In June of 1994 I ventured deep into the countryside of Maryland's Eastern Shore, in search of clear lumber for CLC boat kits. On Rt. 544 I found Schauber's Lumber, a truly old-fashioned sawmill with a giant open-air saw and several acres of drying timber. I found stacks and stacks of clear, air-dried ash and white oak, which soon became rubrails for Cape Charles and Severn and Patuxent kayak kits. It was no free lunch: the minimum purchase was a truckload, and the timber was rough-sawn and flitch-edged. It was a big cash outlay followed by a lot of hours of milling on heavy equipment.
Schauber's appears to still be there, but that sort of yard isn't what most do-it-yourself boatbuilders need or want. In fact, finding clear timber suitable for boatbuilding gets harder every single year. As a teenager in the 1980's, I could find marine plywood of all kinds and everything from teak to mahogany at several lumberyards near my suburban Delaware neighborhood. But those days are long gone.
CLC has been selling marine plywood through the mail since 1995, using the same packaging and shipping techniques we've used on almost 20,000 boat kits. Now we're turning our attention to non-plywood timber. There's urgent need for small quantities of carefully-selected, premium-grade boatbuilding lumber all over the US.
Now, you can order the same superior lumber we use in our boat kits (and display models). You'll be drawing from the same stacks we use for our own kits and projects. You can order it in any quantity---no order too small---and in a wide choice of species. Your order will be hand-picked by our boatbuilders. We have worked very hard to keep the prices low, and we have sorted out how to ship small or large quantities.
For larger orders, or lengths over eight feet, we have arranged to have the lumber shipped directly from the sawmill. Most shipments under eight feet will ship very affordably via UPS. Please allow a couple of weeks for your order, as lumber doesn't grow---and isn't stocked---in convenient multiples of 8 feet. We may have to mill the timber to your specs, and/or wait for those sizes to come in.
Our stock marine lumber is kiln-dried, but you'll need to store it carefully once it arrives. Never put lumber on the ground or on a concrete floor; the side exposed to air will shrink while the side against the damp floor will swell, and you'll get twist. Try to store planks on end against a wall, or on a shelf off the floor.
As always, let us know if you have any questions.
John C. Harris