transom wood separation

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transom wood separation

Postby brian62 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:13 pm

The bottom two mahogany boards on the outside of the transom have separated about an 1/8 an inch.The engine is off and the boat has been on blocks in my garage.I replaced the bottom mahogany board on the inside about 6 months ago and i didn't force the board in to cause any lift at all. i duplicated the old board exactly (width and thickness)However i did use epoxy glue to fill the gap.When these boats were built they came with that gap i think.could the glue have caused some kind of lift?The transom was saturated with water when i bought it,so could this be the result of the wood drying out ? thank you for any feed back on possible remedy...
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Postby LancerBoy » Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:32 pm

It always helps to let us know the make, model and year boat.

Are these the horizontal boards on the exterior of the transom?

Not sure what "lift" is.

Shrinkage of wood is not unusual. Especially if it was really wet and has been drying out.

Andreas
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Postby brian62 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:08 pm

Sorry ,the boat is a 1960 sea lancer from cortland ny. yes its the horizontal boards on the outside of the transom.what i mean by lift is did the epoxy expand and lift the boards apart.(wish i knew how to post pics.) These boards were probably milled perfect at the factory and fit tight together(edge to edge) and some how they have separated 1/8 inch apart the entire length of the boards.The boat has not been moved and doesnt move much when i get in and out to work on it.Hope this is enough info and if it is a swelling issue what can i do to correct it? Thank you
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Postby brian62 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:02 pm

anybody have a guess?
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Postby thegammas » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:48 pm

I'll take a shot!

Brian,
I have a Cortland Sea Lancer as well. The Transom is a slab of 3/4 plywood covered with 3/4 Mahogany boards. I Assume yours is the same. Here's a pic of mine. The arrows indicate the location of the joints between boards.

Image

To post a picture on this site you need to use a photo hosting web site (I use photobucket.com - free and easy to use). Once you've posted your picture there, copy the "IMG" link and paste it into the body of your message and the picture will automagically appear when you post your message.

Are all the boards new or just one or two, and did the new or the old boards shrink (and I assume it was across the width of the boards). Shrinking across the width would to me indicate the wood was not at the right moisture content when milled and now is drying out and shrinking. If they continue to shrink they may split as well. Also, was the boat moved indoors recently?

Some glues will indeed expand as they cure, and can lift the board up, or in the case of joints push them apart, unless they are properly clamped.
But expansion doesn't seem to be the issue here (since gaps are opening up)

What did you use to glue the board onto the plywood? And did you spread the glue evenly across the entire surface of the board you were gluing it in place?

More questions than answers, I know.
Peter Stransky
1962 Cortland Custom Sea Lancer
Wilmington, Delaware
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Postby brian62 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:53 am

Thank you peter for your response.the out side boards wich i believe are mahogany have separated apart exactly were you posted arrows on your picture.A few months ago mine looked exactly the same as yours and now there is a gap running the width of the board about 1/8 inch.I used a 50/50 epoxy and i spread it evenly across the face of the inside board that i replaced.I havent done any work on the out side wood of this transom yet.all work has been inside the boat.I replaced the bottom interior transom piece 6 months ago.The boat sat for years outside and then it was tested out before being sold to me and the whole transom area was saturated with water it took weeks before it showed any sign of drying out.thank you for the picture posting lesson and i will get some posted.This transom thing has got me duped.Im leaning towards swelling but the epoxy could be an issue if it has tendency to expand
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Postby Phill Blank » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:02 am

brian62,

As far as I know Epoxy does not expand when it cures. If anything it will shrink a little when curring.

Polyurathane glues will expand when they cure.

I think your problem is that either the piece of wood you used or the transom or both had too much moisture in it when you did the repair.

If the piece you replace was screwed in place when installed then it should not have moved other then shrinkage would cause seams to open..

Those are my thoughts.

Good Luck,

Phill
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Postby brian62 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:37 am

The new wood i used was mahogany and from inside a dry storage lumber yard.I also screwed it and glued it to the old original plywood.I waited for the boat to dry out about 4 months before i installed that piece.I think the how it happened will be questionable and i have not experienced any other expansion problems with this epoxy.so if this narrows it down to the original mahogany wood swelling what could i do to correct it and get the wood to close back up or should i just replace the old but still solid wood? Thank you and do appreciate the responses..
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Postby Phill Blank » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:44 am

brian62,

If you can post a couple photos that might help.

A couple ideas that come to mind to fix the problem are these.
You could cut a thin piece of mahagony to full the void and glue it in place.
Or use a filler like "Boatlife", which does come in a mahagony color.
Seeing as you do have a full height and width plywood backing up the regualr boards I would not see a problem with filling the void.

Good luck,

Phill
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Postby LancerBoy » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:52 am

You will most likely never get the wood to swell up enuff to close the gap. Replacing the wood is an option. If the existing wood is OK, maybe do as Phill mentioned and put in a spline. Route out right at the joint about 3/8" deep and 1/4" wide. Make a spline out of the same wood as the transom. Glue it in and make sure it is a bit proud of the transom surface. Once the glue has cured, sand it flush with the rest of the transom.

Andreas
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Postby brian62 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:57 am

The spline idea sounds like a great option for me.I do have one last question.Do you think the swelling has stopped and i can proceed with that spline repair?The boat has not been in the water for exactly 1 year and has been in my garage the whole year. I didn't recognize this problem within the last 4 months because i never went behind the boat as it is tight up against my garage wall. My point is i dont know if this happened within the last 2 weeks or 3 months ago and so im curious if it finished swelling. thank you again....
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Postby Phill Blank » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:08 pm

brian62,

It is not swelling that is the problem it is shrinkage. I would think by now things should be dried out and shrinkage should have subsided.
One thing you have to be aware of wood is a living thing in that it will take on and give off water or mositure causing it to move and swell and shrink as it does this. Getting a good sealer on the wood and a good finish helps to eliminated some of this movement, but will not eliminate it.

Good Luck,

Phill
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Postby brian62 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:09 am

Ok i thank you all for the response and i think i got enough info to correct the transom surprise.The shrinking of the transom boards was just one of many surprises i have discovered along the way of this restoration project but its still a lot of fun and we are getting closer... Thanks everyone.. Brian 62
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Postby thegammas » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:24 am

awwwwww.....we wanna see pictures!
Peter Stransky
1962 Cortland Custom Sea Lancer
Wilmington, Delaware
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Postby brian62 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:26 am

well the pictures are more of a problem for me than the actual work on the boat.(<: I have pictures stored into photobucket but for the life of me i cant figure out how to post them onto the restoration page of this web site.I tried the tips that you gave me but it just aint a happenin.I have tried and i would like to figure it out as it would be so much easier to explain and eliminate you guys trying to guess at what im trying to explain.My computer skills are the equivalent to my boat restoration skills and that aint much...I have a buddy coming over this weekend to help me with the 14 ribs that need replacing so i'll see if he has a few more marbles than me on computer skills...(<: Brian
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