Describe your wood needs, please


Wood Girl #1186
Being in the wood industry, and spending plenty of time poking around aquainteneces properties, tresspassing, hunting, fly-fishing etc. I recently found what I think may be some terrific resources for acquiring difficult to find materials for building wood and canvas or strip canoes. I am interested in pursuing the harvesting of some trees in a few locations that look mighty fine (EXCLUDING birchbark). Tall, straight, growing too close together in densley packed woodlots often yields fairly clear straight grained wood as no light reaches the lower limbs to keep branches alive more than a year or two. Let's say some of these trees which are bound to be thinned out to make room to grow little christmas trees (!) are harvested per correct canoe building, repairing specifications. Now is the time to chime in with your wish list. If you could get your hands on WHAT specifically, you would be the happiest canoe person alive and forever in my debt. Describe that which you seek and what you want to use it for. Specie, cut (plain sawn or quarter sawn), lengths, widths, thicknesses, quantities, softwoods, hardwoods. Chime in, please. WIth the right guidance, we might be able to ask for and get some good stuff. Splinter
Well, put me down for northern white cedar, 3x6 in 12' lengths (but will take anything 8' to 16' long), northern white cedar 4/4 rift-sawn live edge, black cherry 5/4 16' long. All clear of course.

(...and then he woke up from his dream :) )
Ah Splinter,

Like Dan said,

NWC, 8-12 ft, both flat and rift sawn. (for planking(rift) and ribs(both rift and flat))

Maybe some cherry, though my preference would be to get some 18-20 ft'ers for gunwales stock in addition to shorter stock.

And maybe the toughest,
White spruce, clear and straight grain, for gunwales stock, again, in 18-20 ft lengths.

Everything in 5/4 thickness.

Don't need alot (at 1 project a year) but would sure buy some if it was available.


Oh, and if you happen to find a few mahogany trees while wondering around in northern Wis, mark them too. :)
wood needs

Gunnel/thwart/seat frame stock:
walnut or cherry, 4/4, 16+feet long, flat, rift, or QS.

for decks:
anything figured, 6/4 or more, to allow for bookmatching.

Paddle-making stock:
QS cherry, 5/4, 5+feet long, for shafts
anything figured, for blade parts

Can't do large quantities, not much storage space.

Now pinch me...
Thanks for the reminder, Dan - put me down for some of the spruce too, but give me the 16'er's that Dan doesn't want...
Count me in...

Any of the above in limited quantities...not a storage problem just a need for what project is at hand or perceived. Gunwale, seat, deck and paddle projects at present. Any tulip poplar availability?

Thanks for the opportunity,

Ric Altfather
Keep em coming.....

I hope those of you that have responded to this will continue to dream big and keep sending your wants and wishes (but keep it focused on woods here not, cars, dishwashers, french maids, heating bills paid, etc.) Encourage your friends and others that you know that are building or restoring canoes to chime in as well. I will be collating this until the middle of April. Those things that are on the list will be the things I pursue like a madman. I love the challenge!!! Furthur more, those that dream of figured woods should also know that figured solid lumber is really expensive but, for not much money, you can apply great figured wood veneer of standard 1/42" thickness to a solid wood substrate with good dimensional stability with marine glue. One directional curved pieces can be pressed with a simple vacuum bag system press (lots of small woodworking shops or boat component part manufacturers have them) or for flat pieces you can press them onto a substrate between to pieces of MDF or Particleboard core and lots of C-clamps. (Have any?!?!) With proper sealing with marine varnish this should last as long or longer than a piece of solid wood. If interested, I will make a list of the veneers I currently have. (cut off's from work, I save and bring home as opposed to going into the grinder). If not, I'm not going to bother. Let me know.

I've had great luck with veneers... or at least sanding through them. :( Guess I could figure out what all I'm doing wrong, and then try again...
OK we need to talk

Let's talk about what you're doing at canoecopia. You should be able to have success.
Put me down for long lengths of Spruce and Cherry for gunnel stock.

BTW, will be be available Green, air dried, or kiln dried?


Always wanted to try a couple Yellow Birch paddle blanks.Heard its supposed to make a nice paddle.
I would also like to make that hoistathon you all are planning.
Theres a couple dreams one wood one not
KD, Air Dried, Green....

Again "DESCRIBE" means include the details. You want it dried, not dried, etc. define your want.

Splinter has a wonderful signature:

"A perfect moment in time; the "witching hour". Neither day but, not yet night; the feel of the sunwarmed cedar on bare feet, the bamboo fly-rod in hand, the luxury of the gentle wake lapping against the canvas or... silence. An old canoe; my hammock upon the lake. And now, the hatch."

But where is this quote from? Hemmingway? Gierach? Zern? Fisher?

Anybody got a guess? I know I haven't a clue.

And here's my short wish list: air dried ash and white cedar. I use so little that I generally can get it when I need it. Small quantities. I usually buy a hundred bd ft of cedar and one or two boards of ash of the appropriate length. But wait, that's not all. I really like sitka spruce. I don't know how different stika is from the spruce that grows here but I like it for 'whales.

That's my story.
Sitka Spruce

Well, who doesn't love Sitka Spruce! Alas, it is not growing around here so I don't think I'll be pursuing that one. That goes for the Mahogany trees as well. Too bad we are past the tropics I guess.

I can hear the pages of the books and the googling from a great distance as dedicated Forumites rise to the Challenge of the mystery quote contest. I think there should be a prize for the winner. Yes! I wonder what the prize should be.
Ole Geezer - Canoe Restorer Wantabe

Am about to start my first wood canvas canoe restoration, along with some minor cosmetics on a wood frame fiberglass canoe (Merrimack Osprey). I have been a woodworker for about twenty years so all this talk of exotic figured wood has gotten my attention. Being in the south, I also consider NWC as an exotic and would be interested in some of that in any thickness suitable for resawing. Both of my boats need new outside gunwales, one (the Merrimack) needs new decks also. I have no idea what it costs to ship something long enough for gunwales, but would certainly be interested in some in either cherry, ash, or walnut. I would also be interested in a small quantity of burl walnut or tiger maple (curled maple), either as veneer or pieces big enough to fashion decks from. If you do happen to have curly maple as board stock, I would really like at least one 4X6 5 feet long for another project. I once made a fore deck for a little sail boat using bookmarked tiger maple and it was very pretty. I also have a wood question. I cleared about five acres of fairly dense forest last year due to the pine bore beetle problem we had in the south. I left the hardwoods which consist of a small number of tall straight maples, and a limited few large black cherrys. I have aquired a small sawmill and have been looking at these trees, but don't know how long I would need to let the wood dry before milling.
how many guesses do I get?

Thoreau is a good guess.

But my guess is Steve Raymond, for no other reason than he hails from Wisconsin.

And the prize? How about a parachute Adams? Tied with 6x tippet to a babmoo rod? Laying in the bottom of an EM White? Strapped down to a Cayenne? Parked in a ----
Or maybe just the fly.

You mill the wood while it's green, then dry it. So start cutting the trees down and slice them up.