Mahogany, spruce or teak

Outboard designs up to 14'

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Whistler
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Location: Norway

Mahogany, spruce or teak

Post by Whistler » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:43 am

Hi. For starters I'm Norwegian, live in the southern part of Norway and enjoys boating immensely. I own a 26' (weekend)cruiser (common and infamous US brand...nuff said) so my boating needs are catered for. However I like to use my hands and the smell of freshly cut/grinded/sanded wood. (it's not sawdust, it's finely ground money...)
So, to my case.
I just bought the patterns for a Zip. The included bill of material calls for large quantums of mahogany. The "bom" in the online catalog includes a choice between mahogany and spruce. Tropical hardwood is pretty much politically indigestive around here, hence hard to come by and carrying a pricetag close to hard drugs. (some lenghts and sizes of teak being the omission).

The spruce mentioned in the "bom", is that Sitka spruce, or will any spruce do the trick? (my local variety carries the latin name Picea Abies)
Eventually will it be feasible to substitute mahogany for teak, in case my spruce variety is totally unsuitably for the frames?
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ttownshaw
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Re: Mahogany, spruce or teak

Post by ttownshaw » Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:28 am

From the US Fed plant/tree database:

WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE :
Norway spruce wood is strong, soft, straight- and fine-grained, and
easily worked [17,87]. It is not durable in contact with soil. It is
widely used for construction, pulp, furniture, and musical instruments
[17,80]. Norway spruce is one of the most common and economically
important coniferous species in Europe and Scandinavia [46]. In Maine,
thinned material and standing dead Norway spruce produced pulp of good
strength as reported in a study of the pulp potential of seven softwoods

Picea Abies is non-durable and not resistant to pests but, like a lot of builders, sometimes this is all that is available. Sitka would be my choice but local supplies may demand a different choice. There are several mahoganies to select from like African, Honduran (Mexican) (many are not actually mahogany) . In any case, select clear uniform pieces of any lumber you choose. Non-durable species can be used but should be completely encapsulated.

If you haven't yet, you might read through the boat building lumber section on the Glen-L site for starters. You can ask for advice but most of us here will only offer suggestions as you have to make the final choice. http://www.glen-l.com/wood-plywood/bb-chap5.html

Welcome to the group and keep us posted with selections, progress, and pictures.
Bill

I told my wife we needed a three-car garage for my projects...she told me to ask her for permission next time before I buy a house.
http://www.unitybuild.net

Whistler
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Location: Norway

Re: Mahogany, spruce or teak

Post by Whistler » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:00 am

Thanks for the swift response.
I did some checking on a Norwegian "wood-database" while waiting. Test results show that P. Abies has the same or a tad better mechanical characteristics as (locally grown) Sitka. (both having poor rot resistance)
Local pine (silvestris) is now entering my competition as I found that a Norwegian company uses pine for their framework (and it's been used for centuries in traditional boatbuilding).
The downside of this beeing the fact that epoxy doesn't mate well with this wood.

Thanks for now. Vacation coming up.
btw I bought the pw building book (when I bought the plans) as I belive that I don't need to do all the mistakes on my own to learn.
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ttownshaw
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Re: Mahogany, spruce or teak

Post by ttownshaw » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:35 am

Sounds like you are making a great start Whislter.
Bill

I told my wife we needed a three-car garage for my projects...she told me to ask her for permission next time before I buy a house.
http://www.unitybuild.net

upspirate

Re: Mahogany, spruce or teak

Post by upspirate » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:51 am

Welcome,
Whistler wrote: (it's not sawdust, it's finely ground money...)

What a great signature :wink: :D line!!!

Cranky Badger
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Re: Mahogany, spruce or teak

Post by Cranky Badger » Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:46 am

Hey Whistler, just a thought...spruce (especially Sitka) is used for things like masts where it's not exposed to seawater and its light weight is an advantage. While soft, it might be an advantage for lightweight decking on your boat. Select Sitka is also used for planes for the same reason.

Norway has a very long and distinguished history of buildng boats, so there's definitely some suitable native woods. Fir is one that jumps to mind for structural framing as a hardwood substitute for structural members, and the pitchpines are ok for hull planking if you predrill your fastener holes. Any resinous wood ought to make decent hull planking, provided the resin content doesn't make the wood so brittle that it snaps when you bend it into shape.

Of course, if fir is a native wood, then the local lumeryards/mills ought to be able to supply you with fir marine ply (look for "BSS1088" plywood) that you can rip into planking. Not sure what species you've got, but aren't fir and larch the traditional boat building materials there ?

With Douglas fir, as long as it's encapsulated in epoxy or otherwise sealed, it's a great structural material. I haven't worked with other species of fir.

Finely ground money, hehe...I just inherited a tablesaw but the price is that I need to mill about a thousand board feet of cedar into 1X4...lots of finely ground money soon ! (Btw, save the sawdust from the tablesaw - it's a great additive to epoxy as make an adhesive)

Good luck on your build.
-Brian

"Do or do not. There is no try."
- Yoda

Whistler
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Location: Norway

Re: Mahogany, spruce or teak

Post by Whistler » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:31 am

A short update...
The frames will be made from Norwegian pine, and I plan to use oak for the keelson, sheer and chine.

Furthermore I've found that the quickest way to mess up a plywood sheet is to draw a perfect curve with a pencil and try to follow that with a power jigsaw...
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You'd be surprised if you added every extra cost that isn't much in the "big picture".

gfunk
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Re: Mahogany, spruce or teak

Post by gfunk » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:19 pm

I found a supplier for mahogany it is costing 18000 kr. per cubic meter or 3000 dollars ouch. I am waiting on my plans now for the zip. I live in the Oslo area. maybe we can work together a bit. I also stay in Tønsberg area a bit. 45296320 Warren Hicks.. Zip = my winter project. I have yet to find marine ply so if you have a connection for that i would be very happy. Nice to see your insight on local lumber.

Warren aka gfunk

Brian Eager
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Re: Mahogany, spruce or teak

Post by Brian Eager » Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:09 pm

Whistler wrote:
Furthermore I've found that the quickest way to mess up a plywood sheet is to draw a perfect curve with a pencil and try to follow that with a power jigsaw...
A suggestion: draw the perfect curve, use the jigsaw, but use it well outside the line. Then come back to the the line with less aggressive tools.
Noah was a first-time boatbuilder

Whistler
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Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:07 pm
Location: Norway

Re: Mahogany, spruce or teak

Post by Whistler » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:06 am

Warren.
West System sells marine grade plywood. West System sells marine grade plywood. Their pricelist...
I've used them for teak materials earlier and was very satisfied with their service.

Other than that Billingstad trelasthas a wide variety of mahogany and plywood.


Brian.
I found that using my sturdy and trusted old handsaw gives the best results when moderate curves are to be made (such as the stem). Other than that I totally agree with you.
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You'd be surprised if you added every extra cost that isn't much in the "big picture".

gfunk
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Re: Mahogany, spruce or teak

Post by gfunk » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:14 am

Thanks a ton!!

Gfunk

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BruceDow
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Re: Mahogany, spruce or teak

Post by BruceDow » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:50 am

gfunk wrote:I found a supplier for mahogany it is costing 18000 kr. per cubic meter or 3000 dollars ouch.
That is actually not a bad price, depending on the grade of mahogany and how much you need to buy.

Hopefully you do not need to buy the full cubic meter. If I did the math correctly, a Cubic Meter is more than 500 board feet.

So the price per board foot of that mahogany is about $6.00.

If you need to buy the whole cubic meter, maybe you could start a Scandinavian buying co-operative :wink:
Bruce.

~~ Do what you love, and love what you do. ~~
~~ To me - only my boat is not yet perfect. Everybody else's is to be admired for I know the path they have walked (Dave Lott, 2010) ~~
Dow's Monaco Project

Whistler
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:07 pm
Location: Norway

Re: Mahogany, spruce or teak

Post by Whistler » Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:07 am

1 cubic meter equals to 423.77 board foot.
I found a good conversion calculator online.

The only thing I need now is a conversiontable for screws carrying #0-xx instead of fractions of inches...
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You'd be surprised if you added every extra cost that isn't much in the "big picture".

RoyH
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Re: Mahogany, spruce or teak

Post by RoyH » Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:35 am

Whistler and Gfunk
I live in Sarpsborg and you can follow my (very slow) Squirt-build on this norwegian boatforum http://baatplassen.no/i/index.php?showtopic=20594
There I have listed all my contacts regarding epoxy, plywood, mahogany etc.
The thread are in norwegian, but i guess you guys don't need a translation 8)
The non-scandinavians have to treat it as a picture-book :wink:
I'm just a starteled bunny in the headlights of life..

Whistler
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:07 pm
Location: Norway

Re: Mahogany, spruce or teak

Post by Whistler » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:46 am

Hi there. I've been following your squirt build for some time now.... (same nick as here)
As per now the zip project has come to the stage where I'm desperately trying to fit the sheers. Progress is kinda slow since I'm a halftime single parent and only have time to build every other week.
I'll post some photos and start a thread on baatplassen eventually...
------------------------------------------------------------
You'd be surprised if you added every extra cost that isn't much in the "big picture".

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