Need help selecting a wood species - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-26-2010, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Need help selecting a wood species

Little background on my project...

I like building skateboards. While most homebrew skateboards today are vaccuum bagged using either 1/16th maple, or fiberglass, or both, I like to be "oldschool" and use 3/4 Red Oak. Not only am I too lazy to vaccuum bag something, I like the oldschool look of the oak.

With that said, my current boards are similar to this in construction. This is a random image off of the internet.


Imagine that without griptape, wheel wells, or logos and that is basically what I have. My board is 30''/7''

Im looking to use "racing stripes" going down the length of the board using wood. Not an inlay or veneer, but rather glueing together the pieces then cutting from there on.

I just dont know what wood to use. Any suggestions? I need the strength of oak, but possibly the color of Cherry or something. I hope im not to vague...
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-26-2010, 12:43 PM
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Hm ... seems as though you need not just the strength of oak, or actually not even so much the strength, but for other characteristics to be quite close. For example, if you pick a wood that is identical to oak in strength but radically different in "movement in service" you're likely to have a problem. Similarly with its bending characteristics. For something static like a cutting board this all isn't too much of a problem (movement in service can be but bending characteristics not at all) but in your application, it might all be.

The possible characteristics that I can think of that you'll want to consider are

strength
bending characteristics
hardness (not so much of an issue, and easy to check on the Janka scale)
movement in service (aka shrinkage)

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post #3 of 7 Old 10-26-2010, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Well, Im not 100% sure on what I want. I would be happy with light/dark maple, or any combo of hickory, walnut, light/dark maple, oak, etc.

I just dont have enough knowledge about each one.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-26-2010, 02:46 PM
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Check out Pauls site.

It is a wealth of knowledge!

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post #5 of 7 Old 10-26-2010, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssok View Post


Imagine that without griptape, wheel wells, or logos and that is basically what I have. My board is 30''/7''

Im looking to use "racing stripes" going down the length of the board using wood. Not an inlay or veneer, but rather glueing together the pieces then cutting from there on.

I just dont know what wood to use. Any suggestions? I need the strength of oak, but possibly the color of Cherry or something. I hope im not to vague...
WELCOME TO THE FORUM

A suggestion is to use all Red Oak and cut longitudinal strips. As an example, if you want one stripe down the middle, cut three pieces, take the middle piece and stain it a different color. Then glue up the three pieces and finish from there. If you want two stripes, cut 5 pieces and stain up two...etc.






.
.
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-26-2010, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdntrdr View Post
Check out Pauls site.

It is a wealth of knowledge!

Also, for those woods where I have not yet created a "fact sheet" page, the USDA web site (linked to from my site) has them. They are slightly less comprehensive than most of mine, but they have the information you need as I recall.

Paul

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www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-28-2010, 03:19 PM
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Honestly, if you're going to put stringers down the center of the board, surfboard style, you're going to drastically weaken the board for riding. I used to have a board in the late 70s early 80s that was made by Maharaja water ski company. It was oak with a deep red wood down the center, perhaps mahogany, in 3 stripes, like the Maharaja skis were back then. We never put wheels on it because it was too pretty with a high gloss finish and wasn't great as a skateboard design anyway.

If you're really going to do this, I'd recommend a darker wood like mahogany or walnut, then rip it and do a lam of fiberglass between the layers so it's invisible to the customer, essentially- except when looking at the edges of the board. This would increase your strength lost for turning torque (when putting the stringers in) and still allow the aesthetic of the stringer. Yeah, you'd probably have to vacuum bag to get it really nice, but with the glass between the layers it wouldn't be absolutely necessary. I think you'll find that if you put the stringers in without further "strengthening members" your boards will fail more often. That may or may not be a good thing if you're looking to sell boards, I guess it depends on how many you sell and how easily they fail. If it's just for personal use, it won't matter.
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