Looking for a varity of softwoods

I am in the planing stages of a hybrid night heron, I have found several high end hardwoods of varing colors and grain patterns. The weight has me somewhat concerned.

Does anyone have a source where I can get an assortment of softwoods lighter in weigtht, with differant grain patterns and colors then then white and red cedar. I am looking for web sites or catologs, or even a phone # would be helpful.

Thanks jim

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RE: Looking for a varity of softwoods

Try Peter Schultz at Classic Boat Kits in Ontario. 613-832-0881 His primary business is cutting architectural mouldings, but he knows boats and will custom cut for very reasonable prices. He is currently cutting strips for my next kayak and I've found him very good to deal with.

RE: Looking for a varity of softwoods

pine can give a variety of grains and colors and is easily found. I've never been able to get a picture to post here but here's another attempt. This hull is mostly pine with red cedar and some mahogany trim.



RE: Looking for a varity of softwoods

I forgot to mention that some Menards locations carry a larger varitey of soft woods too as well as Rockler Woodworking.



RE: Looking for a varity of softwoods

Okay, I have to say it before someone else does.  The difference between Hard & Softwoods are the leaves.  Softwoods are conifers (needle bearing) and Hardwoods have leaves.  So even though Redwood & Basswood is very soft grained light weight woods, they are indeed hardwoods.

I say this so that when you are talking to mills and suppliers, you know what they are saying.  Softwoods are going to be Pines, Spruce, Fir, Junipers, and Cedars mostly.

If you want to make your own strips, a great place to access lumber is Moulding Companies that will be glad to get rid of thier cut-offs.  They are generally 12-16 ft long


RE: Looking for a varity of softwoods

I have found this discussion very interesting. Rustynut wants light weight wood for his project. Are there not hardwoods that are actually lighter in weight than some softwoods ( ie. cottonwood, cypress etc. )? Would hardwoods be stronger and more durable than softwoods? I have been trying to find a source that describes the various characteristics, uses and drawbacks of the various woods. I can get cypress, cottonwood, black locus and sweetgum lumber cut at a portable bandsaw mill and have been thinking about using these for a kayak and paddle project. I'd appreciate any comments on this idea from you pros.

RE: Looking for a varity of softwoods

Thanks for all the feedback. I have some research to do. Once I figure it out I will post my findings.

I do know that Menards has Aspen a fairly light weight white wood, great for accents they also have mahogany getting heavy thou. And Rockler has a great assortment of buityful heavy weight woods.

I wonder about ordering it an 1/8" thick and apoxing 1/8" balsa to the back side to cut out 1/2 the weight.

Teoctom I have been wondering about backyard sawmills my concern is how dry is the wood and if used to soon how much would it shrink, let me know if you know anything of that.

I will keep you posted on what ever research results I come up with. Thanks Again


RE: Looking for a varity of softwoods


Pricy however it sounds as if the quality is up there.

80 stores across the US  "WOODCRAFT"

I hope to be going their this coming Monday the 12th. If they dont have it they said they can get it. So we will see.

I am not saying money is no object (specially if you looked in my wallet) but I dont need that much that it is going to break the bank.

So again I am thinking of apoxing two 1/8" peices together to cut down on weight. I am trying a differant process so I wont be putting a bead or cove on these peices.

 Has anyone tried this and with what results?

Thanks jim

RE: Looking for a varity of softwoods

here's a case in point ... balsa is a "hardwood"


Hardwood trees are angiosperms, plants that produce seeds with some sort of covering. This might be a fruit, such as an apple, or a hard shell, such as an acorn or hickory nut.

Softwoods, on the other hand, are gymnosperms (conifers) with "naked" seed. These plants have seeds that fall to the ground with no covering. Pines, firs and spruces, which grow seeds in cones, fall into this category.


(source  http://forestry.about.com/cs/treeid/f/Tree_ID_wood.htm)

Note that some "evergreens" can also be "hardwoods" ...

Sry for the biology lesson. 

RE: Looking for a varity of softwoods

Hi Jim,

  The process you're describing is very similar to the cold molding process where the layers are alternated at 45 degrees to each other to add strength. I've tried the balsa sandwich method a few 1/4 scale Cris Craft models and while it worked the balsa soaked up so much epoxy I question what the real weight savings really was. That said I'm always in favor of trying something new, you don't find new methods if you don't.



RE: Looking for a varity of softwoods

All that botany aside try paulownia wood. At less than 18 lbs. per cubic foot it will answer the call. My daughter is building a 14.5 Shearwater Hybrid and with the field of the deck built of 3/16 paulownia the hull and deck weigh 32 lbs. Very nice silky grain and easy to work with AND paulownia tree renews in 5 to 6 years where it takes cedar about 25. The Chinese have used paulownia for furniture for over 4000 years and it's now available in the US. Try it you'll like it. SEEYA Jack

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