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The secret to a successful lamination is properly sized strips, lots of clamps and slower curing glue. We recommend  Titebond 111  which is a waterproof glue and cleans up easily off the wood with a damp cloth. Epoxy is more than you require for gluing up and harder to clean off  the stems after laminating. 




Our 3/16″ thick stem strips outperform the standard 1/4″ thick stem strips giving perfect results every time. They are easier to work with as well as being effortless to bend without the use of a steam box. Laminating is all about eliminating the use of steam due to the advent of higher quality glues which previous generations of boat builders did not have access to. Almost all stem strips can be bent without the use of any steam box except those from Green Valley Boat Works. They differ in the fact that they have a very severe upturn which is almost an 80 degree bend over a very few short inches and a little help from boiling water, not necessarily steam goes a long way. 




Where our stem strips differ is that they consist of 4 pcs of  3/16″ rather than the standard  3-pcs. of 1/4″  and for a very good reason.


Satin smooth


Instead of wrestling with 1/4″ stem strips you can use our 4 pcs of 3/16″ strips which results in the same thickness of 3/4″ .  Our 3/16″ stem strips allow you to bend in almost all cases by simply holding them under a hot water tap for a minute or two at most, if at all, even with kiln dried wood rather than having to put together a steam box.

For  designs that have a severe bend  you can use a simple old pot and a simple Coleman stove or some sort of equivalent. If your work space is close to your kitchen you can even use your stove to steam the stem strips before bending.  


Lam-1 Stem Strips


We always provide a baker’s dozen in our stem kits, even though you only need 4 pcs of  3/16″ inner Yellow Cedar stem strips and 4 pcs  of 3/16″ outer hardwood (flatsawn) strips. We provide 5 of each for either end “just in case” which equals 20 pieces. Only TotemStrips goes the extra distance because we want your stems to be a resounding success. Simply put, the thinner the laminations, the easier the bend with less spring back and less chance of compression fractures. In all our years of laminating we have never used a steam box and have never had breakage. 


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