Stripper Lumber

Has anyone used redwood for making the stripper planks?  I'd be making them 3/16" X 5/8".  This would be in place of western red cedar.  The redwood is available to me at a fraction of the costs.  I'm concerned with the weight difference and runout of the grain.  

Thanks,  Gene  


7 replies:

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RE: Stripper Lumber

I have not used it on a yak, but it should work GREAT!  The cost of Redwood for me is about 10 times what Cedar is.  Weight will be about the same, as is glueing properties.  But you will need a lot more strips than spec'ed.  If you are going to "Bead & Cove"  Cedar is milled at 7/8" leaving you 3/4" exposed.  Starting with 5/8", that will leave you 1/2" exposed


RE: Stripper Lumber

Ross Leidy has built a couple of kayaks with redwood.  I seem to recall it built OK but was brittle, making it more challenging to bend and twist.  Nice deep color!

RE: Stripper Lumber

KK, thanks for the advise.  Actually I'm leaning toward not using the bead and cove method.  I can only find 1/4" bits and with a 3/16" strip I would have to mill the cove shallow in order to leave even the smallest of flat sides.  Rob Macks of Laughing Loon advocates hand beveling with a plane or table saw, instead.  While I have the time and equipment to do either, I'm willing to try flat sides.  Since my last posting, my inexpensive source of redwood has grown in price and is no longer.  It remains an alternative thanks to your info on workablility and weight.


RE: Stripper Lumber

Okay Gene,

I have to ask... why do you want to work with 3/16 strips?  By the time I am done planeing and sanding, I can get pretty thin with 1/4".  And beveling will have to be done by hand if you follow the lines of the boat, otherwise you will have to do cheater strips.  B&C is so much faster and easier.  I am working on my 4th yak, 1st stapleless, and am already thinking about my 5th. LOL

As far as wood types, what grows in your neck of the woods?  Here in the South (FL) we have cedar, cypress, and spruce.  Up North you have Basswood, out west is Redwood, Cedar and Pine.  All good choices.

If you have not seen it you can see all my yaks at  and another wonderful site for strippers is Ross Leidy's  at


RE: Stripper Lumber



I'm looking for lightweight, mainly.  I've done a Pax 20 that I built to be strong, thinking it would need to be.  It didn't.  I last built a stripper (stapleless) with 1/4" and it too, doesn't need to have that thick of a skin.  Both of the kayaks were built from kits.  I have the tools, shop and I believe the ability to make a lightweight boat without purchasing the strips or kits.  Rob Mack's articles perswaded me to go without bead and cove. Cedar is available here in northwest lower Michigan at reasonable prices and for a short time I thought I had a good cheap supply of redwood but the owner caught on.  It isn't build yet and I'm not done reading all I can get my hands on. A lot of good info out there.  Also more than one way to do it.

thanks, gene 

RE: Stripper Lumber

I used redwood on my first build and it worked great.  I found the sapwood would bend much easier than the heartwood.  It also made for a nice contrast in colors.   Here is a link to my build.


I just started another boat and began to mill the wood for it today.  I am going with the redwood again.  I  buy it from a friend that sells it for driveway expasion joints. 

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