Hello and welcome to our community! Is this your first visit?
Register
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: gunnels problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1

    gunnels problem

    I am almost finished my first cedar strip canoe, but I am having trouble installing the gunnels. The canoe is 16' long and I am using mahagony for the gunnels. I have cut the gunnels to a 3/4" width and 1.25" thickness. My problem is I can not get the strips for the gunnels to bend enough to meet the shape / line of the top of the canoe. No matter how many clamps I try to put on them. Did I make the strips too thick? Or, am I missing something? If I cut the strips down to 1" or even 3/4" thick I am not sure they will bend enough. Someone locally recommended a steam box, but I am not sure that is feasable.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    399
    Steam would be the best way get the bend. You can make a simple box with a piece of 4 sewer pipe. You probably need to bend 3 or 4 at each end so cut the pipe about 1 longer, put the pair of gunwales in so the ends are almost flush with the bottom end of the pipe, stuff a rag into the upper end to keep the steam in. Get 2 electric kettles going and set the pipe over the end, angle the whole thing up at least 30 degrees. You should probably keep it going for at least 2 hours. Replace the water in the kettles one at a time to keep the steam up.
    When you pull the wood out it will cool very quickly so doo one at a time, you will need to get it clamped up within a couple of minutes, an extra set of hands would defiantly help. Another strategy would be to make a clamping jig out of scrap plywood or lumber to get the initial curve.
    You could also try band sawing through the center of the length to be curved, so you are bending two thinner pieces, then epoxy back together when curved. This might work without the steam box, but is more likely to break.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    4
    I am assuming you are having problems at the stems. You could plane the 5/4 pieces on a taper to about 1/2". Not sure how much you are bending, but this will help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1

    steam bending?

    In my experience, you will have little success in steam bending kiln dried wood. If the wood was cut and stacked to dry it steam bends much better. I'd opt for more clamps or reduced wood dimensions to allow it to make the curve.
    Also I assume you have an inside and an outside gunnel. I once had a friend who tried to make gunnels by simply cutting a slot to go over the fiberglass edge of the canoe, and found that the U shaped wood could not achieve a composite curve.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    399
    Noah’s Ash and Cherry Gunwales are air dried.


 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •