Results 1 to 31 of 31

Thread: Wood for stems and keelsons

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    141

    Default Wood for stems and keelsons

    Hi all

    I'm at the point where I'm going to have make decision about the wood to use for the keelson and apron/stem for my Oughtred Guillemot.

    Should I be content to use the 'overlapped/ planks' method, using something like Douglas Fir (or something else?) or should I be trying to go down the more tricky laminating route? (I'm imagining the finished boat being painted (thereby hopefully hiding my errors!), so perhaps it doesn't matter...)

    Either way, I could do with some advice about what types of wood I should be considering.

    Thanks in advance.

    Noel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Juneau, Alaska
    Posts
    3,994

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Doug Fir would be fine. Carry on.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Thanks, Jim. If I can find some the right dimensions, I will do!

    (Would you bother laminating the stem??)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Juneau, Alaska
    Posts
    3,994

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    I would laminate it. There will be less waste out out straight grained stock.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    35,249

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Quote Originally Posted by jsjpd1 View Post
    I would laminate it. There will be less waste out out straight grained stock.
    I would agree with this, no worries about short grain or grain run out, so stronger.
    These folk supply compass timber and bends for boatbuilding, https://graythwaite.com/the-estate/forestry-sawmill/ they might be able to supply a proper grown crook for your stem
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    I would agree with this, no worries about short grain or grain run out, so stronger.
    These folk supply compass timber and bends for boatbuilding, https://graythwaite.com/the-estate/forestry-sawmill/ they might be able to supply a proper grown crook for your stem

    Thanks for this, Nick. Where to find timber and what exactly to look for (what species and the details of 'what's good enough') are things I'm struggling with. I've used few places near where I live in West Yorkshire, but the more recommendations the better... The idea of proper crooks is appealing - what do I ask for, species-wise?

    (I was up in the Lakes this weekend doing a bit of sailing. I thought of you - you're in Walney, yes? I did some flying there many years ago (1988, I think...).)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    35,249

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Quote Originally Posted by Racundra View Post
    Thanks for this, Nick. Where to find timber and what exactly to look for (what species and the details of 'what's good enough') are things I'm struggling with. I've used few places near where I live in West Yorkshire, but the more recommendations the better... The idea of proper crooks is appealing - what do I ask for, species-wise?

    (I was up in the Lakes this weekend doing a bit of sailing. I thought of you - you're in Walney, yes? I did some flying there many years ago (1988, I think...).)
    Oak is favourite for crooks.
    Yes, North Scale, just behind the Crown, you'll have passed the entrance to our estate driving to the airfield.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Oak is favourite for crooks.
    OK. So no worries on the 'steer clear of oak - you can't use epoxy to glue it' front?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    35,249

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Quote Originally Posted by Racundra View Post
    OK. So no worries on the 'steer clear of oak - you can't use epoxy to glue it' front?
    That is an American view with American oak, this is an American forum . Check with your glue suppliers technical department.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    That is an American view with American oak, this is an American forum . Check with your glue suppliers technical department.


    Hehe... I haven't had any issues gluing the oak I used for my gaff jaws, so fingers crossed... (Must post some pictures at some point... You helped out with those too... You might not recall - you seem quite busy on here!)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    se pa (Bristol PA)
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Noel,. Which model are you building? Consider steam bending, it's really one of the fascinating fun things that can be done for boat builds.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    Noel,. Which model are you building? Consider steam bending, it's really one of the fascinating fun things that can be done for boat builds.
    It's the Guillemot, 11'6" long... https://smallboatsmonthly.com/article/guillemot/

    I like the idea of fascinating and fun, Denise, but I am limited in knowledge and skill and only have a small garage with a few tools to hand. I'm very much learning on the job, so to speak.

    When you say 'steam bending,' are you suggesting taking a single blank and steaming and bending it into the required shape(ish) before cutting it to its finished shape and hoping it doesn't spring back?

    Noel

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    35,249

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Quote Originally Posted by Racundra View Post


    You might not recall - you seem quite busy on here!
    I am now a gentleman of leisure, so I can do what I want with my time.
    With Der Management's permission of course.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    se pa (Bristol PA)
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Spring back? I realize for one boat it may not be necessary but it is definitely fun.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    I am now a gentleman of leisure, so I can do what I want with my time.
    With Der Management's permission of course.
    That permission is more valuable than almost anything!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    Spring back? I realize for one boat it may not be necessary but it is definitely fun.
    That looks like a piece of cake! All I need now is to find a way (without a planer/thicknesser) of getting enough laminates to do the job etc...

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    se pa (Bristol PA)
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Sawn lams will glue well, solid wood bends almost as easy it's all about prep really
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    se pa (Bristol PA)
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    what a sweet boat Ian designed! Going to build it as show Noel?
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    141

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    what a sweet boat Ian designed! Going to build it as show Noel?


    Do you mean am I going to do an "as it's built" thread? I don't know. I'm nervous that I don't know anywhere near enough and it'll be a very stop start affair!! 😔


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    35,249

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    If you are going to build this using traditional techniques, grown crooks are the way to go, and no epoxy needs to be harmed in the build.

    Have you got a copy of this?
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Cli...her/0713636432
    I recommend that you have it on your shelves.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    se pa (Bristol PA)
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Well you mentioned that you were ready to get the lumber for the keel and stem..
    the mention overlap planks?

    The photo shows a traditionally built boat.
    many people go with strip buids as first boats.
    MY very fist canoe was strip build. over 20yrs ago now. I traded it for a very old boat discarded by a museum.



    Per Ian's site. http://nisboats.com/oughtred/mainpages/dinghies.html
    Construction
    Options:
    Traditional planking,
    strip planking,

    cold molding.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    141

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    If you are going to build this using traditional techniques, grown crooks are the way to go, and no epoxy needs to be harmed in the build.

    Have you got a copy of this?
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Cli...her/0713636432
    I recommend that you have it on your shelves.


    Just ordered it. I have Iain's book and John Hill's too. Another can't hurt... 😏

    I do fancy crooks... I'll measure up tonight, so I know what I'm talking about when I speak to them... (apron and stem both from crooks, yes? And DF for the keelson? What about the transom?)

    Questions, questions...!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
    Posts
    35,249

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Quote Originally Posted by Racundra View Post
    Just ordered it. I have Iain's book and John Hill's too. Another can't hurt... 

    I do fancy crooks... I'll measure up tonight, so I know what I'm talking about when I speak to them... (apron and stem both from crooks, yes? And DF for the keelson? What about the transom?)

    Questions, questions...!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Yes, and then some smaller crooks for quarter knees, standing knees and breasthook. And a substantial crook for the stern knee.
    Oak, elm or a tropical hard wood for the transom are traditional.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Shoreline, Washington
    Posts
    2,235

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Laminating is a great technology. It's also a messy tedious pain in the ass. If you're in a place where you can find a natural crook - stunning, fantastic.

    On the other hand you can follow the sawn glued together pieces of backbone scheme as demonstrated in the plans. Once all the bits are bonded together, including the planking, this construction is perfectly sound.

    We are talking about glued lapstrake, yes?

    For a variety of reasons, oak would be about my last choice for most parts of this construction. But I suppose that has something to do with locale - you've got to use what you can get your hands on.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    141

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Hvalsoe View Post
    Laminating is a great technology. It's also a messy tedious pain in the ass. If you're in a place where you can find a natural crook - stunning, fantastic.

    On the other hand you can follow the sawn glued together pieces of backbone scheme as demonstrated in the plans. Once all the bits are bonded together, including the planking, this construction is perfectly sound.

    We are talking about glued lapstrake, yes?

    For a variety of reasons, oak would be about my last choice for most parts of this construction. But I suppose that has something to do with locale - you've got to use what you can get your hands on.


    Hi Eric

    Glued lapstrake, yes.

    My first thoughts were to laminate, but then I read of people using the sawn and glued together method and it seemed MUCH more straightforward without any real drawback. Then Nick mentioned crooks. I think I might have to sit down when I ask the price of them though...!

    (What would be your first choice of stem material? And does the stem material need to be the same as the keelson?)

    Noel


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Rangeley, Maine, USA
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Hvalsoe View Post
    Laminating is a great technology. It's also a messy tedious pain in the ass. If you're in a place where you can find a natural crook - stunning, fantastic.

    On the other hand you can follow the sawn glued together pieces of backbone scheme as demonstrated in the plans. Once all the bits are bonded together, including the planking, this construction is perfectly sound.

    We are talking about glued lapstrake, yes?

    For a variety of reasons, oak would be about my last choice for most parts of this construction. But I suppose that has something to do with locale - you've got to use what you can get your hands on.
    This description of laminating stems sounds right to me. Yields a good result, but is a tedious mess.

    i'm getting organized to start an Oughted Caledonia Yawl. I'll be piecing the stems. I'm puzzling over what sort of wood to use. I'd like to use hardwood, but don't like the gluing complexities of White Oak. Any suggestions for a good alternative? I'm located in Maine. Wondering about Ash heartwood (if I can find some). Other ideas I should consider?

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    se pa (Bristol PA)
    Posts
    2,070

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DanSimonds View Post
    This description of laminating stems sounds right to me. Yields a good result, but is a tedious mess.

    i'm getting organized to start an Oughted Caledonia Yawl. I'll be piecing the stems. I'm puzzling over what sort of wood to use. I'd like to use hardwood, but don't like the gluing complexities of White Oak. Any suggestions for a good alternative? I'm located in Maine. Wondering about Ash heartwood (if I can find some). Other ideas I should consider?
    West systems G Flex solved the white oak glueing problem, but there's no reason you can't steam bend Ash or White Oak. Everybody yells that Ash rots quickly but who builds a small boat and leaves it in the water 24/7 365?

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Lake Norman,North Carolina and Cedarville, Michigan
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    As appealing as a crook might be, if one doesn't turn up, don't shy away from the laminating. Fairly easily done if you have the clamps and access to a thickness planner (or careful work on the table saw). As for the mess, sure there is some, but you are going to be doing a bit of gluing with the laps anyway so get used to being a little sticky .

    I laminated stems for Oughtred St. Ayles skiff with students and they thought it was wonderful fun. We laminated the outer stem right on the boat after the planking was done. This was a little trickier and I now have some strap clamps with epoxy-stiff straps, but lesson learned. A little packing tape goes a long way to avoid gluing your laminations to something you don't want permanently attached to the boat.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Wood for stems and keelsons

    Quote Originally Posted by jtdums View Post
    As appealing as a crook might be, if one doesn't turn up, don't shy away from the laminating. Fairly easily done if you have the clamps and access to a thickness planner (or careful work on the table saw). As for the mess, sure there is some, but you are going to be doing a bit of gluing with the laps anyway so get used to being a little sticky .

    I laminated stems for Oughtred St. Ayles skiff with students and they thought it was wonderful fun. We laminated the outer stem right on the boat after the planking was done. This was a little trickier and I now have some strap clamps with epoxy-stiff straps, but lesson learned. A little packing tape goes a long way to avoid gluing your laminations to something you don't want permanently attached to the boat.

    I was hunting for crooks and gave up. I went for laminating in the end and cut 1/8" thick strips of iroko 2 1/2" wide and 50+" long. I then steamed them in an old PVC waste pipe, using a wallpaper stripper. I melted the pipe, but bent the laminates! The laminating was a bit of an unholy mess, especially as my resin pump gave up the ghost half way through, but it wasn't really that tough, and I'm pleased I did it now and the end result is good. I laminated the inner stem first, and then laminated the outer stem around it. I'm only 3 planks into the planking, but it looks OK so far...

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    se pa (Bristol PA)
    Posts
    2,070

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Racundra View Post
    I was hunting for crooks and gave up. I went for laminating in the end and cut 1/8" thick strips of iroko 2 1/2" wide and 50+" long. I then steamed them in an old PVC waste pipe, using a wallpaper stripper. I melted the pipe, but bent the laminates! The laminating was a bit of an unholy mess, especially as my resin pump gave up the ghost half way through, but it wasn't really that tough, and I'm pleased I did it now and the end result is good. I laminated the inner stem first, and then laminated the outer stem around it. I'm only 3 planks into the planking, but it looks OK so far...
    Did you actually need to steam 1/8" strips? Oh yes PVC gets soft real fast,. How's the iroko with gluing?

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    141

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    Did you actually need to steam 1/8" strips? Oh yes PVC gets soft real fast,. How's the iroko with gluing?

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk


    Well I tried a piece gently and it made all sorts of creaking sounds, so I thought “better safe than sorry,” and steamed them all. They bent round my former really easily and only took 20 minutes steaming... I also steamed my keelson where it bends down from midships to the transom. That also made some interesting noises, and I’m sure I couldn’t have bent it without steaming it. Iain Oughtred suggests cutting a ‘split’ into it to make it easier to bend, but I figured my sawing skills would have been tested to breaking point (literally!) to put that cut into it. I’m happy with the steaming approach and wouldn’t hesitate to try it again. The iroko glued up very well. I tried a yes piece and the wood broke before the epoxy, with no sign that the glue wasn’t bonding. I didn’t clean up the sawn faces of my 1/8” laminates, as I figured that rough was probably better in terms of providing a surface to key to... I’m not floating my boat prematurely of course, but fingers crossed! 😁


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •