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352Re: [AtkinBoats] Re: Lady Joan

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  • John B. Trussell
    Oct 28, 2004
      I used a PVC pipe for a steam box, and I don't recommend it. When it fills with steam, the resulting heat causes it to sag and getting the steamed wood out of the pipe is a hassle, A plywood steam box wouldn't have that problem. Steaming is not particularly dangerous or difficult. There should not be any steam pressure. When the wood comes out of the box it is hot, and needs to be handled with gloves. If you are going to "walk the frame in", you need boots and long pants. Green wood steams better than dry wood. It is likely that you will break a piece or two; plan a little extra material. It sounds complicated, but if you steam the wood about 20 minutes and bend it to shape fairly quickly, steaming is easy and requires a lot less skill than cutting a rabbet or spiling a plank.

      John T
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: adharvey2
      To: AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2004 8:15 PM
      Subject: [AtkinBoats] Re: Lady Joan

      John, I hope someone with more experience as it relates to boats will
      comment on this, but as a furniture maker I don't think you should
      be so intimidated by steam bending. I make chair rockers, arms, and
      seat frames on a regular basis, and the process is not dificult or
      dangerous. With boat ribs it should be even easier, as there are no
      reenforcing straps needed (because of the large radii) or drying forms
      (they dry in the boat). I use an old pressure cooker as a boiler
      (remember there is NO PRESSURE involved) heated by a propane burner. I
      should think you could steam several ribs at a time in a pvc pipe or
      plywood steam box and the process should go smoothly. You only need
      gloves to remove the parts from the box - the outside of the wood
      cools very quickly. Again, I've never done boat ribs, so I hope
      someone who has will chime in.
      Good luck,
      Andrew Harvey

      --- In AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com, "" <JohnyM7@e...> wrote:
      > Thanks guys for the advice. Your words are valuable to the
      inexperienced builder. My principle obstacle to building a
      traditionally planked boat is steam bending. I'm afraid, perhaps too
      much, of getting a serious burn. It also sounds like a hot, miserable
      > I was considering building a plywood boat, but after building a one
      man plywood dory, reading messages of other plywood builders and their
      problems, reading Sam Devlin's fine book on plywood boat building, and
      discovering that there were boats that could be built using sawn
      frames I decided on traditional construction. I will post at a later
      time my reasons for choosing planked construction over plywood, in
      case there are other group members who are still undecided as to which
      method they should use.
      > Finding the At kin design catalog on line has been like striking
      gold. I consider approximately 5,000 lbs. to be the limit of what I
      can afford to build and also complete in a reasonable amount of time.
      I am leaning toward Lady Joan because I have a soft spot for
      double-enders in general and canoe yawls in particular, although I
      will also look at a couple of the other designs. Lady Joan is an
      especially beautiful example of the canoe yawl. Her modified full
      keel should make her more suited to blue water than most canoe yawls
      with their shoal-draft centerboard arrangements. Her three foot five
      inch draft should still allow her to be anchored close to shore.
      Building with sawn frames and using laminated frames where necessary
      should put her within my abilities. I will test both the wood and the
      glue by gluing wood samples together and then alternately boiling and
      freezing the glued wood twice.
      > The dory I built required lofting. I screwed it up at first and
      ruined a sheet of plywood, but I don't find the process intimidating.
      > George Buehler's book seems to be the most up-to-date, although
      Chapelle's book appears to be the most extensive reference. I will
      probably buy both.
      > Thanks again for your ideas and comments. They are a big help.
      > JohnM
      > --- On Thu 10/28, Scott Holt sdholt@y... wrote:
      > From: Scott Holt [mailto: sdholt@y...]
      > To: AtkinBoats@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 00:45:39 -0700 (PDT)
      > Subject: Re: [AtkinBoats] Lady Joan
      > <html><body>
      > <tt>
      > John is right about oak and epoxy does not mix well.<BR>
      > You can use white ash, rock elm, and apitong in that<BR>
      > order of preference for steam bending. Don't<BR>
      > substitute red oak for white.. That's big trouble.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > "BOATBUILDING" by Howard I. Chapelle is excellent<BR>
      > reference as well as Robert M. Steward's "BOATBUILDING<BR>
      > MANUAL." However, if you are building your first boat<BR>
      > or a bit larger boat I would have to recommend George<BR>
      > Buehler's "Buehler's Backyard Boatbuilding." This is<BR>
      > the book that George calls his shop manual. It gives<BR>
      > step-by-step instructions from lofting (very simple<BR>
      > the George way), laying the keel, cutting the rabbit<BR>
      > line, frame construction, interior construction,<BR>
      > building a mast, everything, and its fun to read, even<BR>
      > if you're not building a boat. Very clear, easy to<BR>
      > follow with lots of drawings and photos.. I have all<BR>
      > three..<BR>
      > <BR>
      > Good luck and don't give up the dream....<BR>
      > <BR>
      > Scott<BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
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      > If you set out to build an At kin boat, please do not modify the
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      If you set out to build an Atkin boat, please do not modify the plans. If you stray from the plans you do so at your own risk and Atkin & Co. will take no responsibility for the performance of the resulting boat.

      The current Atkin boat plans catalog is online at

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