Oak planking from recovered strip flooring

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by david m chinn, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. david m chinn
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: Seattle

    david m chinn New Member

    A while back, when we remodeled our house, we took up the oak flooring. 1/4" x 2" by eight or ten feet.

    I'm wondering if it could be re used to strip plank a boat? Most books use cedar, which is a great deal lighter, but it seems that oak should be strong enough, especially after fiber glassing.

    The oak has two nail holes arranged perpindicular to the grain, about every 6 inches.

    any thoughts?

    thanks in advance
    david m. chinn
  2. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    messabout Senior Member

    Depends on what kind of boat you contemplate. The oak strips are going to be a lot heavier than cedar, white pine or spruce. If the flooring is red in color...as in red oak, I would not use it for a boat. White oak would be more to my liking. If the flooring had any kind of finishing cover such as varnish or even wax then you would have to remove all traces of the covering or else the resin and glass might not bond well to the wood.
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    Red oak has a bad reputation, that's undeserved among modern designers. It does rot quickly and swells like no one's business, but it also is a stiff and strong wood that has a long tradition in boat building, in certain structural elements, such as deadwood assemblies and appendages. If not employed properly, you'll have issues, but embalmed in goo and possibly a fabric sheathing, you'll be fine.

    Red oak as a replacement for a cedar strips is very possible though, re-calculating the scantlings would be necessary on small craft, as red oak is twice the weight of the other typical species choices. This means you'll need thinner strips, which could be another issue on really small craft, like kayaks and canoes.

    Which design are you considering using this planking on?
  4. david m chinn
    Joined: Sep 2017
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    Location: Seattle

    david m chinn New Member

    thanks to all for the helpful advice...

    was thinking of doing maybe a wherry? there are a few designs out there... also, there was a book a while ago, 'rip strip and row' which gave plans for a canoe; though i think i would prefer to row, rather than paddle.

    it seems that planking with the varnish all on the outside would make it easy to sand it down; (though i hate to sand).

    In fact, i'm trying to figure out how serious i am about this project; success will be determined by how much time i can allocate to it; I've got a spot of time now, but in a few weeks? who knows? In fact, I've always wanted to build a boat, I'm revisiting the idea because i was cleaning the basement, and the flooring just sort of 're appeared'.

    The alternative is to send it all to a landfill or maybe burning it. It just seems like it should be re used for something.

    thanks again
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I can save you the bother of packing it up and dragging it to the landfill. Mail it to me . . .

    Strip planking is very user friendly, but also quite a tedious process. There are several faster build methods available. Save your lumber for a project. You can never have enough scraps lying around, trust me.
  6. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    Does 1/4" flooring have a tongue and groove? Two nails every 6" sounds like a lot, were they hidden or visible? Is the bottom side flat or does it have lands and reliefs like this

    Oak is stiff, to bend it much it would have to be steamed. I've never had much success steam bending kiln dried oak, also I'm not sure how steam bending it would work with one side finished and waxed etc.

    If you used it and had to remove the finish, it would be easiest to saw the face off with a tablesaw. If you hate sanding, sanding waxed floor finish will make you gnash your teeth and rend your clothing in despair.

  7. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: finland

    kerosene Senior Member

    For smaller boat - like a wherry - wood cost is not huge. The effort of buildibg is (my opinion anyway) so big that using anything but ideal material makes little sense.

    My choice will likely be Vendia marine planks. Might not be sensible on the stateside but seems like a great product at feasible price.

    Products - VENDIA WOODS http://www.vendia.fi/products

    (Yes i am touting countrymen's horn but have no other affiliation)
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