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New steaming and bending machine ….

February 28, 2018

A apparatus to speed up the steaming and bending of the laminate pieces has been manufactured.

Individual patterns are still taken for each frame ( see photo below this text ) and the shape transferred to this custom made bending jig where 15 timber laminations are wrapped in a plastic bag, steamed for about 50 minutes and pulled into shape by an electric winch.
Both sections of the double frame are on the jig at the same time, steamed, pulled into shape then left to cool. This can bend 30 laminations in a morning whereas previous custom bending of laminations on the ship was done 5 laminations at a time.
Once the two frames have cooled in their new shape and the laminations sanded, they are transferred to two glueing tables where the epoxy is applied and the laminations clamped.
The two frame sections are then planed to remove excess glue, painted and are then ready for fitting to the ship and mating to the straight sections prepared for the floor timbers.
This process will be repeated 40 times to achieve the 80 frame sections required.
The shipwrights are now concentrating on the 20 frames aft of number 15 where the shape of the bilge futtocks (frame sections at the turn of the bilge) are very similar and lend themselves to a more production line type process.
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