Inwale Grain Runout?


After installing new inwales on my 1940 OT Yankee, I noticed a couple of slight kinks, for lack of a better term. A close look showed these to coincide with places where the grain runs out onto the surface.

I am curious whether this should be cause for concern; do such runouts constitute a weak spot that could fail later?

Regardless of the answer, I doubt whether I would go through the hassle of taking both inwales out and replacing them on this boat, but I would like to hear some opinions for any similar work I may do in the future.

There are others on this forum whose expertise far exceeds mine; hopefully they'll chime in soon.

How serious the runout problem is will depend on a lot of things, possibly the most significant of which is the angle at which the grain runs out the side. If it's a fairly shallow angle, it's much less of an issue than if it's a steep angle. Pictures would help a lot.

If it were my boat, I'd probably get some varnish on it right away, to keep water from soaking into the split, and I'd keep an eye on it. If it starts splitting out, it's probably worth taking the inwale off, trying a repair with epoxy or some waterproof glue, then sand, finish, & re-install. The reason for this is, if water gets into the split, drying it out will not be easy, and rot will start working its wonders.

But like I said, there are many folks here with far more expertise...

It sounds like the "kinks" are on the top of the inwale (on the inside of the bend/curve) and are the collapse of the wood cells from too much compression on the inside of the bend and not enough stretch on the outside. These are no big deal, I would sand them out as much as possible, but don't go too far.

You can find those "kinks" on factory made canoes, especially the CS grade.

I think the other Paul is thinking the "kinks" are on the bottom side of the inwale(or outside of the curve) and splitting away.

Let us know if we helped.

Inwale Grain Runout

The kink in the shape of the inwale is visible on the inside of the curve, as seen from above, and there is no splitting as of yet (and I hope there never is!). The grain itself runs out on the top side of the inwale where the kink appears.

I''ve already given the the inwales a couple of coats of varnish, but I think that the suggestion that I try a bit of sanding to smooth the curve is a good one, and I'll give it a try.

I purchased these inwales (and outwales) from a canoe parts supplier, and am wondering whether they represent substandard material with the grain not being continuous from end to end.

Again, I'm not looking to be reimbursed, but wonder whether I should have looked for the grain running out before putting all the time invested into bending and installing them.

That is, if there is a next time for me, should I insist on straight-grained materials only, and return any with grain runout if I find them, or am I worried about nothing (yet again!)

Thanks again for all inputs!
That's where pictures help! :) It's hard to imagine, but we had different interpretations of the word "kink"!

Any piece of wood that will be bent can develop these "features"... steaming the parts before bending will help any elasticity issues tremendously, and grain that doesn't run out the side, or only does so at very shallow angles, is always better. I'm just finishing up new gunnels on a canoe, and spent a lot of time at lumber yards, looking for the right board for this. Some extra care up front can save a lot of headaches down the road... or as my Uncle Jake used to say, "an ounce of prevention is worth a fifth of the cure..." or was that for something different? :D
Spruce does not bend easily in any direction especially "heavier" stock that would be used for gunwales. Wood in general will tend to "kink", "split" or fail regrdless the terminology where the grain runs out. This is why backing the piece that is to be bent with a strap or mold of some sort is critical. Different strategies may be used depending on the depth or length of the kink or seperation. If it is a very slight "kink" you may be able to "fair" it in. If this is the case use plenty of length as you are sanding the curve and you want to avoid a hollow looking area. If it is actually starting to split work some water proof glue into the split and clamp prferebly with long cauls cut to match the correct curve.

Keep asking questions and have a great bird day
Inwale Grain Runout

Thanks for all the inputs. The inwales are ash, and I steam bent them on a form prior to installation, and no splits occurred or even appear imminent. It sounds to me from all the advice given that the fact that I succeeded in installing them without any splits occuring means that I shouldn't have any problems going forward (unless I'm missing something yet again).

In terms of bird day, my daughter and I are taking our new spotting scope down the street to see if we can sopt one of our resident eagles, or whether any Tundra Swans have arrived at our little lake on their trip south.

Either would be a great addition to another day after Thanksgiving. I hope all have enjoyed theirs as well.

Thanks again