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Bending Spruce

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by Howard Caplan, May 29, 2012.

  1. Howard Caplan

    Howard Caplan Wooden Canoe Maniac

    On another thread I asked about possibly using spruce as an out stem. I was reminded that spruce is more difficult to bend then some hardwoods, etc.
    But I did have to bend spruce over the weekend to accommodate the great up swept ends of this Penn Yann. I rigged up a very primitive steamer and tried to work it slowly onto the canoe. Nope. Back to the steamer and while it was steaming I cut a piece of plywood to shape.
    After some fumbling, I got the gunnel end clamped on to the form I just made. I left the end clamped in place for about 2 hours while I did other things. At the end of the day, I took the end out of the form and clamped it to the boat to confirm all was well with the shape. It sat in place on that up swept end very nicely and I rigged up a clamping system to hold it in place and shape.
    Went back to the shop on Monday and all looked good. I had a system and one end was set. I unclamped the gunnel and placed the other end of the same gunnel into the boiler/steamer I rigged up.
    After about 45 minutes or so, I tried to clamp the fresh steamed end to the form but there was too much resistance. I then took the other end and tried to set it again on the boat where it was perfectly clamped into place for two days. While applying downward pressure, it broke.
    Question: how much time does spruce need to be clamped to position before it memorizes that position?
     
  2. chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    At least a week, or more! There will be spring back no matter what.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Howard Caplan

    Howard Caplan Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Thanks Chris. I was hoping for another answer or a great trick to get it to work. I will make 3 more forms and pick up more clamps and try to get all 4 ends set for at least a week on the form.
     

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