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Old 04-05-2008, 22:50   #1
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Willard Wheel to Tiller: Solid or Laminate?

I am taking out the "destroyer wheel" in my cockpit and need a tiller. My new bowsprit is nearly done and it occurred to me that my old bowsprit at 10 feet long and plenty thick is a hunk a hunk a lotta wood. Is one solid piece of mahogany ok for tiller? Or do I need one of those arched laminated creations? I don't like the arch and I like the laminations less, but if that is the strongest/safest way to go I will do it.

Thanks

Michael
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Old 05-05-2008, 02:52   #2
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A laminated tiller will be stronger than a solid tiller of similar profile.

The arch is often fabricated for functional (ergonomic reasons), as well as aesthetic considerations. Consider hand-height, length (arm extension & back position), & any obstructions.

At one time, I used a solid ash axe-handle, for my emergency tiller. It was strong “enough”, but less comfortable in use than the original curved (laminated) tiller.
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Old 05-05-2008, 06:10   #3
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The tillers are laminated to get the shape needed for the particular installation and structural stability of the tiller. A laminated tiller will not warp or twist like a solid piece of wood could. You might get by with a solid tiller if the wood is well seasoned (dried) and not overly long.

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Old 05-05-2008, 08:34   #4
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Thanks. Ok, it will be a laminated tiller. I will sit and try to "feel" where the tiller ought to be. Very glad to know there is a reason for the use of a laminate.

Thanks again

Michael
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:28   #5
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I read a couple of articles, I think on "Good Old Boat" website about the repair of tillers. Might be worthwhile reading those before building your tiller.
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:56   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
I read a couple of articles, I think on "Good Old Boat" website about the repair of tillers. Might be worthwhile reading those before building your tiller.

Wonderful! Thanks
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:28   #7
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I've got a laminated tiller on th V-21 that is separating. I have two solid (old) mahogany tillers on Oh Joy that are gorgeous and just fine. I'll stick with the old solid stuff.
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Old 13-05-2008, 13:35   #8
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What are the correct woods to use for lamination? Can I laminate the same wood, or do the layers have to be different types of woods?
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Old 13-05-2008, 14:05   #9
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An engineered lamination is going to be stronger than something you try to laminate on your own. To get a nice arch or other shape to the tiller the layers are designed to better carry the load as well as the bend. That comes from the thickness and types of wood rather than just different wood. The layers are bent before lamination. After lamination you get to do the final shaping. Designing the laminations would be a whole science all it's own.
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Old 13-05-2008, 14:28   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
An engineered lamination is going to be stronger than something you try to laminate on your own. To get a nice arch or other shape to the tiller the layers are designed to better carry the load as well as the bend. That comes from the thickness and types of wood rather than just different wood. The layers are bent before lamination. After lamination you get to do the final shaping. Designing the laminations would be a whole science all it's own.

Bummer. I really don't like the way the west marine product looks. But.... what you say makes intuitive sense.

Thanks Paul
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Old 13-05-2008, 16:07   #11
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Here is a link to someone who did it. You can learn from his mistakes.

Pearson Triton #381 Glissando | A New Mahogany Tiller
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Old 13-05-2008, 16:40   #12
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I wouldn't give West marine the high ground but there is a lot more to lamination than meets the eye. I have a client that delivers laminated trusses for building construction. It's more detail than any of us should ever know. It does matter however.
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Old 14-05-2008, 03:35   #13
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Some DIY Laminated Tiller articles:

DIY-BOAT - Home - Laminated Tiller 4/29/96

Pearson Triton #381 Glissando | A New Tiller

SAILjazz - Project Tiller

SAILjazz - Room to Move--Tiller Steering Installation

Make certain that you’re Tiller Head fitting has nice long straps, with at least 3 bolt holes.
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Old 16-05-2008, 00:36   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Some DIY Laminated Tiller articles:

SAILjazz - Room to Move--Tiller Steering Installation
Smokes Gord: Not only did the above link help... but the next article in that series SAILjazz - Installing New Engine Controls led to the final solution of converting wheel to tiller steering:

Welcome to the Spinlock Website | www.spinlock.co.uk

I had been racking my brain coming up with all sorts of silly solutions to the engine control relocation. I still dont like the idea of the control in the cockpit well (too far to easily reach down), but having a removable handle goes a long way in de-cluttering the well.

What an elegant solution!
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