If I were to replace my Samson posts, I would use Osage Orange - super hard and almost rot proof. I just built the double wedges for my new bowsprit from this wood. The other choice of would is Black Locust. Both woods are native to the USA.
Stan, thanks for your posting about building a bowsprit - very helpful.
Black Locust is almost impossible to find unless you know someone. Your garden variety lumberyard manager
will give you a blank look or try to sell you Honey Locust. I have seen it advertised by a northeast
yard in the classifieds of Woodenboat magazine. A large yard that might be able to source it would be M.L. Condon in New York since this wood is indigenous to the east coast but you could be barking up the wrong tree with a west coast yard like Edensaw. Larry Pardey talks about this wood extensively in his "Classic Boat Building" and likes it because of it's natural resistance to worm attack. He used it to build the rudder on Taleisin and it is still going strong after almost twenty years. I'd like to build my tiller from this stuff instead of Ash. I used teak for my own sampson posts in spite of the cost because of it's rot resistance and it's easy availability here in Florida. It is a very hard wood rating close to Oak though it is brittle.
One of the white Oaks might be an easier choice for those of us who are reluctant to run down exotics since it is readily available.
at reasonable cost. Just guard against rot. I would pickle it in green cuprinol and paint it white. There was a fascinating article in Woodenboat about the original building and refit of the sailing vessel Constitution where they mention the use of vast quantities of several varieties of Oak throughout the boat. Some of those original timbers are still going strong and you will recall what her nickname is. If my teak bitts turn out to be unsatisfactory I will most likely go to a white oak and I'm debating whether or not to use it on the second pass of the rubrails in favor of the Honduran Mahogany preferred by the factory. But if cost and irritation are no object it might be worth looking for Iron Bark. I've read that it is almost impossible to cut with a chainsaw. Your #1 bulkhead
might pull out before this stuff quit on you.
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