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What is the difference between Ramin (supplied for hull planking my Jolly Boat) and basswood (my purchase for replanking the hull of my Jolly Boat)?.  I think I'm finding that the basswood isn't as forgiving/flexible as the Ramin.  But I can't be sure since my first planking attempt was using the Ramin and I started from the top toward the keel with no twist.  I'm now replanking using basswood starting at the keel and working my way up.  I'm not sure if the difference I'm seeing is due to the severe twist required at the aft end keel until I get to the transom.  I'm also experiencing more "fold-over" of the plank at the bow where I'm trying to make the bend required.  I am soaking my planks in hot water to preform them to the hull shape prior to gluing and, as best as I can remember, seem to be having a bit more difficulty using the basswood than I did with the Ramin.  Any input and/or information would be greatly appreciated for future reference.  

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Hi kev,I don't build kits but having read many kit build logs here basswood is normally used for the first planking. The better

quality wood being used for the second planking.

 

Dave :dancetl6:

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Peanut6 said:

Ramin (supplied for hull planking my Jolly Boat) and basswood (my purchase for replanking

Neither species is one to use if there are other options.

The Ramin may actually be something else since it is on the endangered species list.

Basswood is just too soft and prone to splintering and rolling fibers - (friable?).

Its much better European brother ( Lime - Linden ) is still not that good a choice for planking.

 

The primary difficulty is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to source wood of suitable species that is in dimensions needed by an end user.

 

You live in a region with ready access to lumber of species that are excellent for our uses:

readily available:  Hard Maple, Black Cherry, Yellow Poplar

hit or miss: Beech, Birch

If you can be your own sawyer - most any fruit wood: Apple (the king), Peach, Pear (street planting ornamental too), Crab Apple, Plum.  Dogwood, Holly, Hornbeam, Hophornbeam, Hawthorn.

 

Avoid most any nut tree species - open pores and out of scale grain:  Walnut, Oak, Ash, Hickory.

 

7 hours ago, Peanut6 said:

soaking my planks in hot water

It is the heat that allows bending.  The wood fiber glue (lignin) is not affected by water. The water raises the grain.  A bit of water as steam may transfer heat to the interior more quickly, but the time difference is probably of no practical significance.  The heat source must not be hot enough to char or even cook the wood.

 

Ships, and even larger boats, required more than one plank per strake, which avoids having a single plank having an opposite twist at each end.  Lateral bending ( thru the thick dimension ) is best solved by spilling the plank instead.

 

Edited by Jaager
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My Jolly Boat BOM listed the planking material as Ramin, whether it is or not I have no clue.  I selected basswood because I read it was a suitable choice, readily available and within my budget.  And I know what you mean with basswood being prone to splintering and rolling fibers.  I just wasn't sure if there was a difference between the two or if what I was experiencing was do to the entirely different bending requirements needed between the two sections of the hull.

 

I understand how heat works better than soaking.  The only videos I've seen using heat is with a jig, where the bend radius is known and the wood is already flexible enough to fit the jig.  Heat is being used to change the wood's mind that this is the new shape it wants to be.  My instance is an ever changing bend radius from bow to stern with a 90 twist at the transom post until you hit the transom itself.  Even if I did know the various radii to be able to set up a jig, the wood isn't flexible enough to make the contours.  That is why I've been soaking my planks in hot water to transfer some heat into the wood, the moisture makes the wood flexible enough for me to clamp it down securely to my contact points.  Then I use a hair blow dryer with both heat and fan setting on high to dry out the plank.  Once it is shaped I trim it down and glue it on.  I can't figure out how to use heat, what ever the source, to bend the plank frame to frame in my situation, I just don't have enough hands.  What I'm doing seems to be working for me, though it can be difficult at times.  I suppose it is obvious that my "newbieness" is showing.  Thank you for your patience.

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Keep in mind that straight planks don't bend that well edgewise. As you get to the lower half of the hull they require more edge bending. As you edge bend them ,they start to twist or open up on the bottom of the plank. That is where spiling comes in. I make a light card pattern to the shape needed and the cut the proper shaped plank. They usually come out sorta crescent shaped. Look up spiling on google and see if that might help.

 

Edited by reklein
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I only use heat for bending,  yes it's very warm for your fingers but works very well. Water will also expand the wood which can create gaps between planks when drying in place.

I planked the longboat using heat only.

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I believe my original question has become a moot point.  Can’t really compare Ramin wood to basswood since I probably didn’t have Ramin wood to begin with.  The kit is 11 years old and I have no clue when Ramin hit the endangered species list.

 

Jaager, thank you for the wood information.  I’ll keep that in mind for when my skill level, budget and build project warrant the desire for a change.

 

Reklein, yes I am experiencing what you describe on the garboard side.  But it is minimal, say 1/32” and I’m able to scrunch up the plank to cover that little distance.  Once I hit the actual transom I shouldn’t have that problem since I’ll no longer need to twist the plank.

 

As for bending guidance.  The video I mentioned in fact was the one Chuck created to show his edge bending technique.  I did go back and read Chuck’s edge bending post and found that I missed the very important reference in the video of the edge lift at clamping prior to applying heat.  That one’s on me, my bad.  I fully understand the geometry and biology aspects of this technique and its a very ingenious way to address the situation.

 

Mark and Nirvana, please indulge me here.  The sketch is meant to represent the top view of my Jolly Boat.  I want to run a single plank from point “a” to point “b”.  We are only talking about the viewing plane shown.  So how do you use heat to make that bend?

 

 122941189_topviewinpaint.jpg.bc17f9d4126e74a270d0761fdd8d7e2c.jpg

Edited by Peanut6
typo
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  • Solution

Here is the bender I use for long planks.

The soaking is not to soften the wood, it's to better transfer the heat when applied.

 

In my method, after the plank is completely dried after heating, letting it sit in the jig till it cools, it will stay bent when you remove it.

 

In your example you can bend both ends...  The jig doesn't have to match your bend perfectly.  In fact, a little over bending will cause it to grip the bulkheads when you glue it up.

 

You can see how one could adapt the principle to different jigs with pegs and such.  The key is to heat the wood while it is bent, and keep it bent while it cools.

 

 

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Gregory, that is a pretty snazzy and versatile  set up.  I can definitely see how an experienced calibrated eye can achieve any bend desired.  Now if you would, please indulge me in answering another question.  Can you put a dry (unsoaked) plank in your plank bending jig as shown in the second picture? 

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2 hours ago, Peanut6 said:

Can you put a dry (unsoaked) plank in your plank bending jig as shown in the second picture? 

I can.  I will even run a test to check the difference and report back..  As I said, the water helps transfer the heat..  The hair drier doesn't make steam, but it dries any moisture pretty fast.

 

The amount of bending without snapping or splintering varies with the type and thickness of the wood and the soaking doesn't affect that much, if at all.

 

I appreciate the interest..

 

 

 

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Getting back to you..

 

image.png.1cbe6c483080a0fd6543f1e22c15f182.png

 

I've modified my jig a little since the pictures i posted earlier..  Still works the same way.

First I tried some 1mm Alaskan Yellow Cedar.  You can almost tie this stuff in a knot without it splintering or breaking.

 

One piece was dry from my stash, and I soaked another piece in plain water for about 10 minutes.  I think 2 or three minutes would have been plenty, but I was doing other stuff.

 

908968877_Bending1.png.ce2e004506a53083e365da13932f3787.png

 

The wet version clearly held the bend better.

The blow dryer ran for 5 minutes, and I let the pieces sit for 10 minutes before removing from the jig.

 

929869080_Bendinfg2.jpg.add07a1439cb3131e3400accf4b29b95.jpg

 

Here is the typical wood that comes in kits for 1st planking..  Not sure of species..  Lime, ramin, bass?

It is 1.5 mm.  This particular strip did not seem prone to splintering..

 

I don't even know how to identify ramin, but I have some bass billets that I could cut strips from for a more definitive experiment.

 

Dry is at the top and we can see the wet piece has retained the bend much better.

 

There could be a lot of variables of heating method,  application and cooling time.

 

Depending on the desired end result, I think some of the more involved methods of steaming , boiling, microwaving or whatever , might be a waste of time..

 

Let me know if you have more questions or observations.

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Wet and heat combined seem to work best for me when done off the model.  I cut a simple form, the thickness of which is close to the width of the pieces to be bent.   Soaking the wood in water takes about 15-30 minutes, depending on the thickness and species of the wood.  Once clamped in place, a variable temperature hot air gun  will heat the wood, quickly drying it and getting it to hold to the new bent shape.   Heat guns with variable temperature control from 100F to over 900F  and multiple speed blowing are available from less than $50 to $150 (and higher for industrial grade). In a pinch, her hair dryer works well, but maybe best done in secret. (I speak from experience)     I would not use this method if a soaked piece of wood has been temporarily clamped in place to the model to take the shape/form while it dries.   

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I had every intention of getting back sooner, but life happened and had to deal with it.  First I want to thank Gregory for pointing out Chuck's edge bending technique plus taking the time, effort and his supplies to run the tests he did showing his bending technique.  I can't express my appreciation and patience, thank sir you went above and beyond.  With what I have available to me right now I wasn't able to duplicate Gregory's results thou.  I'm sure that my 1600 watt 20+ year old hair dryer was the issue.  I'll try to make rest of this as short as possible.  I started to bend my 5th plank on my Jolly Boat using only the soaking method while I waited for Gregory's test results.  It just wasn't going to happen no matter how much coaxing. Then I started looking around to see what I had that might enable me to experiment with Chuck's edge bend technique.  After I found a suitable platform to use and clamps strong enough to hold my plank in place I gave it a shot.  I can only say that his method is some kinda' wicked magic right there.  Even though I shouldn't have doubted it, I was amazed at what I was able to achieve.  I'll go into more detail in my build log on my next posting there.  I would again like to thank everyone for their input.  The knowledge I've obtained is priceless.  Would I be the only one to wonder how my initial question about the difference in wood types would lead to me learning a superior technique in bending wood?

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I'll be the first to say Chuck's method is far superior to mine because it makes the planks lay flat on the bulkheads..

I only offered my flat bend as an example that does not benefit from extended soaking, steaming or boiling which is sometimes offered as a workable method. 

 

I might use it for a couple of planks high up on the bow, but once the form requires bending in 2 dimensions, Chuck's method rules the day..

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