Notices
Scratch Building, Aircraft Design, 3D/CAD If you are starting/building a project from scratch or want to discuss design, CAD or even share 3D design images this is the place. Q&A's.

alternative spar materials

Old 04-17-2002, 05:31 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL
Posts: 7,769
Likes: 0
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
Default alternative spar materials

I do a lot of scratch building of mostly large stuff. Since Sitka spruce is not available, I have found that pine is almost as good. It is hard to locate boards with good close grain and straight grained wood; but, I can usually locate some with a diligent search thru the stock at local lumber yards. You may have to sort thru about 50 to 100 boards to find good ones and you can usually only get about 50% of the board as usable. Still it is less expensive than balsa or bass wood and, in my opinion, just as good or better. You do need a good table saw and sharp blade but I can cut down to 1/16 inch with no problems.
Old 04-17-2002, 01:45 PM
  #2  
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: MS
Posts: 3,785
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default Sitka Spruce

Couldn't you get spruce from one of the full scale suppliers and cut it to the size you need?
Old 04-18-2002, 10:13 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Palmdale, CA
Posts: 5,211
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default alternative spar materials

There's no significant difference mechanically between basswood and spruce. Either will work fine for spars, in the same sizes.
Old 09-08-2018, 07:11 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 481
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

I know this is an old thread, but I thought i'd add a bit of my 40 + years of experience in wood working of just about every level . in regard to spar streangth vs. weight. I found that I would rather use a piece of nice straight grained Douglas Fir with a high ring count for spars. the good stuff is just about as strong as typical oak, although just a bit heavier than Spruce, Pine or Bass. for a spar, I just size it the same in height and about 2/3 the thickness as a spar of the softer wood. weight ends up about the same with a measureable increase in shear yielding a stronger wing.
Old 09-08-2018, 01:32 PM
  #5  
 
ETpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: East Texas
Posts: 1,203
Received 26 Likes on 24 Posts
Default

Iíve been building with Poplar. It is just about equal in compressive and bending strength, stiffness and hardness to Sitka Spruce. Just a very slight bit heavier. It exceeds Basswood in all parameters. Douglas Fir exceeds all these parameters but weighs more. I have a 6í piece Iíve been using for a few builds now. I just cut to size.

Old 09-13-2018, 06:11 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 481
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Default

yup poplar will work, too. what I like about Doug Fir is that it's weight to strength ratio allows smaller dimensions with similar strength. I have some old Doug Fir telephone pole cross ties that have 26 and 28 rings to the inch. I cam make tiny little spars that have the strength of "fairly large for the wing" Spruce, Pine or Bass spars, or beef a wing up considerably by adding just a small increase in dimension and weight..

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.