wood, hardwood, strong, springy

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by mtenterprises posted 06-19-2012 09:01 PM 5159 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2717 days

06-19-2012 09:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood hardwood

I came on here over an hour and a half ago to post this question then got sidetracked looking at projects and reading forum posts. Is this place addicting or what? Like going to the store for bread and coming home with a weeks groceries and no bread. Well enough said about thay I guess i’m addicted or I easily get side tracked.

Now for my question. I have a project in the shop for repair it’s an EZ Up shelter, yea I know it’s now made of wood but thats going to change. It got caught up in the wind and some of the expandable trusses got broken. Now I know enough to go to the manufacturer for replacement parts but for this model they don’t make them any more. Then I tried finding metal tube of the size required and so far no luck there either. So now this is what I plan to do. I plan to replace these broken trusses with wooden ones. In the past many, many projects were made from wood like racks to dry clothes or curtain stretchers and on and on. Wood is strong supple and springy. So here’s the real question what kind of wood should I use for this repair? I think it needs to be strong and springy. Should it be a hardwood like oak or something softer like willow? Since I live in the north east don’t give me some rare wood I can’t get here. Now I know some woods are too soft and some too britle I want something that will last better than the thin wall tubing that was used orignally. I’ll take your thougts into consideration and tell you what I decide on later. Thanks for the help guys.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

11 replies so far

View Ryan Haasen's profile

Ryan Haasen

385 posts in 2425 days

#1 posted 06-19-2012 09:27 PM

I know that bamboo is very strong and flexible, but I imagine that you might not have access to it. Possible hard maple, but I’m not too sure on that one. I’m interested to see what other people suggest.

-- Ryan

View bobsmyuncle's profile


110 posts in 2715 days

#2 posted 06-19-2012 10:16 PM

Probably more information than you want to know about elasticity and strength:

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2717 days

#3 posted 06-20-2012 01:02 PM

bobsmyuncle – That is MUCH more than I can even comprehend. I’m going to need to work off other people’s experiences. I just cannot begin to digest what is written there.

Ryan – yes bamboo would be a great choice but like you said where do you get it. We’ll see what everyone else has to say here.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View ChrisFranklin's profile


23 posts in 2214 days

#4 posted 06-20-2012 11:33 PM

Ash? Used for oars and paddles and canoe parts for its strong and springy skills. But not cheap.

-- Mud thrown is ground lost.

View ITnerd's profile


263 posts in 2623 days

#5 posted 06-20-2012 11:49 PM

How about Hickory ?- Not all the North American species grow in the northeast, but there are several that do. Wikipedia has a section on usage, and it lists some of the characteristics you are looking for.

Hope this helps Mike,

-- Chris @ Atlanta - JGM - Occam's razor tells us that when you hear hoofs, think horses not zebras.

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2717 days

#6 posted 06-21-2012 02:03 AM

I’ve worked hickory before and that stuff can be real hard. Now ash might be a good one I’ll have to look into it.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View Tomj's profile


204 posts in 2406 days

#7 posted 06-21-2012 05:06 AM

I build bows so I do know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to strong and springy. Even though a bow could be made from just about any wood if you wanted to (for example willow is definitely not the strongest wood but if you made the bow wide and long enough you could get a 35-40 lb draw from it). Back to the question, Hickory is a very tough wood (specifically Pignut Hickory although others will do very well too such as Pecan but this structure you are building sounds like it will be outside so it needs to last as well. Black Locust is very strong in tension medium in compression and will last outside, I’m just not sure you coould find it in the lumber yard, I can’t and I’m in the northeast. Bamboo is really strong in tension just not so good with compression ( I use bamboo in combination with a wood like Ipe (brazilian Walnut) which you should be able to find in the northeast. It is sold as decking but it is very hard which makes it hard to work with. Hickory is still a good choice, so is Ash also Elm too, I’m just not sure of how well they will do outside. Ipe is a strong choice and will last outside but also to get the best of it’s so-called strong and springy characteristics you need to have a strait grained board. That goes for any wood when you are asking it to behave strong and springy. Good luck, I hope I helped.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3672 days

#8 posted 06-21-2012 05:14 AM

Lots of softer hardwoods, if riven to shape will outperform
tougher hardwoods sawn and/or planed to shape in this sort
of application.

I don’t know the length or cross sections you need. You
may need something that can take drilled holes without splitting.

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2717 days

#9 posted 06-21-2012 10:45 AM

Learning a lot here. Tom – this is for a pop up shelter that is put up for like a day or 2 max and the canvass cover covers all the structure except the legs. I’m leaning towards ash but I wonder how available elm would be.
The size of strips I need are less than 4’ long with a cross section of about 7/8” x 1/2” with 2 – 1/4” holes 1 in each end. I believe these strips should be flat grain running vertical along the 7/8” face. I’ve been thinking if I were to get a 5/4×6” x 8’ board I’d have more than enough material for the repairs. The problem I see is getting a board of specific wood cut with vertical grain. Now I know about the holes and it might split but if I use some of the broken tubing as a type of furrel on the strips and a peened over piece of tubing through the hole as a bushing I think this would be very strong.
I keep wondering about woods like willow or birtch which in nature are very bendable under heavy snow loads, just thinking what would be best. The idea of banboo I like but can I get it in the length I need? Scources guys I’m in need if scources to find these things.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2993 days

#10 posted 06-22-2012 01:05 PM

Cricket bats are made of white willow so it must be tough. Ash is used for hurleys (like a hockey stick/bat type thing in the sport of Hurling) for its strength and bending properties. Either would do your job.
Could you not get lengths of bamboo from a garden centre?

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2717 days

#11 posted 06-23-2012 03:58 PM

Hmmm I may look at the garden center thats a good idea. Thanks.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics