Canadian Rock Elm or alternative

share hints, tips and experiences
Post Reply
Keith66
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:10 am
Location: Benfleet
Contact:

Canadian Rock Elm or alternative

Post by Keith66 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:00 am

I am trying to source some Rock elm for timbers in my 16ft carvel dinghy (as described in another thread) I know it has basically been long unobtainable in the UK and oak is likely to be the only practical alternative. However the boat is so finely built i feel i must try to source the real thing! Any ideas on where or how to get some would be gratefully received!

Michael Brigg
Posts: 1663
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:11 pm
Location: Gosport, UK

Re: Canadian Rock Elm or alternative

Post by Michael Brigg » Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:29 pm

Hi Kieth,

This table:-
TABLE 2 - English Timbers Suitable for Boatbuilding

TYPE OF TIMBER
DURABILITY
USE
COMMENTS






Maple (soft and rock)
Non Durable
Carving, internal work.
Rock maple bends well.

Sycamore
Perishable
Internal Work
Clear timber bends well.

Chestnut (Sweet)
Durable
Planking
Cleaves well. Needs support on inner face for bending

Birch
Perishable
Internal Work


Robinia (False Accacia)
Durable
Unknown, but possibly planking.
Good bending properties. Heavy and tough.

Hawthorne
Unknown
Knees, blocks, cleats, thole pins
Hedgerow trimmings

Ash
Perishable
Frames (salt water), oars, blocks
Bends well, light weight with outstanding toughness.

Holly
Perishable
Blocks, cleats, thole pins, tool handles.
A very hard wood.

Walnut
Moderately durable
Internal work, decorative
Bends well, but very scarce.

Apple (& other Fruits)
Unknown
Knees, blocks, cleats, etc
Distorts on drying. Small sizes

Plane Tree
Perishable
Decorative internal


Oak
Durable
Centreline, planking, framing.
Bends well, needs support, will stain in contact with iron or steel.

Lime
Perishable
Carving


Elm
Non Durable
Keels, garboards, (underwater)
Uncertain availability

Larch
Mod. Durable
Planking, fitting out


Cedar
Durable
Planking, fitting out
Tends to be soft and brittle

Douglas Fir
Mod. durable
Planking, decks, spars


Pitch Pine
Mod. Durable
Planking, fitting out


Corsican Pine
Non Durable
Planking
Needs to be treated, may discolour

Maritime Pine
Mod Durable
Planking


Scots Pine - Redwood
Non Durable
Planking, spars, oars
Needs to be treated.

Port Orford Cedar - (Lawsons Cypress)
Durable
Planking,fitting out, oars, paddles
Similar to Douglas Fir

European Spruce
Non Durable
Masts and spars, oars
Needs to be treated

Sitka Spruce
Non Durable
Planking
Needs to be treated

Western Red Cedar
Durable
Planking, fitting out
Accelerates corrosion of metals

Yew
Durable
Unknown
Bends well, durable, but small supply.

And a whole range of other useful wood information can be found at:-

http://www.covboat.co.uk/sustainability.htm

I wood add :? Bamboo. Durable. Masts and Spars/jib sticks. Large sections need specialist importer. Needs no surface finishing.

Enjoy yourself :D
Michael Brigg

Garry R

Re: Canadian Rock Elm or alternative

Post by Garry R » Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:39 pm

Gannet - Merlin 252 also has Canadian Rock Elm ribs and needed some replacing. Absolutely no chance of getting any as I did try very hard and I resorted to ash which seemed to work OK. I have to add that it was not used on heavily curved areas and for 3 years it has been in the boat and still looks fine. Hope this helps.

Post Reply