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Thread: Glue for a wooden rudder

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Default Glue for a wooden rudder

    Hello everyone. I have a 1960 Sunfish that needs a new rudder. The old one has split. I still have it to use as a pattern. The rudder is mahogany, approximately 3/4" x 20" x 12". Rather than use a single plank, I am thinking that I should glue up a number of strips (3") to control warping. Is this correct? Also, what type of glue should I use? I am thinking that exterior wod glue might not be appropriate. Thank you all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
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    Default Re: Glue for a wooden rudder

    Many thin pieces are more stable than fewer big ones , yes.
    That said , the old one lasted , what,50 , 60 years?
    That said, todays wood is not the same as wood from 50 , 60 years ago .

    Maybe just dry out the old one , slowly, with a weight on it , or clamped to something, and put some thickened epoxy into the split next spring.
    Making a new rudder can be a ton of work if you do not have a bunch of tools, wood and glue and a bunch of experience, doing it unless you just want to for some crazy reason. (that'd be most of us here)
    bruce

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Madison Wisconsin
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    Default Re: Glue for a wooden rudder

    Your plan sounds like a workable idea to me. Especially since the current class legal wooden blade looks like this.......



    I suspect they are probably using a good grade of exterior wood glue, but if you have epoxy that would likely be a good choice. The price, by the way, for the factory replacement blade is just under $250 in mahogany and add another $20 or so if you want the fiberglass model. Non-class legal generic wooden ones are about $170. That's a hell of a mark up on a relatively small hunk of flat mahogany with some very simple edge beveling. Looks like it's well worth building your own.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2014
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    Default Re: Glue for a wooden rudder

    Thanks Wizbag13.
    The old rudder is split beyond repair. I have the tools for the glue up (and a whole lot more) and look forward to working on this project with my 13 year old son. Any recommendation on the glue?

  5. #5
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    Nov 2014
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    Default Re: Glue for a wooden rudder

    Todd. The picture you show is of the "new" style rudder that came out in about 1972. Mine is the old non-retractable style. The conversion (hardware and transom modification) to a new style would be more money than the boat is worth.

    I would include a picture of my broken rudder if I knew how to load it here...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    S.F. East Bay, San Leandro
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    512

    Default Re: Glue for a wooden rudder

    Unless your old rudder suffered some crush damage, or rot due to neglect, I can't see why you could not repair with epoxy. If it is broken across the grain, that would be more difficult but not impossible to mend. Of course as a teaching opportunity, I can see why you might want to build a new one with your son. Good luck, Thorne should be along any second with his picture posting tutorial, plus a shot or two of his rudders.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Australia
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    2,111

    Default Re: Glue for a wooden rudder

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    Your plan sounds like a workable idea to me. Especially since the current class legal wooden blade looks like this.......



    I suspect they are probably using a good grade of exterior wood glue, but if you have epoxy that would likely be a good choice. The price, by the way, for the factory replacement blade is just under $250 in mahogany and add another $20 or so if you want the fiberglass model. Non-class legal generic wooden ones are about $170. That's a hell of a mark up on a relatively small hunk of flat mahogany with some very simple edge beveling. Looks like it's well worth building your own.
    WOW ! That is rather expensive , I had no idea.

    Epoxy is the best choice of glue I would think.

    It looks like a nice enjoyable little project actually.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Belfast and Marshall Cove, Islesboro, Maine
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    1,929

    Default Re: Glue for a wooden rudder

    I have an intact rudder from a 1960's Sunfish, but the hull is gone. So it's for sale...

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