Aircraft Ash

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ToddK

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Ordered a few boards from SawMillPatrick at Wooden Aviation- Home. They came in a few days ago. Excellent quality. Clean, strait, tight grain.

I had read about the strength of ash vs sitka, and was not really prepared for how tough this stuff really is. I am using it for some of the more highly loaded members that are also bolted via steel brackets, and am encouraged by the extra margin of safety they will afford.

I have some locally acquired spruce boards I will be using for the majority of the airplane, and will cut them all down at the same time to ensure identical dimensions.

Anyone considering a wood airplane, would do well to consider ash as part of the build.
 

Dana

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As all the ash trees are dying across the northeast from the ash borer we've had to cut hundreds down around the cabins in our camp community. We bought a sawmill to make use of the wood. I haven't made anything aircraft related, but the wood is being used to fix up cabins all over the camp. It's tough stuff, beautiful grain, a ***** to nail into. Not particularly rot resistant.

Most of the cabins in the area were built from native American chestnut in the 1920s when they were all dying from the chestnut blight. Now that's beautiful wood, and rot resistant. History repeats itself, 100 years later.
 

ToddK

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Are you using it for spars?
No. Not planning to. I plan on using it in the upper cabin, for the 2 inboard compression struts in the wings. and possibly the wing bows. All the rest will be Sitka. I apologize for the crude graphic. I don't have PS on my home PC.
 

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Larry650

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Ordered a few boards from SawMillPatrick at Wooden Aviation- Home. They came in a few days ago. Excellent quality. Clean, strait, tight grain.

I had read about the strength of ash vs sitka, and was not really prepared for how tough this stuff really is. I am using it for some of the more highly loaded members that are also bolted via steel brackets, and am encouraged by the extra margin of safety they will afford.

I have some locally acquired spruce boards I will be using for the majority of the airplane, and will cut them all down at the same time to ensure identical dimensions.

Anyone considering a wood airplane, would do well to consider ash as part of the build.
Todd, I've never built an airplane but I have rebuilt a half dozen or more canoes in the last couple of years and ash is just the thing. I have replaced gunwales both in and out, carry yokes, thwarts, lift handles, and seats, all done with ash I have sawn from planks. Seats are made with no screws, just dowels and glue.
But ash is not a lightweight wood. I am curious as to what areas of a homebuilt ash would be suitable for?
 

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Tiger Tim

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But ash is not a lightweight wood. I am curious as to what areas of a homebuilt ash would be suitable for?
Ash turns up in some of de Havilland’s more highly stressed parts. Near as I can tell they liked it where crushing (from fasteners) was a concern.

The Bleriot I want to build uses ash for longerons, probably because every other member is bolted to them. The E-2 Cub I helped restore as a kid has ash wing tip bows which I remember were hard as a rock after being steam bent to shape and will probably never ever go wavy no matter how tight the covering is.
 
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Ordered a few boards from SawMillPatrick at Wooden Aviation- Home. They came in a few days ago. Excellent quality. Clean, strait, tight grain.

I had read about the strength of ash vs sitka, and was not really prepared for how tough this stuff really is. I am using it for some of the more highly loaded members that are also bolted via steel brackets, and am encouraged by the extra margin of safety they will afford.

I have some locally acquired spruce boards I will be using for the majority of the airplane, and will cut them all down at the same time to ensure identical dimensions.

Anyone considering a wood airplane, would do well to consider ash as part of the build.
what kind of density did you get? rings per inch?
 

Aviacs

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the wood is being used to fix up cabins all over the camp

Hope it is in covered areas with good drainage or it will likely need re-done in a few years. Ash has virtually no rot resistance. Dry rots and get punky. It is a great, stable, tough wood though. Sounds ideal for bent parts and bolted areas of airplanes. Also boat parts that don't stay wet all the time.

smt
 

pbk3

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We built the EAA's Bleriot replica using ash - I was on the team steaming strips and worrying about wing tip bows. On the one hand, it's the most memorable OshKosh ever. On the other hand, too darn heavy to fly.
 

ToddK

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We built the EAA's Bleriot replica using ash - I was on the team steaming strips and worrying about wing tip bows. On the one hand, it's the most memorable OshKosh ever. On the other hand, too darn heavy to fly.
I thought the EAA Bleriot ended up being a bit lighter then an original, its listed as being 484lbs on the EAA site.
 
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Joined
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Ash turns up in some of de Havilland’s more highly stressed parts. Near as I can tell they liked it where crushing (from fasteners) was a concern.

The Bleriot I want to build uses ash for longerons, probably because every other member is bolted to them. The E-2 Cub I helped restore as a kid has ash wing tip bows which I remember were hard as a rock after being steam bent to shape and will probably never ever go wavy no matter how tight the covering is.
Way back in AnP school before Noah, we were told that ash longerons were used in many old aircraft because of it's resistance to splitting in a crash ... No idea if is/was true though... MKs sense as it is used in bowmaking
 

ToddK

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Way back in AnP school before Noah, we were told that ash longerons were used in many old aircraft because of it's resistance to splitting in a crash ... No idea if is/was true though... MKs sense as it is used in bowmaking
One of my sons is making a bow out of the extra board. I should have ordered more.
 

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