stem bending in reallllllly cold weather, question!

bob goeckel

Wooden Canoe Maniac
after soaking our stems for 5 days(no stemcicles dave), we steamed and bend them tonite. i am interested to know if there would be a problem leaving them in the shop at 0 deg while drying, or if they would even dry. anyone have any experience with this issue?
Wonder if you set them outside in a sunny location they might freeze dry the way the laundry used to before driers became affordable.Might take some time though.
Never mind me Bob Im just procastinating as we have had around 2 feet of snow lastnight Im it for shovelling
Hey Bob,
Just a suggestion to make things go a bit smoother. Give those stems a coat of linseed oil beore throwing them in the steambox. They will hold their heat a bit longer in that cold. No need to let the oil dry first, but have a rag on hand to wipe them as they emerge from the steamer.
Also, I've had plenty of success with double steamings at times when things are cooling a bit fast.
thanks mark, already had them done. got out 3 without a break. still wondering about the cold, though probably a dumb question.
I was concerned about the same thing last winter when I re-ribbed a 16' lapstrake inboard I have (25, 3/4" x 7/8" x 10' ribs). I did the bending in 30 - 38 deg. temps and it turned out to make no difference. - I was more concerned about the available 'working time' due to the cold, I don't think I'd worry about the drying.
The stems should be fine. The steaming process does not really inject any moisture into the wood. In fact it dries the interior of the wood out just like a kiln drying process. There may be a bit of mositure on the surface but that will not effect the set up time for the bent stem. As far as I can tell, its the length of time that the stems are bent and not the temp. which they are stored at that makes the real difference.