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bigcreekdad

Milled Boxwood Sheets in USA

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50 minutes ago, ASAT said:

Plus to rip planking strips, you start with sheet stock as thick as your plank width....

Yes, I'm aware of that. It was this that caused my question, actually. "Why would anybody do that?" In a yard building traditional wooden vessels, a guy who the boss caught ripping narrow plank out of the precious, high-priced wide flitches reserved for getting out garboard planks (requiring the widest stock) would have his head handed to him.

 

Boxwood trunks are only 4" to 6" in circumference. That means that a four inch sheet would have to come from select, perfectly clear stock and there'd only be  a few 4" planks that could be gotten out of only the largest of the boxwood trees harvested. These planks would likely be very hard to keep from cupping when drying, as well, because they'd have to be slabbed with the center of the trunk being in the middle of the plank, rather than being sawed from heartwood on either side of the center, as is generally done. All things considered, these relatively wide planks would be the most desirable and most rare parts of a large box tree and so the most expensive.  It wouldn't seem to make much sense to pay for prime wide stock, only to rip it up for strip wood. It would be much more economical to rip strip wood from narrower planks and billets that weren't anywhere near as dear. It ought to be a lot less expensive to rip strip wood from billets than from prime wide sheets, but perhaps it isn't.

 

I guess I may be confusing Costello "Boxwood" with real Boxwood, though. Costello grows up to two feet in diameter, so 4" wide planks aren't as rare as true Boxwood. While still not cheap, Costello costs less than true Boxwood, I believe, so maybe that answers my question: "With Costello, it really doesn't matter as much as with true Boxwood." Maybe when folks talk about "Boxwood" these days, they are really talking about Costello.

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18 hours ago, Bob Cleek said:

I definitely agree with that. What I don't get, aside from laser-cutting by kit manufacturers, is why folks are looking for sheet stock. Sheet stock's milling is hugely wasteful of scarce, prime wide plank pieces, especially when one is only going to cut it up anyway, as compared to cutting the small pieces needed off of billets, or so it would seem to me. What's with the fascination with sheet stock? The original ships were never built with sheet stock. Just wondering, is all.

 

I'll go along with the others Bob.  I'll also add that many (most) of us don't have the equipment to deal with billets.  A few years ago, I thought about buying a billet of some boxwood and some others, but when I checked my saws, none of them would have been able to handle it.

 

I'll add, most of us use or used Costello as the "real" stuff is/was way out of our price range.

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17 minutes ago, mtaylor said:

 

I'll go along with the others Bob.  I'll also add that many (most) of us don't have the equipment to deal with billets.  A few years ago, I thought about buying a billet of some boxwood and some others, but when I checked my saws, none of them would have been able to handle it.

 

I'll add, most of us use or used Costello as the "real" stuff is/was way out of our price range.

If it's Costello, that makes sense. I was thinking of real Boxwood. No question that you do need to be able to cut billets to size. If you don't have a full-size table saw and/or band saw, you'd probably be out of luck on that score. I suppose one could buy a lot of sheet stock it cut up on a mini-table saw before it would be worth their while to invest in full-size woodworking stationary tools, even if they had the room for them.  

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Bob, In my case I am referring to castello boxwood, that is the only “boxwood” that I would use for planking or framing. I do have a log of buxus sempervirens (the real boxwood) that I bought many, many years ago from All Righteous Hardwoods  - it came as a half log, and was sold by the pound, if I remember right it originates from Turkey, and you are correct by the time I mill that log and get a few good billets from it it would indeed be a waste to use it for planking or framing. Not to mention very expensive....  I have found a nice alternative to Castello- Anigre wood, it isn’t as clear as Castello but close and it does have a nice creamy to gold ish color, it mills well and holds a nice edge it may be a little harder on blades than Castello but you can buy a lot of blades from the savings. Still expensive but around 1/4 or less of the cost of Castello which is getting harder to source. 

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