Latest News: Forums Technical What wood for a tiller?

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  • #3354
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I am in the process of gradually renovating and improving my Mk1 GRP Wayfarer, and one of the major annoyances is that it currently has a tiller made of alloy tubing. Firstly, as this is a straight piece of tube it tends to scrape along the top of the aft tank, but more annoyingly it is a very poor fit in the rudder stock so there’s masses of play in it.

    I thought the simplest solution would be to just bin it and make a nice new wooden one, then I could fit it exactly to the rudder stock, forming an upward offset in it along the way, to give an inch or so clearance over the tank. but what timber should I use – and where can I source it?

    In my garage is a spare sledgehammer shaft, which is brand new and (I think) ash. Now to me that seems an ideal solution (and cheap!) but am I overlooking something? Granted it is a very light colour and has little visible grain, so won’t look fantastic when varnished up, but then again the alloy one doesn’t look brilliant now, so if it works ok I can live with that!

    Any ideas much appreciated.

    #4684
    triton
    Participant

    Hi John

    I think Ash will be the best wood to use as it is light and strong. Ash tends to rot in enclosed areas but for the tiller, this is not a problem.

    At least your sledgehammer shaft will now have a better use.

    #4692
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Thanks for the advice, and sorry I didn’t reply sooner – been on holiday.

    Unfortunately it looks like I’m “back to the drawing board” now, as I discovered that the shaft I had in mind (which actually turns out to be hickory when I look more closely) is actually 6″ too short to make a tiller from. I did think about just having a shorter tiller, but it wouldn’t have reached past the aft tank, meaning no more steering downwind with the tiller between my knees!

    So any suggestions of ideal timber to use, and moreover where to get it from would be gratefully received.

    #4694
    triton
    Participant

    Hi John,

    A suitable alternative maybe something like Douglas Fir. As this is used in the building trade, it maybe available from your local builders/timber merchant.

    If you get stuck, then check out this site under merchants. Should give you something in your area for specialist wood suppliers.

    http://www.greenspec.co.uk/html/design/materials/FSCtimbermerchants.html

    Not sure how good your DIY skills, but my tiller is laminated in three parts. I have no doubt this was done in order to prevent any inclination to warping.
    I am sure one piece will be ok, providing it is thoroughly dry before you start . Any slight warp, if present, can be removed in the shaping process.

    #4698
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi, John,

    My tiller is made of ash, which I think is generally the wood of choice for tillers.

    My suggestion for sourcing it would be to look up a local joinery shop in the Yellow Pages and see if they have an off cut of a suitable size they could sell you. They should also be able to cut out a blank for you on the bandsaw for a fee, if your DIY skills don’t extend that far.

    Charles
    W2

    #4699
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I shall let my fingers do the walking then!

    No probs with the joinery skills, the biggest issue is finding the time to get on with it!

    #4726
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi John,

    This may be too late for your tiller but my original one is made of a sapele/ash sandwich, 2 of each. I found that I couldn’t gain access to the stern locker when afloat-suitable weather permitting. So I then used 2 more pieces of each to make a ‘cock-up’ tiller, it gives a clearance above the aft hatch of about 3 inches, this has worked well and looks pretty good too.

    As to finding the wood, I looked in the book under ‘Timber Merchants’, the one I found was very helpful, looking for offcuts, etc.

    Hope this is of interest.

    #4728
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    If I were tro get myself a “cock-up tiller” does that mean I can blame the tiller rather than my crew for my cock-ups?

    #4731
    W10143
    Member

    No..

    Always the idiot behind it 🙄

    David

    #4794
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I like this idea of a ‘cock-up’ tiller. Saves blaming the crew for everything!
    Hamish – still got your former for ‘cock-up’ tillers? I need a winter project.
    Matt
    W773

    #4797
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Matt,

    Yes, I’ve still got it, all we’ve got to do is find an efficient way of getting it over to you!

    Hamish
    W3177

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