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Thread: Iron bark

  1. #1
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    Default Iron bark

    Hi Guy i have a lot of reclaimed iron bark ,is around 80 years old . Could this be machined down to around 4mm and used for decking on a boat build ,it would be glued to ply ?.

    I know its an oily timber ,but after 80 years of drying out ?

    Many thanks

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  3. #2
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    To start with you would need to make sure you use tuncston tip blades in your thicknesser. Then there are a couple of ways to laminate it to your ply one is using a self foaming polyurethane like PURBOND but onlu good if there is a tight joint with no gaps the other way is to use an epoxy mixed with a gluiing filler. Also it might be handy if you have a look to see what Australian Forrestries has to say about ironbark in marine use, you can read more about this stuff on boatcraftnsw.com.au.

    Hope this helps

  4. #3
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    How's Dave doing Scott?

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    Lol, hes still good

  6. #5
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    Hello all, with all due respect I would have thought Iron Bark would be too dense and heavy for decking. Probably more suited to floors and keel timbers, a stem even if you wanted to ram the enemy. Density is greater than bluegum.

  7. #6
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    Huon, you're absolutely correct. Iron Bark is well suited to many thing, like cleats, backing plates, belaying pins and other tasks where a dense, hard, nearly bullet proof material is desirable.

    As a decking it would be best if used as a solid stock, not laminated to plywood. As a solid decking, you'd need at least 9 - 10 mm of thickness to make it useful and to accept bungs. 12 mm would be better, so you'd have some wear thickness. It could only be used on a large boat, as the weight is substantial.

  8. #7
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    Would probably make an attractive kingplank also. In Keith Bootle's book , Wood In Australia, it's mentioned that care needed to minimise surface checking, also mentioned is that it's hard to work due to density and interlocked grain. Will obviously stand up to foot traffic.

  9. #8
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    Grey iron bark not the red iron bark was used many years ago for keel, frames and stems etc. It was also used for planking and decking on very large boats The advantage of grey iron bark is strength for weight. Even at its high weight. And it has heaps of weight. SG1.1 after drying. Consequently it is more useful the larger the boat. Largely replaced by spotted gum due to availability. It is also very hard to work and most of the old timers have a story or two about their apprentice days and working with it.

    I dont know where your iron bark is from but my understanding that grey iron bark comes from about mid NSW north to south QLD on the coastal side of the ranges. There is a lot on the inland side of the ranges but it is mainly red iron bark with only occassional scattered grey ironbarks.

  10. #9
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    Grey Ironbarks; Euc.Paniculata ,Euc. Drepanophylla, Euc.siderophloia ( coastal NSW & southern Queensland ).
    Red Ironbarks; Euc.Sideroxylon ( inland,Vic. and NSW, sometimes coastal on eastern seaboard )
    Euc. Fibrosa ( broad leaved, formally Euc. Siderophloia. A grey Ironbark now a red Ironbark ) Again coastal.
    Euc. Crebra ( narrow leaved, from Sydney to Cairns, coastal. has the best resistance to surface checking than the other Ironbarks ).
    Apologies to " Wood In Australia ", Keith Bootle.

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