Outwale bending advice needed


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I'm having difficulty bending white ash to the correct stem angle for the outwales on a 16' Old Town canoe. I soaked the rails for 7 days and tried steaming them following the soaking period but they refuse to bend above a slight angle. I also tried putting them on to a jig that was the same dimension as the angle on the stem but also failed.

Would appreciate any advice.
Must be kiln dried ash?? What is the grain orientation? How long did you steam? Others may have a different opinion, but I'd rather err on the short side of steam time than to over steam.

An alternative that I have had some success with is to boil the last 4-5 feet in a steel tube. I've done this when the material seemed brittle upon bending.
I know the gunnales are steamed or boiled to take the bend at the stems, but sorry for asking maybe an obvious question here...is this bend in the vertical plane to match the sheerline upward curve or on the horizontal to pull the rails into that nice concave sweep into the stem???
Thanks for the advice. The ash was air dried for seven years. I soaked them for 10 days and steamed them for better than 2 hours and still almost impossible to bend. I was trying to bend them to the stem on an Old Town canoe.

Since I don't have a iron pipe I will get one and try the boiling idea. I've no idea how long the boil should be but since I'm now a little gun shy they will get boiled plenty!
Dakin, what sort of system are you using to generate and contain steam? steaming for two hours seems like your temperature is not hot enough. Last set of ash gunwales i bent needed about 15-20 minutes of steam with the last 2 feet in a small diameter pvc tube, and was similarly air dried wood.
Like Andre said - two hours is too long. Put a thermometer in your steam box. Make sure it is at least 190 degrees F before even putting your rails in. If your box doesn't get that hot, you need to insulate it better or get a better source of steam.

Sometimes, a piece of wood just won't bend, even if it is a species known to bend well.
I sensed that the steam heat may not have been hot enough. I will give it a try again and make sure that I have it up to temperature. I'm sure the problem was at my end and not the wood. Thanks for your input.
Sometimes, a piece of wood just won't bend, even if it is a species known to bend well

If they break its not error, those are practices..
Try using green ash straight off the tree the steaming will cure and season the timber to good state leave it a few days after fixing to dry well and finish as normal Kernowkrafter
The question of direction of bend. ... It has to bend both ways but the main bend and the one with the most challenge is the vertical bend upwards. A good reason to only collect guide canoes. ;-]