anyone got any experience with cypress as a decking or topside wood? If so I would like to know how it worked out.

    Compared to teak or mahogany it is very affordable, it is also very rot resistant and from what I have read fairly easy to work with.

    Ray
     
  2. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    Here is some good info on Cypress. http://www.connectedlines.com/wood/wood22.htm Can you get it in 2 x 4s and 2 x 6s and what does it cost. Thanks, Stan Coat it with epoxy and water cannot penetrate. It is about the same weight as Douglas Fir. I say go for it and I want to buy some TOO.
     
  3. Ray Cover
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    Ray Cover Junior Member

    The prices I have found online put teak at about $30 a board foot, Mahogany around $15 a board foot and cypress at about $4 a board foot. My best friend is a shop teacher and anytime I need a specialty wood he is usually able to find me a supplier in St Louis that either has it or can order it for me.

    They are making all kinds of products from it now. Everything from flooring to house siding to finished lumber. Since you are in TN you should be able to find a supplier fairly easy since most of it I have found online is cumming up from the southern coastal states.

    Here is a list of suppliers I found in and around your state
    http://www.google.com/search?q=Cypress+Lumber+in+TN&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:eek:fficial&client=firefox-a

    Ray
     
  4. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    Ray, thank you very much for the links. I'll be making some phone calls on Monday.
    Stan
     
  5. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    We built a 26ft cold molded sailboat out of cypress in 1980, we built the hull in our spare time while we were working on a big composite raceboat in the Tampa/St Pete area. We bought 1 x 6 fence material and resawed it and built the hull double diagonal with epoxy and glass sheathed,the boat has held up well over the years and the last i heard of it it was a featured boat in a recent issue of Small Craft Advisor magazine just a couple of months ago, there were a lot of photos and it still looks great. I liked the wood to work with and the only thing i didnt like was when made into 6" x 3/16" veneers it tended to split along the grain, not an issue with cold molding and may not happen when thicker. We bright finished the entire inside of the hull and i loved the color.
    Steve.
     
  6. Ray Cover
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    Ray Cover Junior Member

    Thanks for that input Steve.

    That is the kind of info I am looking for. Sure the cypress may not be as hard a teak but I beleive it is harder than cedar that is used a lot in hulls. I am actually thinking of using is for combings, seat, decking, rubrails, ect. so I am looking at using 3/4 and 4/4 stock. Hopefully the splitting wouldn't be an issue.

    Ray
     
  7. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There are a lot of woods that fall under the name cypress. The Cupressaceae family is fairly miss labeled. Under this general category you'll find; Sequoia, Thuja, Taxodium, Chamaecyparis, Calocedrus, Cryptomeria, Cunninghamia, and the mentioned Cupressus.

    Bald cypress and pond cypress will be the most common for you, in your area Ray. They have good rot resistance, though are considerably softer then teak, making it fairly easy to dent or damage as a decking. Cypress is also prone to checking and splitting which also aren't especially good for decks. This said, I've seen it used as planking and as decking, but only in substantial thicknesses, likely to help prevent these issues and offer some "wear room" with heavy use. It's generally used on work boats as a poor man's teak, though pitch pine (Pinus rigida) is denser, wears better and is slightly more rot resistant and I've seen this used more as decking then cypress.
     
  8. Ray Cover
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    Ray Cover Junior Member

    Thanks Par for the info

    That seems to be a problem with a lot of woods now days. I could go to the Hardwoods store, not the big box hardware places but an actual wood workers supply and order pitch pine and who knows what I would actually get.

    I would be as likely to get yellow pine or white pine and to be honest I am not familiar enough with pitch pine myself to be able to tell it apart from other pines. I can differentiate between what is sold here as white pine and yellow pine by the grain and weight but that is about as far as my species expertise goes. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the lumber retailers are the same way.

    Ray
     
  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Pitch pine will weigh much like the long and short leaf yellow pine (low 40's per cubic foot), but will have noticeable odor and visible resin. If you feel the surface, it'll be notably tacky when fairly fresh. Kiln dried will have a raspy feel to it as the resin has crystallized on the surface. Most specialty lumber stores will be honest about what they can get. This is what they do and take pride in. Yep, you'll pay a premium price, but then again you could do as I do and find a local mill and see what they have or can get. This will be rough cut and you'll get a much better price, though you'll have to dress the stock yourself.
     
  10. Ray Cover
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    Ray Cover Junior Member

    Dressing stock myself is no problem I have a planer and a jointer. I will have to see if pitch pine grows in this area. There were a bunch of pine groves planted here during Roosevelt's public works programs but as far as I know they were all white and yellow pine.

    Ray
     
  11. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    I worked on the rebuild of an old wooden former NYC steam tugboat for the south street seaport museum in 05/06 and vertical grain douglas fir was used for the laid deck, gorgeous stuff and im sure, not cheap but a lot less than teak.
    Steve.
     
  12. Oceannavagator
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    Oceannavagator Junior Member

    My experience with cypress goes back 4 decades when I built a 16 foot cross plank skiff of it. I put the boat in the water from the back of my truck by myself in the spring, by the fall it needed to come out and be repainted and it took four guys to drag it up on the beach and turn it over. I sometimes wondered if I could soak up the water in the bay with it and just pick up the oysters by hand. I do like the wood though; it is tough and stringy when wet, It works easily and looks amazing when finished bright and it is more durable than white cedar.:D
     
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  13. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Ive seen several beautiful yachts with Eastern White pine decks.
     

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