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Thread: what are sources for aircraft- grade spruce?

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Sep 2011
    Mid- Michigan

    what are sources for aircraft- grade spruce?

    I am seriously thinking starting an Osprey 2 plans built project. This would be my first homebuilt and I was wondering where you guys get your wood from? I see there are wood "kits" for this airplane from Wicks and Aircraft Spruce and Specialty but these are a pricey upfront cost and I'm sure I will be messing up some parts as this is my first build. I kind of wanted to "buy as I go". Is my only option buying wood from these companys peice by peice? It seems shipping costs would be through the roof. Do I have any options? Thanks for any help. I'm located near Lansing, Michigan.

  2. #2
    Registered User Hot Wings's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    Rocky Mountains

    Re: what are sources for aircraft- grade spruce?

    Is my only option buying wood from these companys peice by peice?

    No. Buy it all at one time to save on shipping. Unless you can find a local supply that you can sort yourself, or a friendly cabinet shop that will let you piggyback freight, Wicks is probably the only practical option for you.

    And that is why my future home-built projects will all be made entirely of A.B.S.

    Conventional wisdom and practices yield conventional results. If that is good enough for you:
    Problem solved.

    "--and pompous fools drive me up the wall. Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out."
    Richard P. Feynman

    “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
    Frank Zappa

  3. #3
    Registered User skeeter_ca's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    Yucaipa, Ca

    Re: what are sources for aircraft- grade spruce?

    You could keep asking around. Maybe on the yahoo group. Someone might have found a lumber yard that carries spruce. It does occassionly happen. The only bad thing is then you would have to learn how to select wood and pick through each piece to find suitable specimens to use. Also douglas fir has been used as a substitute but then again you have to pick through alot of wood to find good stuff.

    If you order wood it is best to order it in short lengths if possible. Short sections are cheaper per foot than sections over 6 ft. Figure out a material list for the different components of the aircraft. Say all the wood the build the elevator. Or maybe the wing and order it in sections like that to save on shipping.

    Good luck, it'll be a blast.
    aka. Darrell W.
    President - Volmer Club of America

    A goal without a plan is just a dream (Bill Husa, Orion)

    I strive to have my plane i'm building look as good as my avatar, which is Dan Dubois's fine example.

  4. #4
    Registered User Lucrum's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Canton, GA

    Re: what are sources for aircraft- grade spruce?

    There is another thread in this forum that has several options listed by various members.

  5. #5
    TFF is offline
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    Apr 2010
    Memphis, TN

    Re: what are sources for aircraft- grade spruce?

    Learn how to grade wood. Lots of info on the web. Straight out of the box aircraft wood is only going to be from these types of suppliers, but buying a batch from something like a canoe supplier and you sort what you should/ could use. The problem can be scrapping enough wood that you could have bought the good stuff. You could do some in Doug Fir like spars if you can find good in the lumber yards but you have to grade it yourself to aircraft standards, too. Just for practice you can strip out 2x4s and make small assemblies or ribs just dont go fly them

  6. #6
    Registered User rheuschele's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Chicago Il. USA.

    Re: what are sources for aircraft- grade spruce?

    Like TFF said, learn to grade the wood. Start by buying books on this subject. Also, call around to local (not big box) lumber yards to see if they carry spruce, not special order it. There is a company north of Chicago that carries sitka spruce and most of it is aircraft grade, however they don't advertise it as aircraft grade, but call it spruce for sail mast. Check the local stores for this first. Doug fir is a great alternative, but you are going to run into the same problem when it comes time to build the spars, however there are easier alternatives for the Doug fir.

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