CODBLOG8 – GWALCH : Let Ribbing Commence

COD ribs are made from North American Rock Elm. Your common or garden European Rock Elm wont do — its not flexible enough. It is also resistant to water and besides marine use its apparently used in the funereal business, strangely enough.

Very few of the existing ribs were considered serviceable so we decided to do them all. We wanted 9ft. lengths for most of the ribs. Some of the ribs are shorter but as there are 39 ribs in all our requirement was quite substantial. Once again Rod Yates procured the timber and with his workmate, Bill Macready cut it and planed it all to size and delivered it to our door.

Arthur has now initiated Keith and I into the art of ribbing. First, we set up a steamer connected to a length of drainpipe. When this is nicely brewing we pop the cut rib into the pipe and steam for about 50 minutes. After this the wood is pliable so it is taken out of the steamer and quickly positioned inside the boat hull and clamped in place. It gets a bit hectic at this time because because it all has to happen before the wood starts to stiffen up.

We then drill and rivet the rib in place. I think its about 52 rivets per rib. We have now put in our first rib — only 38 to go!

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