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Thread: Toe Rails

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Norwalk CT
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    Default Toe Rails

    I have a client that wants toe rails on his old sloop that currently has none. Doesnt seem all that difficult from the transom forward to the end of the cockpit. I can take the coamings off and will be able to clamp them in place, drill and screw them down.

    I'm not at all sure what to do on the eight feet of fore deck forward of the cockpit. Thats where the most bend takes place and the sheer sweeps up to the bow.

    Nothing to clamp to...Im envisioning a template of 3/4" ply scribed to the curve that I can secure maybe with some screws and clamps. The template matches the inside edge of the toe rails. Start at the bow; screw it down and bend the rails around the template.

    Any suggestions? Toe rails with be nominally 1" high, maybe 1 1/4' wide at the base.

    Thanks,
    JRM

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    9,211

    Default Re: Toe Rails

    Can you screw some upright fence posts to the topside? Fill in the holes later?

    Jim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Bellingham, Wa, USA
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    3,762

    Default Re: Toe Rails

    Maybe a job for the next haulout, when it can be placed in a building which you can brace off of. Or, bring along some portable gravity, in the form of weights, or a large friend.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

    15' Welsford Navigator Inconceivable
    16' W. Simmons Mattinicus double ender ​Matty

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    PNW, an island west of Seattle
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    2,712

    Default Re: Toe Rails

    Are you laminating these toe rails or steam bending? Either way you'll have to remove them in order to properly bed them. So their bend has to be more or less permanent. I just finished making new toe rails for my small sloop. These are about 8' long but much slighter than yours: 5/16 x 1 inch. Not wanting to mess with steam, I laminated them. Used the old toe rails as a pattern, screwed some blocks to a sheet of 3/4 ply, applied glue, and clamped. Once dry I profiled them and sanded. After varnishing they'll be bedded and screwed down. I haven't any idea how I'd do it all "on the boat" without putting temporary holes into something.

    Jeff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Salt Spring Island, BC
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    7,887

    Default Re: Toe Rails

    I did these by placing c clamps vertically every 12" or so along the rub rail then threading 3 lams between them and the rail then wedging them against the rail. The spacers were rounded on their ends and added on the bench once the longitudinals had been glued up and removed. Besides forming the curve the process even addded some of the twist. It was easy and worked perfectly.

    Big Dory Build 42 046.jpg

    I knew I should have been taking photos and had indeed planned to but forgot, but here are a couple of photos of doing the same for the edge caps on the cabin tops.

    Big Dory Build 28 01.jpg

    Big Dory Build 28 02.jpg

    If you don't have a rail to clamp to maybe you can add a temporary one.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norwich,United Kingdom
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    8,094

    Default Re: Toe Rails

    I'd use you proposed template to make a twin of itself and fix them together.Then laminate as many strips as necessary to produce the width needed and I would like at least four of them to keep springback minimal.It will be much easier to persuade into place than a single section of 1 1/4" bent to shape.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    northeast Ohio
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    2,511

    Default Re: Toe Rails

    I managed to get these on OK.
    They are 3/4" X 1-1/4" -- tapering down to 7/8".
    One piece. No laminating. Not cut to the sheer, but bent to it.
    Cypress. Fairly easy to bend, but would spring right back.
    I did need help getting them back on with the epoxy on there...(or bedding or whatever you choose to use)
    I screwed about every 20" or so,... and removed the screws and replaced with copper pins after the epoxy set.
    I had the rub rail to clamp to in addition to using the temporary screws.








  8. #8
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    Jan 2011
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    Norwalk CT
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    Default Re: Toe Rails

    Thanks all. It seems a temporary form of some kind screwed down to the deck is the way to go. A little googe in the screw holes later. I dont envision requiring steaming or laminating, the bend isnt that severe.

    I'll report back...

    JRM

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Schleswig Holstein Germany
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    852

    Default Re: Toe Rails

    I did several toe rails where I just screwed them down.
    First dry, then with goo a second time.
    Starting at the bow and working towards the stern. One screw at the time. It helps to have some scaffolding for the rail that sticks out of the boat to rest on.
    Works!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norwich,United Kingdom
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    Default Re: Toe Rails

    Quote Originally Posted by Max F View Post
    I did several toe rails where I just screwed them down.
    First dry, then with goo a second time.
    Starting at the bow and working towards the stern. One screw at the time. It helps to have some scaffolding for the rail that sticks out of the boat to rest on.
    Works!

    I sort of agree but would always start with the end with the most severe curvature.The free end provides the leverage to persuade the wood to conform to the curve.It pays to be careful bending wood around decks as it may snap of wriggle free of the clamping apparatus and if it does a good bruise or worse is a distinct possibility.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Toe Rails

    I have recently fitted toe rails screwed to the deck, sawn to shape in 3 sections over 20ft and 2 layers making a lamination of 6 pcs each side. They are tapered in height… 1. 1/4 - X 2” high
    Process….
    Rough cut lower level to shape, dry screw to deck jointing parts together
    Rough cut upper level to shape, dry screw between previous fixings right through to deck
    Remove the whole shebang, glue between upper and lower and dry fix to deck. (omitting the lower fixings)
    Remove again and clean the whole lot up.
    Glue and screw it to the deck.

    I will pop a photo up tomorrow.


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