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Polly

Flipping Larch!

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Ok, call me fussy, but I want larch in Brilliant because her original construction was larch on oak. The popularity of larch cladding on all those Grand Designs means that lots of fast-grown timber is coming in from Siberia, but this isn't suitable for boats on account of the frequency of knots, which could pop and sink your boat - not a problem for the average Grand Design.

I bought some from Maldon, feeling hopeful. "You just got yourself a very expensive bonfire," quipped Doug merrily. Fortunately the yard accepted a return.

i interrogated the skipper of a lovely wooden Cornish ferry, that led me to a sawmill near Falmouth, the transport didn't sound like it was going to be a budget option.

Doug suggested a wood yard in Oulton, no they didn't have enough but usually bought in from a couple of sawmills 'in the West Country'. One of these turned out to have a plant in Atherstone, Warwickshire, which is in range for us to go over and inspect. 

A call with them established that they had proper boat larch, slow grown 'Waney Edged' ...a prize for Timbo if he knows what that is!?

Doug has approved the photos, taken the .... out of me for mentioning 1/4 sawn, 'You've been reading that book again,' and so, hopefully and after one false start and lots of searching, Brilliant may get the wood she deserves.

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Ah, you too eh?!

Shipshape had some beautiful larch which we, and others, have worked our way through only to discover they ain't getting any more till the spring.... 

I am told Snetterton have good stock of both local and Syberian but he can be a bit hard to contact. 

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What I seem to have missed somewhere is to how grow wood slowly? Now call me lacking in understanding, but surely wood grows according to the weather - warmer wetter weather I would guess makes trees grow more quickly whilst a colder, shorter growing season, will slow growth?

I was always led to understand that the colder climes grew larch with closer ring spacing thereby giving greater strength?

Wherry masts used to be grown in Costessey Park outside Norwich and they had someone whose job it was to cut off the branches as they grew so as to reduce the number of knots - I guess thats a bit intensive for forest management these days but logic would suggest a faster growing tree would grow more branches and thereby produce more knots?

I clearly need to increase my knowledge.....!!

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Those nice people at Martham Boats have the knack of being able to locate good boat building timbers, always worth asking.

Larch (coffin wood) has long been considered to be a good wood both for coffins and boats that remain wet. 

As regards to Marshman's comments, my understanding too. Whoop whoop whoop, we agree!!! 

Russian Red spruce was always prized for its longevity in freshwater. 

Oregon pine is another well respected wood but it needs to be carefully selected for boat building use. 

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We were in Atherstone today, and the larch looks good, thank goodness! Sykes is a massive operation, family owned, 150 years old business. The place is impeccable, with every type of wood you can think of all beautifully stored. 

We wanted a lot of wood, and they were clearly able to provide in the amounts needed for a big project, so far so good.

Still puzzled as to the derivation of 'Waney edge' as an expression......

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The waney edge is the edge that was outside of the log, sometimes with the bark still on it, the name derives from the wane on the edge- this is a gradual decrease (as in the wane of the moon (the moon waxes and wanes)).

thus it is a board cut with at least one edge decreasing in width along the length - technically as it has been processed less, it should be cheaper than fully machined timber.

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Wood does grow according to the weather, however, tree growth is also dependent upon the position of a tree in a stand and the location in the canopy as well as the geographic location of the species. Trees, as opposed to shrubs and other plants, have two growth periods and directions. Early growth is upward. Late growth is outward. Modern, there's that ugly word many consider to mean an improvement but usually slipshod and greedy, methods of cultivation are designed to get the maximum amount of timber from a parcel of land as opposed to the best quality of timber.

If you want some 'spruce spruce' then you need to locate timber grown in Norway or Canada. Spruce grown in its natural climate range is slower growing and is structurally stable the cells being denser. It's also not planted so close together (the closer the trees the more knots in it...Milton's Law) allowing more light to reach it. It's also coppiced removing larger branches before they can grow into the heartwood.

If you have timber with a waney edge to it...then I can tell you that the chaps at martham cut this off, a good four inches into the plank, and dispose of it. Only heartwood is of any use for boat building or construction. Here's where the good quality timber is taken from a log.
Stave.jpg
 

Here in this cross-section, you can see how knots are avoided in good quality timber by taking the heartwood.
wood-photo-log-cross-section-to-use.jpg

In industry, the remaining wood is pulped for paper, chipboard etc.
Yeah, I know Doug, I've been reading books again...but you can blame that Wildfuzz bloke for getting me into woodworking clubs!

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I was told that when new hardwood trees are planted they usually have a softwood sapling put in beside them. This encourages the hardwood tree to grow faster as it competes for the light above. After a while the softwood trees are felled and enter the wood chain leaving the hardwood trees to finish growing. It is because of this practice that we are now getting 'softer' hardwoods. The chap who told me all this had the contract to fell and log the softwoods. I was sounding him out for some oak whilst putting a clutch in his truck!!

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I wondered if we were into moon derived language, thanks Peter.

We knew of course that Doug would be trimming the stock, and the sap wood looks to be about 2 cm each edge.

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I know a person who runs a sawmill near Edinburgh who may be able to help, he can arrange transport.

If you are interested message me and I'll sort his number out.

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It's me again getting technical. Technically the controlling factor in tree growth is water availability not temperature per se. In hot climes if no water da tree no growin....

 

In cooler places da tree growed at max for temp if lot water ...lol

 

Dats why dem treenometers for temps is BS ooops. They made big assumption lots of da water..... and we all know that's standard every year isnt it....Oh dear facts getting in the way again.... never mind ...lol  

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Well I am a happy bunny because Brilliant will be getting rid of the rest of the cheap and nasty wood she was 'lumbered' with some long years ago and which we had been slowly purging. Doug is doing her rib surgery right now so hopefully she will be in great shape come spring.

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On ‎08‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 13:16, Timbo said:

Yeah, I know Doug, I've been reading books again...but you can blame that Wildfuzz bloke for getting me into woodworking clubs!

What did I do.     lol

 

Very comprehensive explanation though.........

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58 minutes ago, JanetAnne said:

I thought the double entendre was more his instrument :default_coat:

Eww I say, rather!

3 hours ago, ranworthbreeze said:

Hi Stuart it could get worse! Timbo could take up trying to play the double bass.:default_cool:

Regards

Alan

I used to have an acoustic fretless bass guitar...traded it in for a five-string banjo! Ah yes, I can't wait for summer, sitting in Clive's Boatyard, banjo on my knee...greeting all the holidaymakers...yew not frm rewnd 'ere are you? Going out on the river? Aring ding ding ding ding ding ding!

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1 minute ago, Timbo said:

Eww I say, rather!

I used to have an acoustic fretless bass guitar...traded it in for a five-string banjo! Ah yes, I can't wait for summer, sitting in Clive's Boatyard, banjo on my knee...greeting all the holidaymakers...yew not frm rewnd 'ere are you? Going out on the river? Aring ding ding ding ding ding ding!

Sounds more like a scene from Deliverance than Norfolk. 

I note you say sitting in the boatyard rather than the boat? Do we need an optimism injection? :default_biggrin:

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