Stripper Wood Types

I'm nearing completion of my first boat at the moment, a Chesapeake 16.  It's been fun, and I want to build more.  I'll probably build a couple more stitch and glue boats first, but eventually I'd like to learn strip built boats also.  Which brings me to my next question.

 I have access to a full woodshop, and the ability to collect and mill local wood.  Local means Pittsburgh, PA.  So, are there any types of wood which will work for strippers in this neck of the woods (so to speak).  If I was able to build a kayak, completely from local wood, that would be absoluely awesome.  Thanks,


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RE: Stripper Wood Types

I use pine with 3/16" strips. That doesn't work well if you plan to use a bead and cove though.



RE: Stripper Wood Types

First I have to say that I think Strippers are easier to build than S&G's, they just take longer.  Second you can use any kind of wood you want.  Cedar is the most common because it is soft and easy to work plus being light in weight.  If you look at my blog and view the 4 strippers I have made you will see I have used Ash, Cherry, Popular, Mahogany, Padauk, as well as several types of Cedar.


RE: Stripper Wood Types

Cool - good to know!  I'm going to order books on strippers one of these days - waiting until I order a few other things to save on shipping.  After that, I'll uinderstand the process more (I hope).

 Right now we have tons of oak and maple, harvested from the city lopping trees down - got a ton of sycamore, beech, and ash as well.  Not sure what else we have at the moment, but we have more coming in all the time.  Of the above woods, I think ash would work well, but beech is hard and heavy, same with oak, although it's more workable than beech - maple maybe???  I wish we had something as workable as cedar.  Will have to see what I can scrounge up.  Thanks,


RE: Stripper Wood Types

Weight- was a big part of the decision making when selecting wood for my strips. Grab a piece of cedar and then heft a similar sized piece of hardwood or whatever type of wood that you may consider. Feel how light the cedar is and imagine your boat weighing 2-3 times as much as one of cedar on a full strip build. You need to decide if this is a deciding factor with your build.

I made all of my own strips which are Spanish Cedar, Alaskan yellow cedar, Peruvian Walnut-[accent], and purple heart-[accent]. I also included some dyed stabelized knife handle burl for some eye-poping accents, The cost of my wood strips for the wood duck hybrid was minimal when compared to the rest of the build cost and weight and great looks won in my personal debate....CZ

RE: Stripper Wood Types

Going back to your original comment but having nothing to do with types of wood, I would like to suggest you build a hybrid next. (Kayakkev has never built an S&G so he doesn't realize how easy it is.) After building a CLC S&G two years ago I built a hybrid last year that's loaded with cosmetic flaws but performs beautifully. I love paddling it and don't get concerned when it gets dinged up. I'm now planning to build a fully stripped boat and will take far more time and care doing it, having learned from my mistakes on the hybrid. You can see photos and descriptions of my experience at

RE: Stripper Wood Types

I built a Redbird from Bear Mountain using cyprss. It works well, but splinters a bit too much, maybe from the drying process? Ted Moore's book, Canoecraft, is excellent if you are going to build a stripper canoe. Not very hard, but time consuming.

RE: Stripper Wood Types

Thanks for the replies,

yep, weight is a concern.  I need to figure out what types of wood we have locally, which don't weigh a ton.

 I like the hybrid idea - that's one way to save weight, yet get an awesoe looking deck.

 Overall it's not the cost of cedar which is making me look at local wood - it's the idea of being able to build out of local wood.  By local, I don't mean stuff I can go buy at local mills, I mean my shop has a deal set up with the city and tree trimming businesses, where we can collect the trees being felled around here.  In and around a city the size of Pittsburgh, that's a lot of wood, which is otherwise most likely getting turned into woodchips.  A lot of it is awesome wood, and finding cool projects, like a boat potentially, is part of the gig.

 Any other suggestions for good wood types, which might be found in the North East section of the country?


RE: Stripper Wood Types

On my Shearwater 17 Hybrid, I used Pawlonia with great results - cheap. very light, both in colour and weight, has interesting grain pattens and is superb to work with.

Planning on using the same on full stripper this winter.



RE: Stripper Wood Types

I built a Sea Wolf stripper after reading and digesting "The Strip-Built Sea Kayak" by Nick Schade.  See the result in my gallery, "Sea Wolf"... (She's won awards at boat shows, even).    Good luck.  Jer  (aka mtsailor)

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