BASSWOOD stripper

-- Last Updated: Sep-01-04 3:13 PM EST --

Looking for input from experienced builders (and other heavy thinkers), on the idea of using basswood instead of cedar, to help reduce the weight of an upcomeing build of Laughing Loon's Solo Portage canoe.

Thanks for your thoughts.

I’m no expert
at boat building but I don’t know that the minamal weight savings is proportional to the lack of rot resistance in basswood

As was mentioned, Basswood doesn’t resist rot as well as Cedar but is tougher so there’s a trade off there.

If you are going to be encapsulating it with fibreglass and resin then rot shouldn’t be an issue.

Basswood was used for many years by Canadian Canoe Companies until their supply ran out so at one time it was an accepted wood for canoe building. In fact it was their first choice.

Based on this, there shouldn’t be any problem if you can get it in the lengths that you need.


Go for it…
… as Ogilvyspecial said. Assuming you do a good fiberglass job, basswood should hold up just fine. It’s a great color, works very nicely, and is available in suitable lengths.

It’s what I’m using for all the accents on my otherwise cedar stripper.


Have worked with both, and don’t expect
basswood to be lighter. Should be about the same. Of course, your local supply of basswood might be lighter than whatever supply of cedar you have used.

Basswood vs WRC
Basswood 26 lbs per cu ft: western Red cedar 23 lbs cu ft.