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Planking/rib Material

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by slk, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. slk

    slk Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Ok guys what I have done with the last few canoes I have built is to use the northern white cedar for the ribs and western red for the planking. That way there is a nice contrast of colors. Rolin builds his entirely from northern white. Now I have always ran full length 18' clear western red for the first 4 planks on each side and then you can start using shorter pieces. Well the western red is getting hard to get in those lengths. So my question is has anyone ever used western red for the ribs? If so I have access to some logs that I can cut some 18' clear northern white from, and I could use them for my planking, and the red for the ribs. I have never made one from all northern white. Now to my second question could you stain the northern white to resemble the western red? Keeping all of this in mind I do not use canvas. I have always used clear epoxy for my outside coating. Any ideas are very welcome.
    Thanks
    Steve
     
  2. mccloud

    mccloud Wooden Canoe Maniac

    I have bent WRC for ribs. In my experience the red is stiffer and rather more difficult to bend. I broke far more WRC ribstock than white, and this was using a steel compression strap. Try it yourself and decide if it is worth the extra (in my opinion) trouble. Tom McCloud
     
  3. OP
    OP
    slk

    slk Curious about Wooden Canoes

    That is what I was wondering. The red does seam to be more brittle. I have not used shorter pieces on the very bottom. Is it ok to do so, and will you have the same strength? I have some clear 10' western red, but have never wanted to piece the bottom. I presume at some point if longer clear stuff dwindles away we will all have to. My issue is with using an epoxy clear outside coat the wood needs to not look like a patch work quilt. I have been trying to get both sides of the canoe to look the same. I build furniture and just have this mind set to make things match. I have never made these to sell. I just enjoy making them for friends that can't afford buying them.

    Steve
     
    Mark747 likes this.
  4. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    I'm able to get quartersawn clear WRC at a good lumber yard(in Denver) still. and in 8' lengths. I didn't try to get anything longer because I thought it was a waste of money and harder to run through a table saw.
    I don't think patching it is is that big of a deal. As long as you go at least 4 or 5 ribs. The chestnut that I'm working on now and even my old town didn't run full-length planks.
     
  5. samb

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    this (the blue one) is all red cedar. In the UK, I cannot get white in any length whereas red is reasonably common. I have read how good white is to bend, but never experienced it. On this boat I machined about 8 spare ribs and still have 3.
    Sam
     

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  6. OP
    OP
    slk

    slk Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Ok I have been searching all over for both red cedar and white. What have you guys been having to pay for board foot for either. I am getting a price of 10 bucks per board feet for 18' lengths and 6 bucks for 10'-12' northern white. That just seams rather high to me. As for the red cedar I can't seam to nail down a price on the longer stuff. So what is the norm for you guys?

    Steve
     
  7. mccloud

    mccloud Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Depends on where you live. If I drive to a sawmill in the Pine Barrens of NJ and buy green, not even air dried yet, white cedar rough cut boards, under $5. I like to work it that way. Red is another matter, as everything in the east has been kiln dried. I find it difficult to work, cracks easily even when tack holes are drilled. I have gone to places that provide long lengths of WRC house siding, and re-saw down the middle.
     
  8. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Steve,

    Not sure where you are here in MN, but if near the Cities,
    Youngblood is the hardwood yard on Central and
    for WRC, Scherer carries/used to carry AYE grade to 20 ft at the store just off I35 by the TCCAP.
    As WRC is all shipped in, it will all be kiln dried, not good for bending.

    For NWC, most builders I know search out small local mill operators, but it's usually in 100" lengths. The last batch I got was from a guy in/near Duluth and they sold me the best 20-25(?) boards they had, for something in the $5 each range. This a few years ago.
    I suspect the only way to get longer NWC is to find and have a tree cut special, as I believe most loggers are cutting 100" for the wafer and pulp mills.

    Getting canoe wood is and always has been a struggle.

    Dan

    BTW - when I make planking, I just go to Menards and look through the 2x stock for boards I can high grade, the longer and wider the better. The best boards will have the wane/bark on, as that means less knotts.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    slk

    slk Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I am in Elk River. Yes I have been to Youngbloods. I use to get ash from them to make toboggans. Nice people and they will let you look through the racks for what you want. I wish I could find white cedar logs, as I have a woodmizer sawmill. I cut an ash down a couple of years ago and that is what I am going to attempt to bend for my stems very soon. We will see if it is the right kind of ash. I know we have white and black ash here, and not real sure which I have, but we will see. The wood is very blond. I need to get my ducks in a row soon. Still looking for material for the inside gunwales also.

    Steve
     
  10. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    There used to be a sign on I35 going to Duluth that advertised cedar, not sure if it's still there.
    Other then that, start calling the small loggers, I believe the DNR keeps a list of loggers and mills.

    Years ago I bought 2k BF of knotty cedar from a guy near Babbit, he may still be in operation.
    They logged in the winter and cut in the summer.

    Dan
     

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