Monday, September 17, 2012

White Oak.

This is coolbert:

Oliver Hazard Perry, that Commodore and naval victor from the era of the War of 1812, having to construct his OWN FLEET in situ, NO American warships of any type able to battle and defeat the British naval squadron as sailing the waters of Lake Erie.

Presque Isle, Ohio USA, surrounded by wilderness as that term understood at the time and providing timber, the stand of forests virgin, oak of such size most suitable for construction.


A rough rule of thumb for gauging the timber needed to build a late eighteenth-century warship was an acre of oak forest per cannon.  Tall, knot-free pine for masts and spars had become hard to find in Western Europe, and it was for these that royal shipwrights turned to North America. [A tree knot is where a limb grows. To make an  80-100’ knot-free mast, the tree must be so tall and straight that its first branches start 80-100’ above the ground]. They looked at the New World and saw a navy in the trees.  Up until a hundred and fifty years ago, a forest of straight, sturdy pine was as valuable as an oil field or uranium mine today; it was a critical source of energy (i.e., sail power) without which a nation could not fully realize its commercial or military ambitions”

That straight sturdy pine of course the white pine found in the forests of New England and further west Michigan, northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. That most valuable of trees providing the wood for a single piece mast of extraordinary size. The acquisition of those white pine of the most suitable type by the agents of the Crown being one cause among many that the American colonists listed as a grievance resulting in armed rebellion and ultimately independence from England.

Oak as used for the hull of the ship, that portion of the vessel actually coming in contact with the water and keeping the ship afloat.

Perry at age twenty-seven already a Commodore, an accomplished sailor with a number of years of experience at sea, able to muster the ships, the men, the cannon, the physical and mental wherewithal and the moxie to prevail where others could not do so. AN ENTIRE BRITISH NAVAL SQUADRON SURRENDERING AT LAKE ERIE, AN UNPRECEDENTED EVENT AMERICAN KNOW-HOW AND CAN-DO SPIRIT PREVAILING!!

That third largest American naval base located almost one thousand miles from the ocean having a 25,000 acre white oak forest reserved strictly for military use, the harvesting and use of the timber used in reconstructions and rehabilitation of old ships of the line!

"White oak is a highly desired wood for Constitution. While available commercially, the quality, sizes and dimensions of timber required for Constitution [that keel of the USS Constitution made from white oak] precludes availability from many sources. The Navy sources needed oak timber from 'Constitution Grove' a Naval timber reserve, at Naval Weapons Support Center, Crane Indiana."


No comments: