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yellow cedar

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by paufacan, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. paufacan

    paufacan canoe builder

    I have a chap restoring an old town in my shop.He brought his own yellow cedar to do ribs & planking with.I have never worked with yellow cedar & am having a hard time getting rib stock soft enough to bend.How long should it soak?how long should it be in the steam box?We have managed to bend a couple of ribs,but they are not very supple when we did it
    Thanks in advance for any advice & direction
  2. dboles

    dboles LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Usually donot have too much trouble with yellow cedar.8 to twelve minutes is all you need for steaming.I usually soak them but have seen a certain builder on the West Coast put the ribstock in the steam box dry and never a problem with that bending either
  3. peter osberg

    peter osberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I use yellow cedar by preference for rib and planking stock. I get the best bending results by soaking the rib stock (3/8 x 3 in. for example) for 2 days then steaming for about 40 minutes. Thinner stock will bend well with shorter times. I have tried varying additives to the soaking solution without much in the way of convincing differences.
  4. Larry Bowers

    Larry Bowers yellow cedar manipulator

    Hi Bill,
    I can tell you what works for me, I have had very little trouble bending yellow over the years, it is the only material I have built canoes out of. Soaking or not soaking the wood is a personal thing i guess, I dont soak the rib stock before steaming.

    What I find makes the biggest difference is the temperature of your steamer and the size of it. If you are only doing a few ribs or are worried about them bending, build a small steamer that will hold one or two ribs at a time and is just a little longer than the rib itself. This smaller size steamer ensures that you have lots of steam and a very high temp as well.

    If you soak your ribs and use the smaller steamer with lots of steam and good heat, it will bend. I hope this helps.
  5. OP

    paufacan canoe builder

    Thanks everyone.We will try some more
    Bill Wilson
    Paugan Falls Canoe
    Low Qc.

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