Bending Oak?

Little Rascal

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Well I think it's oak - perhaps you can tell from the photo...

I have a wooden guide rail for the sliding companion hatch that has bent/warped. It was taken off the boat by the previous owner for sanding and varnishing - which I am now doing a year or so later.

It's about 3 and a half feet long and roughly an inch out of true. I'm reluctant to just bolt it back on, as the boat is quite small and I don't wish to put that kind of strain on the hatch side. It's obviously warped because of it's L shaped section.

I was thinking I could soak/steam it and bolt it to a piece of 2 by 4 to straighten it. What do you think?

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fergie_mac66

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normally to steam bend wood it has to be green.

Theoreticaly if an inch over 3 and a half feet you could try you will have to bend it and clamp it so its 1 inch the other way which is 2 inch. To allow for spring back . there are set of calculation to to find out what the spring back will be . I have to admit that you will probably struggle to straighten it and theres a chance you will crack it .

It may be you will have to find another way , perhaps ripping down it then gluing back together using a former to hold it while it sets (over compensating a bit to allow for spring back )
 

davidfox

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Well I think it's oak - perhaps you can tell from the photo...

I have a wooden guide rail for the sliding companion hatch that has bent/warped. It was taken off the boat by the previous owner for sanding and varnishing - which I am now doing a year or so later.

It's about 3 and a half feet long and roughly an inch out of true. I'm reluctant to just bolt it back on, as the boat is quite small and I don't wish to put that kind of strain on the hatch side. It's obviously warped because of it's L shaped section.

I was thinking I could soak/steam it and bolt it to a piece of 2 by 4 to straighten it. What do you think?

View attachment 9790

View attachment 9791

I would do it, what do you have to lose, also 25mm over a metre (sorry got to use new money, i cant go back now) is not much, continue steaming after it is bolted down for a bit.
 

Searush

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Are there any furniture shops or proper woodworkers (like Cuchilo) nearby? Price up a new replacement, you may be pleasantly surprised (or perhaps not!:rolleyes:)

You could use 2 seperate bits of simple (& therefore cheap) 2"x1" glued & screwed together as a replacement.
 

eagleswing

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oak???

unlikely that a builder would use oak as a trim piece. it's very tough and tends to blcken if water gets under the finish or varnish. not recommmended for trim for that reason . looks like bleached out teak to me .
 

ghostlymoron

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It looks like teak to me as well. I would just clean it up and varnish/stain to your liking and replace. 1" in 3' is not much of a bend and you should be able to progressively nip it up to it's original shape.
 

Babylon

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Its definitely not oak, almost certainly teak.

I wouldn't bother with steam-bending it. Its probably moved due to shrinkage because its been stored indoors in a warm+dry environment for the last year. I'd leave it outdoors in the damp (but not exposed to direct rain) for a while. Then bolt it straight back in place on the boat.

Whilst you are concerned about the wood pulling the fibreglass out of shape, it isn't a massively thick section and, despite its L-section, it'll almost certainly just pull up into its old position without much effort and soon settle down. If it needs any fettling to ensure the hatch slides smoothly, you can always take a shaving or two off with a block-plane or a rebate-plane.

Once its comfortably in place, whip it off, give it a final sanding and re-finish it, then get it back on smartly.

Hope this helps.

Babs

PS If you do want to muck about with steam-bending (usually only done with green wood), then you'll need to construct a steam-box, and once its been in for a while you have to be very quick to get it out and clamp it down over your former. Also, as others have noted, you might need to shape your former with some extra bend in it, as there's bound to be a bit of spring-back. In all, doesn't sound worth the hassle.

If the original piece has truly had it, you could always get a joiner to make up a new piece from teak for you - either a solid square-section piece with a massive rebate, or two flat pieces each with mitres running down one edge which can be jointed together (the joiner will do this for you). I'd be happy to do all this for you on my machines, but you'd have to get your old bits and the teak to me (I'm not in East Anglia).
 
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