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Thread: Bow Shed Ideas?

  1. #1

    Default Bow Shed Ideas?

    I'm not sure how large my snippet is going to show up but I'm wondering if anyone can give me any suggestions about my idea of using a bow shed for a workshop and shed to build a Nordic Folkboat in?

    My plan is to build a plywood deck to loft on. The profile and plan view will be lofted on either side of the centerline. The body plan will be lofted in the area forward of the bow. The bent rafters will be used to frame the sides/roof. The ends will be framed in with studs and closed in with board/batten siding, with a large door in each end. Until its planked, the hull will braced against a beam above and spanning the length of the hull. The roof will be covered with clear plastic and a tarp to keep the sun out during the summer and to remove in the winter while working inside. Winters in east Texas are mild with just a few days below freezing. I need it to give off the appearance of being as secure as possible since I will only be there every other week and its down a country road beside an old house I'm fixing up to live/work in while I'm there. The area forward of the bow will be used to keep tools in and temporary work benches will be put on the sides. I know some of you folks have probably used this concept before and determined what you'd do different if you had it to do all over again. Can you give me some good input about what you think about my plan to use this to build my boat in? I'm hoping to start construction this coming Fall (assuming my wood will be cut and dried enough by then).


    Bowshed2.jpg

    Bowshed.PNG
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    Last edited by George Ferguson; 03-11-2019 at 02:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    The bow shape of the shed means that you don't have standing head room in the outer 2-3' along each side. the remedy for this is to build up 3' kneewalls and then build the bowshed atop those. (I did 2' kneewalls for some reason and wished for that extra foot for the entire time I had the shed).

    Also, your dimensions don't really work. A 20' wide Stimson should be 20' tall.

    Only use clear plastic if you want to grow something in that greenhouse. For boatbuilding you want to cover it in white shrinkwrap. (and then a dark tarp over it in the summer)
    Your number 1 concern will be humidity/ventilation, not heat.
    Pay some attention to ground preparation.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    If you can make the shed longer on each end you'll be able to stand back and get a better view as the planking, sheer lines, cabin, coamings etc. come together. Building in tight spaces often reveals disappointing outcomes when the boat is brought out into full view.

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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Figment View Post
    The bow shape of the shed means that you don't have standing head room in the outer 2-3' along each side.
    Benches and moaning chair go here.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Wouldn’t a dark tarp make it heat up more in the summer?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    The dimensions look more like a quinto acuto gothic arch, not a Stimson bow shed. The numbers work for that.
    http://www.codesmiths.com/shed/works...ues/arches.htm "The classic Gothic arch is known as the quinto acuto or "pointed fifth". The arcs are 4/5 of the span."

    These plans are free: https://ag.tennessee.edu/BESS/Extens...Plans/6298.pdf
    The link has changed periodically, so this one might last longer and still get you there. https://ag.tennessee.edu/BESS/Pages/Plans.aspx

    There have been a lot of bow shed threads. to search for them google site:forum.woodenboat.com bow shed
    You will find a lot about how to build, what plastic to use what color will drive you crazy, how thick the arch boards should be, bending jigs, you name it. Don't hesitate to post lots of pictures as you go, we never seem to tire of boats built in bow sheds.

    One thread several years ago started with problems with the wood cracking when bent. With the circular arches in your sketch, you don't have the sharper bend that is shown in most plans, including the ones from Tennessee above.
    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    Wouldn’t a dark tarp make it heat up more in the summer?
    What a thought, hotter than hell and you can't see what you're doing! Greenhouse supply places have coverings that help with light and heat, but in Texas, you will need a big fan whatever you do.
    Last edited by MN Dave; 03-13-2019 at 02:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    You can get a black shade cloth to go over the plastic in the summer. Use the white plastic, doubled, with a squirrel cage fan to inflate the plastic. You'll need a big fan high in one end, a four footer works well, set up with a reverse, line voltage thermostat. Ideally there should be a big rolling door on the opposite end to provide airflow. Some kind of heat is nice in the cold months. Build a knee wall to raise the whole structure.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    You can get a black shade cloth to go over the plastic in the summer. Use the white plastic, doubled, with a squirrel cage fan to inflate the plastic. You'll need a big fan high in one end, a four footer works well, set up with a reverse, line voltage thermostat. Ideally there should be a big rolling door on the opposite end to provide airflow. Some kind of heat is nice in the cold months. Build a knee wall to raise the whole structure.

    Jim
    Squirrels! That’s what moved into my bowshed when I put an inner liner in. They loved that space in between the inner and outer layers. What a fiasco.

    If security is an issue I don’t see why you couldn’t put a couple of courses of half inch plywood all the way around it. I’ve seen bowsheds that were completely sheathed in plywood and one completely sheathed in metal roofing. That would be pretty secure.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Wow! Thanks a bunch guys for all the input. I was considering building a more permanent structure but this property really needs this structure removed after the boat is finished so I think this concept works. White shrinkwrap was something I didn't even know was available. I've got to look that up. And there are a lot of squirrels in that area too. That's a good reminder of something to think about. I wonder if they'll chew through the shrinkwrap? The shape is just something I come up with that looked about right. Thats actually a 16' 3" radius to create those bent rafters out of 16' 9-3/4" long material. I'll look up the plans in the link above to check that out, as well as the stuff I should have searched for on here that someone pointed out. Instead of the kneewalls I may just scale the thing up in size. I'd be worried about the kneewalls getting pushed out. I've bought a bandsaw mill to cut my lumber/beams out with and I can cut material up to 30'. I figured I'd cut out some SYP material approximately 1x1" and use that for my inside and outside pieces of my bent rafters with some short pieces cut out to create the inside blocks/gussets (or whatever they are called). If anyone else has recommendations on this I'd sure appreciate it. Maybe that will be specified in the plans someone pointed me to.

    The snippet below is scaled up another 4' wider than the original. I added some dimensions to show how much of the headspace area is affected. If I build a work bench in that area it will still leave me 5-6' of space between the boat. That won't allow me a lot of room to view the profile of the hull but I don't want the structure to get taller than the house, or longer than it. It's also under some oak trees and I don't want to get up into the limbs. The taller height will allow me to put some fans above my brace beam though. I don't plan on using the structure in late June, July, August, or early September, unless I put an air conditioner in it. But I don't want the framing material in the hull to start drying out and warping on me either. For that, I plan on building some large windows above the doors at the ends to keep open during the summer so it doesn't turn into a kiln. My timbers will only have been drying for about 6-7 months when I start using them on this project. They aren't even cut yet.


    Bowshed 3.jpg

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Beware that as you spread the legs of the triangle, the strength required in those legs increases exponentially.

    The plans linked by MN Dave in #6 look like a good next-step development beyond the basic Stimson bow shape. Good resource there!
    I'd skip the interior layer of plastic, though. I found the exposed horizontal members to be endlessly useful for hanging things, keeping electrical cords up and out of the way, etc.
    No adversary is worse than bad advice.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Figment View Post
    Beware that as you spread the legs of the triangle, the strength required in those legs increases exponentially.

    The plans linked by MN Dave in #6 look like a good next-step development beyond the basic Stimson bow shape. Good resource there!
    I'd skip the interior layer of plastic, though. I found the exposed horizontal members to be endlessly useful for hanging things, keeping electrical cords up and out of the way, etc.
    I took a look at that plan and I like it. Its similar to the first size I had drawn but its not a radius so you have 7' of height within 2' of the edge, perfect for a bench and I may just use a tarp for the roof covering. And with posts as anchors, I could building my lofting deck independent of the structure so it could be taken up after I set up. I may scale it up a little and also use gussets to connect the rafters along with a ridge.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    One of many. The pictures have some good detail. link to thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by jsjpd1 View Post
    A month worth of weekends come and almost gone, but actual work on the boat should be able start soon. All the diaganol bracing is up and I rolled out the first piece of plastic covering.



    Then slung it over the frame.



    And stretched it out.



    Of course, I only had enough of cover the first half. Tomorrow will see the rest of it done.

    Jim
    Different style:
    Quote Originally Posted by waltwood View Post
    We installed 12 diagonal braces, a collar tie on every other pair of arches and placed metal straps on all 22 arches tying them to the wood foundation. I think we are ready to put the film on tomorrow if it is not too windy.



    Lots of pictures from this forum:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=site...w=1538&bih=826
    Last edited by MN Dave; 03-12-2019 at 03:58 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    No matter how large the shed is, it will end up being too small.
    Have fun anyway.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Robb View Post
    No matter how large the shed is, it will end up being too small.
    Have fun anyway.
    That's what I am worried about, LOL! The photos above that MN Dave put on here are great. I can see now why folks were recommending the kneewall. Jim Ledger's catboat thread is great to look at too. His doesn't use bent rafters though. I'm not sure if that is preformed arches or bent pvs or something. This weekend I'm going out to the old home place where I plan to put up the shed. I'll measure out how much room I have to work with.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ledger View Post
    You can get a black shade cloth to go over the plastic in the summer. Use the white plastic, doubled, with a squirrel cage fan to inflate the plastic. You'll need a big fan high in one end, a four footer works well, set up with a reverse, line voltage thermostat. Ideally there should be a big rolling door on the opposite end to provide airflow. Some kind of heat is nice in the cold months. Build a knee wall to raise the whole structure.

    Jim
    Jim, what kind of floor does your shed have that you are building your catboat in? I read some of the thread and I noticed you used luan for lofting. Does that mean the floor of the shed wasn't plywood?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Even if it turns out to be too small, One of the more useful traits to have when building your boat will adaptability. You'll adapt. And it will make great stories as well as pride in your work. No matter what your no-it-all neighbor says.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    The more bow you can get in the arch pieces, the more room you have between the beamiest part of the boat and the side wall AND the smaller the footprint of the shed.

    If I were to make one again, I would steam bend the furring strips that make the arches to give me more space at max beam. In addition, I found that over time the arch sides flattened out. Steaming would prevent that.

    Knee walls are a good idea but you have to be able to get the plastic over the peak. The lower the peak the easier life is, I found.

    Here in New England, I put a white tarp over the clear plastic in Summer. Made it much cooler. And I made the ends able to be opened for the breeze.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saville View Post
    The more bow you can get in the arch pieces, the more room you have between the beamiest part of the boat and the side wall AND the smaller the footprint of the shed.

    If I were to make one again, I would steam bend the furring strips that make the arches to give me more space at max beam. In addition, I found that over time the arch sides flattened out. Steaming would prevent that.

    Knee walls are a good idea but you have to be able to get the plastic over the peak. The lower the peak the easier life is, I found.

    Here in New England, I put a white tarp over the clear plastic in Summer. Made it much cooler. And I made the ends able to be opened for the breeze.
    This weekend I measured the spot where I plan to put up this bow shed. There's plenty of room for one up to 24' wide. I'd already redrawn the arch to match the plan MN Dave directed me to but scaled up. It has more beam at head height. I'll be using 1x1 Yellow Pine for the laminations. That will make the bent rafters 1x3x21' long. For roofing material I found a tarp company that will make the tarp to your specifications. It will be waterproof white canvas. I'm just hoping that tarp will still let in enough sunlight but I'm also concerned about heat. I don't want to turn the shed into a kiln unintentionally. I've been trying to decide on using a floor or not. Now I've just got to get my sawmill put together and get my material cut. My real job is keeping me pretty busy though.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Real jobs seem to get in the way of all sorts of fun stuff.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    A canvas tarp is quite an investment for a temporary structure. Greenhouse film will last 4+ years for less than 15 cents per square foot. The white film transmits 55% of sunlight. 2 layers transmits 30%
    Greenhouse megastore coverings plastic film

    A bow shed is basically a greenhouse link 1, link 2
    Last edited by MN Dave; 03-18-2019 at 01:06 PM.
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    I'm concerned about using a 1x1 for the outer rib. I think you want to distribute the chafe on the skin over a broader area.
    No adversary is worse than bad advice.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Watch your radius of curvature. It should not be tighter than 250 times the lamination thickness to have reasonable stresses under long term service load.

    For the Virginia Tech Gothic Arch in the above link using clear Southern Pine (SP):
    Lamination thickness = 0.5"
    Radius of Curvature = (10'-6")*12"/'= 126"
    Curvature = 1/126" = 0.007937/"
    Extreme Fiber Strain = 0.007937*0.5"/2 = 1984 microstrain
    Instantaneous Extreme Fiber Stress = (1984 microstrain)*(1,800,000psi modulus) = 3570 psi in flexure
    Ultimate flexural strength of clear SP = 12,000 psi
    Factor of Safety against immediate breakage <= (12000/3570) = 3.4 for perfectly clear wood

    Long term extreme fiber stress = 3570psi/(1+.5 creep factor) = 2370 psi
    Long Term Flexural Strength of clear SP = 12000psi/2 = 6000 psi
    Factor of Safety against long-term breakage <= (6000/2370) = 2.5 for perfectly clear wood

    Also, if your legs do not hit the ground at 90deg angle, you will have lateral thrust from self weight. But this effect is small and easily handled for such a light structure. The bow shed is like a gable frame: Downward forces will try to spread the legs apart, and uplift will try to pull the legs together.

    Hope this helps you with your building.
    Last edited by Skiff Man; 03-18-2019 at 04:41 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiff Man View Post
    Watch your radius of curvature. It should not be tighter than 250 times the lamination thickness to have reasonable stresses under long term service load.

    For the Virginia Tech Gothic Arch in the above link using clear Southern Pine (SP):
    Lamination thickness = 0.5"
    Radius of Curvature = (10'-6")*12"/'= 126"
    Curvature = 1/126" = 0.007937/"
    Extreme Fiber Strain = 0.007937*0.5"/2 = 1984 microstrain
    Instantaneous Extreme Fiber Stress = (1984 microstrain)*(1,800,000psi modulus) = 3570 psi in flexure
    Ultimate flexural strength of clear SP = 12,000 psi
    Factor of Safety against immediate breakage <= (12000/3570) = 3.4 for perfectly clear wood

    Long term extreme fiber stress = 3570psi/(1+.5 creep factor) = 2370 psi
    Long Term Flexural Strength of clear SP = 12000psi/2 = 6000 psi
    Factor of Safety against long-term breakage <= (6000/2370) = 2.5 for perfectly clear wood

    Also, if your legs do not hit the ground at 90deg angle, you will have lateral thrust. Hope this helps you with your building.
    The above should be applicable to any bent piece of wood. Does this say that ribs, deck beams, planks, etc. with a radius < 250t should be steamed or laminated to reduce the stresses? The implication appears to be that a bent wood member should not be loaded in a way that would tend to bend it in the same direction.

    I might have missed the source for 1" square SYP. I am assuming that the 1x3 laminations mentioned will be bent on the flat. If there is a lot of ripping involved, I would go wider and thinner.

    George is showing a constant 195 inch radius rather than the variable radius in the VA Tech design. This would result in 4600 psi for a 1" lamination. While it is high, the service load isn't in the same direction, and the wood will take a set. It might be a good idea to heat the inside of the bend to hasten the stress relaxation. Wood doesn't stretch much when it is steam bent, so heating the inside of the bend with a heat gun or torch will allow that side to compress while not affecting the strength of the outer fibers.
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by MN Dave View Post
    The above should be applicable to any bent piece of wood. Does this say that ribs, deck beams, planks, etc. with a radius < 250t should be steamed or laminated to reduce the stresses? The implication appears to be that a bent wood member should not be loaded in a way that would tend to bend it in the same direction.
    I am just saying that you need to run the numbers. The radius of curvature at 250/thickness doesn't leave alot of room for additional loads in lesser grades of wood. But the Load Duration Factor (multiplied with the basic allow flexural stress) goes up for snow and wind versus long term dead load. So that helps. As for the direction: The stresses of bending/laminating add to stresses from wind load more so on legs of one side than the other, and critical extreme fiber stresses go up in both legs with snow load. Steaming and wet bending will give more relaxation than the 0.5 creep factor I have shown above.

    See the NDS for details (National Design Specification for Wood Construction).

  25. #25

    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Are you guys saying my bent rafters won't work as designed? When I create them they'll be out of fresh cut Southern Yellow Pine so they'll bend easy. I also didn't think about it but when I scaled this drawing up it increased the bent rafter thickness. That makes each lamination 1-1/4" x 1-1/4", which will make the bent rafter 1-1/4" x 3-3/4" at 48" on center. I'm going to leave out a few slots so I can run bracing through the "flange" lamination. This is a scaled up version of the plans MN Dave referred me to with a little difference in how the bent rafters are created. It's not a true radius the entire way like my original idea before I was directed to the plans. The radius is about 142" so I'm definitely violating your 1/250 rule with 1-1/4" laminations. The triangle at the top is 48" wide and 12" tall. That makes it a 6/12 slope for about the first 48" from the ridge. The sides are at 90 degrees vertical for about 18". The laminations will be glued with Titebond III and fastened with 10d ringshank nails at 12" on center. I really would like to have as few laminations as possible but if someone has some radius/lamination documentation for SYP design values (maybe even green SYP), then I'd sure like to see it. That info would be very helpful. I'm not worried about gravity loads in the roof. I am worried about wind loads. Sometimes we get occasional 60 mph gust winds and I don't want this thing to come apart with a couple of years worth of boat building inside it. We also get some hail storms with rare but occasional large hail, which is why I want a heavy duty roof cover.

    Bowshed4.jpg

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Skiff Man is not quite giving specific advice, just warning you that bending a thick piece of wood too much is not a good idea. I was looking for some clarification. If I am not mistaken again the variable radius in the plans is more aesthetic than structurally necessary.

    The U of TN plans call for 1/2 x 2" strips with 2x4 spacers. I neglected to bring in a small bow shed, 6 x 16' used to keep the rain out of my boat. The 1/2" thick strips of old PT pine barely survived the winter with no storm producing more than the equivalent of 4-6" of wet snow. (1/2" is too thin)

    You said 3 1x1 laminated to 1x3. Are you talking about solid laminated bows? I think the two 1/2 x 2 strips with the 3 1/2" blocks might be stiffer. The little blue symbol (waltwood ) is a link to the thread which as lots of detail about Waltwood's 24' x 40' shed with the arches 4' o.c. He laminated 1x2 lumbersee #2. jsjpd1 looks to be lighter construction.

    You might want to talk to some local farmers about heat. I think that you will may still need to cool your clear plastic shed on sunny days even when it is below freezing. Greenhouses here in Minnesota can get pretty warm in February, when it rarely gets above freezing and the sun is 15 degrees lower than in TX.
    Last edited by MN Dave; 03-19-2019 at 05:23 PM.
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Your radius to thickness ratio would be 114. That is pretty extreme for unheated lumber. If you want to increase the strength of your bows, the strength will go with the flange area times the structural depth. So 3/4" by 3" flanges separated by 2x4 blocks would be much stronger than what you have shown. If you want the bows to be stiffer, the stiffness goes with the flange area times the structural depth squared.

    For lamination of 3 - 1.25" x 1.25"
    Section Modulus = 1.25" x (1.25"*3)^2/6 = 2.93 in^3 (Strength)
    Moment of Inertia = 1.25" x (1.25"*3)^3/12 = 5.49 in^4 (Stiffness)

    For 2 - 3/4" x 3" flanges separated by 2x4 spacers:
    Section Modulus = Moment of Inertia/(2*0.75"+3.5")*2 = 8.21 in^3
    Moment of Inertia = 2/12*3"*0.75"^3 + 2*0.75"*3"*((3.5"+0.75")/2)^2 = 20.53 in^4

    So 2.8 times as strong and 3.7 times as stiff. Try and bend a piece before you cut all the wood.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Bow Shed Ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiff Man View Post
    Your radius to thickness ratio would be 114. That is pretty extreme for unheated lumber. If you want to increase the strength of your bows, the strength will go with the flange area times the structural depth. So 3/4" by 3" flanges separated by 2x4 blocks would be much stronger than what you have shown. If you want the bows to be stiffer, the stiffness goes with the flange area times the structural depth squared.

    For lamination of 3 - 1.25" x 1.25"
    Section Modulus = 1.25" x (1.25"*3)^2/6 = 2.93 in^3 (Strength)
    Moment of Inertia = 1.25" x (1.25"*3)^3/12 = 5.49 in^4 (Stiffness)

    For 2 - 3/4" x 3" flanges separated by 2x4 spacers:
    Section Modulus = Moment of Inertia/(2*0.75"+3.5")*2 = 8.21 in^3
    Moment of Inertia = 2/12*3"*0.75"^3 + 2*0.75"*3"*((3.5"+0.75")/2)^2 = 20.53 in^4

    So 2.8 times as strong and 3.7 times as stiff. Try and bend a piece before you cut all the wood.
    Thanks for the help! 3/4" laminations it is.

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