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Spruce, Pine, Fir

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by slk, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. slk

    slk Curious about Wooden Canoes

    It was recommended to me to just go to a big box store to find a stick of lumber suitable for my inside gunwales. So I called several of them first to narrow my search and they all had the same line. "We get what ever they send us and we never really know if it is spruce, pine, or fir" I went and looked and in an 18' piece I did see what appeared to be spruce to me. It was much lighter in color almost whitish, with very small pin knots in places, and the edges on a few were clear. I would think Sitka spruce would be the best but it is not obtainable here in MN that I can find. Is this type of construction spruce acceptable for canoe building? Any other ideas are greatly welcome. Like I had said in a previous post I used Cyprus when I lived in Florida and it worked great. None of it here though...........
  2. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Yes, that piece likely would be fine. It is hard to tell what a piece is when looking at SPF, but in my experience, if the grain is wide, it's usually pine, and not what you want. And if the piece is very light weight, I'd suspect it might be balsam fir, again not desirable.
    So your looking for tight straight grain, small knots, medium weight and sections that you can cut out as blanks for the gunwales.
    I favor the Menard's for this stuff, or maybe a real lumberyard. I stopped going to HD as they never had what I wanted and rarely had any decent wood. I don't know what Lowe's carries, as they are new to this part of town.

    BTW, there used to be a guy down in Lakeville? that imported boat woods, plywoods and Sitka, not sure if he's still doing that or not.
  3. Just1moredave

    Just1moredave Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Maybe Douglas Fir would work? It's heavier but stronger. It's also recognizable, and sometimes you can find it in big box stores.

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