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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    I know how fast I'm going, but not where I am
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    Default Making a laminated teak tiller

    My laminated teak tiller is reaching the end of its days. It's 1500mm long and at the stock end is 50mm by 36mm, tapering to the other end, with a curve of about 150mm depth in the middle of it. It's made from 6 layers of 6mm teak. Teak strip in 6mm is available, but it sounds a bit thick to bend that much without clever tricks beyond my bodging.

    However, if I got a block of teak 50mm thick would it be a reasonable proposition to cut it into strips on a bandsaw of 3mm thick and bend them into shape and glue them together? How easy would the cutting be, and is 3mm teak sufficiently flexible to bend without steaming?
    Andersen 22. The best winch never made.
    miniwinwm.wixsite.com/miniwinwm

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Colwell Bay
    Posts
    5,532

    Default Re: Making a laminated teak tiller

    Bandsaw will do it but no ideal.

    Why not ask a tea supplier like Robbins or Howells to send you the teak ready cut in the correct sizes.

    I reckon you are right, 6mm too stiff, 3mm fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    35,838

    Default Re: Making a laminated teak tiller

    My limited experience of bending teak is that if the grain isn't really, really straight, it doesn't bend very much at all before snapping.
    But 6 inches in 5ft is not a huge amount of bend if it's a constant radius? I was envisaging a sort of s-bent laminated tiller.
    Shouldn't tillers tradionally be made from ash or carbon fibre? :-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    6,819

    Default Re: Making a laminated teak tiller

    Quote Originally Posted by burgundyben View Post
    Bandsaw will do it but no ideal.

    Why not ask a tea supplier like Robbins or Howells to send you the teak ready cut in the correct sizes.

    I reckon you are right, 6mm too stiff, 3mm fine.
    I'll give Robbins a ring tomorrow. Good idea.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    I know how fast I'm going, but not where I am
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    6,819

    Default Re: Making a laminated teak tiller

    Quote Originally Posted by lw395 View Post
    My limited experience of bending teak is that if the grain isn't really, really straight, it doesn't bend very much at all before snapping.
    But 6 inches in 5ft is not a huge amount of bend if it's a constant radius? I was envisaging a sort of s-bent laminated tiller.
    Shouldn't tillers tradionally be made from ash or carbon fibre? :-)
    Carbon fibre would be great. Anyone got a 1.5m oven I can borrow? :-)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
    Posts
    8,270

    Default Re: Making a laminated teak tiller

    The trouble with teak is that whilst is is very durable and very dimensionally stable, it isnít very strong, it doesnít bend well or take glue well.

    Itís ideal for planking and for centreline structures, but not for more highly stressed parts, such as spars and tillers. For tillers, where strength matters more than weight, ash is what has been used for a few centuries. My ex boat has the five foot ash tiller she was built with after 82 years. It isnít officially a ďdurableĒ timber but it is certainly durable enough - on deck - which is where the tiller is.

    Ash steams to shape exceptionally well so a kettle, a stove and two metres of drainpipe and you are set, but you can also laminate it. In the Seventies striped laminations of ash (for strength) and mahogany (for pretty!) were very popular.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    35,838

    Default Re: Making a laminated teak tiller

    Quote Originally Posted by Minn View Post
    ...
    Ash steams to shape exceptionally well so a kettle, a stove and two metres of drainpipe and you are set, but you can also laminate it. In the Seventies striped laminations of ash (for strength) and mahogany (for pretty!) were very popular.
    Not everyone ever escaped from the 70s....
    :-0

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    A Member State of the European Union
    Posts
    3,807

    Default Re: Making a laminated teak tiller

    If you arrange the laminations vertically you won't need to bend anything
    'To lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe' (EC Treaty)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Me: Midlands, Boats: East Coast
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: Making a laminated teak tiller

    Quote Originally Posted by AngusMcDoon View Post
    Carbon fibre would be great. Anyone got a 1.5m oven I can borrow? :-)
    That would be an mdf box, small fan heater and £10 panel thermostat off eBay- simple for a person of your technical ability!
    In fact if you use a normal marine epoxy the oven isn't needed to get the initial cure, but is useful to do a post cure cycle up to say 80 degrees C over maybe 18 hours.
    Best results tend to need a vacuum bag but some research into technique should give fair results without.
    De'il ding a divot auf yer wame wi a flaughter spade

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Home - Sothampton, Boat - Gosport
    Posts
    9,696

    Default Re: Making a laminated teak tiller

    I saw a beauty the other day at my club. A sweeping curve of ash and mahogany (probably Iroko or something a bit more PC than mahog, but the effect was the same) with a "squircular" handle on the end - a hollow square, but with no straight bits. It's an idea I intend to steal for Jissel, because my arms aren't quite long enough to hold the tiller comfortably when the boat heels and I want to sit straight, but the discrepancy isn't quite enough to justify a tiller extension.

    While I've never done it, there are enough bodged up steamers on Youtube to suggest it isn't that hard to make one. For a tiller, a bit of drainpipe, some tube and some way of boiling water should be enough, though it'll need to be a bit bigger if you decide you want a handle on the end
    Steve
    Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

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