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Thread: Spruce suppliers

  1. #1
    Registered User paulgy80's Avatar
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    Spruce suppliers

    Can anybody give me some suggestions for suppliers of aircraft grade Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir and Western Hornbeam. Looking for a company who can supply finished kits in multiples.

    Cheers

    Paul

  2. #2
    Registered User snaildrake's Avatar
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    Re: Spruce suppliers

    Google:
    Wicks Aircraft Supply
    Western Aircraft Supplies
    Aircraft Spruce & Supply

  3. #3
    Registered User Dan Thomas's Avatar
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    Re: Spruce suppliers

    Quote Originally Posted by paulgy80 View Post
    Can anybody give me some suggestions for suppliers of aircraft grade Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir and Western Hornbeam. Looking for a company who can supply finished kits in multiples.

    Cheers

    Paul
    Western Hornbeam? What wood is that?

    Dan

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    Registered User Hot Wings's Avatar
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    Re: Spruce suppliers

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Thomas View Post
    Western Hornbeam? What wood is that?

    Dan
    Hornbeam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Doesn't sound like it would be very good for aircraft.
    Conventional wisdom and practices yield conventional results. If that is good enough for you:
    Problem solved.

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    TFF
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    Re: Spruce suppliers


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    Registered User wiloows5050's Avatar
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    Re: Spruce suppliers

    Make sure you check over your wood carefully. Out of five pieces of spruce I recieved on Friday from Aircraft Spruce, two were no good. One had mold and the other had cuts from the planer. They are going replace them but it is a pain!

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    Re: Spruce suppliers

    I've been buying my Spruce from Wicks. They have been a little slow lately due to the Chinese buying all the Sitka Spruce, but the just got a new shipment in. So far all the wood I have got from them has been high quality.

  8. #8
    Registered User Dan Thomas's Avatar
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    Re: Spruce suppliers

    Quote Originally Posted by TFF View Post
    Nope. The Hornbeam is a deciduous (broadleaf) tree. The Hemlock is a coniferous evergreen (needles, though pretty flat). Hemlock is often substituted for spruce/pine/fir out here in housebuilding.

    When I was in South Africa a couple of years ago I talked to homebuilders who were using Saligna, the wood from the Eucalyptus tree. They have huge, planted forests of it there. It's nice, clear stuff with an indistinct grain and is heavier than spruce. I think it grows pretty fast.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucalyptus_saligna

    Dan

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    Re: Spruce suppliers

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Thomas View Post

    When I was in South Africa a couple of years ago I talked to homebuilders who were using Saligna, the wood from the Eucalyptus tree.

    Dan
    I hope the aircraft were specifically engineered to utilize that wood as it doesn't seem even close to a one for one substitution for spruce.

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    Registered User paulgy80's Avatar
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    Re: Spruce suppliers

    Dear All

    Many thanks, and yes I screwed up it is Western Hemlock not Hornbeam.

    Western Aircraft Supplies is where I have been buying wood, but Mark is finding it difficult, he just cannot get enough trees free'd up to run a stable business, I have my last order of 10+ kits in with him but I need to look around, I have to say his work is fantastic, or the Mutz Nutz as we would say.

    Aircraft Spruce worries me, they sell stuff but have no feeling with what they are selling, it is just a part number and price, fine if it is a nut or bolt but a bit different when you are dealing with a living thing.

    If I can find somebody who can supply large bolts of Sitka Spruce I will have to get them processed here.

    Once again I cannot speak highly enough of Mark and his work, would love to see him battle through and get the trees he needs.

    Cheers

    Paul

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    Re: Spruce suppliers

    Welcome to M.L. Condon Company

    An excellent supplier of Sitka Spruce. They are in White Plains, New York. Thousands of bd. ft. on hand all the time. Although their wood quality is very good, only careful hand selection by a person who has a good bit of knowledge would be appropriate for aircraft use. Presumably, anyone who sells "aircraft spruce" would be responsible for carefull hand selecting each piece to make sure it meets the minimum quality standards. Condons, to my knowledge, does not cater to aircraft builders specifically, but custom woodworkers and boatbuilders. Though Condons Sitka spruce has typical boards averaging 26-29ft in length, 2" thick, 7-9" wide, with rarely a trace of a knot or sapwood in any of them, I would only consider perhaps 1 of every 30/40 boards truely up to what I would consider aircraft standard grade. Since I live 1 1/2 hours a way for them, it is easy for me to drive up with my long flatbed trailer and spend literally hours hand selecting the perfect boards for our spar projects. Well worth it.

    EDIT: Sorry, I noticed you were from Norfolk. I figure you were from Norfolk Virginia in the US; not England.


    George

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    Registered User wiloows5050's Avatar
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    Re: Spruce suppliers

    Any ideas for those of us on the Wext Coast?

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    Registered User paulgy80's Avatar
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    Re: Spruce suppliers

    Hi George, yes England, fish N chip's, cups of tea and the occasional rainy day. But I am still keen to know anything about Sitka Spruce suppliers.

    Cheers

    Paul

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    Re: Spruce suppliers

    On the left coast-Port Orford Cedar, pricey but extremely straight grain, favored by many arrow makers.

    One of my favorites is white ash when you can hand select it, I also make bows and its one of my favorites, much stronger then pine, worth the price.

    I'd look into hickory too where you want extra strength, struts, cabanes etc, much stronger then cedar.
    Jake Levi

    We are all in this together.

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    Registered User snaildrake's Avatar
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    Re: Spruce suppliers

    Jake, I've always wondered about Western Hemlock. Is there top-quality clear lumber available in your area? The canonical WWII-era Aircraft Woods study below puts hemlock up there with Sitka spruce and Doug fir in overall suitability for aircraft, and we all know how hard and $$$ those are to get hold of. Any real (i.e. non-Home-Depot) alternative to spending a king's ransom on Sitka seems worth looking into, if not forming a coop to acquire and distribute.

    I've seen plans calling for ash (could just as well be hickory) in key spots like landing gear reinforcement where shock resistance outweighs, well, weight. Weight is such an overwhelming priority that hardwoods are only used if absolutely necessary. For example, laminating spruce seems to be a preferred method for building bent cabin frames (Cavalier SA102.5).

    Here are useful background references available on the Internet in one way or another:

    "Aircraft Woods: Their Properties, Selection, and Characteristics"

    ANC Bulletin-18, "Design of Wood Aircraft Structures"

    Advisory Circular (AC) 43.13-1B, "Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices - Aircraft Inspection and Repair": Chapter 1. Wood Structure

    "EAA Aircraft Building Techniques: Wood" (order from EAA - 1/2 of articles utterly outdated & worthless, some really good)

    FAA Aging Aircraft Best Practices

    -Dan

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