I have had very good success using "boiling water" to bend white ash,
instead of steam. I started to built a "steam pipe" from PVC, but
before starting the steaming routine, I tried a trial piece of ash
(3/16" x 3/4" x 48")in the capped 4-foot PVC pipe, using "boiling
water" from my MR COFFEE perc coffee maker. Low and behold it worked
great! A 4-foot x 3" diameter PVC pipe takes almost exactly 12 cups
of MR COFFEE boiling water. Immersing the strips for about 3 minutes
provides strips that are pliable/formable for building my ARROW-14
canoe (see my photos in these files under: "moszczak"). Wrapping
some insulation around the PVC pipe allowed me to bend 3 strips,
before having to dump the water, and recharge the tube with the next
shot of "boiling water." The really nice thing about the ash is
that it drys very quickly. Indeed, you only have about 2 minutes to
work the ribs, in place against the stringers, to clamp in your
canoe, before they become dry.
My take...if I don't have to deal with "steam" then it's much easier
I've also bent white oak strips, same size, 3/16 x 3/4 x 4feet, using
the same "boiling technique"...works just as well, but they dry at a
Mike ("moszczak" in the photo files)
--- In Airolite_Boats@yahoogroups.com
, noneof yourbusiness
> Sounds like you've had an adventure in building so
> far. I know it's after the fact, but I have a couple
> of questions. I haven't tried to steam bend ash yet,
> so I really don't know how it works, but I used oak
> for my ribs. I wonder if you have access to oak and
> might it have been slightly easier to bend? On my
> boat, toward the bow, I was not able to get the ribs
> to bend into a tight enough radius, so I put them in
> in two pieces with a block glued in between. I know
> you are past that point, but for future reference it
> might be worth a try.
> I look forward to hearing more about your progress.
> Paul T
> --- furtling <furtling@...> wrote:
> > Just saying Hi!
> > Been lurking for a week or so, looking for tips and
> > bodges before
> > going for it.
> > Well it's started and it's not been all plain
> > sailing.
> > I bought the Snowshoe 14 plans from a guy who had
> > the kit but decided
> > he was'nt up to the task. Being in the UK [Wales]
> > there are a lot of
> > things that are different over here to what you
> > would do over there,
> > so some adaptation on the fly is necessary.
> > Most of that was easy, setting up stringers etc all
> > went to plan. the
> > gunnels and stringers were scarfed from lengths of
> > stock pine.
> > The difficulties started with the ribs. Now I've
> > steamed ribs for
> > boats before, with my Dad, but the curves we
> > followed were always
> > wider, and we had a real boatbuilding steamer. But
> > that was then and
> > this is now. The steamer is long gone so I used a
> > wallpaper stripper
> > as a steam source, turned a plug to fit a length of
> > 40mm pvc drain
> > pipe [which will deform after an hour or so] and set
> > about the ribs.
> > Now, I had decided to split the ribs out of a
> > reasonably straight stem
> > down in the woods, actually the only stem that was
> > anywhere close to
> > what I needed. After an afternoon's struggle, I
> > finally gave up, the
> > stem was so twisted internally, I was never going to
> > get anything
> > worthwhile from it.
> > I bit the bullet and bought a piece of ash from my
> > local timber yard.
> > I new there would be a problem as it was kiln dried.
> > so after cutting
> > the ribs I soaked them in the rainwater tub for a
> > few days, before
> > steaming.
> > They came out of the steamer like spagetti, and bent
> > easily - but not
> > where I wanted them to. No matter how I tried they
> > just would not go
> > and at the end of a very frustrating day all I had
> > was a pile of
> > expensive kindling to show for my efforts.
> > After much head scratching I remembered that I had a
> > sheet of bendy
> > ply which might do. I cut a rib 20mmx4mm [c7/8 x
> > 3/16] and it bent in
> > easily. Too easily if truth be told, all the fibres
> > are orientated
> > across the rib and not along it. But 'needs must'
> > and so I set the rib
> > spacing at 6" and forged ahead installing the ribs
> > as half ribs and
> > epoxying in.
> > In retrospect I wonder if paring the ash down
> > somewhat and steaming
> > then gluing them as half ribs might have been a way
> > forward. We'll see
> > how this effort fares first and then have a think.
> > I doubled the thickness for the areas under the
> > floorboards and added
> > extra boards, to stiffen the structure and to give
> > me a kneeling
> > platform when I'm paddling heeled.
> > Other minor changes are to revise the thwart
> > position aft a little and
> > the installation of a kneeling thwart. It's had a
> > sealer coat of water
> > based varnish, needs a couple more.
> > Now for the skinning.
> > Tony
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