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Species of spruce for gunwales

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by msturd, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. msturd

    msturd Michael Sturdevant

    Have located a source for clear sitka spruce, but am not sure that's the type to use for gunwales seats and thwarts for OT XX model. The build slip says spruce but no reference to type.Thanks for any info. Michael
     
  2. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Kind of Spruce

    I think you'll find a greater difference in width of growth rings than type of spruce. Anyone found otherwise?
    Tim
     
  3. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    I have an aircraft certified board of sitka, now gunwhale stock.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    msturd

    msturd Michael Sturdevant

    Thanks for the info. I'm curious, tho. How does a board become aircraft certified? Is there an aircraft certification board?
     
  5. Jan Bloom

    Jan Bloom LOVES Wooden Canoes

    There is no certification board. You as the builder of the aircraft are responsible for using appropriate wood that meets government standards. This means clear, no knots, no runout in 4/4 over 20 ft with a minimum of 6 rings per inch. So if I could get 5 rings per inch with some wavy grain over 20 ft to use as gunwale stock at a reasonable price I would buy it. My 1937 OT CS was not made with super duper spruce but it wasn't bad either.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    msturd

    msturd Michael Sturdevant

    Thank you very much. Curiosity satisfied. Think there should be a board certification board, tho. I'll check into the spruce a little further. Michael
     
  7. Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Canoe Nut

    Sitka Spruce is very different than any other kind of spruce.

    The wood grain seems to interweave with the grain next to it and makes it very strong in any direction. You will notice how threads of it come off when you saw it with the grain.

    We are always looking for good sources of wood. Right now I get it in Michigan through LL Johnson.

    Where do you live Michael?

    Thanks,

    Paul
     
  8. OP
    OP
    msturd

    msturd Michael Sturdevant

    Glad to meet you Paul. I live about halfway upstate New York, along the Vermont border. East of Saratoga Springs in the township of Cambridge. The source I mentioned can be found at www.condonlumber, or just google condon lumber/white plains,ny. I haven't really looked for anything closer as that was the first I found. They advertise the longer pieces (18 to 20') for use in boat keels, so I'm guessing it's good quality. They also have about every other wood imagineable from all over the world.
     
  9. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    Good Q on 'certified' ; the guy I bought it from was an aircraft mechanic and pilot with experience building planes. He said it was ceritfied and I did not care. It was good clear stuff so I bought what I could afford. I didn't know if certified was to impress me or had actually been through some speical inpection. He had bought the stuff to build a plane and had it in his basement. the boards, not the plane. He decided he was never going to build the plane after all so Craig's listed the wood. It has been awhile and I don't recall how much I paid, but it was costly.
     
  10. Jan Bloom

    Jan Bloom LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Dave,
    Did it cost more than you would have paid at LL Johnson's in Charlotte? They advertise an almost clear sitka for boat builders at a very reasonable price. But then I am used to buying violin and viola tops at exhorbitant prices.
     
  11. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

  12. OP
    OP
    msturd

    msturd Michael Sturdevant

    Condons seemed reasonable, too, about 8.50 a bd ft., but I'm pretty much in the dark as to what "reasonable" is. Most wood is very expensive these days, unless you can find a good sale such as: Buy one board, get two more for the price of four. That's the kind of deal I always seem to end up with. Ha
     
  13. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    It's been a while but I bought sitka from LLJohnnson too. the private owner stuff was, as I recall about half what I would've expected at Johnson's. Is the LLJohnson sitka about $7.00 bd ft? Or am I remembering wrong?
     
  14. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Kettle Moraine Hardwoods (two stores, Milwaukee, WI area) recently added white cedar to their inventory, though I don't see it on their web site yet.

    http://kmhardwoods.com/

    I assume it'll get there eventually, and then offers another resource for comparison shopping.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    msturd

    msturd Michael Sturdevant

    Thanks for the tip. I'm just beginning this journey so can use all the info I can get. Have fallen in love with this forum. It's great to have so much info and so many great people to glean from and share with. It's amazing.
     
  16. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Condon Lumber

    Condon Lumber is a decent place to deal with. I bought two lengths of Sitka Spruce from them recently for gunwale stock. They have a yard in Stormville, Dutchess County, NY and will deliver your order there and save you the trouble of driving into White Plains. I think there was a minor fee but it saved me the cost of crossing the Tappan Zee bridge so it was about a wash.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    Jim C.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    msturd

    msturd Michael Sturdevant

    Sounds good. It's about a 21/2 hour drive from here, but worth the trouble if it's good stuff. Have a good day. Michael
     
  18. DAVID EDGERLY

    DAVID EDGERLY Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    eastern white spruce

    I have been using sitka spruce for inner rails on my canoes.i have been questioning this woods durability i have read that it is not very resistant to rot.i wondered if eastern white spruce was a better choice.my problem is lumber yards mark these boards as spf don't want the pine or fir.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    msturd

    msturd Michael Sturdevant

    Thanks for the heads up. Several others have written that they think sitka spruce is ok. I have time, so I'll do some more checking. Condon lumber advertises it specifically as sitka spruce, so I don't think there is a problem with that. I really haven't heard much about eastern white, so will also research that further. Thanks again, Michael
     
  20. Jan Bloom

    Jan Bloom LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Over all the spruces do not "wear as well " as ash, cherry, walnut etc. Spruce was used because of its lightness and strength to weight. Sitka was used for the same reason as Western Red Cedar, that was the availability of long clear lengths. I just do not think you will find long clear lengths of either eastern white spruce and certainly not of red or Adirondack spruce. Any clear lengths of the later are going to grabbed by the instrument builders at prices you do not want to think about.
     

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