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Old 08-08-2005, 12:20 PM
timkay2 timkay2 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Location: Lorain, OH
Reynolds Aluminum Boat

I recently purchased a 60 year old Reynolds Aluminum boat. I need to replace the wooden skids on the bottom, but can't figure out how to bend the wood to form to the hull. The pieces are about 6' long and 3/4" inch x 1" wide. The wood is stiff and the 3/4" side represents the sides of skid.

Can anybody give me some advice on how to do this? In addition, does anybody have any information on this boat. I've never seen one like it and it is all one piece aluminum

Thanks.
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Old 08-08-2005, 01:50 PM
BillyDoc BillyDoc is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
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Location: Pensacola, Florida
I'm not really sure what you are trying to do . . .

But you can bend most woods by steaming them. This is how the boats were made when I was in the Navy a few years back, and the boats were wood and the men were steel . . . instead of the other way around like now.

Oak is a very good wood to steam. Basically, you need to make a box of some sort (a length of pipe, anything handy) big enough to fit the wood you want to bend. Then you need a source of steam, like a good fire under a barral half full of water, that you can direct into the box.

Place the wood to be bent into the box, direct the steam into it, and "cook" it until soft. Strangely enough (it seemed to me when I tried it) the wood will actually get temporarily kind of "rubbery," at which point you can form it like you want. Assuming you made something to form it against!

If you have a pressure cooker, just plumb some steam from the weight-valve into a handy container and try it with the type of wood you want to use . . . and adjust parameters accordingly.

One other thing, thin sections will work better than thick ones so you might want to build up the shape you want with several thin sections glued together. Lots of furniture is made this way, and the end result is very strong. Of course if it is to be exposed to water you will want a waterproof glue.

I think you can get more info by googling "steaming wood" or some variation on that.

Good luck!

BillyDoc
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