toe rails and rub rails

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by fishweed, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. fishweed
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    fishweed Junior Member

    what wood, other than teak is good for the rub rail, and toerails of a boat?, the reason I say this is , I am having a hard time finding the sizes and lenghts I would need in teak, and is there a teak shortage?, this stuff has really gone up since I have messed with recreational boats
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Teak is highly prized for a number of reasons, so the market has to bear this burden. We have a similar problem with gasoline prices.

    Any hardwood will serve well as a rub rail. Mahogany and white oak are traditional, but I prefer live oak, because it has an interlocking grain, is stronger, doesn't check and is prettier then other oaks, including white. In your area live oak will be available.

    Avoid cypress and cedar. though they look nice, they don't tolerate much abuse and will split, check and look nasty after just a few bumps at the local docks. Good Luck . . .
     
  3. fishweed
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    fishweed Junior Member

    Before I had to repair the deck supports and replace the deck, all the rub rails and toe rails were teak,thanks for the input, when it comes to engines and mechanical, I am ok, but when it comes to wood , I do need help, thanks I am in Galveston texas, there are only a few lumber yards with teak, and it is expensive
     
  4. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    I would not use teak for a rubrail, it is too brittle. The historical choice is/was purpleheart and that is still used on many workboats. However be warned that purpleheart is tough to work, and is toxic.
     
  5. mobjack68
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    mobjack68 Junior Member

    What about mahogany?? Now before this becomes a free for all, there are some very soft species of mahogany. There are also some that are hard as a mother-in-law's heart. A lot of wood gets lumped into the mahogany family including lauan, which is not a true mahogany but looks and feels like it.
    There should be a good supply of mahog and cheaper than teak, machines well, bends and laminates well, interlocking grain, finishes well...and the color ranges from almost white (prima vera) to dark red-orange almost the color of cherry. Good luck
    mobjack68
     
  6. fishweed
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    fishweed Junior Member

    I have asked several lumber yards in houston, and none stock LIVE Oak, they stock white and red oak, but no live oak
     
  7. Fisean
    Joined: Nov 2006
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    Fisean Fishaholic

    New to the board

    This is my first post on this so far awesome board. Looks as though alot of you are from different parts of the planet!:confused: Out here in California I know I could hunt down some live oak for ya.....when are you coming this way?
    My 69 Carver hull is white oak lapstraked, and steamed bent, looks great after almost 40 yrs. Has alot of teak and Mohagany, I would look at Mohogany also for your rails in question. Looks great on mine!
     
  8. fishweed
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    fishweed Junior Member

    What about POst Oak, is it similar to live oak?
     
  9. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Ipe a SouthAmerican hardwood is available at many lumberstores. It is oily and very weather and rot resistant.
     
  10. fishweed
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    fishweed Junior Member

    Ipe???? I have never heard of it, is it a hardwood, I will call some stores here and see what they say
     
  11. Thomas Wick
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Thomas Wick Junior Member

    Rub rails

    I had CVG Douglous Fir rub rails on a sail boat I owned, wood held up great with varnish. Abrasion was no issue as the wood was protected with bronze cap...looked great..lasted long time.
     
  12. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    alan white Senior Member

    I've seen a lot of chewed up rub rails. I'm rebuilding a 15 ft keelboat and I am trying to come up with a good looking but easily replaced rail. So far, I am thinking about a painted "base" rail about an inch and a half wide and 3/4" thick, having a 3/4" dado a quarter inch deep in its center. The inner layer has no bungs, but is screwed with countersunk screws. This matl. could be oak or fir or...?--------(it's being painted same as topsides)--- the outer strip, 3/4" x say 5/8" thick, would be a harder wood like white oak, finished bright.
    I am thinking of drilling and nailing that with galvinized 4d finish nails, sinking and filling the holes with matching color. I expect replacement to be a snap---- just tear off and yank nails, a section or the whole piece. Any thoughts from anyone on this idea would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Alan
     
  13. Rusty Bucket
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    Rusty Bucket Junior Member

    I use pressure treated

    I know that this runs completely counter to conventional wisdom but I go down to Lowes and root through their inventory of 5/4 deck boards. It's not hard to find some perfectly clear select dense treated pine boards. I rip what I need out of these. Like any lumber that's to be glued I will dry it if I need to and if it's to be bent I bend it while it is still wet. When the British ruled the seas they came to Florida to harvest Yellow Pine and Live Oak for their ships.
     
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  14. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Easy enough to do, rusty. In the U.S., P.T. wood preservative has been reformulated, I think. Copper, not arsenic? Anyway, you have a point but I would say the fast growth hard pine used nowadays would be somewhat different from the older stuff. How this effects something like a rail, I don't know. How's the gluing, and hows it take varnish? Will stain be required? Do you bleach it? My experience with the new PT is that at least in building decks, the stuff is so corrosive to fasteners that a lot of builders use ceramic coated screws because the galvinized nails formerly used tended to degrade zinc.
    Not necessarily a problem if stainless or bronze is used to fasten, of course, but worth considering perhaps. Dunno.
     

  15. Rusty Bucket
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    Rusty Bucket Junior Member

    Hi Alan, In the south we farm pine trees sort of like they grow corn in the midwest, the hybrid slash pine that has been developed to grow fast is used mostly for pulp wood and is usually disregarded for boat building. The wood I like comes from the long leaf pine and at one time was the basis of the "naval stores industry". Native pine lumber, pine tar and turpinetine made the age of sail possible and led to the rapid development of the south. That pine lumber is still there but today we make construction products out of it, trusses, plywood and structural lumber ect. If you go into a big box store like Lowes or home depot and look at the larger dimensional lumber 2x8 or 2x10 or 2x12 you can find some really nice wood to work with. I'm saying not that pt would make the best toe rail material nor will it varnish up like teak or mahogony. I suppose I was trying to encourage you to look right in your own back yard before you go 17 time zones away to find some exotic wood. That pt rubrail will still be there when all the rest of the wood is long gone. Why don't you give it a try, 20$ will answer all those questions. Rusty
     
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