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Board foot calculations

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Stmcglynn, Jan 7, 2021.

  1. Stmcglynn

    Stmcglynn Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hello all,

    Could anyone share a good b/f benchmark for ordering stock for planks and ribs? I’m not sure how many board feet I should order to make enough ribs and planking for a 15’ boat. I’ll be making multiple, so an overestimate is fine - the wood will be used.

    Any advice would be appreciated. It also looks like I’ll be making a drive north from PA to gain access to good inventory. If folks have any different leads than what is in the suppliers section, I’d appreciate it!

    Happy building,
     
  2. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    From "The Wood and Canvas Canoe" for an 18.6' canoe
    About 45 BF (pg 73). 16 pc of 5" X 1" X 6' white cedar
    About 45 BF (pg 79) of either White cedar or Western Red Cedar. The width of the boards really depends on how wide you want to go. Usually 6" or 3".

    Milage may vary too on whether you are using a band saw to resaw or a table saw. The above estimate is resawn on a table saw.

    I can get 4 ribs out of a 5" X 1" X 6' on the table saw and a lunchbox planer.
    And I usually get quartersawn clear WRC 2X4s as long as I can get them 12' or 16'.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
    Stmcglynn likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    Stmcglynn

    Stmcglynn Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you for the reply, that certainly answers it! Looks like it’s time to give the book another read and see what else I may be missing.
     
  4. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I figure, between milling and trimming, and sanding, about half of this precious cedar goes to waste.
     
  5. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The lightweight canoes have 1/8 inch planking which is less than the saw kerf in many cases so more than half is lost.

    Benson
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Stmcglynn

    Stmcglynn Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I did read (and see a few reputable folks on YouTube) using the table saw, but I do have a bandsaw ready to go. It seems still that the table saw is the answer, but I’m willing to hear otherwise.
     
  7. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    The last ribs and planking I made, I just used the table saw with a thin kerf Freud Diabo blade, less than 1/8 thick.
    It leaves a good enough finish that the ribs just need a light sanding after, the planking is planed to size.

    For western red, I usually get it at Menards, and "up grade" standard construction 2x's.
    Northern white is another matter.
     
    MGC likes this.
  8. dogbrain

    dogbrain I can take this, but not much more

    I am able to get 3 planks from a 7/8" thick board and 5 planks from 1.5" thick boards. I use a band saw to resaw the boards to a little less than 1/4", then use the planer to get them down to 5/32". My planer goes down to a minimum of 1/8" and does 5/32" with no problem at all. I use a 1/2" wide - 3tpi blade for resaw with a home-made fence., just a piece of old broom handle mounted to an upright about the same height as the planking. I just eyeball the whole thing. If you set up a light behind the fence you can make sure the wood is tight against it. This is the most efficient way I can think of.

    Mark

    image_7630.jpg
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Stmcglynn

    Stmcglynn Curious about Wooden Canoes

    That looks pretty awesome Mark, well done. Seems pretty precise!
     
  10. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    fwiw--- I always had in my head that I would need 100 bd ft for one canoe and also 100 hrs of labor.
     

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