Bending outside rails

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.
 

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?
 
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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.
 

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.
 
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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.
 
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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.
 

crosscuts

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

Thanks, R.C.
 

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.
 
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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.
 

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
 
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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.
 

enggass

Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes
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.

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...
 

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.
 

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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?
 
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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.
 

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
 

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.
 
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