cambera philippine mahogany

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cambera philippine mahogany

Postby John Earley » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:06 pm

Did Chris Craft ever use "cambera" mahogany in their boats? Is it an acceptable replacement for south american so called "genuine" mahogany. Is plane sawn lumber for frames and quarter sawn lumber for decks the correct use. I am preparing to restore a 1949 deluxe runabout and it is my first project. I may or may not ever finish it but what I do I want right.
Thanks for the help.
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Postby Al Benton » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:18 pm

I think I read that Chris-Craft used American Mahogany in their very early years, but once they were connected with an almost endless supply of the wood from The Philippines that passes as mahogany at much more reasonable pricing they stayed with it. So the traditional restored Chris-Craft these days are done typically with Philippine Mahogany. Her restored value using another mahogany may actually diminish her value to prospective buyers down the road but she may look great (just not correct).

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Looking for mahogany

Postby bestell » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:53 pm

I am looking for a good source for mahogany to replace the wood on the sides and deck of my 1948 Deluxe Runabout - Chris Craft. Does anybody know of a supplier? I am in Indiana.
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Postby Al Benton » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:09 pm

Bestell,

First, welcome to Boat Buzz.

I have a '48, 17' Deluxe as well. We ordered our mahogany from LL Johnson in Michigan, fairly close to your location. They usually have Philippine Mahogany (Meranti) in stock.

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Postby Al Benton » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:36 pm

Well, I looked around and don't find too many places that have Meranti or Philippine Mahogany in their stock. Edensaw Wood does but they are in Washington, not too convenient.

You might also try WoodFinder to locate some closer to home.

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Postby maritimeclassics » Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:13 am

Depending on the quantity of wood you need you may look at both and compare pricing with shipping included. I have purchased a lot of wood over the years from both and Edansaw is about $2 + cheaper a board foot. LL Johnson has all these up charges for length over widths of like 6’’ and over lengths of like 10’ (funny everything I need is large then that) so you have to do some figuring. I really do not understand this because this is not the way they purchase it but they seem to be ok with passing this on to us, it gets very expensive. If you order it by the bunk from LL Johnson you may save some money but then you don’t know what you are going to get for lengths and quality. The guys at Edansaw are first class and have been pulling wood for boats a long time, they know exactly what you need just tell them what you are using it for, decks or bottoms and the will pull accordingly.
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Restoration Projects:
1948 25' Sportsman Twin Engine
1961 21' Continental Hardtop
1942 17' Century Seamaid
2006 21' Chris Craft Cobra
1950 16' Chris Craft Riviera
1955 18' Chris Craft Cobra
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Postby David M » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:48 pm

Chris Craft switched to Phillipine Mahogany (red luan) because the race rules of the day required the use of a native wood. The Phillipine islands were an American territory at the time so it qualified.
The quality of the Phillipine mahogany I have been getting has deteriorated to the point that I dont think I would plank another boat out of it. What Johnson lumber calls dark red is more like light pink, nothing like the dark purplish relatively hard lumber that was available in the past. For planking I would consider African or genuine (South American) mahogany. In the end you will be happier with the boat and it will also likely be of a higher value if it looks good than if it is planked from the "correct" wood. For frames I usually use White Oak.
One thing I do like about Johnson Lumber is that they will let you sort your own wood, not all places will.
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Postby maritimeclassics » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:14 am

Although I believe that the quality of the wood is not always up to the ways of the past it is the species of what they used in most of the Chris Crafts. The wood that I have received from both suppliers was good wood it was the grain quality that was a bit lacking for the money spent. I would have to say that if you do not plank your boat in the correct species of wood used by the manufacture it will not be worth as much as it could be. In these time people are more educated in the proper ways of restoration, the boats selling for the top prices are done to the way the factory built them with a lot of attention to details. If you do choose to stray from factory ways then African is a good choice (factory wood for some Gar Woods and most Century’s) I love to use it when it is appropriate. Honduras Mahogany is the one you should only use if really needed, the quality and availability are not what it used to be and I doubt it will get any better. The use of oak frames in a classic runabout (except where it was used in the boat from the factory) in my opinion is a big mistake, every boat that I have restored (Dodge Watercars) or driven with oak frames used though out was very heavy feeling to me and lacked in performance unless some big block was added. I was taught years ago that weight is always lack of performance and should be thought out intentionally. I believe that is why the original builders used the materials that they did, it was intentional.
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http://www.maritimeclassics.com
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Restoration Projects:
1948 25' Sportsman Twin Engine
1961 21' Continental Hardtop
1942 17' Century Seamaid
2006 21' Chris Craft Cobra
1950 16' Chris Craft Riviera
1955 18' Chris Craft Cobra
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wood

Postby steve bunda » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:39 pm

Good Wood, I have found the best way to purchase good phillipine mahogany is by the bunk. I like to have my own lumber yard and make my own selection of each board. steve
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Postby Al Benton » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:22 am

When we started on my Deluxe we purchased a fresh bunk of Philippine Mahogany from LL Johnson. It had about 800 board feet of lumber that needed to be sorted. The wood was sorted for framing, topsides, decking, etc. None of it has gone to waste (to my knowledge). The supplier didn't hide any unusable wood in the middle of the stack. There were boards that would not be suitable for topsides or decks but was perfect for frame members. Some quarter sawn wood wasn't desireable for decking but will be used for deck battens and carlins.

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Postby Peter McBratney » Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:43 am

I am rebuilding a 19ft Capri down in Australia and while we know Meranti pretty well, most of the stuff we get is very light. Density is low and grain is not particularly good.

I trawled the lumber yards and forund a cooperative manger who pointed me in the direction of stacks of Mayaysian Mahognay. This had good grain, higher density and machiner very well into planks. It was also available in 325mm wide boards.

I know its a bit far to travel, but if you can find lumber like this it is great.

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