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Morris keel shape

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Howie, Apr 8, 2021.

  1. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Looking good Howie. Whatever works, right?

    You’re braver than me. I’m always afraid that all of that tension on parts of the canoe could cause damage, so I haven’t yet tried bending in place despite the values of the technique.

    Here’s an example of a significant bend I did recently. Slightly over 1” thick white oak, 2” wide, bent severely. This is air-dried wood from trees cut here. With a compression strap and some serious force, it was doable by only one person. Doing it this way of course means that your form must be carefully shaped because that wood doesn’t have much wiggle in it after you leave it on the form for a while. After splitting in half and shaping, the two stems went on the canoe without much fiddling at all.

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  2. samb

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    The other ends explain it . . . . . . I was wondering how anyone could own so few straps.

    Sam
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Remember Michael, the wood is only 1/2" square. Didn't take a whole lot to bend it. Bending 1"x2" is impressive.

    Here's a tip I wrote up in a thread a few years ago: Get yourself an industrial flexible electric heating strip and clamp it between your stem & form while bending. Mine is from Watlow - measures about 24"x2"x0.04". I found I can plug mine into 120ac and it'll get just hot enough to boil water. I leave it plugged in for 1 hour while occasionally sprinkling water over the stem. It's like continuing the steaming process out of the steamer on a stem that's clamped to the desired shape. The benefit is that there's very little spring back in the stem.
     
  4. Craig Johnson

    Craig Johnson Lifetime member

    Since we are talking about different methods for steam bending stems, here is a paragraph out of the article I wrote about building the rocking canoe. It was tricky because both stems we’re connected by a keelson which was all one piece.
    Steaming the pieces in poly tubing turned out to be my saving grace. The first piece I bent was the keelson/stems. I have to state here that acquiring some really straight grained ash from a chapter member probably had as much to do with my success as the new method. I had to come up with a way to use a compression strap inside the poly tubing and not restrict the flow of steam. I had some 10’X1” galvanized duct hanging strap leftover from a job which turned out to be the perfect solution. After soaking an eight foot piece of ash for a couple of days I simply folded the strap over each end and secured it with a small bolt. I cut the bolt off flush with the nut and filed it smooth. I didn’t leave any extra length in the compression strap as I would normally because it would be heated with the wood and so expand giving me that little bit of extra length so as to not have too much compression. It seemed to work perfectly. I steamed the whole contraption in the poly tube for about an hour and then started bending. It was securely clamped at the middle of the keelson section and I started bending the stem away from the steam source. Right away I could see that the stem was not tight to the form between my wedge stations. No problem, I drilled some more holes for extra clamps and continued on. When I got to the end the tip wanted to pull away from the form and there was no place to clamp so I rigged a ratchet strap to make it comply. I then proceeded with the other stem end with the same method. The whole process probably took 45 minutes to an hour but that was no problem since the wood was kept in steam the whole time. I continue to use this method for bending single stems by myself just because it is so much more relaxed.

    AAB0CE6C-273E-4B52-89C3-BAB4D75FD733.jpeg 1F120CC3-79BC-4FF8-8745-5C8669775F90.jpeg 272E73C9-18B3-4423-AC56-40169F099818.jpeg 90D64046-06E8-46F1-8AC3-C4E622B3B7FD.jpeg F5E289B5-05AF-4983-B6B1-C8EE01EEAB67.jpeg
     
  5. samb

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I'd never have thought of putting the strap inside the poly tube.Thanks for that.
    Sam
     
  6. Paul Scheuer

    Paul Scheuer LOVES Wooden Canoes

    My Morris keel is 14', 1-1/2", tapered to match the outer stems, about to 7/8" max. on the bedded side. Nothing clever, just a butt joint to the stem. I'm not sure where the stem band went. There is one countersunk hold near each end and small holes about a foot apart at along the length. Maybe it had a "keel band"? The keel happens to be painted the same color as in your pic.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Thanks Paul.
     

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