Bending Laminations

I just started building the Nymph Canoe from a kit and the instructions call for an inner and outer stem each to be made out of 6 laminations 1/8x3/4x24 inch spruce. Although the instructions call for bending the strips around the stem forms without steam or heat, it seems that the strips will not make the bend without cracking. Has anyone had experience with bending strips around this tight of a curve?

5 replies:

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RE: Bending Laminations

1/8" strips are pretty thin and should bend easily. Best to do a 'test' of one strip first. Work very slowly and see if it will make the bend with out cracking. If it starts to crack, try adding heat from a heat gun. Hair dryer sort of works also. If that doesn't work, well then soaking or steaming will be necessary which will add drying time to the build. If you have a limited number of strips, bury the strip that started to crack between the 'good strips'. 


RE: Bending Laminations

i have done many laminations of this dimension. success comes from a form and a call plate. one is the inside, one is the outside radius. stack all laminations and clamp them all at once gradually with the glue applied. lots of vinyl sheet for protection. the point load is eliminated and spread throughout the glue-up.


RE: Bending Laminations

I have used a wet washcloth with my wife's iron to create heat and steam and just "slowly" ironed the strips around the form.  If doing this it is important to have holes drilled in the form in order to clamp the strips as you go along.  Once dried, epoxy them together using the same clamp holes--magic--a laminated stem.

RE: Bending Laminations

non quartered grain can split easily if unsupported even at 1/8 thickness. 

try to place the most quarterswan wood on the exterior and try the bend again


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