Teamwork makes the steam work!

Since returning from the Christmas holidays, we have been focusing on the rest of the work in the stern, meaning finishing the last frames and stanchions.
We have also added more bilge stringers to the bow and stern. They are strengthening the inside of the ship more and more, thus providing more stability, which we need to lift the ship on land. But before the stringers can be embedded in the hull, we have to start a longer process. The procedure is known as steam bending and it is the process of using steam to soften wood until it is pliable enough to bend. The wood’s lignans, polymers that hold the cellulose fibers together in the wood, become softer when steam is infused into it. The lignans harden once more as the wood cools, maintaining its bent shape.
Our timber, in length up to 10 m, is hung in a plastic cover and dusted with hot steam for about five to six hours using 3 boilers. As soon as the time is right, the team gathers and everything has to happen very quickly before the wood has cooled down again. The stringer is pressed into place with all its might and fastened with clamps. The piece is then positioned correctly with a hammer and then screwed into place.