Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bend Wood with Steam and Hot Towels

I have been working hard on the boat but the progress did not show so it has been a while since my last post. My brothers Gary and Joey have been very helpful. Gary has been pushing me along when things sometime come to a slow crawl.

I glued up stiffeners on Keel and Battens. This process went along just fine with no surprises. Just cut the marine plywood to fit and mix up some epoxy and clamp.

The Chine Log pieces proved to be a real challenge. After snapping this very expensive piece of mahogany the first time, I did not want to repeat. I came up with new plan to soak the pieces in water for a couple of days. Gary came up with the idea of buying a 4" diameter PVC drainpipe and gluing a cap on the end. We placed these 16 feet pieces in the pipe filled with water and strapped the pipe to the handrail in the stairway. It sure helps to have an understanding wife.

After the pieces soaked for a couple of days, out to the steamer they went. Gary and I removed them from the steamer and clamped them into position. Yes, success....so I thought. This process worked great and I would do it that way if I ever had to do it again. The only thing that did not turn out just right was the front section between the frame ( frame 5.5) and the stern. It needed a little more twist. We solved this problem by making a jig. We just screwed some blocks down on the table. We wrapped the pieces in very hot towels and poured hot water on the towels keeping the wood wet and hot. After about 30 minutes of this process, the wood was placed into the jig to dry for 24 hours. The results were great.

The buckets underneath the chine were used to collect the dripping water and boy did this work great. A couple of dry towels wiped up what little water landed on the basement floor.

Now that the Chine logs are bent to the approximant shape it was time to epoxy to two pieces of wood together. This was easily done with a temporary clamp to the forms while spreading them apart and applying epoxy with a foam roller. The hard part was the clamping. I used every clamp I had and it took a good hour to get them all in place.

My next job will be to epoxy to the other two pieces of the second chine log together.

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