BWCA Another wood question...S4S boards. Boundary Waters Group Forum: Boat Builders and Repair
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      Another wood question...S4S boards.     


distinguished member(1209)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
07/22/2009 09:45AM  
I've been checking out lumberyards over the last few weeks, and I've only been able to find a few S4S (finished on 4 sides) clear cedar boards in 18 to 20 ft lengths. They are EXPENSIVE! I've seen a lot of nice looking relatively clear 12 ft boards at Menards that aren't S4S and are a whole lot cheaper. I don;t mind scarfing or butting the strips and I'd like to use the Menards boards, but I'd like to know if the unfinished side has caused any issues for anyone. I wouldn't think it would be a problem, but you never know.

Also, I'm looking into buying a table saw. It would be used pretty much exclusively for cutting strips. Anyone have a recomendation for a saw under $200?
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07/22/2009 09:58AM  
I think you would be ok with the unfinished boards. If you can find a planer, maybe even a rental for a day or two, you could get them to S4S yourself. If not, you would probably want to strip them unfinished side out, that would make it easier to sand them. I'd also go with scarfing over the butt joints and take some time to match the color and grain at the joint.

I used a low end Craftsman with a thin kerf Freud blade as my saw. Worked fine.

distinguished member(3436)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
07/22/2009 11:44AM  
You can find table saws all day long on craigslist for that price range. The first canoe I built I cut my strips myself. When I was done I had saved about $20, not worth it to me. I have no problem with joints in strips,butt or scarfed. But using full length strips saves ALOT of time. NWC uses a shaper to cut strips so they can cut mutiple strips with each pass and they are PERFECT every time. And they start with the clear s4s like you are looking at,much less waste than using Menards boards and less cost in the long run.
I think every builder should cut their own strips at least once to appreciate what a value cut, clear strips are.
Pre-cut strips,pre-made seats, pre-made thwarts/yolks and pre-shaped gunwales, they are a builders best friend.
distinguished member(951)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
07/22/2009 01:09PM  
JUst an FYI.. For my canoe I cut all the strips with a circular saw. I bolted a hardwood guide to the baseplate of my saw that would act as a fence and would give me 1/4" wide strips. I then screwed the very far edge of the board to a few wood sawhorses using a small trim head screw. I proceeded to "walk off" all my strips using a thin kerf ripping blade. When you get down to the real skinny strips, just set another board on the sawhorses so your saw's base has something else to sit on to keep it from getting tippy. It worked for me at a time when I couldn't afford a real table saw.
distinguished member (257)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
07/22/2009 05:00PM  
NWC's website shows about $450 for strips and $300-400 to your door for the freight. I spent about $120 on Menards WRC and ripped it all out of 2x6 stock w/ a thin curf blade. Worked just fine if you don't mind getting good at splicing and picking through the pile for decent boards. Made a lot of saw dust but it was fun and less than buying pre-milled strips.

If you pick through the piles just be courteous and put them back in some semblance of order.

Certainly doable. We did it for Chris' 38 Special and my wife and I did it for the Freedom 17' that we're building now.
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