Question: Battens on the Barrelback

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DavO
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Question: Battens on the Barrelback

Post by DavO » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:03 am

I am installing the battens on the side of the boat, and there is plenty of bending and twisting that is required. For the most part, I am able to sufficiently bend the battens without too many snapping. However, as I go lower to the ground (which will be the top of the boat when it is flipped), the battens near the transom need to twist a lot. Like about 60 degrees. Even when I apply the hot water/towel treatment, I can never get them to twist enough, and when I do install them, they seem to twist back. This leaves a gap in my notches in the frames/transom, and a non-flat surface for planking.

My question to the group (and thanks ahead of time) is this:
Should I just do the best I can, allow for the battens to twist back some, and fix everything with the sander during faring? Or should I try to steam bend (twist) these boards? I have done some searching and it looks like I can purchase a wall-paper steamer for less than $50, and some plastic, to get this done. But this is added time and expense, which I am not sure is worth it.

csaggio
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Re: Question: Battens on the Barrelback

Post by csaggio » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:05 am

Hi DavO,

On my barrelback build, I did just that. Purchased a wallpaper steamer and created a steam box out of PVC pipe. You will be surprised as to how easy the steamed battens are to bend into shape. As to your concerns about added expense; I found that less expensive than having to continually replace cracked battens! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Chris

DavO
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Re: Question: Battens on the Barrelback

Post by DavO » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:37 am

Thanks Chris. It is encouraging to have affirmation.

boisebrit
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Location: Boise, Idaho

Re: Question: Battens on the Barrelback

Post by boisebrit » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:41 pm

Same thing used wall paper steamer in some steel pipe, tried pvc but the steam bent the pipe so moved to steel which I had in the shop.

Good Luck

Bryan
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Steaming-3.jpg

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DrBryanJ
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Re: Question: Battens on the Barrelback

Post by DrBryanJ » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:20 pm

I needed to steam my lift strakes to get them in place. Found that when using pvc pipe to steam, by the time I got the piece to the boat it had dried or cooled too much to bend easily. I had much better success partial attaching my pieces to the boat, wrapping in heavy plastic and steaming in place. I wore heavy gloves and bent while still steaming. Tried without gloves first and it was HOT
Bryan

Building a malahini "Mona Lisa"

My wife said "If I build a boat, she's getting a divorce."

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kens
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Re: Question: Battens on the Barrelback

Post by kens » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:44 pm

I just finished a stripper canoe, and found out that it is the heat that allows the wood to bend.
The old school method uses steam to transfer the heat to the wood.
I found that a plain heat gun does just as well, at least on the canoe strips.
Oak is over rated, everything about it takes extra time; then it warps, splits or checks !!! :roll:

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DrBryanJ
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Re: Question: Battens on the Barrelback

Post by DrBryanJ » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:35 pm

it is the heat that allows the bend. With a stripper canoe, your pieces are fairly thin and a heat gun will work nicely. I was bending 5/4 lift strakes. The steam allows the heat to penetrate the wood deeper and over a broader area. I don't know how thick the battens are. Heat gun might work.
Bryan

Building a malahini "Mona Lisa"

My wife said "If I build a boat, she's getting a divorce."

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kens
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Re: Question: Battens on the Barrelback

Post by kens » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:13 pm

I started out steaming the canoe strips, then later on gave up on the water part of it.
With the thicker material, maybe just build a 'heat box' rather than a 'steam box'
Oak is over rated, everything about it takes extra time; then it warps, splits or checks !!! :roll:

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Roberta
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Re: Question: Battens on the Barrelback

Post by Roberta » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:53 am

Like Dr. Bryan mentioned, using plastic sheets from Home Depot and an inexpensive wall paper steamer, you can steam parts in place. Using this method, you can start the steaming process and continue it after parts are clamped in place. It is fast and you don't loose the heat removing the parts from a steam box and transferring them to the project. Plastic sheet is rolled to form a tube, edges stapled, and slipped over the parts.

Roberta
Attachments
Steaming battens 001.JPG
Steaming battens 002.JPG
Roberta "Queen of the Boat Builders"
Built Zip "Oliver IV", Super Spartan "Jimmy 70", and Torpedo "The Glen L".

DavO
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Location: McKinney, TX

Re: Question: Battens on the Barrelback

Post by DavO » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:31 am

Thanks again for everyone's comments. I purchased a Wagner wallpaper steamer and a thick PVC pipe, and last night I had good success bending/twisting the battens on the boat - impossible (for me, at least) without steaming. I took the advice and move very quickly after removing the piece from the steam, twisting the board with my hands first right away, and then securing the board in place. My first attempt was a small portion of the batten, just to get the hang of things.
IMG_0284.jpg

monitor
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Re: Question: Battens on the Barrelback

Post by monitor » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:39 pm

I Hi DavO. I twisted those stern battens as much as I could without steaming and then faired the remaining portion to the correct curve. You do not need to remove much wood.
Also, on the bow area battens, I ripped them down the middle for aprox. 3-4 feet, added a strip of the same wood the width of the kirf, and glued this lamination at the same time that I glued it to the frames. No steam, easily bends, stronger then solid batten.
Another way to get it done!
Your boat is looking good!
Jim Kinsella

mickfly
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Re: Question: Battens on the Barrelback

Post by mickfly » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:23 am

Wish I read that BEFORE I did my battens with a steamer and pipe! The steamer works fine, but I waited about 1 hour for each batten to steam before wresting the hot wood into place and clamping it. After it cooled, I came back and glued and screwed it. It was time consuming.
Boat building has taught me that there is always more than one way to do things right...and unfortunately, a myriad of ways to mess up. That is why this forum is so valuable.

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