What Timber?

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by Poida, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Poida
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Poida Senior Member

    My old timber boat has seen its best days and rather than keep repairing it I would like to build another.

    The problem is, the timber specified by the designer is American and almost impossible other than that very expensive to get here in West Ozz.

    The outside will be marine ply, no problem there, but what timber do you other Ozztralians build the frame work out of?

    Is treated pine OK?

    Hoping you can help.

    Poida
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Talk to the local timber merchants, they might be able to advise you. Treated pine is typically just rubbish, I have never seen a piece that wasn't full of knots. Something like Meranti might suit, not sure about availability these days. If your intended boat is a planing vessel, obviously you want something with good strength for the weight, and not too subject to rot.
     
  3. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    anything and everything has been used to build boats, even bamboo.

    most any reasonably clear, straight grained wood usually works well. rot resistance is an important feature. usually you can not make a one for one substitution unless the new material has similar or better properties. check what the locals are using.
     
  4. Poida
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    Poida Senior Member

    Hi guys thanks for your replies.
    Wooden boats around here are as common as, something that is not common.
    I have already asked my timber merchant but didn't have a clue. He did say that maybe Oragon / Orogon however its spelt.

    There are no locals that build wooden boats, I was hoping that someone from Eastern States where wooden boats are more common could tell me what thy use.

    Poida
     
  5. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Oregon (Douglas Fir) is freely available, is light, and has great strength, but in certain situations it rots. I don't know that it bends that well either. No one selling Meranti ?
     
  6. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I doubt no-one builds boats from wood in the "golden west", sure to be something happening, talk to the people at the local slip.
     
  7. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    Paulownia, grown in your country. Light, strong rot resistant. Used to make wings on the Zero aircraft, WW2
    Eucalyptus, native to OZ. Heavy, strong, rot proof. So strong that if you need 1" stock cut it to 3/4" or even 5/8"
    Look no further...........................
     
  8. Poida
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    Poida Senior Member

    I am surprised your name is Mr Efficiency if you think that standing at a boat ramp waiting for a wooden boat to be launched and, hoping that the person who is launching the boat actually built it so he would have any idea what sort of timber is in it.

    I have a wooden boat, and I have no idea what timber it is made out of.

    I would have thought it would be more efficient to seek the help of the Boat Building Forum under the heading of Wooden Boat Building and ask the guys there.

    Your correct Mr Efficiency it would be wrong to say that no-one builds boats out of timber in the Golden West, that's why I didn't say it.

    It has been suggested to me in the past that Meranti might be OK but I didn't want to go ahead with that unless I had confirmation from a reliable source.

    I will wait for any further suggestions from the forum before making a decision.

    Thanks for your input, that's 2 for Meranti.

    Poida
     
  9. DGreenwood
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    DGreenwood Senior Member

    No he's in the right place. Go over to the wooden boat forum and you'll get a thousand different opinions about obscure materials that most of them have never laid eyes on much less used.

    Oregon Pine (as you call it there and in the UK) is a great material for your use. I love the stuff. It is moderately rot resistant, fairly easy to handle and machine, and doesn't seem to fracture as easily as things like Sitka Spruce or many of the cedars. I always try to find stuff that is at least 20 rings to the inch(25mm). It is not as light as some to the previously mentioned wood but I am willing to sacrifice some weight to the reliability of the grain.
    I would think that there are some tropical woods that are much more local to you that would be a better price and have all the attributes that you seek. If you seek out a company that provides more specialty woods in your area I am sure they will have some ideas at least.
    Meranti is fine but rather expensive here.
     
  10. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    from another thread: Paulownia 17-21lbs cube, specific gravity .23-30

    Available in Australia and New Zealand since it grows there and commercially harvested.
     
  11. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    My gut feel would be a local Eucalypt, but find the right one! Something like 300+ sub species of them. Tasmanian Oak is a name for one of them, maybe Taun but I'm not familiar with it. Klinkii is an Oz pine that is supposed to be a spruce substitute. Probably a bit too light for framing. You may have an ash relative too which would be similar to Douglas Fir.

    BTW my local Doug fir is very fast grown 4-7mm per year here in the south of the UK. Local trees date from around 1945 and are now at 40m tall and growing well.....
    The only problem with the wider spacing is it can pick up a bit with hand tools. It machines fine and has excellent strength, glues fine (scarfs too). I use it for repairs, parts of new build, tough service c/boards and rudders, it has proven durable and stable. In very thin stock I have laminated extreme curvature with success.
     
  12. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Good timber is hard to get, the fact they "finger joint" and laminate building timbers today tells you that. Another option may be reclaimed, demolition timbers, at least you know it will be seasoned !
     
  13. Poida
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    Poida Senior Member

    Thanks Petros

    Never heard of it. Did a Google. Yes there are plantations in New Zealand and Victoria. I live on the other side of the country. Some growers have experimented in WA without a lot of success due to our very dry hot conditions. There would be only a small area in the South West corner where it would be able to grow.

    I will make enquiries to see if anybody imports it from Asia.

    Because of our weather conditions our timbers are hard and heavy. Jarrah the local Eucalypt has a spec. gravity of 1.1 and Karri 0.88.

    Thanks again

    Poida
     
  14. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Poida -

    http://www.paulowniatimber.com.au/

    will be able to talk about Pawlonia to you. Its an excellent wood, but for frames, it may be a bit light. Oregon has similar problems, in that it is a lightweight timber, but prone to rot in marine situations. Western Red Cedar is available from several suppliers on the east Coast, and Adelaide. get a copy of 'Australian Amateur boat builder magazine' - all the advertisers are aiming at wooden boat builders.


    The other suggestion, 'Tasmanian Oak' - or Eucalytpus - is good if you can find some light, clear examples. WA should have a few sawmillers with access to local variety's. Its heavier, but stronger, so you can use smaller sections.

    Personally, unless your wooden boat is very big - framing is probably not required if you get a good ' stitch and glue' design.

    You havent told us how big, what type etc, so suggesting alternatives is hard.
     

  15. micah719
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    micah719 Plotting Dreamer

    There's a bloke in Brissie building a Welsford Sundowner, here's his site:

    http://sundownerbuild.blogspot.com.au/

    I seem to remember he used Kwila for the keel members and compression post, and I also seem to remember it's also called Merbau. It's heavy and tough and weather resistant, and the splinters fester nicely under the skin, but not as well as Jarrah.
     
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