Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

Bending outside rails

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by rakwetpaddle, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. rakwetpaddle

    rakwetpaddle paddle dipper

    I will be bending outwales on a Thompson that has quite a bit of recurve and have been soaking them in kerosene. How much time should they steam before bending. I intend to bent them on the canoe.
     
  2. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    hi Ralph

    an hour per inch. Never soaked in kerosene before so maybe that makes it different? How long did you soak them? Several canoe builders near you. Including me. Do you have a steamer?
     
  3. bob goeckel

    bob goeckel Wooden Canoe Maniac

    ralph, i have one over here on the east side of flint:D . anytime you want to use it. bob
     
  4. OP
    OP
    rakwetpaddle

    rakwetpaddle paddle dipper

    I do have a steamer. It is a commercial carpet steamer that runs on electricity. It is very compact and gets steam in 15 minutes. It works great.
     
  5. garypete

    garypete LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Steamer for gunwales

    If you have the source of steam from a machine, you just need an enclosure to channel the steam to the gunwale ends. Try inexpensive white PVC pipe in a diameter from 2"-4".

    I used a 4" PVC pipe about six feet long, capped on one end. Slide that over the end section of gunwale to be bent and stick the hose from your steamer into the open end. Use damp rags to pack the open end shut around the hose and protruding gunwale and turn on the steam. A 1" x 1" ash or cherry gunwale will need about 1 hour of steam to get pliable.

    Be aware that the PVC pipe will sag and bend when it gets hot, so support it along its length.

    Good luck.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    rakwetpaddle

    rakwetpaddle paddle dipper

    bending outwales

    I bent the rails yesterday and virtually did it the way garypete suggested. Except for taking a lot of time (about an hour per bend) they went on perfectly. Not a break or crack.
     
  7. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Ralph.....
    What kind of wood did you bend for the Thompson outwales??
    Dave
     
  8. OP
    OP
    rakwetpaddle

    rakwetpaddle paddle dipper

    Dave, we used 20' Spruce without a problem. We soaked them in kerosene for a month or so but as easy as they went on we probably could have just used steam. The wood had been kiln dried, thus the kero.
     
  9. crosscuts

    crosscuts LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I am curious to know the advantage of soaking in kerosene rather than water to prepare kiln dried lumber for steaming.

    Thanks, R.C.
     
  10. bob goeckel

    bob goeckel Wooden Canoe Maniac

    i bent ash rails last weekend. 2 day water soak on one end, 1 day soak on the other. about 45 min steaming. the one day set time for the first end seemed to work. but we did install the rail on the form within an hour of the bending of the 2nd. end.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2007
  11. OP
    OP
    rakwetpaddle

    rakwetpaddle paddle dipper

    I understand that the kero soak rejuvinates the cells in kiln dried wood so that they can "stretch" when bent. I learned this technique from Jack McGreivey. Get in touch with him if you want more information. It worked just fine for me. Both rails went on without a problem.
     
  12. jake22si

    jake22si New Member

    gunwales

    just boil'em and let them sit for a few days on your mold. Remember to overbend a few inches. and dont use kiln drieD
     
  13. jake22si

    jake22si New Member

    gunwales

    dont use kiln dried and boil em for 1hr per inch and make a mold to overbend them
     
  14. OP
    OP
    rakwetpaddle

    rakwetpaddle paddle dipper

    Jake;
    The stock WAS kiln dried, thats why I soaked them for 3 weeks in kero, then steamed them while attached to the canoe. We bent to the sheer line, drilled a hole, and attached the rail. It went without a hitch. I am letting the rails dry on the canoe for a month, then will remove them, sand, and varnish before replacing them. The canoe itself was the mold and they fit perfectly.
     
  15. enggass

    enggass Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    You say you attached to the canoe, then steamed, bent, and attached in place. At what location did you make the initial attachment? Also, I have read that soaking the ends in a towel saturated with Boiling Water can sometimes work in place of steam bending. Is this possible?
    Thanks...
     
  16. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    it depends

    It really depends on whether you have a high sweeping bow or flatter. I toss mine in the pond for a week at the most. Scrape the snails off and start attaching right at the middle. I use a steel screw and save the bronze ones for the final assembly later. I fasten two or three at the middle. then I slide a camper's sewer hose over it from the end. I put the steam to it and slide the hose back as I go. By the time I get to the end it has more steam where it's needed. Sharp bends may require a separate form, but I think most can be done with the flex hose right on the canoe. Brian Baker of Baker's Custom Canoes taught me this. A picture may show it better. So--

    I think the hot towel method will work BUT, I'd soak for a long time and I like the idea of kerosene soak. And then put a LOT of Boiling water to it.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. enggass

    enggass Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks. My boss said what he has done is bring a trash can full of water to a boil, stick the end in for about 30-45 minutes, then install... Also, what direction or edge should the grain be on? My plan is to have 3/4" x 3/4" x 14' pieces installed with the edge grain up. Is there a better approach as far as width vs. thickness and orientation?
    Steve

    PS: Do you treat the wood in any way before throwing into the pond? I am using White Ash. Will throwing into pond/wet area do any damage to it?
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  18. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    yes but

    How do you then do the other end? And you only have a few seconds once it is out of the boiling water. You'd have to leave it a week and then take it back off to do the other end. My steam machine does not cost much money. You need fire and water and a hose. the new sewer hoses are cheap. I use a used one after rinsing. You could fill a steel pipe with water and build a fire under it and slide the end in, (the pipe is on an incline) but that just seems more difficult. Is it a sharp bend? Pre soak makes for success on the first try. I have done it without pre soaking and I have used kiln dried wood. I wonder how much heat if any, it takes if you soak it in kerosene like ralph suggests? I broke a few rails before and I quickly learned what it will take and what it won't.
     
  19. enggass

    enggass Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    The bend is not great at all. I am replacing the outwales on a 13' Mansfield by Stowe. ANy tips on dimensions and grain orientation? Thanks for the tips,
    Steve
     
  20. Dave Wermuth

    Dave Wermuth Who hid my paddle?

    yes

    I put the edge grain on top[ and the leaf/or flat grain on the side. YOu may get away with just a long soak in kerosene.
     

Share This Page