wood to use

J. Anderson

New Member
Im getting closer to starting my build and have been looking into the wood I want to use. I am limited on what I can get at a ggod price here. I have looked at several sites and seen Cypress. I can get air dried cypress all day. Guess what Im wanting to know is should I buy it or look for something else.
Oh and this is for a 16' strip canoe. This is the plans I bought if it helps. https://www.boatdesigns.com/16-17-Stripper-strip-planked-canoe/products/189/
Thanks for any advise
Yepp. Its what I figured. Just like the Jeep forums. 50 people will look at the post but on one to give any info. Well thanks anyways I ask elsewhere.
I was one of the 50 who looked yesterday -- but I, like probably the others who looked, don't know the answer to your question. Better to get no advice than bad advice.
Western red cedar is usually the wood of choice for a stripper, primarily because it is lightweight, attractive and readily available (usually) in clear, long lengths. That WRC is rot resistant is secondary, as a stripper is fully encapsulated in glass and resin, and water should not be reaching the inner layer of wood unless as a result of accident. Other woods, like eastern white pine, eastern white cedar and basswood have been used regularly. A quick search shows cypress to be somewhere around 30-40% more dense (thus heavier) than WRC, so you will want to account for a heavier canoe, or consider whether you can thin your strips some to remove weight.
No need to get frustrated, you'll get your answers eventually.
Cyrpress is a fantastic wood finished bright with varnish, Disappearing Propeller boats made in the 'teens are still around, and most often require re-ribbing and other parts whereas the cypress is fine. It steams and bends well, albeit with a bit more weight than WRC. I've used it and wouldnt hesitate to build a stripper out of it. Just reduce your strips to 3/16 or so.
You may need to be a bit more patient here. The Jeep forum at http://www.jeepforum.com/ currently shows "216,964 members have posted 8,644,521 times in 746,943 threads" and one at http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums/ with 107,843 members who have posted 4,174,867 times in 479,515 threads along with many other Jeep forums. This one shows 2,678 members who have posted 31,163 times in 5,538 threads so it may take substantially longer to get any question answered. I was also one of the 50 viewers like Greg who decided not to respond since I have no experience with Cypress or strip building. A quick search for Cypress in this forum shows twenty other threads where it has been mentioned previously including a long one at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?t=5054 which discusses a 23.5 foot long stripper that was built with "louisiana bald cypress" which might interest you. Good luck with your project and keep us posted with your results.

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My concern is not with the choice of cypress, though it will be heavier than red cedar, it is with the moisture content of air-dried material. I think that you would want to make sure that the moistrue content of your material is 6% - 8% if possible. If it is a bit higher, you might rip the thin strips and let them sit in your dry shop for a couple of weeks. That could possibly reduce the moisture content further.
I've had about 150 views on my Chesapeake log canoe project post and no responses. So what! I would use Cypress for my project if I could get it but is isn't readily available and cheap here in tidewater VA. The BIG log canoes here were traditionally made with Loblolly Pine and I'll probably stick with the same. Talk about heavy! I guess it's still lighter than solid resin and glass. From mid bay, PLC
I use yellow cedar (which I understand is really cypress) and like it for steam bending and traditional planking canoes. It is heavier, but stronger, so on balance not much different at the end of your build. It does shrink and move with moisture content and humidity more than some woods, when I have used it for furniture; so it may not be as good for encapsulating in epoxy.
Cypress workability

I experimented with cypress years ago and found the hardness made it very difficult to sand compared to the standard red or white cedar. It also seemed to dull saw blades rapidly, leading me to think it had some natural resin that was abrasive to cutting tools.

When I built my last stripper I had trouble finding any wood 18' long here in colorado. I found a company that built custom redwood decks that had some prime planking at that length. I ended up with enough to build 2 canoes, I'm getting ready to start the second in a month or so. It is light weight, rot resistant with good color and works and sands well. Consider this and a couple of cypress strips at the gunwale for accent. Would make a nice looking canoe.