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White Fir

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  • phillip_lea@yahoo.com
    Clear straight-grained white fir is available as 16 foot 1x2s and 1x3s in our local lumberyard. Has anyone had experience, good or bad, regarding this readily
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 25, 2001
      Clear straight-grained white fir is available as 16 foot 1x2s and
      1x3s in our local lumberyard. Has anyone had experience, good or
      bad, regarding this readily available material? It is flexible but
      seems on the soft side. Too soft for gunwales, but chines and other
      small framing maybe?

      Phil Lea
      Russellville, Arkansas
    • Tom Kremer
      ... There really is a white fir, Abies concolor, which is a big native fir (up to 140 feet tall, 4 foot diameter) that grows in the mountains of the southwest
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 26, 2001
        > Subject: White Fir
        >
        > Clear straight-grained white fir is available as 16 foot 1x2s and
        > 1x3s in our local lumberyard. Has anyone had experience, good or
        > bad, regarding this readily available material? It is flexible but
        > seems on the soft side. Too soft for gunwales, but chines and other
        > small framing maybe?
        >
        > Phil Lea
        > Russellville, Arkansas

        There really is a white fir, Abies concolor, which is a big native fir
        (up to 140 feet tall, 4 foot diameter) that grows in the mountains of
        the southwest and California. I doubt that is what you are looking
        at. Clear straight white fir would be a high quality wood, not soft or
        flexible.
        Is the wood you have easily crushed and won't hold fastenings well (you
        could probably drive a 2' drywall screw halfway in and pull it out with
        a pliers?). If so I think what you have is a name made up by the guys
        in marketing. This is probably the same stuff that is usually called
        "soft pine" and could be any of half a dozen fast growing tree farm
        species none of which are noted for strength or rot resistance. By
        calling it "white fir" they can probably get an extra dime a foot for it.

        I would use it only for lower value construction.

        Tom K
      • micwal_va@hotmail.com
        I believe that his is also referred to as White Pine. It not that bad a wood to work but is very weak. It will split easily, as well as shatter across the
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 26, 2001
          I believe that his is also referred to as White Pine.

          It not that bad a wood to work but is very weak. It will split
          easily, as well as shatter across the grain. It has very poor screw
          holding ability. If you use this stuff for any thing structural be
          sure to glue it, and toenail it or screw at angles.

          It has very poor rot resistance...I know I used the stuff for a
          picnic table top that I coated in spar urethane 18 most ago...It is
          rotting as I write this. :-)

          Home Depot carries 2" bys that are fairly clear that are SYP. This
          stuff is much more durable and stronger than white pine.

          I built a $200 sailboat and consider it fairly disposable. However I
          wouldn't use white pine in it because of all the undesirable
          characteristics as a boat building wood.
        • Mark Albanese
          Here is the NW they market something called, Western White Wood. The pine is labeled as such and the fir s got that reddish hue, however slightly. This
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 26, 2001
            Here is the NW they market something called, "Western White
            Wood." The pine is labeled as such and the fir's got that
            reddish hue, however slightly.

            This mystery wood, and maybe what you're looking at, is
            often hemlock. It can appear in decent boards, though isn't
            particularly rot resistant. Its light, but maybe only
            because they dry the heck out of it in the kiln.

            The cheaper you're boat's gotta be, the better it looks.

            Mark

            phillip_lea@... wrote:
            >
            > Clear straight-grained white fir is available as 16 foot
            > 1x2s and
            > 1x3s in our local lumberyard. Has anyone had experience,
            > good or
            > bad, regarding this readily available material? It is
            > flexible but
            > seems on the soft side. Too soft for gunwales, but chines
            > and other
            > small framing maybe?
            >
            > Phil Lea
            > Russellville, Arkansas
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          • mwagner@frontiernet.net
            ... other ... Just a few words about my experience. I built a Micro in 1995 using whatever wood I could find. Cheap AC exterior ply, fir, pine and poplar for
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 1, 2001
              --- In bolger@y..., phillip_lea@y... wrote:
              > Clear straight-grained white fir is available as 16 foot 1x2s and
              > 1x3s in our local lumberyard. Has anyone had experience, good or
              > bad, regarding this readily available material? It is flexible but
              > seems on the soft side. Too soft for gunwales, but chines and
              other
              > small framing maybe?
              >
              > Phil Lea
              > Russellville, Arkansas

              Just a few words about my experience. I built a Micro in 1995 using
              whatever wood I could find. Cheap AC exterior ply, fir, pine and
              poplar for frames. In the years since, I have discovered on small spot
              of rot on the sheer near the bow, and one more on the cleat that holds
              the main hatch rail. Both were easily replaced. I think the reason was
              not so much the wood itself, but that I was less careful in saturating
              with epoxy above the waterline. Live and learn.

              Below the waterline, where I took great pains to absolutely
              encapsulate everything with lots and lots of epoxy, I have had no
              problems at all. And that's with the boat left in the water from May
              to November. It seems that when using epoxy, the wood's ability to
              hold screws long enough for the glue to set is the main thing. Once
              it's all glued up, coated with glass and epoxy, you should have no
              problems. Just keep a very sharp eye out for digs and scratches that
              penetrate the coating and allow moisture in. The slightest breach will
              allow water in, but not out and that is what leads to problems. If the
              wood stays dry it should last a while, say 50 years or so.

              Hope this helps.
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