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white cedar ribstock in Western Canada

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by garyh, May 28, 2012.

  1. garyh

    garyh garyh

    Looking for ribstock in BC. I need 7 for sure, so will get 14 or 15 for the "I didn't notice that" moments. I know Red River out of Manitoba may help but is there anyone closer? I seem to recall someone in Alberta or Saskatchewan having but can't find now. Other option is western red (which I am using for planking) but understand it doesn't bend as well as white for ribs. Any advice appreciated.
    Happy paddling
  2. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Cedar that hasn't been kiln dried is best. May I suggest that you use Western yellow cedar for the ribs. It will match the old white cedar better and it is probably in your back yard.
  3. OP

    garyh garyh

    Thanks Dave. I thought of yellow but unfortunately have red cedar locally but a little too far inland and north for yellow, which would leave me at the building supply paying alot of money for, from what I've looked at, some not so straight grained wood. Where do you source yours? I should have also added I need 3/8 by 2 3/8, plus 4 cant ribs which are 3/8 by 3 1/2.
    Just got off the water with the Chestnut, awesome weather. I saw your Chestnut on kiji- very nice job. Going to see a Canadian here in PG tonight, also from kiji. Out of my price range right now, but it's same era as my slow resto so hoping to get some good pics and measurements to compare to mine.
  4. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I have been fortunate in acquiring yellow cedar from friends and others who know I use it. Unfortunately I don't have any to spare at this time. Years ago I found lots of it available at the small coastal cedar mills on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and in the Vancouver area. What about the Prince Rupert area? Be sure to check with Larry Bowers @ West Country Canoes. [ ] He sells rough yellow cedar or he will make yellow cedar ribs for you at a reasonable price.
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  5. Rod Tait (Orca Boats)

    Rod Tait (Orca Boats) Designer/Builder

    I can send up some yellow cedar rough or do you need the ribs cut to size for you? I have lots of clear yellow cedar here on the coast in Vancouver area. I often just use a very light coloured red cedar board for new ribs. Yellow in my opinion will be much lighter.
  6. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I too have used light colored red cedar for planking and ribs in the past as a white cedar replacement. The color match to the old original white cedar was outstanding at first. BUT ..... red cedar darkens considerably as it ages to become a very poor match to the original white cedar. Some might like this patch work look or just don't care. I have found that by using yellow cedar it may only have to be stained slightly to match the old white cedar and doesn't darken the way that red cedar does. Another little trick to make things easier. Prepare and varnish the interior surfaces first except for the parts you are replacing. Only one coat of varnish will suffice. Then replace the planking and ribs as required. You can now easily stain the new wood to match the old varnished wood. The stain will not color the varnished parts and just wipes off.
  7. KAT

    KAT LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Just try getting white or yellow cedar in Manitoba. The store I enquired at says it is only available from the east coast, but apparently yellow is available west as well according to you fine folk. So, if I were to orded this fine eastern white cedar it would be 3-4 week wait and $10 a board foot. The nice fellow suggested I just use red since it is a superior wood anyway.

    Douglas Ingram has kindly offered to sell me what I need upon his return from Fort Severn.

    I did use red cedar on the Huron and it matched up pretty well and last year I built a stripper with all local bought cedar and that wood was primarily yellow/pink/orange/whitish in colour, it was a lovely blend and made for a nice tiger stripe pattern. My avatar is a photo of the stripper.
  8. Dan Miller

    Dan Miller cranky canoeist Staff Member

    With all due respect to the nice fellow at the lumber store, there is no such thing as "superior" when it comes to wood. Rather, there is "best suited to task." There is a reason that most of the east coast canoe factories reserved their stocks of white cedar for ribs (because it bends much better), and imported western red cedar from the west coast (because it was available in long lengths, clear and vertical grain, which is better for planking).

    Your (roommate's) Chestnut will have white cedar ribs and planking. If you want to restore with like material, I bet there are a number of builders in Ontario, Quebec, or New Brunswick who could ship you what you need in the way of rough or finished rib and planking stock. Heck, Andre is in the midst of moving - he should send you some of his just so he doesn't have to move it!

    If matching doesn't matter, by all means use red cedar for the planking, but follow the lead of our left-coast experts who have used yellow cedar and are experienced in its bending qualities - I've not yet had the opportunity to use it.

    Anecdotally, some years ago I sold a 15' Chestnut to one of our upper midwest members, who repaired it without too much regard for matching wood. The canoe was nicknamed "Patches." While he enjoyed it for several years, he was never really happy with how it looked, and was relieved when he sold it after obtaining a better 15'er...
  9. KAT

    KAT LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Hi Dan

    I(we) are waiting for Doug to return to get the proper wood for this boat and his expertise in some of the repairs I need to learn. Patchy colour was ok for the Huron, but not this one, too much work is going into it.

    This isn't the first time I've had dealings with that lumber store and that attitude. I get my ash, maple, cherry there. They have exotic woods from the world over and if I wanted a 4 foot by 15 foot by 6" thick slab of old growth wrc, they have it in stock, but for small orders or custom orders, they are over the top in my opinion cost wise. Of course, the internet makes sourcing of lumber much easier.
  10. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    All great advice, and have you inquired about shipping a tube 4' long across the country? I'd stick with white if i could, and there are any number of people who would mill a bunch and ship it off. It didnt cost much to ship my last roll of canvas, and it weighed much more that cedar would. Just a thought. Heck, i'd ship you a bunch of of 6" wide, 4' or 5' boards bundled together for the measly 1.80 a board foot i pay for it... Canada Post is usually reasonable, and i use ups a lot who are surprisingly competitive in some areas if you dont need it shipped by air.
  11. KAT

    KAT LOVES Wooden Canoes

    No idea what shipping would be really. For fun, we plugged in a number of board feet on the Noah's site to get an idea of shipping costs. Their wc is $5.49 a board foot, we punched in 20 feet or whatnot and the shipping to Winnipeg was $93. Haven't a clue if that is good or not. I did get my stembands from Noahs and shipping was $20 and possbly the two bands would still be heavier than cedar. I'm sure ground shipping would be fine, still not too long to get this far I'm sure. The stem bands took a week I think.

    I'm supposed to be paddling, not wood working this time of year.

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