Western red cedar strips needed

I live close to Houston TX. I'm looking for Western Red cedar 1/4" X 3/4" strips to build a 14' Petrel. I am having problems locating a source for the material. I found one source in Minnesota. They want $800 for the cedar strips and over $1020 to ship them to Texas. Can anyone give me any leads on a source for 1/4" X 3/4", I prefer strips with a square edge, not the bead and cove.

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RE: Western red cedar strips needed

   CLC has 'em


RE: Western red cedar strips needed

The Petrel Play requires about 960 linear feet of strips.  If you buy bead and cove from CLC it will cost just over $700.  Square strips would be just over $800.  My last strip order (for a 18'x20.5" Yukon) was fall 2020 and shipping was $200 to Florida for the strips plus a strong back.  The plywood strong back was the heaviest part of the order.

I suspect the high shipping cost in the quote that you received is because they are shipping full length strips.  The CLC strips are 7-8' so they ship normally.  When you get over 8', shipping becomes very expensive.

I am not sure what your strip building experience is, but from my experience full length strips are not worth the effort unless you are doing something like book matching.  Besides being expensive to ship, they are harder to build with.  They are harder to handle and you have to accurately bevel both ends.  If you mess up either end, you basically loose the strip.  With shorter strips, once you get the two bevels to fit well, then it is easy to cut to the proper length for a good butt joint somewhere in the middle of the boat.  If you take the time to match the strips, the butt seam will barely be visible.  In the picture below, there is a butt seam just to the left of each piece of take.


RE: Western red cedar strips needed

   Have you talked to Lucas Cedar in Houston? 

RE: Western red cedar strips needed

   Thanks, Mark N for the information. I was worried about using short 8' strips on a kayak. You helped a lot. Have you tried using a scarf joint instead of a butt joint? I'll probably go with bead & cove strips from CLC. I have a CNC router that I would like to use to cut the forms but I'll have to make my own DXF files using the sectional drawing in "Building Strip-Planked Boats".

RE: Western red cedar strips needed

Glad to help!

It is good practice to scarf the very first strip that you put on the boat.  Depending upon the strip pattern you are using, this is likely the shear line or water line.  When that strip goes on it must have a nice smooth curve (or be perfectly straight depending) without any bumps or wobbles.  That is easier to do with a full length strip so scarfing helps.  Other than that, there is really no reason to scarf the other strips.  It won't add any strength and makes them harder to work with as discussed above.  I butt join the strips on the boat as suggested in Nick's book.

If you are ordering strips from CLC, I would suggest that you go ahead and buy the "Wood Parts Only" kit.  The most important part of any strip build is to get the forms and strongback aligned perfectly so that you build a straight and true boat.  The CLC forms are CNC cut so they will be more accurate than anything you can do at home.  They also have all of the index marks, bevel lines and inner stems marked which really helps with alignment.  Their strongback is also CNC cut so it will be perfectly straight.

Pictures below show the beginnings of my Mystery built from CLC Wood Only kit.


RE: Western red cedar strips needed

Mark N,

This is some very good information. If I cut my own kayak building forms and strongback using my CNC, first it would save me about $400 for the forms and another $130 for the paper plans, I have Nick's book to go by. And second I could say I did it all myself. I'm sure I have the skill with my CNC router and software to loft the forms using the drawings and information in Nick's book.

I tried to purchase the CNC DXF files from CLC but they said "we are unable to release electronic versions of our plans in order to protect our intellectual property." "What?" I asked what is the difference between selling a copy of the paper plans for the kayak forms and selling the electronic version? What difference does it make if I copy the paper plans or the electronic version? I told them, that the more plans that are out there for kayaks, the more kits and materials they would sell.

I have almost finished the CNC lofting for the forms and I'm close to pulling the trigger to start ordering the material from CLC.

P.S. I retired and will probably never take the Petrel Kayak on the water myself. It is just something that I have on my "bucket list". "Build a boat."




RE: Western red cedar strips needed

If building a boat just to build a boat you might consider expanding your horizons.   Have a look at the Cnc kayak Vember at cnckayaks.com.  They are great all around kayaks, plans are free and include the DXF files.   I have built two and am just finishing a tandem.   

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