New koker door has several defects which should be immediately remedied

Dear Editor,
During a recent inspection of the new greenheart door under fabrication for the Cummings Canal Koker, a number of defects were observed which if not addressed before installation would quickly shorten its life span. The defects observed are as follows: 1. Some of the planks are of poor quality as they exhibit knots, cracks, checks and splits at their ends.

As water enters these crevices decay will start upon installation impacting the strength of the door. Therefore the quality of the lumber should have been checked and approved before installation 2. Cotton twine has been installed in the grooves between the planks. Okum (the stuff boat builders use) should have been the preferred material. The after-fabrication tarring would not penetrate critical areas of the cotton twine seal in the planks’ grooves. Hence the marine borers will have a field day and with the daily wetting and drying of the cotton twine and without any preservative penetration, decay of the timber planks deep in their grooves will quickly develop, 3. Galvanized with a sprinkling of steel bolts have been used on the door and with a saltwater environment these steel bolts will soon corrode as their tarring over will not help much. After-all, “the strength of a chain is in its weakest link” and the strength and stability of the new door depends on the integrity of all of its elements.

The bottom plank on the old Koker door indicated that when the door was closed it was not resting tightly on the koker floor as the bottom surface of the plank was infested with barnacles, a sign that a gap existed which allowed marine borers to get at the timber surface. It was noted that the new door’s last plank had no provision for this gap/unevenness which should be investigated as to its cause and remedial action taken before the new door is installed.
Yours faithfully,
 Charles Sohan

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