Monday, 20 August 2007

A Cracking Time!

Well, Chine Logs are fun - not. While I waited for the glue on the split log to cure I had another go at installing another chine log. This is a seriously tortured piece of wood,bending in all three planes! With a lot of effort and many clamps I was actually able to get it into place and subsequently removed for final gluing. So one half thickness chine log installed. Now back to the broken log. I wanted this piece to be laminated between the hull and it's paired partner. I started to install it, almost had it in, and as I turned my back to pick up another clamp, "crack" it broke in two more (different) places!

In despair I epoxied the log back together again (it's now a 4 piece log!) and let it set up for one last try before it goes for firewood. With the good chine log installed I managed to bend it's matching partner into place and trim to size, although it was groaning loudly.I took it back out, but have not got round to gluing in yet.

Today I decided on a different strategy. Many years ago my wife acquired a steam cleaner which has been languishing unused in the garage for many a day. I resurrected it, brushed off the cobwebs and filled with water. I placed the chine log in a length of drainage downpipe, pushed the steamer nozzle inside, blocked up the ends with plastic bags and turned on the steamer. The steamer tank lasts about 15 minutes, during which time I left the log to cook. Working quickly I withdrew the "well done" log and quickly started to install in the hull. This was a different piece of wood. It was more like a piece of rubber! It just fell into place with minimal pressure. I've left it all clamped up and in place where it will probably remain until the weekend before I get round to gluing it. I'm hoping that it will "remember" it's shape so that it will be easy to remove glue and reinstall. I'm not sure how epoxy would take to warm damp wood if I were to steam it again. I intend to steam the remaining logs and pre bend them in a similar fashion prior to installation. In the meantime I have started cutting the floor dividers in preparation for bottom fitting.

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