August 21, 2015 – Laminating The First New Floor Timber

August 21, 2015
The state of Maine, where I live, is known for its vast forest areas of timber. for fine furniture makers and yacht builders. The majority of the wood is felled and trucked off to area mills that produce paper. Largely, what wood I have available to me locally is, “pulp wood”; which isn’t anything that I want to put into my boat!

There aren’t many wooden boatbuilders left here in the Northeast. Nearly every type of watercraft is manufactured out of FRP, (Fiber Reinforced Plastic; aka “Fiberglass”), or some kind of cross-linked plastic. Consequently, the need for individuals to mill logs into timbers for wooden boatbuilding has dropped to nearly nothing.

I found one source about a one hour drive away from me that occasionally carried White Oak. I had a phone conversation with this fellow, and he was pretty sure that he would not have enough stock to fulfill my needs. His milling business had become a “part time” occupation due to the lack of volume.

After much thought, I made the decision to carry on with this project with whatever useful species of lumber that I could find “locally”. That meant a trip to my local lumber yard!

Ellsworth Builders Supply, located in Town Hill, Maine.


However, the wood that is harvested from these large tracts of land isn’t destined
EBS has some stock of kiln dried “one – by – four” Douglas Fir that I thought would work as a substitute to White Oak; if handled in an “alternative” way.

I selected random lengths of out of this pile. I made sure that I chose pieces that were of the tightest, vertical grain that I could find out of the stock.

Here is what I purchased for today.

I loaded it up on my trailer and made my way back home to my garage.

After I offloaded the lumber on to sawhorses in my garage……..

……..I assembled some “pipe clamps” that I had purchased parts for earlier in the day. I bought the Jorgensen 3/4″ clamp fixtures at my local Home Depot, as well as a, ten foot length of 3/4″ black pipe too. The sales associate cut the pipe into five 2′ lengths and also threaded each piece to accept the “head” of the clamp; all for free!

To test out my idea of how I wanted to solve “new floor timbers”, I selected one of the forward, shorter timbers to recreate out of the Douglas Fir I had just purchased.

I cut 8 pieces of Douglas Fir to pre-determined lengths.

Using my Shopsmith tablesaw, I ripped the radius off of the edges.

Then, I marked the centerline of each piece.

These marks will help me keep the pieces of wood aligned correctly as they “slip and slide” around, due to wet epoxy, as I clamp them up.

Here is an image of one of the forward floor timbers laying on top of what is to be a “laminated Douglas Fir” floor timber.

I mixed up a batch of System Three epoxy and wet out all of the faces that “mated” with each other.

Here is the first new floor timber laminated and clamped up!

I let this cure overnight before moving on to the next step.

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Categories: Making New Floor Timbers | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “August 21, 2015 – Laminating The First New Floor Timber

  1. Clay

    Love using pipes for clamps. So you just epoxy them together no pins etc?

    • For now, there aren’t any “pins”. Eventually, the floors will be bolted to the keel, along with being fastened to the accompanying hull frames. Then, the cast iron ballast will be “through – bolted” to the hull, through the floor timbers. They aren’t going anywhere when all the work has been completed!

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