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Source of GCI Wood

MEGABUMP!

(This was originally posted as a bump to an old thread, but I have split - this comment now doesn't make much sense, but... *shrug* - Hixee)
 
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CrashCoaster

Well-Known Member
They used to use southern yellow pine, but I think they've used a different wood type in the last few years.

Could you not have made a topic in the Q&A section rather than bump an 8-year-old thread?
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
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For the record, necroposting like that is not considered good forum etiquette. In the future, please let long-dead threads stay long-dead, unless you bring in a piece of news that seriously warrants taking the discussion back up. If you have a question like that, please make a new thread instead of bumping a really old one.

Also, put a little more effort into your posts than just replying with a single word.
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
What the heffin jeff is going on in this thread? 🙈😂

It’s so random that it’s hilarious!

Out of interest do wooden coaster manufacturers usually have such a specific preferred wood type? Or do any of them use wood responsibly sourced locally to the project?
 

JoshC.

Active Member
Out of interest do wooden coaster manufacturers usually have such a specific preferred wood type? Or do any of them use wood responsibly sourced locally to the project?
GCI said:
What kind of wood is used to construct your roller coasters?
We primarily use Southern Yellow Pine harvested from renewable forests.
;)

From this, I'd imagine they (well, GCI at least) have set forests they use and know are renewable and sustainable. If there's one local to project, a bonus, but otherwise, a preferred wood type
 

Nicky Borrill

Active Member
;)

From this, I'd imagine they (well, GCI at least) have set forests they use and know are renewable and sustainable. If there's one local to project, a bonus, but otherwise, a preferred wood type
Come On Josh... Give me some credit... I knew that about GCI after reading this thread 🙈😂

My question was whether this was standard for other wooden coaster manufacturers, past or present. If anybody knows that is, it is quite an obscure question I’ll admit.
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
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Out of interest do wooden coaster manufacturers usually have such a specific preferred wood type? Or do any of them use wood responsibly sourced locally to the project?
If I recall correctly, Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) is pretty cheap, because it grows quickly. For that reason, it's a very common source of construction lumber. Hardly the best lumber you can get out there, but if you don't need each board to withstand large loads, it should work well. Wooden coasters are built like truss structures, where the only loads are in the longitudinal direction, and most wood is quite resistant to those loads (think of the wood like a bundle of straws - easy to bend, but hard to compress), so SYP should do fine.

I'd imagine that the track itself is built of a sturdier type of wood than SYP, or perhaps it's chemically treated in a different way. The track takes a much harder beating than the load-bearing structure.

So yeah, it's not like GCI is choosing any specific type of wood for their products, but they go for the type that's easiest and cheapest to get in the required quantities. I think SYP is used for most wood coasters out there, because it's cheap and available.
 

Hyde

I Lied About My Age!
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Pine is also naturally rot-resistant, which makes it good candidates for thwarting off decay and pests (e.g. carpenter bees that are currently eating through my backyard fence!). Bountiful and cheap are also great, given under a proper TLC regime, boards will be replaced at a significant rate through the years - the cheaper the wood, the lower the overhead.
 

Antinos

Slut for Spinners
Social Media Team
Ok, so as everyone said already, Southern Yellow Pine is the wood of choice for all of the reasons stated, but that doesn't stop companies from experimenting with different materials to improve on various characteristics and design objectives. Not quite a decade ago, GCI was working with Kings Island to improve The Beast, and during this process the park disclosed to GCI that they had been using Brazilian Walnut in house to maintain the ride. The park used it because it's one of the hardest woods in existence, and with hardness comes durability and ultimately less maintenance. GCI took this new data and started diving deeper to the point where they built a few test sections behind their building (they had a transition between two turns and a replica of their tightest lift entry to date) for some weather testing. But by doing this experiment, the company learned that Brazilian Walnut is incredibly tough to work with. The wood is so hard that it's tough to bend into place (at least for the extreme maneuvers they tested) and they discovered that their nail guns weren't powerful enough to fully drive nails into the wood. The latter discovery resulted in a rather laborious process of hand driving in all the nails, many of which would bend and needed replacing.

I know at the time GCI was considering using the wood despite the carpenters' feedback, although certainly not 100% throughout new rides. The engineers were thinking of being strategic about where they place wood - high stress areas of the structure and only a few layers max of track in high stress areas. I haven't spoken with anyone from GCI in over five years so I don't know if they ever implemented it in any of their rides, but if you ride one of their newer rides and see some boards or beams that have a reddish hue, it's likely Brazilian Walnut.
 

Hyde

I Lied About My Age!
Staff member
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Nobody:
@Antinos: Brazilian wallnut is an experimental wooden coaster material.

:p

That is actually super fascinating! Especially the balance between working with a hard wood vs. soft wood. Haven't ever given that much thought TBH, but it becomes quickly apparent when you watch larger wooden coasters - especially RMCes - that have been modified to run harder/faster than structure was originally designed. Plenty of bend and ebbing can be spotted!
 
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