Hickory vs Oak

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by Thomas Wick, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. Thomas Wick
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Southern Oregon

    Thomas Wick Junior Member

    I am planning to use Hickory vs Oak for laminated ribs on a 27' cruiser power vessel and would like to know it anyone has had any experience with this wood, how well does it glue with epoxy? I have a bunch of the stuff and would like to use it...hardest wood I have ever worked with. You actually have to protect your arms while cutting the stuff on the table saw as the splinters will cause you great discomfort. I am not worried about rot resistance, as the entire inside of boat will be covered by no less than 3 coats of epoxy. I plan to strip plank over the Hickory ribs with Western Red Cedar and of course glass the outside of the boat for abrasion resistance as well as increased torsional strength.

  2. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Topsham, Vermont

    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Us Forest Service Lab on Hickory:
    Working Properties: Hickory is considered difficult to machine and glue. It holds nails well, but it tends to split. It is susceptible to bird peck.
    Durability:Rated as slightly or nonresistant to heartwood decay.
    (Chemical) Preservation: Extremely resistant.
    Uses: Tool handles, furniture, cabinetry, ladder rungs, dowels, sportinggoods (including baseball bats, skis and archery equipment), flooring, veneer, plywood, fuelwood, charcoal.

    Us Forest Service Lab on Oak:
    Working Properties: Oak wood has good working properties. It machines and glues well and holds fasteners extremely well. It tends to split when nailed, unless predrilled. Oak finishes well, but shrinks considerably.
    Durability: The oaks are rated with respect to resistance to heartwood decay as follows (98):
    Very resistant--bur oak, chestnut oak, Gambel oak, Oregon oak, post oak and white oak
    Moderately resistant--swamp chestnut oak
    Slightly to nonresistant--black oak and red oak

    Preservation: The heartwood of the white oak group is resistant to impregnation with preservatives, whereas that of the red oak group is more easily penetrated.

    Uses Ships, railroad crossties, timber bridges, tannin dyes, fuel wood, hardwood dimensions and flooring, furniture, veneer, plywood, barrels, kegs and casks (white oak group), truck and trailer beds, mining timbers, containers, pallets, caskets, boxes, paneling.

    Hmmm. Hickory doesn't sound too good if it EVER gets exposed.. (White) Oak sounds lot better...
  3. ted655
    Joined: May 2003
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    Location: Butte La Rose, LA.

    ted655 Senior Member

    White oak the world over and for centuries. Don't fix it if it ain't broke.
  4. cburgess
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    Location: NW Florida USA

    cburgess Junior Member

    Tannins in Oak have compatibility problems with epoxy.

    In the USDA specs in regard to gluing qualities, epoxy glues are not considered, while "carpenter glues" are what those specs are referring to. SYP has the same "gluing" remarks from the USDA, yet SYP does very well with epoxy. Thus, Hickory should do well IF totally encapsulated in epoxy.

  5. nero
    Joined: Aug 2003
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    Location: Marseille, France / Illinois, US

    nero Senior Member

    Thomas Wick
    Since you live in Oregon, would you say how much WRC costs you per board foot? Douglas fir also?

    Does Black Locust grow in your area? If so it is ideal for laminated ribs.
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