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Thread: Long soak of oak

  1. #1
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    Default Long soak of oak

    Going to cut up the rib stock for a few ribs that need to be replaced for my Ducker restoration, of course it's white oak and it's green or least somewhat air-dried.

    It's been almost 20 years but as I remember soaking & steaming White Oak in plain water did not cause it to discolor, I do remember reading something about adding fabric softener or various other things to the water when steaming? Just wondering what you all have done lately?

    These ribs are only 3/4" wide by 3/8" -1/2" inch thick. Also if I remember right, we would bend with the grain vertical on the bend rather than horizontal.
    All input appreciated thank you!

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

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    Copy the grain that you can see.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    I'd say you are right about the grain.
    Soaking wood before steaming can be a good idea if the wood is really dry, if not it shouldn't be needed. The only discoloring I've seen when steaming oak is when there is iron in the system, ie heating the water with a rusty stove.

    /Mats
    My blog about my time as a boat building student and as a rigger apprentice http://kaptenmohsart.blogspot.se/ in Swedish only, but there are many pictures :-)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    I don't think you should have a problem with those little ribs. They are also fairly gentle bends considering the size of the ribs.
    Plane water, and as Mat said, no iron (steel) no staining. An hour in good steam for each inch of thickness and you should be good to go.

    Something I have done when replacing ribs is to make up a bunch of small 'toggles' that I screw into the old rib with drywall screws. These toggles then hold the new rib in place until well cooled.

    These ribs are 1" x 1 3/4"









    No "sister ribs", repaired the originals and doubled up where the travel lift will pick her up.

    and for fun.


  5. #5
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    We used to bend lots of Cedar ribs and white oak or ash for stems on canoes, we had a pretty low failure rate

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

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    We used to bend lots of Cedar ribs and white oak or ash for stems on canoes, we had a pretty low failure rate

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Like the "toggles"!

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    Ahhh, ... very nice!!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nedL View Post
    Ahhh, ... very nice!!!
    Thank you!

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

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    https://youtu.be/dzCmES_Lwrs
    grain orientation floor timbers and ribs

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geftb View Post
    https://youtu.be/dzCmES_Lwrs
    grain orientation floor timbers and ribs
    He didn't say anything about ribs but ill look at it again, I thought I've seen all his YouTube videos but every now and then another one pops up!

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  11. #11
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    Default

    Rift board begat 1/4 sawn rails

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    To speed up and aid in making the wood more flexible. I use a product made by Kodak known as "Foto Flo 200". Foto Flo 200 makes the steam wetter and allows it to penetrate the wood grain deeper and faster. This is a product that works and works well. It reduces the frequency of cracking ribs when bending the wood.
    It is available from Amazon in sixteen ounce bottles for $15.45. I use about a table spoon to the boiler water for each new run.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    He didn't say anything about ribs but ill look at it again, I thought I've seen all his YouTube videos but every now and then another one pops up!

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    at about th2 minute mark

  14. #14
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    Got me doubting myself, this explains it well http://wolfgangbrinck.com/boats/boat...illedribs.html

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  15. #15
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    Default

    Rib stock

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

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    Have to start with this:

    Cows have ribs, boats have frames.

    Now that that's out of my system, when I was an apprentice, we built a 65' Garden design motor yacht at Vic Franck's. it was a hard chine design, and the frames were bent to about a 100 degree angle with maybe a 6" radius. We poured anti-freeze onto the bending stock at the chine area before they went into the steam box because it had a higher boiling point so the fibers got hotter and bent easier. The anti-freeze supposedly also lubricated the process with the bending/slipping of the fibers.
    I have to add that the boat crew was a somewhat rough bunch, and antifreeze and lubrication were frequently taken freely, but not during framing...cuz it was a down and dirty, no holds barred contest each day to see whether the Port crew or the Starboard crew bent the most frames successfully.

    Gotta say I really miss that.

  17. #17
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    Smaller boats always have ribs in the teminlogy I've learned about canoe type boats in my travels, but I'm not a boat construction word & spnelling control freak , I use the word timbers when talking larger craft.

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    Last edited by DeniseO30; 09-13-2017 at 08:20 AM.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    Smaller boats always have ribs in the teminlogy of canoe type boats,in my travels, but I'm not a boat construction word Nazi I use the word timbers when talking larger craft.

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    My recounting what was a common boatyard phrase was just that, an anecdote. I apologize if it offended you, that was not my intention.

    The use of th"N**I" word is something else entirely. The National Socialists of Germany in the 30's and 40's used words to obscure their meanings and to hurt people, by the millions, I don't feel it has any place in a free forum where questions, ideas, history, etc are shared.

    My opinion only.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    I have steamed air dried, freshly cut and soaked oak.
    In my opinion the more wet it is the better. If you can sink the oak in a pont for a while.
    Results here were amazing after breaking the dry stuff before.
    Good fun
    Max

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    I think it may be one of those "East coast West coast" things. On the Jersey shore where lapstrake boats of all sizes have been built for nearly 200 years they are ribs when bent in.
    Sort of like "plugs" or "bungs". Where I grew up (again, Jersey shore) the expression was plugs are for boats and bungs are for whiskey barrels.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    Bud McIntosh has a 'worth reading' approach here...https://books.google.com/books/about...page&q&f=false
    Pages 65-75.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schweiss View Post
    Have to start with this:

    Cows have ribs, boats have frames.
    You timber out a small lapstrake boat with ribs. Some lapstrake boats have sawn frames.
    Bent = rib, sawn = frame, except in the Shetland Isles where they are bands.

    Max reminds me of this:

    Steam bending from about 8 minutes in

    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  23. #23
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    Nick I absolutely love the Shannon!

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    Here's my fave video series on this type of thing: http://www.boat-building.org/learn-s...s-small-boats/

    I just bought some oak to put ribs in my Ilur. Marcus in the video says that flat grain (parallel to the plank surface is best, but at this small size it's not worth bothering, ie. use whatever grain orientation you got.)

    My plan is to mill the stock to size, soak it in a plastic-lined trench in my yard for a day or two, then steam, adding a bit of salt to the water in the steamer.

    Hope it works. I'll be watching this thread with interest!

    Mike
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

  25. #25
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    Falcon, steam bending wood is fun! I'm just kicking myself for getting rid of the steam box and a big gas burner with stainless steel beer keg for making Steam. But when this old Ducker game my way I had to get back into it!! I'll be here in 70 next year. Retired HVAC business owner but I had dreams of being a professional boat builder woodworker almost all my life but just could not seem to break out of the HVAC business.

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    Funny, everybody's reading but nobody looked at the picture I laid two pieces in there on purpose that have knots in them nobody said a word lol
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    Funny, everybody's reading but nobody looked at the picture I laid two pieces in there on purpose that have knots in them nobody said a word lol
    Well, maybe we knew that you would use those for short ribs where the knots land above the sheer. Still disappointing for you as that is fewer long spares to guard against breakage. You do have some spares don't you?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  28. #28
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    I have the boat covered for now I'll have to do a recount but only about three ribs are actually broken so I have plenty of spares just in the small number I've made. All the deck and thwart carlin's were made of white oak and I'm agonizing over those because it's heavy I do have Alaskan Yellow cedar that's extremely strong and light that I may use for those parts.

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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    Bending with the grain vertical is a new one on me. Are we talking about the same thing?

    Does the grain end up lying parallel to the hull when finished, or perpendicular?

    The boats I've done it's always been parallel.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    I've done stems flat grained and they split off. When doing the grain vertical in the bend we had a near zero failure rate. But... it comes down to personal preferences.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    [QUOTE=Paul Schweiss;5343363]Have to start with this:

    Cows have ribs, boats have frames.

    When I went to work in the yards, ribs were steamed and frames were sawn.
    Jay

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    [QUOTE=Jay Greer;5343803]
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schweiss View Post
    Have to start with this:

    Cows have ribs, boats have frames.

    When I went to work in the yards, ribs were steamed and frames were sawn.
    Jay
    I surrender! Just a ditty. I do remember being beaned with a bung if I said the wrong word.

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  33. #33
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schweiss View Post
    Have to start with this:

    Cows have ribs, boats have frames.
    Famous saying of Tacoma boat school instructor...spacing his name.

  34. #34
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    Out of the clear blue my sister gives me a Bissell Steam shot, I got to thinking.....hose ... Nozzle end fits inside 1.25" PVC..

    It only holds about a cup of water starts making steam within a minute has a trigger I taped that down so it run continuous steam. Just for fun I put a short rib in the PVC which was so hot it was actually almost soft put a rag in the end did not really watch the clock but I guess about 10 minutes,. Pulled out the stick bent it by hand way more than it would be in the boat just to "see". and Wala!

    Results: GREAT!

    Limitations,
    it's probably not powerful enough to steam 16 ft long in rails for a boat.

    Conclusion,
    I have a portable rib steaming unit that cost me almost nothing!





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  35. #35
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    Default Re: Long soak of oak

    The thickness of the wood it can do is just down to how long it makes steam before boiling off all of the water. Can you hire a wallpaper stripper if that one is not up to the thicker wood?
    You should be able to straighten that bent rib cold to fit the boat. My Grandfather always pre bent a bundle of ribs in case he needed to replace one in his boat. Steamed to a tighter radius and straightened cold to fit.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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