Steaming the Bottom Plank Blanks

Here’s a good look at the steaming bag and the clamps I used to hold the blank in place while steaming and then cooling.

The twist in the bottom planks at the bow is pretty extreme.  When it becomes impractical to clamp enough twist or curve into a plank to fit it properly, it helps to be able to get it closer to the final shape before you pop a blood vessel in the struggle.

Steaming lumber is a time-honored practice that I’ve talked about before.  In short, the steam delivers it’s heat to the lumber, making the lignin become plastic and bendable.  Later, as it cools, the lignin becomes rigid again, holding whatever shape the lumber was clamped to while it cooled.  If you want more detail about how to build your own steam generator, or how the process works, check out the above link.

Steaming lumber
Here’s a good look at my shop built steam generator.

So I set up the steamer and my reflectix bag, and shaped my blanks before I started fitting them.  My timing would have been better if I could have done this hot work in the winter.  But you do what you can.

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