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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Toe Rail Replacement with White Oak or ?
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Thread: Toe Rail Replacement with White Oak or ? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-27-2012 01:02 AM
oysterman23
Re: Toe Rail Replacement with White Oak or ?

I thought SMurphy might get a charge out of this text I found online re Locust and the name of the place in Bayshore was Kirkup's Lumber....

The following paragraphs were published in the magazine, Scientific American (Volume 2, Issue 16), on January 9, 1847. The first part talks about the strength of black locust wood when used in wheels, and the final sentences talk about its resistance to rot.

The following notes relative to the duration of the locust wood (Robinia pseudo acacia,) have been made by M. Pepin, Jardin du Roi, Paris :

A number of trees were felled that had been planted from 40 to 50 years; but not more than one to five of those wheelwrights [makers of wheels] who came to purchase, appreciated sufficiently the locust, the others preferring elm.

Ultimately the locust was sold to the persons who knew its value, at one third higher price than the elm. The purchasers found that spokes made of the wood in question lasted two sets of felloes [wheel rims], and were likely to answer for a third. Under equal circumstances of wear and tear, spokes made of locust wood were perfectly sound, while those of oak required to be replaced.

M. Pepin further states that the ends of locust gate posts which had been in the soil for upwards of forty years were still not decayed.

This sort of wood employed as feet or supports to chests made of oak, proved sound, although the oak plank in contact with them had been thrice renewed; but oak supports decayed simultaneously with the oak planks composing the chests. Vine props of locust wood are greatly esteemed.
12-26-2012 09:56 PM
Coastalsailor48
Re: Toe Rail Replacement with White Oak or ?

SVTatia, I am a new member and must wait the seven days to send you a direct message. I am in the process of replacing all wood on my Pearson 33 that was damaged in hurricane last year. I am using Cumaru and would like to discuss with you. Could you please contact me? Ref blog for pics by my girlfriend: sailnchck.wordpress.com
Thank you, John
12-10-2012 03:48 PM
wolfenzee
Re: Toe Rail Replacement with White Oak or ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybyknight View Post
Before making any decisions look at Sapele: Entandrophragma cylindricum.
It looks a lot like mahogany, used for boat building and flooring, has good rot resistance, finishes well and it costs $4.69 a board foot.
Dick
Sapele is one of my favorite marine woods, it is easy to work, strong, durable, look super and doesn't have and issues (like checking or ungodly high price). It varnishes up very nicely. I just made some running light boards useing it.Talking to shipbuilders useing it for planking....it's alot easier to bend.
12-10-2012 12:28 AM
smurphny
Re: Toe Rail Replacement with White Oak or ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oysterman23 View Post
I'm with Caleb on this one. If you need top notch runs of teak and don't mind freight try Robert's Plywood in Deer Park Long Island.. Incidentally white oak is what made Old Ironsides hold up to all that cannon shot....and it ages well though its use for railings, rails etc that would be visible was limited to work boats in the age of wood. Locust is damn near immortal I still dig it out from old bungalow footings here on the South Shore...those posts went in about 1865-1900.....they rotted only at the point of air contact!
Epoxy is wonderful stuff, but when used as a sealer exposed to UV has No resistance to UV and must be coated with mulitple coats of clear finish or...one or two of urethane paint. Old growth or True Honduras or Cuban mahogany is bloody gorgeous marine wood glues beautifully shapes well, does not split like Teak can and though it greys has a moderate resistance to rot. Alot of people have it confused with what has been known as Philippine Mahogany or Luan which is really not very attractive has little figure and no comparable longitudinal strength.... When I was a kid the local custom boatbuilders would collect over any Cuban Mahogany they got a hold of....One thing though....quite unlikely your toe rails are uniform in angle and shape from stem to stern and likely need to be fitted and formed as you go...if you are not a carpenter or woodworker it is not a fun job...
If the toe rails are anything like they are on my old A35, you are exactly right. They are not anywhere near uniform and have plenty of compound angles to deal with. It would be a chore to replace them.

I used to get my White Oak from Harned's Mill in Hauppauge. I hear they amazingly are still in business. There was also a yard in Bayshore, right off 5th Avenue, with sheds full of White Cedar and other boat woods. I forget the name. Back 40 years ago there were many good sources on LI but nowadays a lot of the traditional species are unavailable, at least in decent sizes. Geez, in Deer Park we used to get Chrysler Crowns, Royals, and Aces from a place called Marzak. He had Chrysler engines and parts from the 40s, all sealed in wax with Chrysler guarantees!
12-09-2012 10:59 PM
Flybyknight
Re: Toe Rail Replacement with White Oak or ?

Before making any decisions look at Sapele: Entandrophragma cylindricum.
It looks a lot like mahogany, used for boat building and flooring, has good rot resistance, finishes well and it costs $4.69 a board foot.
Dick
12-09-2012 06:50 PM
oysterman23
Re: Toe Rail Replacement with White Oak or ?

I'm with Caleb on this one. If you need top notch runs of teak and don't mind freight try Robert's Plywood in Deer Park Long Island.. Incidentally white oak is what made Old Ironsides hold up to all that cannon shot....and it ages well though its use for railings, rails etc that would be visible was limited to work boats in the age of wood. Locust is damn near immortal I still dig it out from old bungalow footings here on the South Shore...those posts went in about 1865-1900.....they rotted only at the point of air contact!
Epoxy is wonderful stuff, but when used as a sealer exposed to UV has No resistance to UV and must be coated with mulitple coats of clear finish or...one or two of urethane paint. Old growth or True Honduras or Cuban mahogany is bloody gorgeous marine wood glues beautifully shapes well, does not split like Teak can and though it greys has a moderate resistance to rot. Alot of people have it confused with what has been known as Philippine Mahogany or Luan which is really not very attractive has little figure and no comparable longitudinal strength.... When I was a kid the local custom boatbuilders would collect over any Cuban Mahogany they got a hold of....One thing though....quite unlikely your toe rails are uniform in angle and shape from stem to stern and likely need to be fitted and formed as you go...if you are not a carpenter or woodworker it is not a fun job...
12-08-2012 05:46 PM
CorvetteGuy
Re: Toe Rail Replacement with White Oak or ?

I replaced my very thin 40 y/o teak grab rails on the top side with cherry wood, the raw teak I needed to do the job was about $400 bucks. My father cut down a big ole cherry tree and had it milled into boards , I used 1 board cut 2 rails out of it and put it on the topsides, 5 years later it still looks great and I also oil all the other teak on the topside, the cherry holds the oil and look just like the rest of the teak. Good tight grain..
12-08-2012 05:28 PM
wolfenzee
Re: Toe Rail Replacement with White Oak or ?

When I broke my oak tiller I went over to the mill in the local shipyard and asked the old guy that ran it "What do you have in the way of exotic hardwoods for a tiller?" He responded "Black Locust is a pretty exotic hardwood, come back tomorrow". I came back the next day and he had a slab of Black Locust 18"x4"x12', we took my old tiller and cut out a piece with a grain that lined up and planed it down to 2" thick 7' long ($40). When I finished it off after sailing with it awhile it is now 6' long, rounded at the helm end, chamfered, w/ auto pilot stub, tiller brake and varnished. I have some pretty exotic woods on my boat, but this is one of the prettiest....It doesn't flex the way the oak did and I am alot more confident in it.
12-08-2012 04:56 PM
smurphny
Re: Toe Rail Replacement with White Oak or ?

The teak toerails on my boat are still in decent shape. Was just wondering why Locust seems to be ignored as a boat wood. Maybe it because of the grain as you have indicated. I'm going to have to rip out some pieces with my chainsaw, run it through the planer, and try working it to see what kind of qualities it has. Oak, as Brent mentioned, discolors as soon as water gets to it and it is not great at repelling rot. I'm wondering if Locust would not work for gunwales on small wooden boats instead of oak or less durable hardwoods. Waiting for someone to chime in here who has actually tried working with it.
12-08-2012 03:56 PM
wolfenzee
Re: Toe Rail Replacement with White Oak or ?

Locust is known to check so if you are going to use it on a bend like a toe rail you have to be "very" careful as to where the grain goes and whether or not it wants to check...look at the wood and the grain to see what it wants to do, if it doesn't agree with what you want to do you need to approach it differently. I don't know how much of a bend you have, ideally of course would be to cut out the wood to match the curve, the cap rail on my boat is 3/4" thick and 3" wide.....not the sort of thing you can bend so it was made in sections. What you have can be bent, it might have to be steamed, but with the size and length you might be able to get away with out bending, if you use the right wood.
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