longleaf southern pine

Discussion in 'Materials' started by wudenbote, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. wudenbote
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Location: Middleville Mi

    wudenbote Junior Member

    Hello everyone! This is my first posting. I am 65 years old and semi-retired. I have built one boat ( a 14 ft. johnboat) and have repaired a few old wood boats. I am not strictly a newbie but we can always learn. I am planning to build a 20 ft. Pacific powered dory. It doesn't have to last longer than I will, so I am looking to do it economically :) I would like opinions on using Southern Pine for framing instead of white oak. Any ideas would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    Southern pine I would think should make a fine boat building wood. It is very strong and has excellent fastener holding strength. I beleive it is also reasonably rot resistant, though for a boat you store out of the water this is not as big an issue.

    It is stronger in bending strength than white oak, and lighter. I do not know if it steam bends well, but you can always laminate your curved members if you need to.

    I do not have any experiance building with it since it is not available in the part of the country where I live. But I know that almost every type of clear, strait grain wood has been used in boat building. I have used what ever I can get cheap or free (salvaged lumber) for various small boat projects. This has included doug fir, western hemlock, red cedar, yellow pine, white oak, Alaskan yellow cedar, sitka spruce, mahogany and many unidentifiable pieces of I do not know what. All have worked out fine.

    Good luck and have fun with it.
     
  3. BHOFM
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    Make sure it is well dried and aged, it has a tendency to warp
    it it is not dried! Other than that, we have built many quickie
    boats with it with good results!

    It will take gentle bends with just hot water!
     
  4. wudenbote
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    wudenbote Junior Member

    Thank you both! Much appreciated.
     
  5. Jimbo1490
    Joined: Jun 2005
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    Jimbo1490 Senior Member

    Regular Southern yellow pine is not longleaf pine, rather is is 'slash pine'.There's actually very little of this wood left in the US (less than 5% of present US pine forests) since

    1) We cut it all down cause it such awesome wood, especially for boatbuilding :D

    2) We like to put out forest fires to which it is unusually resistant, making less fire-resistant but faster growing speicies become dominant and

    3) We introduced the pig, which when feral, devastate the saplings by rooting. For the first 5-7 years of its life, the long leaf pine remains a tiny tuft that looks like grass rather than growing straight up quickly as the more common pines do, making it especially vulnerable to pigs.

    It is really PHENOMENAL wood, though I'd bet most woodworkers, including boat builders, have never seen or touched any of it and don't realize how different it is from standard 'southern yellow pine'.

    First it is incredibly dense; easily as dense as oak or ash. The color of the wood is darker than any 'normal' pine, being a dark red-orange color. It is far more resinous than the more common types of pine. It is virtually saturated with pine resin, so much so that it is a bear to cut with a circular saw. It is extraordinarily difficult to drive a nail into long-leaf pine. I once owned a house that was built with the stuff (a bunch of houses in Orlando were built with it back in the '40's and 50's) and in order to successfully drive a nail into one of the studs, you used 3 nails, driving nails two and three into the first hole (after you pulled out the bent remains of nail one). I wrecked an air nailer trying to be a smart-*** and defeat this little problem once:(

    Oh, and it's completely impervious to termites. If the termites try to eat it, they will die as it is indigestible and they can't vomit. We found a whole dead colony of termites in my wall during remodeling. The previous owner had used some white pine for some modifications and the colony had eaten that up completely. Then they apparently started on the long-leaf pine and they all died.

    You can tell the trees apart by the very long needles and impressive pine cones. When I lived in South Carolina I had a couple of these in my front yard. The pines cones regularly exceeded 8" long with a couple of examples about one foot long and about 6" in diameter. The old timers used to tell me that those trees were everywhere once, but rare today, and this was back in the '80's.

    Maybe you can get some from a demolition project, but I'm afraid that be about the only source today :rolleyes:

    Jimbo
     
  6. wudenbote
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    wudenbote Junior Member

    Long leaf pine

    WOW! I now know much about long leaf pine that I never knew. I had better check with my source because they have used the terms long leaf pine and southern yellow pine individually. Assuming that what they really have, is southern yellow pine, what do you think of it as an alternative to white oak for a more economical material for framing. The boat is a 20ft Pacific Dory. Marine ply over frames. Thank you much! Knowledge is power!
     
  7. xsboats
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    Location: St. Augustine, Fl.,U.S.A.

    xsboats xsboats

    I recently used long leaf pine while working as a shipwright on the construction of the "Spirit of South Carolina",a 96ft pilot schooner.We obtained whole trees from Georgia and milled them on site. Several planks in the counter of the stern had to be steamed. This worked well, but appeared to crystalize the resin in the wood .I used offcuts for trim, replacement chinelogs on a light dory,etc.. It is a versatile wood,and should serve you well on your dory. I would pay close attention to grain orientation when using it for structural members.
     
  8. BHOFM
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    I just learned there are two in the yard across the street!




    Hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?
     

  9. xsboats
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    Location: St. Augustine, Fl.,U.S.A.

    xsboats xsboats

    Local mills will usually mill logs for 50% of the resulting lumber.I usually have better luck with those running bandsaw type rigs. Blades are cheaper, so they are less paranoid about nails or metal fencing in trees taken from urban locations.
     
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