Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wood is Good

Well finally found some wood. Will be pickin it up tomorrow more than likely ... you would think that in this pine-filled country of Canada it would not be difficult to find someone close who would mill some 4X2 for the gunnels but it has been exasperating trying to find someone who can provide knot free quarter-sawn wood.
It's seems to mostly go by the name 'vertical grain' here in Canada.
So we were looking for green (ie fresh) wood as it's easier to steam bend. It is already full of moisture so when you apply the steam to it the moisture in the middle creates the elasticity in the wood fibres much more thoroughly. Rang a guy with a portable sawmill today who I thought could provide the wood and it ended up he had cut the tendons in his fingers last night working so that put an end to that.
Was down in another place today which does a lot of kiln dried hardwoods and they had vertical grain fir which is exactly what we want. Unfortunately it is kiln-dried which means I should re-hydrate it before trying to steam bend it. I will hopefully pick it up tomorrow and then soak it in water till the weekend by which time we should have the form made for bending the front part of the gunnel.

This is what we'll be aiming for over the next fortnight (that's two weeks for any non-Irish people reading)

Also emailed Michael O'Leary at and got a very quick reply from him regarding what they now use to stop the water getting into the boat. 
Although we're not quite at that stage yet tis important to be thinkin about it now. This is what he mailed me:

Micheal O Leary here, we use a very light canvas on the racing naomhog something with alot of nylon in it [not cotton] then we waterproof it with bitumen paint black we thin it 2 to 1 with white spirits then give it 4 coats sanding lightly in between. If you are using an 18oz oz or 15oz canvas then you need real tar with a small bit of pitch through it ,then you boil it, fit your canvas then tar the inside first then nail it on then tar the outside. Hope this helps. 

More on our waterproofing efforts later as and when we come to that stage but it does look like we won't be going traditional...

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