Author Topic: Spar wood  (Read 328 times)

Offline okawbow

Spar wood
« on: September 15, 2019, 03:07:25 PM »
I was at Menards a couple days ago, and asked to see the wood out back in the yard shed. I found 2 fir boards, 20’ long, 2 x 6”, that were from the outside of a large tree. They have about 20 rings per inch and are knot free, with perfectly straight grain for 14’.

Today, I sawed out 8 perfect blanks that I will let air dry a while and plane down to size for the spars.

I checked the density, and the wood averages about 34# per sq. Ft. However, fir is much more resistant to rot and deterioration than Sitka spruce, so I won’t need as much varnish on the wood. A light coat should do the trick.  They will probably lose a little weight as they dry out more. Most lumber yard wood is not completely dry. I paid $26.50 for the two boards.

I feel fortunate to find quality wood at a lumber yard for a fraction of the price I would pay elsewhere.

Offline Wayne Munich

Re: Spar wood
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2019, 06:24:58 PM »
i am going to do the same thing, using Hemlock, a little lighter than fir, but a little stronger than spruce. the weight increase will be a few ounces.

Offline okawbow

Re: Spar wood
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2019, 06:30:35 PM »
I found enough good western hemlock to do all the ribs, but couldn’t find any long enough and good enough for the spars. The fir is heavy, but really strong and perfectly straight grain. I think I can reduce the size a little and still have a strong and stiff spar.

Offline okawbow

Re: Spar wood
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2019, 06:05:40 PM »
Question for the engineer types.
Fir is 20 percent heavier and stronger than Sitka. To remove some of the weight difference from the fir, would it be stronger to cut a groove in the inside, vertical face of the spar long pieces, or remove some of the thickness? The groove would allow using the same width and thickness that the plans call for, while removing enough weight to match the spruce.

Would the groove weaken the wood too much?

Offline okawbow

Re: Spar wood
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2019, 02:55:16 PM »
Got all the spar strips sawed and finish planed to size. Started with 2 20’ 2x6’s that were heavy and hard to handle. Ended with 8 pieces, 13’ long that I can hold with one hand. Really great looking wood. Ready to glue up the spars when I get the garage cleaned out and build my work table.

Offline Flyguyeddy

Re: Spar wood
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2019, 04:40:21 PM »
I wish my menards had that kind of stuff lying about.   You are in illinois as well i see

Offline okawbow

Re: Spar wood
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2019, 05:58:43 PM »
I really had to dig deep for it. You may have to go to several different lumber yards to get lucky. I looked for boards that had tight grain that goes across the whole end of the board. That indicates an outside cut off a large tree. There is usually some bark or missing wood along the top edges of the board. The outside of a large log often doesn’t have any knots and has finer grain. The longer boards have a better chance of coming from larger logs also.
Yes, I’m in Illinois. What part are you from? Hope it’s not too near the Chicago area, LOL. Some group down here is trying to get the Southern 3/4ths of Illinois to break away from the Chicago area.

Offline Flyguyeddy

Re: Spar wood
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2019, 06:13:13 PM »
Central illinois.   C15 is the airport I’ll probably e flying out of.  Very near to me.  I hate chicago and avoid going there as much as possible