Twisting planking with water

Tom Widney

LOVES Wooden Canoes
What is the best way to steam/wet a long piece 5’ of planking that has a large twist in the lay of the planK? Do you wet the plank with hot water and let it set for a bit, how wet, how long? Then place it on the canoe and start clinching from the amidships and keep adding hot water finishing each rib as you go along or, tack one end and immediately twist the plank and tack the other end while the plank is still hot? I’m not sure how much hot water is required on the plank to be able to make the twist or how to keep it wet enough to soak in properly to do its job. Is a rag on the end of a stick the best way to accomplish this? I’m not sure that I’m clear enough in my mind to phrase the question any plainer. Thanks,
There are a number of ways to do this, the way I usually do is to fasten the planking in place at the end opposite the stem. Then wrap a towel around the area taking the twist and soak it with boiling water. Then, use an electric iron to iron the plank into its final shape. A spring clamp at the stem end makes a good third hand, allowing for marking the plank if it needs to be shaped to fit.
What has worked for me is to presoak the plank at least over night(a length of pvc would work great) Start to tack amidship and when you start to need to make the twist use a wet towel on the planking and aply a hot iron to it to heat the towel-planking. allow the heat to soak into the wood for a minute or two while still covered with the now hot towel. use a gloved hand to then push down on the combination. to get your twist.The wet towel will keep the planking from drying out as well as retaining heat as you tack the planking. Work along one rib at a time and the plank should lay down good. Hope this helps Bill
iron it down.

I too like the wet towel and hot iron method as described above. I think I even have a video of it somewhere. I don't use the Roxinator's expensive iron any more. She got me a good used one at a yard sale. I used to just pour boiling water onto the plank. then I wrapped it in a towel and poured boiling water onto it. I've not pre-soaked the plank. I have drilled pilot holes in some of the touchy areas to avoid splitting. Especially western Red cedar.