Wood equal to or better than Douglas Fir?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by abosely, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    I don't know anything about California tract houses.

    Here, the framing material is hem-fir. Residential roofs are trusses, commercial are whatever the architect dreams up.

    Back in the day, doug fir was used for specific things, but it's been replaced by engineered wood, and thank god.

    I objected to what I perceived as PAR's attack on an industry he obviously knows very little about. My mistake was to take it personally, I just should have let his comments stand as they were for all to see.

    Troy, I didn't imply anything about our profession, that was PAR, and that's exactly why I objected. I phrased my objection as back handed implications, because if I stated the facts, the moderators here would throw me out. Judging by the reception, my phrasing was both too subtle to be heard and open to misinterpretation. You and I are in agreement, implying the things PAR implied, as well as the things he out and out stated, are an insult to our profession.
     
  2. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    It struck me as a thinly disguised, multi-purpose attack on everyone in sight - on Paul obviously, but also on boat builders and carpenters in general (himself excepted). There seems to be a lot of uncalled-for, unresolved hostility there...:(
     
  3. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    G'day Troy, I think he just has a chip on his shoulder, maybe not a wood chip. :p I don't know if that translates though !
     
  4. troy2000
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    I repeat: I spent a lifetime framing with Doug fir (including top-dollar custom homes), and it's still in common use. Claiming it's unsuitable for rafters is ludicrous.

    Nor are you going to enlist me on your side if you want to start a feud with Paul. To begin with, I consider him a friend. I'm also a client of his, and I've learned a lot from him about boatbuilding and design. For you to complain that someone with his knowledge of both boats and conventional construction isn't here to learn from you is more than a little presumptuous of you, IMHO. :D

    I don't want to derail the thread any more than we have already. if you'd like to continue this discussion, I suggest we do so via PM's.
     
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    This is the post I made, that Jammer seems to think has insulted him and other contractors. Well contractors aren't mentioned, though the comment about a carpenter (framing) is standard fare and nothing to be apologized for.

    As to the rest of Jammer's ranting, insulting and barb tossing, well this is his SOP. He rarely is a contributor in a thread, often his comments seem just completely out of place or unintelligible.

    I asked he point is assertions, of course not a single quote, just more unsubstantiated jabs.

    Well I'm here now, so teach me. You obviously have some sort of chip thing going on, explain or justify it. Simply put, point out where I insulted you and/or your profession, in the post you seem to think did so (attached above, because clearly looking them up is a problem for you).

    Oops, seems Troy has posted as I was typing. Lets see what he has to say about the post he (Jammer) has so much venom about.
     
  6. abosely
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    abosely Senior Member

    Mr Efficiency, most of the older structures here, (Big Island) have two problems, termites, most all the wood over here is Borate treated now, but the old stuff is pretty well eaten up. That and as we say here it was 'Island built'.

    We joke that living on Big Island (not the other Islands) is as close as you can get to living in a third world country and be in the U.S! Lol Its not a criticism, we really like it. I think it's great! :) But we just don't run to town & buy things like you can on the mainland.

    For example, there is no System Three Epoxy dealers on Big Island & only one on Ohau, but they only carry small sizes & can't ship to BI because of the hazmat issue. No biggie, I can order from System Three & they'll drop it off to a shipping forwarder for me & it'll come right to the docks in Kona.

    It's really nice, it's different tho. :)

    I really like that I can cut down the trees for free & mill my lumber for my boat.
    Plus Albizia Lebbeck is beautiful wood! It would be an exotic wood & experience on mainland. :)

    Cheers, Allen
     
  7. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Recovery of timber from old homes here is pretty well non-existent, with them just being demolished and sent to land-fill which is a shame because a lot of the timber is high quality and not obtainable these days. Various reasons for that, but re-cycling is not as fashionable as it ought to be.
     
  8. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Wow, you can ship epoxy in the 48 continuous pretty easily, but as soon as you go over water. Maybe Paul O can drop in and shed some light on this. I also thought most of the islands where all but deforested, in the early to mid 20th century. Glad to hear they weren't.
     
  9. abosely
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    abosely Senior Member

    Yea, no air shipping of hazmat stuff and it's either air or boat for here. But with shipping forwarder it's not really bad. Especially with System Three close to port in Seattle.

    There is a lot of trees on Big Island thankfully. Ironically enough, Albizia Lebbeck is considered an invasive tree and can lower vacant land value because it costs $ to have it cleared! But it's all over the place in Kona.
    It grows so fast and gets so big folks want them taken out.
    Their happy let someone take them out for free & I get free logs, well a little gas money but that's close enough for me.

    The wood is Gorgeous. If I don't have the little saw mill set up there is a guy with a good size mill a mile from me who will cut the logs into live edge planks for me cheap, then I'll finish them.

    I guess it's about halfway between the weight & strength of Loblolly Pine and Southern Yellow (long leaf) Pine but much prettier. :)

    I'm Thinking about using 3/8"x 4"-6" pieces tongue & grooved for the cabin sides & top with6oz glass bright finished. I don't think it will weigh much if any more then 3/8" Hydrotek Meranti ply with 6oz glass finished bright, but would sure look better!

    Cheers, Allen
     
  10. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    This species seems a little heavy, but the interlocking grain sounds good. My data base shows it needs to be dried slowly and carefully, or checking and internal defects will split it easily. It also appears to be not very bug resistant, but if encapsulated a moot point. I also have a note from a buddy who said it's a pain in the butt to plane smooth. Sure is pretty stuff though.

    Use 4 ounce or less if sheathing for a bright finish. 6 ounce will be visible in certain light conditions or to those with good eye sight. These light "finishing" cloths only offer abrasion resistance and there's very little difference between 2 and 4 ounce in this regard, though the lighter the cloth, the less goo you'll need. I look forward to seeing this stuff prettied up.
     
  11. abosely
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    abosely Senior Member

    Ok, 4oz it is.

    Do you think the pieces can be made a little thinner possibly to offset the weight & capitalize on the somewhat greater strength?

    Yes I heard it planes a bit fuzzy & the blades should be set a lower angle, forgot what it was tho. It was said it sands easily smooth and polishes nicely.

    There's an Albizia Chinensis over here but it's not good for building anything.

    I was planning on going thru & picking the lighter weight pieces since it can vary in density. Try to save weight!

    That is a big concern, gaining a lot of weight.

    I seen it listed as moderately durable and used for boat building. But as you say, a moot point as it will be totally encapsulated and all exterior areas covered with 4oz glass, then varnished of course.

    Cheers, Allen

    Cheers, Allen
     
  12. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    Can't be done, certainly not by me.

    Best of luck, par. We may not part friends, but we're going to part.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. abosely
    Joined: Mar 2015
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    abosely Senior Member

    PAR, one other species I thought about but thought it might not be strong enough is Monkeypod. I can get longer logs in it.

    Here are the specs:

    Average Dried Weight: 38 lbs/ft3

    Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .48, .60

    Janka Hardness: 900 lbf

    Modulus of Rupture: 9,530 lbf/in2

    Elastic Modulus: 1,149,000 lbf/in2

    Crushing Strength: 5,790 lbf/in2

    Shrinkage: Radial: 2.0%, Tangential: 3.4%, Volumetric: 6.0%, T/R Ratio: 1.7

    What are your thoughts on Monkeypod? Would it be strong enough? I can get plenty of it too. It's even prettier & easy to work with to.

    Cheers, Allen
     
  14. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    Ah, I see. Criticizing him is to admit you spent your money in the wrong place. Letting other criticize him is disloyalty.

    I understand your comments, now.
     

  15. nzboy
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    nzboy Senior Member

    The whole question of what woods to use is an interesting one .Here in NZ we have used all up all the best native wood Kauri Totara white pine .We still have plantation silver beech .Then we have just about used up our macrocarpa Lawson cypress and douglas fir .So we are now left with radiata pine (Monterey pine from California) I would have to agree douglas fir is difficult to work with, probably not suitable for stringers although useful for strip planking . A good test for timbers suitability is to take a 1 by 4 say 4 metres long sit one end on something a 1metre high .Then walk from the end on the ground .Does it resist bending right to the ground as you walk up? Does it break when you jump up and down? .Compare this to say a piece of yellow pine .PAR hit the nail on the head the biggest factor is strength and elasticity which comes with wood that is clear Which is what you need for structural members .In saying that I would use engineered wood to build if there was no sufficiently available clear wood .Trouble is engineered wood is getting full of knots too. So if you have time on your side to mill and dry wood that is local and clear its worth a shot .You need to be sure it will take and bond with epoxy and doesn't split like douglas fir would be desirable, also you really need to quarter saw it
     
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