Choice of wood for coasters

Sunday, July 4, 2004 1:10 AM
I am hoping someone will give me some information as to why wooden coaster manufacturers tend towards southern yellow pine as their preferred wood to construct the coaster out of. I remember a while back seeing some roller coaster special mentioning that Collosus at SFMM was constructed of Douglas fir. I forgot the reason they gave in the special as to why this was chosen. One thing I can say for sure is that southern yellow pine does look great new! That light yellow color is unbeatable. Too bad it fades to a dull grey over the years. While I'm on the topic of choice of wood, I'm wondering what coaster holds the record for most board feet of lumber in it's construction. I'm thinking Mean Streak or Ghostrider. Does anyone know?
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Sunday, July 4, 2004 1:26 AM
Its Mean Streak. However, Colussus in Germany may eek it out, though I will not lose sleep over not knowing 100%.
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Sunday, July 4, 2004 1:51 AM
I believe Southern Yellow Pine goes through the pressurization process the best of any wood, and it lasts the longest.
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Sunday, July 4, 2004 6:01 AM
Colossos at Heide Park has a very "light" and filigree structure compared to SOB, Ghostrider (earthquake) or Shivering Timbers.
Look at pictures of White Cyclone in Japan. You canĀ“t see the coaster for all that wood.
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Sunday, July 4, 2004 9:57 AM
Touchdown nailed it...
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Sunday, July 4, 2004 2:58 PM
One thing to add. Southern yellow pine is reasonably priced.
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Monday, July 5, 2004 2:08 AM
That, and the quantities of clear douglas fir(emphasis on clear) that are needed to build a coaster are much more difficult to obtain now than in the past. And it's Collosos that took the total board feet title to satisfy the TUV standards. Before that it was neck and neck between Mean Streak and Ghost Rider. (Actually I think that Ghost Rider has more.)
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Monday, July 5, 2004 9:46 PM
Mean Streak has 1.7 million feet I think. Ghost Rider has like 2.4 million feet. I'm not sure about Colossos though, but I didn't think it had more than Mean Streak. I think SOB has like 1.5 million feet.
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Tuesday, July 6, 2004 1:14 AM
Fir is WAY expensive nowadays, it would be cost-prohibitive to build a coaster out of ANYTHING other than treated pine (esp. considering Dutchman's note of "clear", meaning no *joints*, etc.....I would take a gamble though that Leap-the-Dips has a more-than-fair share of Fir or possibly some hardwood, being that it was re-constructed more as a piece of furniture than as a typical coaster.

Treated lumber CAN be kept much nicer, appearance-wise, than it typically is...cleaning it and weather-proofing it (free advertising for Thompson's Water Seal, LOL) can make a HUGE difference...but there's no real *need* for a park to do that...;)

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Tuesday, July 6, 2004 3:51 PM
Most wood? What about Son of Beast?
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Tuesday, July 6, 2004 8:01 PM
Does anyone know how much the fact that pine is farmed and the others are merely harvested makes any difference? Southern yellow pine is sutainably farmed, whereas some (ok, lots of) other woods are not.
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Tuesday, July 6, 2004 9:12 PM
Prabe took most of my thunder, but I still have one small point. Colossus at SFMM is on the West coast where douglas fir is more available than here in the midwest or east coast.
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Tuesday, July 6, 2004 9:59 PM
White cyclone must have the longest board length. Just look at the thing!
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Tuesday, July 6, 2004 10:22 PM
Another idea would be that Southern Yellow Pine has the best combination of strength and flexiblity. Just a thought. :)
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Wednesday, July 7, 2004 8:39 PM
And it's not a bad thought, RCT_MASTER. Although i would suspect that the price of the wood would also make a difference. From one type of wood to another shouldn't make a big diff, so long as they don't build it out of balsa or anything...
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