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Old 15-05-2021, 03:12   #1
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Timber substitutes and staining timber

When I started fitting out my yacht the timber expert suggested using Nyatoh (Poor man's teak). But now many countries around the world (including Australia) have banned imports from, mainly tropical countries, because a lot of it has been illegally felled. I have therefore had to compromise using other types of timber and also staining timber.

I had to cover a bulkhead in the aft cabin and needed some external edging but could not get anything like the timber color I needed so I bought some walnut stain and tried it. My first attempt was far too dark so I tried again but this time I rubbed the stain off immediately with rag. I am happy with the result.

Likewise I am happy with the result of the timber bulkhead capping (above the handhold (in the main cabin) which is not nyatoh but stained to match.

I once handed a piece of timber to my timber expert mate and asked him what type of timber it was. He looked at it for about fifteen seconds and said "it might be XXX" but kept looking at it and said "then again it might be XXX". I figure if an expert has trouble identifying timber I'm happy to "mix and match". Who will know the difference?

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Old 15-05-2021, 03:31   #2
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Re: Timber substitutes and staining timber

Sometimes the best material is the one you have. I did my entire inside in Doug fir and redwood, which is what the local hardware stores carried when I built my boat.
Here in Rhode Island, strangely enough, Alaskan Yellow and other cedars are easier to get.
Good on ya for adapting. BTW, I like the large white surfaces. They'll make the lights go further.
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Old 15-05-2021, 03:56   #3
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Re: Timber substitutes and staining timber

Looks great!!
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Old 15-05-2021, 03:57   #4
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Re: Timber substitutes and staining timber

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Sometimes the best material is the one you have. I did my entire inside in Doug fir and redwood, which is what the local hardware stores carried when I built my boat.
Here in Rhode Island, strangely enough, Alaskan Yellow and other cedars are easier to get.
Good on ya for adapting. BTW, I like the large white surfaces. They'll make the lights go further.
Absolutely! I would use local timber (so long as it is not too heavy) without hesitation if needed to again.

I agree with you about having plenty of white surfaces to reflect light.





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Old 15-05-2021, 04:12   #5
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Re: Timber substitutes and staining timber

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Looks great!!

Thank you

But the next boat I build wil be along the lines of a naval destroyer. Everthing will be top grade, functional and nothing cosmetic

There will be no cupboards but plenty of shelving with dividers. For rough seas there will be netting in place that can be snipped into place.


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Old 15-05-2021, 16:24   #6
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Re: Timber substitutes and staining timber

Have you tried Tassy Oak? It is readily available and being a managed forestry product should be available forever. Varnishes and glues well. Not cheap. Bunnings carry it.
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Old 15-05-2021, 16:52   #7
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Re: Timber substitutes and staining timber

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Have you tried Tassy Oak? It is readily available and being a managed forestry product should be available forever. Varnishes and glues well. Not cheap. Bunnings carry it.

Thanks for that. The edging I used (see my first post) is Tasmanian Oak bought from Bunnings!! I wonder how fitting out a whole yacht with Tasmanian Oak would go......?
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Old 15-05-2021, 17:00   #8
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Re: Timber substitutes and staining timber

Just a few days ago I made this coffee table/ottoman using radiata pine from bunnings. Jarrah stain, sprayed with clear polyurethane.
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Old 15-05-2021, 17:11   #9
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Re: Timber substitutes and staining timber

Recently been doing this little powercats interior. Mixture of recycled cedar, tassie oak, radiata pine, some perspex offcuts for the splashbacks and caravan sandwich panel offcuts for the vertical bits.
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Old 15-05-2021, 19:05   #10
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Re: Timber substitutes and staining timber

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Just a few days ago I made this coffee table/ottoman using radiata pine from bunnings. Jarrah stain, sprayed with clear polyurethane.

WOW! That looks absolutely delightful!

If I get around to building some cockpit furniture (just about finished the inside) I'll keep that in mind.
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Old 15-05-2021, 21:26   #11
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Re: Timber substitutes and staining timber

Tassy Oak can look rather bright, but it has a much more interesting grain than industrial radiata pine. Possibly a bit fussy. I would keep clear of staining unless you are good at it.
Scratched stained wood can look a bit ordinary and some stains will fade or discolour over time.

Sanded varnished Tassy Oak is easy to manage and requires no special processes.
If you think it is a bit too bright/shiny, then maybe oiling or a matt varnish is an option.

Check Bunnings et al for sliced veneer surfaced plywood if you are interested in a saloon table top. Consider using thin planks over a ply wood base if needed. Maybe a CNC inlaid veneer picture (the boat under sail or dancing dolphins etc.) or the boat name could look spiffy.

I have used varnished Tassy Oak in the workshop shelf fronts and the missus reckons it looks great.

Tassy Oak is also a manged resource and should be available for yonks.
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Old 16-05-2021, 00:27   #12
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Re: Timber substitutes and staining timber

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Originally Posted by billgewater View Post
Tassy Oak can look rather bright, but it has a much more interesting grain than industrial radiata pine. Possibly a bit fussy. I would keep clear of staining unless you are good at it.
Scratched stained wood can look a bit ordinary and some stains will fade or discolour over time.

Sanded varnished Tassy Oak is easy to manage and requires no special processes.
If you think it is a bit too bright/shiny, then maybe oiling or a matt varnish is an option.

Check Bunnings et al for sliced veneer surfaced plywood if you are interested in a saloon table top. Consider using thin planks over a ply wood base if needed. Maybe a CNC inlaid veneer picture (the boat under sail or dancing dolphins etc.) or the boat name could look spiffy.

I have used varnished Tassy Oak in the workshop shelf fronts and the missus reckons it looks great.

Tassy Oak is also a manged resource and should be available for yonks.
Funny, I found the opposite, you can sort through the radiata pine planks and find some very nice grains for larger areas.

Tassie oak seems a little bland for big areas IMO.

But for trim, edges etc, it's better suited, much more workable and stronger.

Staining's pretty easy. Just thin the stain, then apply thin coats until you get the colour you like. The grain of radiata really works nicely with stain. Recently a visitor aboard wouldn't believe the table was pine until we showed the underside.
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Old 16-05-2021, 00:47   #13
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Re: Timber substitutes and staining timber

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Funny, I found the opposite, you can sort through the radiata pine planks and find some very nice grains for larger areas.

Tassie oak seems a little bland for big areas IMO.

But for trim, edges etc, it's better suited, much more workable and stronger.

Staining's pretty easy. Just thin the stain, then apply thin coats until you get the colour you like. The grain of radiata really works nicely with stain. Recently a visitor aboard wouldn't believe the table was pine until we showed the underside.

Thinning the stain and apply more coats until you get the right color is a good idea (didn't think of that).

Yes, I think if you carefully select the radiata pine you can get some nice grain.


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Old 16-05-2021, 02:39   #14
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Re: Timber substitutes and staining timber

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Thinning the stain and apply more coats until you get the right color is a good idea (didn't think of that).

Yes, I think if you carefully select the radiata pine you can get some nice grain.


You can also mix stains if there's a look you'd really like but can't quite find.

The good thing about pine is it's pretty cheap, so if it all goes pear shaped it's no great loss.

Not much about boatbuilding is fun, but playing about with cheap wood making it look classy and expensive like you did, is one of the fun bits.
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Old 16-05-2021, 03:54   #15
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Re: Timber substitutes and staining timber

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You can also mix stains if there's a look you'd really like but can't quite find.

The good thing about pine is it's pretty cheap, so if it all goes pear shaped it's no great loss.

Not much about boatbuilding is fun, but playing about with cheap wood making it look classy and expensive like you did, is one of the fun bits.

Well yours is the classy looking yacht.

I have done a little research on "caravan sandwich panel off-cuts". They look good! (and probably quite cheap).

I've "salvaged" quite a bit of nylon, plastic, perspex etc from scrap bins at at a plastic sign business. Just last week I've been given permission to take any scrap aluminum I want from a boat manufacturers scrap bin.
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