Monday, March 14, 2011

Mumble... Grumble... Grump...

Being a boatbuilder who lives where I live can be very frustrating.

Very frustrating.

Most of the lumber that I want to work with is available, but not readily. You've got to look around. I've got a few projects that I've been thinking of and they require specific types of stock. They include the following:

Atlantic White Cedar

Atlantic White Cedar

Western Red Cedar

Atlantic White Cedar, a relatively local wood, requires a drive to the lumberyards nearer to the coast than I am located. For Northern White Cedar, again, a relatively local wood, I have to head further North. Western Red Cedar, which actually grows nowhere near here, is available at almost every local lumberyard.

Go figure... The irony here is that I'm really looking for the local woods in decent quality with some, but relatively few knots. It will take me a bit of work to get as I'll have to track down a sawyer who deals in it.

Then again, there is some plywood I'm looking to find as well. It's marine plywood. Marine plywood is pretty specific stuff. It is stamped (as in the image below) BS 1088 which refers to a very specific British Standard specification. The reason for the specification is to get a product with a uniform thickness, no flaws or voids, resistance (obviously) to moisture and attack by fungus, hot, cold and uniform dimensions and plies.

BS1088 plywood is tested and certified by Lloyd's Register Group. (note the stamp below)

There are a variety of manufacturers. Just because they meet British Specification 1088 doesn't mean they have to be manufactured in Britian, Shelman S.A. which makes Shelmarine is in Greece and Joubert Group is located in France with manufacturing operations in France and Gabon.

To get this marine plywood, I'd have to drive at least two hours each way to a supplier, and get it back in one piece without losing it off the roof-rack or borrow a truck to stick it in the back. Time is money and so is gas and tolls. So, I've tried my local lumberyards. Local lumberyards don't carry the stuff and I'd have to special order it. One yard wanted more than three times the going rate for a sheet of plywood to get it here - $165/sheet for 4mm Okoume (Actual per sheet cost? $49!) Another yard couldn't even get the stuff from their suppliers. I could get it shipped by Boulter Plywood of Somerville, MA. However, shipping would be $40 for packaging and another $90 for the shipping fee via common carrier - if it is delivered to a commercial address.


This stuff can be hard to find. Still, the end results are worth the time and effort to get the stock.


Cat said...

That you can get Atlantic white cedar at all leaves me positively green with jealousy.

Nobody around here has it that I know of. Western Red is available, if you don't mind lots of large knots. And the local specialty lumberyard had 20 foot Western red cedar grade A 1 x 6 boards for about $4 a linear foot.

It's not even a full 3/4 inch thick. But they were willing to cut one to 16 feet for me, so I bought it for signature strips and such.

But ow. I think it worked out to $3.50 per plank.

Canoez said...

Shouldn't be that hard to find Atlantic White down your way. Northern White, yes, but not Atlantic.

That's not to say that wonderful, clear straight-grained, long stock is available around here for $1.40/board foot, either. You've got to hunt around a bit.