Acorn to Arabella: Steaming & Laminating Timbers

The response was overwhelming with admiration and awe for the backyard boatbuilders, Steve and Alix, from the Acorn to Arabella video series. We thought you might love another episode of Acorn to Arabella, as we take another break to let Louis and his video team get caught up.  As Steve and Alix pour over drawings of their yacht, they are taking their time in deciding how to best arrange and laminate the timbers that will eventually make up the forefoot. By steaming these timbers, they make the best use of the wood, keeping the longest pieces in the most important part of their stem – the bow.

Since our last post about Steve and Alix and their video of their first year and a half of backyard boatbuilding, the dynamic duo have gotten lots done, so there are a bunch of great videos to watch leading up to this point that we bring you to today. Steve, for having never built a boat in his short life, seems to have massive knowledge and understanding not only of boatbuilding, but also of the intricacies of working with wood. It’s a pleasure to listen to his relaxed, easy explanations and he takes the time to give details that are useful and concise.

Take some time and check out the full episode list of Acorn to Arabella‘s boatbuilding to date. For two young men with a lofty dream and little know-how, they have an impressive start to not only their boatbuilding but also to their video creation. We are happy to be able to bring you to their boat shop in Western Mass.

7 responses to “Acorn to Arabella: Steaming & Laminating Timbers

  1. Good to see these millennials carrying on the fine tradition in an artful way. See what can happen when you pry yourself away from the phone?

    1. We are just old enough to not be considered Millennials. To our understanding Millennials have no recollection of life prior to the internet/cell phones. We both remember and on most days miss those bygone days. We have no issue prying ourselves away from screens!
      You will be pleased to know we have had a bunch of true Millennials come and help, email us asking advice or to just say how inspired they are… The ones willing to get dirty and work are out there in bigger numbers than most believe.

      1. I guess boatbuilding keeps a person looking younger than they actually are. Keep up the great work – you are truly an inspiration to others, even to us 65 year olds!

    1. General rule of thumb is 1 hour per 1″ of thickness regardless of width.
      So we did 2 hours per beam.
      Temp and pressure for the steam is just atmospheric. Just a big pot of water boiling away and a thick leaky box to guide it. Like a chimney it needs to have a daft/draw otherwise the steam won’t fill the box. Ideally the steam leaks out all over the box so fresh hot steam is constantly working it’s way to every nook and cranny of the box.
      In terms of bending them, a 125 lb human sitting on one end is plenty =)

  2. Noticed he said hours in steam box, temperature would be boiling point (something more than 180f), pressure was little more than his body weight (could see flex w/ body weight) for full clamp pressure.

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