What can you tell me about sinker' cypress versus regular cypress?
Gene Wengert, aka The Wood Doctor, troubleshoots wood related problems, and explores lumber and veneer qualities and performance, species by species, in Wood Explorer, inside FDMC's Knowledge Center.
However, as wood was plentiful and not too expensive, some logs were lost; that is, they sank. Today, we are recovering these logs that have been submerged for a century or more; the lumber they produce is called “sinker cypress.”
The Sinker Cypress from Marwood Inc. of Jeffersonville, IN, is pre-cut timber salvaged from rivers and lakes, that has been naturally preserved for hundreds of years.
There can also be a strength issue. The bacteria (we find these bacteria in other species as well including hemlock, willow, elm, oak and cottonwood) create an odor that is not pleasant and create enzymes that weaken the wood. Although the odor is gone from century old logs, the strength loss is still there. When sinker cypress is used for decking or other items where its strength is important, we know that the wood is weaker than the published strength values due to the bacterial action of a century ago. However, I have not seen revised design values for sinker lumber. Nevertheless, it could be risky (or even dangerous) to use sinker in a structural application.
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