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Thread: Gluing oak

  1. #1
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    Default Gluing oak

    Next week I will probably be replacing the bow transom on a pram. The original is made from oak and was apparently glued from two boards back in 1965. I have never glued oak before as I haven't worked much with oak at all. Those exotic hardwoods from the south are normally too expensive for me.

    I have heard that oak is difficult to glue so now I ask for advice. Are there any tricks I should know?
    Is two part Resorsinol glue good enough?
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Gluing oak

    Two part Resorsinol will be ideal. It is not gap filling, but on a rubbed joint that should not be an issue.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Gluing oak

    Yes,… as Nick said, it is the glue for oak.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Gluing oak

    I glue oak all the time. I glued some yesterday. My view is that there is something of a myth developing around gluing oak. Ordinary PVA glues work perfectly well, as do the waterproof versions (Everbuild D4, for instance). So does PU if the job was done properly in the first place. I recently took apart an old settle I made probably 20 years ago, and the glue wouldn't give up. I've never used Resorsinol, and I would explore that if I was boat-building in oak. However if I were just doing your little job I would use PU. Just make a proper edge join, and damp the surfaces down very slightly before you apply the glue. Leo uses PU on Tally Ho when gluing oak to oak.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Gluing oak

    I think there is oak and oak...different in other parts of the world. Most of the negative seems to be in the States. I use epoxy and not had problems with French oak.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Gluing oak

    iz oak the right wood for a pram bow?
    how big is this pram?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Gluing oak

    Quote Originally Posted by heimlaga View Post
    Next week I will probably be replacing the bow transom on a pram. The original is made from oak and was apparently glued from two boards back in 1965.
    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    iz oak the right wood for a pram bow?
    how big is this pram?
    50 odd years of service says yes.
    What European wood are you suggesting?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Gluing oak

    Thanks.

    I will use two part Resorsinol. The old glue failed long ago and now the upper plank has gotten some rot in the end grain because a previous owner used car body filler in a rot pocket in the end of a plank. The rot spread of cause.
    I would prefere not to replace the lower plank of the transom if it is still sound.
    The boat is a one design sailing pram called Göteborgseka. I would guess it is 14 feet long.


    Around here spruce is the normal timber for boatbuilding but occasionally one may come across a boat with oak keel, or stem or transom. The parts that are most difficult to replace. Oak seems to last a good deal longer but it has to be imported from warmer places so it is very expensive.
    However with the warming climate oaks are spreading northwards and during extremely warm summers they can germinate is warm south facing places. In 100 years from now we may have home grown oak. We have at least two oak saplings in our own woodland parcel. I have thought about planting some more.
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Gluing oak

    A good scraper or careful use with a chisel will clean up the gluing surface of the original lower half, so you may not even have to tale it out of the boat.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Gluing oak

    You want shiny smooth planed surfaces for Resorcinol, not sanded. HIGH clamping pressure is required as is 70 degrees for a true cure. A cheap heating pad or a french fry light work well for the heat.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Gluing oak

    The heat bit is important for resorcinol. If the temp drops to 10°C or below while curing, the joint will likely fail.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Gluing oak

    I'm gluing european oak normally with D4 PU or epoxy. Depends on the weather, I do it outside or inside the shop. Epoxy needs also somehow 10deg C to cure properly, some brands needs tempering to higher temperatures to cure properly. Poly is fine even on slightly lower temperatures, it only cures longer. But under 10C everything cures slowly. These days are freezing nights here in the middle of Europe, Finland would be probably colder, so I would definitely do it inside.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Gluing oak

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertDavid View Post
    I'm gluing european oak normally with D4 PU or epoxy. Depends on the weather, I do it outside or inside the shop. Epoxy needs also somehow 10deg C to cure properly, some brands needs tempering to higher temperatures to cure properly. Poly is fine even on slightly lower temperatures, it only cures longer. But under 10C everything cures slowly. These days are freezing nights here in the middle of Europe, Finland would be probably colder, so I would definitely do it inside.
    Epoxy will gently cure at low temps, but the problem with resorcinol is that low temps in the cure stop it working at all. There was story from Larry Pardy about gluing up the backbone for a ketch, overnight the temp dropped a bit and when they took the clamps off in the morning, the whole thing fell to bits.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Gluing oak

    Resorcinol is great stuff IF you are willing to to be scrupulous about how you use it. Perfect joinery, high clamping pressure and heat. It's not for everyone or every application.
    I'd opt for TitebondIII or any comparable PVA.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Gluing oak

    I ordered some Aerodux 185

    I was not aware that temperature was that critical to Resorcinol. I am working onder a temporary cover outside my heated workshop and the retired boatbuilder I spoke to thought Resorcinol worked better than epoxy in moist damp conditions. The temperature is now down to freezing by night. It seems I must use an electric fan heater under a tarpaulin to keep the glue job warm enough to cure.
    Amateur living on the western coast of Finland

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Gluing oak

    Quote Originally Posted by heimlaga View Post
    I ordered some Aerodux 185

    I was not aware that temperature was that critical to Resorcinol. I am working onder a temporary cover outside my heated workshop and the retired boatbuilder I spoke to thought Resorcinol worked better than epoxy in moist damp conditions. The temperature is now down to freezing by night. It seems I must use an electric fan heater under a tarpaulin to keep the glue job warm enough to cure.
    Another option is West System G/Flex epoxy. It is marketed for difficult to glue woods and moist conditions. It's expensive though.

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