Bending Deck Strips

I am planning the pattern for my future deck build and would like to use some free form strips because using just straight strips just wouldn't be complicated enough.

My question is how much of a curve will a 3/4inch strip take before it is advisable to rip it down to a thinner strip?

Secondly, is it better to scarf strips first and then rip thinner or vice-versa?



6 replies:

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RE: Bending Deck Strips


I would not use scarfed strips for 'aggressive' bends. The result will not be as fair as an un-spliced strip. Similar to bending a strip with a knot in it.

Experiment with a heat gun and different materials. If just going for a few curved strips where weight won't really be a factor, use clear ash. If you really want to go crazy, steam, soak or boil those strips before bending/clamping in place. But, you will have to wait a while 'days' for the wood to dry out[shrink back to size] before proceeding- gluing. Beware, Soaking-etc. may leech some of the color out of the wood.

Don't be afraid



RE: Bending Deck Strips

We had the exact same thinking before starting our Shearwaters.  The most an 8 foot length of 3/4 by 1/4 cedar wanted to bend without twisting or seeming like it needed to be steamed, etc. is about 12 inches which is not a dramatic curve, but equals the curve of the shear strips.  Considering my inexperienced wife is building her boat, I decided no curves.  If we still want a curve, we will paint it.  A strip I cut down and routed for the king strip does not bend much better.

RE: Bending Deck Strips

Lew, the shrinking-back-to-size part of the steaming equation is logical - in hind-sight...  I could have used the info nugget before embarking on my Hybrid Night Heron.

I'll keep it foremost in my mind for my next project.


RE: Bending Deck Strips


I'm planning to use a heat gun to do any bending, just some simple curves to separate areas of different color. I guess some experimentation is in order before the build.


NICE BOAT! A full stripper is in my future at some point, but I'm using a hybrid to get some experience first.



RE: Bending Deck Strips

Mike, my Night Heron is a Hybrid as well... a step up from the Passagemaker DInghy I built last year. My next project will also be a full stripper... thinking about the solo version of the microBootlegger.  //Chris

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