White Oak Chines?

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White Oak Chines?

Postby JacobErdey » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:42 am

So, the extent of this restoration on my 1950 Sportsman 18 carries me all the way into replacing most of the chines. And the existing chines are so rotten that I can't even determine if they were originally mahogany or white oak. Can anyone sprinkle a bit of knowledge on me here? Thanks a lot
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Re: White Oak Chines?

Postby Don Danenberg » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:18 pm

Most of the chines (80-90-%) of the Chris-Craft Runabouts I've worked on were mahogany. White Oak was used very early on and more often on cruisers where more strength was needed.

Generally, the stem and lower transom bows were Oak, at least in prewar boats. Most postwar, at least Cadillac, MI, where most runabouts were built, were all mahogany.

There were some substitutions, especially '46 to '48, where Oak and other woods were used during mahogany shortages.

The Mariners' Museum has some few pages of wood orders from the 1920's from the Indiana Quartered Oak Company, but the only orders I've seen were for "light wormy" and "dark wormy" mahogany. I haven't seen any orders for Oak.

Mahogany is plenty strong enough for chines in small runabouts, White Oak is stronger and more rot resistant, though much harder to find in full lengths nowadays.
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Re: White Oak Chines?

Postby mbigpops » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:26 pm

When I disassembled my runabout both chines were broken at the 3rd frame from the bow. It was after that discovery that I decided to replace them with white oak.

I obtained full length pieces from a local sawmill that had access to white oak.

Mark
1953 CC Rocket Runabout "Rocket Man"
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Re: White Oak Chines?

Postby JacobErdey » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:26 pm

Thanks for the input. I guess I'll go with white oak if i can find some long enough. But feel much better about using the mahogany if i must. All this work I'm putting in...it has me worried sick that it's going to bust loose at the seams as soon as i hit a big wake haha.
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Re: White Oak Chines?

Postby Don Danenberg » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:26 pm

Well..,
That's exactly where it might "bust loose", at around frame-3, in an 18-footer.
That's near the leading edge of the planing surface, where the hull pounding occurs and where the weight of the hull, hanging out of the water, at speed, including the weight of the driver and possible other front-seat occupant, becomes the weight at the end of that pry?

Ask Mark if the cracks also occurred at the exact location of the carriage-bolt holes in the chines? Where they were weakened by this hole?

White Oak is stronger than mahogany, and might better suffer this wracking jar, but it is much harder to work with.

Mark found (as I have) that local saw-mills DO have access to longer White Oak than "Lumber Suppliers" do, simply because of the massive amounts they must order to be in business?
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Re: White Oak Chines?

Postby jfrprops » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:45 am

around here in Va....white oak of length is pretty easy to get from saw mills.....especially since folks use it in the popular 16' length for fencing.

John in Va
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)
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Re: White Oak Chines?

Postby mbigpops » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:27 am

Well for some reason I never took a photo of the broken chine.

Here is a shot of the plank at that location right after I stripped the varnish off and my "preservation" turned into a "restoration".

Looks harmless enough and was not visible through the stain and varnish but behind it was the cracked chine. Oh yeah and the batten was broken as well.

The peace of mind using white oak was enough for me. That way when I "drive it like I stole it" like Jim G. tells me to do I don't worry.

If you use white oak just make sure to follow the countersink bit sizes for hardwood so you don't start stripping out screw heads for whatever you fasten into it.

Mark
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Re: White Oak Chines?

Postby Don Danenberg » Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:04 pm

jfrprops,
White Oak in any 'length' above 10-ft is really not available in Michigan, where the CC's were built. There is a great deal of White Oak here (Quercus Alba) but above the southern state line, it begins branching at around 10-ft from the ground.

Indiana, Tennessee, perhaps Virginia, is where White Oak grows 20-40-ft before it begins branching?

I worked on a 120-ft sailboat for a few, early-'80's years, at Norfolk school of boatbuilding, and our White Oak came from Tennessee, High-mountain, White oak. The 'horn timber' alone was 28" x 22" x 34-ft long, weighing 6-tons. The stem-head weighed 2-tons.

These are the places that Chris-Craft got the White Oak they used, and because they ordered mahogany by the millions-of-board-feet, mahogany was cheaper.

They liked White Oak for its strength, rot resistance, and fastener-holding capabilities, but it just wasn't as available, when mahogany was 11-cents a board ft., by the millions of board-feet.

White Oak for fencing? If its available, that makes sense!
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Re: White Oak Chines?

Postby jfrprops » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:45 pm

yeah Don, we can even use Red Oak for fence board...but never of course for boats!

John in Va
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)
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Re: White Oak Chines?

Postby robertpaul » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:35 am

Another approach is to laminate strips of quality mahogany to build the chine. Provides strength and, when done on the frames, will yield a perfect compound curve. Worked very nicely on our 1937 cruiser.
1937 35' Double Stateroom Enclosed Cruiser
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