BWCA Any Tips on making laminated gunwales ? Boundary Waters Group Forum: BWCA.com Builders Group
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      Any Tips on making laminated gunwales ?     
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HighPlainsDrifter
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06/28/2021 09:13PM  

I have read where some builders have made laminated gunwales using a mix of soft and hard wood strips (maybe 3/16"). I assume the process is similar to that used when laminating wood for internal and external stems. What I found interesting was the weight savings for using mostly cedar capped with a hard wood like ash. Has anyone made laminated gunwales ? tips?
 
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Grizzlyman
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07/14/2021 09:38PM  
I did. I made walnut and ash gunwales. I m pretty sure I did 3/8 strips but not sure. As far as the process you’re right. Same thing. Laminate with epoxy and clamp the begeezus out of it.

One thing I learned in the process though- I was skeptical that the whole gunwale would “bend as one” when installing . In other words I thought it would resist bending after dried somehow due to the laminations but it doesn’t. Bends perfectly.

I think it’s a great idea - and should be used more in practice. it’s not all that common but I love the look of mine- it’s a great way to dress up the boat and in your situation save weight as well.
 
HighPlainsDrifter
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07/19/2021 10:32PM  

Now that is eye candy. For sure it is something to think about. In my case, I am thinking of capping cedar with a hard wood. Thanks for the picture
 
Grizzlyman
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07/20/2021 05:55AM  
HighPlainsDrifter: "
Now that is eye candy. For sure it is something to think about. In my case, I am thinking of capping cedar with a hard wood. Thanks for the picture"


I think that’s a great idea. What I don’t know is if cedar is strong enough by itself for a gunwale. I’m sure there are differing opinions.

If it is then capping it so it doesn’t get banged up on top is a fantastic idea!

If not, then I’m sure the 3/8 hardwood will add some strength but how much I just don’t know. Maybe someone else can chime in on that?
 
sedges
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07/20/2021 07:58AM  

If you are laminating gunwales you need to laminate them on the hull. If laminated flat they will likely be to stiff to take the compound bends needed.

The glued-on cedar capped with shortleaf pine gunwales that I did are very strong. I've got seats hanging from the gunwales and they support a 300 lb paddler just fine.

They are much more rigid than the screwed on solid shortleaf pine gunnels they replaced.

 
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