Wednesday, September 14, 2016

14 Foot Baidarka Rebuild - New Ribs

In the last segment of this series, I took everything off the boat that it didn't need.  In this segment, I'm putting in new ribs. And I should mention that I didn't break any ribs. I was very careful to not use any of the rib stock that had grain runout.  Straight grain the the bending stock is the best insurance against breakage.  The rib stock was white oak.  Adequate soaking time is also important as is good heat in the steambox.  Let's look at some pictures.

 Here's the steam setup, an electric wallpaper steamer with about a gallon of water in it.  The hose coming out of the steamer goes in the back of the steambox which is nothing more than a plywood box with a towel hung over the front end. The towel allows for a good flow of steam through the box without letting out too much heat.
 The ribs have been soaked in water for several days.  Here they are cut to working length which is about 10 inches longer than the distance between the gunwales at their respective new homes. All the ribs are marked with a number to minimize confusion when several ribs are in the steambox at the same time.
Here's my adjustable bending jig for the ribs.  The left wing is stationary and the right wing moves to the needed width.
 At any one time, I have three ribs in the steamer. Steam time is not specific, The rightmost rib is the one pulled first, New ribs are fed in on the left so there are always three ribs in the box.  By the time the leftmost rib gets to the right, it is ready to bend.  In the meantime, I am clamping the active rib into the bending jig, letting it sit for about a minute to cool down, then removing it, clamping it into the boat and resetting the jig for the next rib.
Here are all the new ribs clamped in place.  Next I eyeball the ribs from the ends of the boat to make sure they are all clamped in symmetrically.  Then I mark them and trim them to their final length and pop them into their mortises.
Once the ribs are all in place, I let them sit overnight to dry out and take a permanent set. Then I number them. Next day, I pull the ribs out and stain and varnish them which is much easier to do while the ribs are out of the boat than when they are lashed into place.
Here's all the ribs in place but not lashed yet.  Note that the keelson kicks to the right at the tail end of the boat.  We will be fixing that in the next installment of the 14 foot rebuild.


Bisbonian said...

That moveable bending jig is genius. Why didn't I think of that? I will make one, soon, though. Three hole Alutiiq kayak in the works. I had so much fun with my single up in Puget Sound last month that I decided I needed to be able to take people for rides. Hope you don't mind that I copy your jig!

Commoditytips said...
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Gold Tips said...
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Dan F said...

Nice rebuild pics. The idea of the 14' baidarka for surf and rough water seems very logical and super promising. You were going to slightly raise the back deck stringer after paddling it for a while - are there any other thoughts you had on how the boat performed, or what changes might improve it?

Wolfgang Brinck said...

The kayak has been sitting around with the skin off for a while now. I have to get the skin back on and paddle the boat again to see how it's doing. I didn't really change the hull shape so I don't expect much difference in handling. The main improvement expected is a more comfortable ride due to raised back deck.

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Anonymous said...

How do you determine the correct width to set your jig too?

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