When you talk about the keel in wooden boat construction, the term takes on a number of meanings that are different from the way the word 'keel' might be used in glass construction. In wooden construction, the word keel can refer to the structural backbone that holds the two sides of the boat together and distributes longitudinal loads, or it can be the dead wood which forms fin which keeps the boat from sliding sidewards or it can be the cast ballast that serves to resist the tendancy of the boat to heel.
To learn to build any of these, I would recommend several books:
Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction: Wood and West System Materials which discusses modern methods for building a boat including how to laminate a keel timber.
If you are contemplating traditional boat building techniques then I would recommend Boat Building: a Complete Guide to Wooden Boat Construction by Howard I Chappelle.
Last edited by Jeff_H; 04-04-2008 at 11:30 AM.