I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving weekend. We have been extremely busy preparing for then hosting our 29th annual fair. We had just over 16,000 people for the weekend and just barely survived! 🙂
Anyway now that I have a little more time, I want to post another step in building the canoe.
After cutting the cedar strips, I sorted them into a uniform pattern for each side. The time has finally come, I’ve actually started building the canoe!! The first strip I let bend naturally and stapled it to the station molds. I used a level to ensure both sides were even with each other before gluing the next layers in place. I couldn’t find walnut or basswood at 17′ so I spliced them to make up the difference. They were used as accent strips. For gluing the strips together I used titebond III, and for applying the glue I used a curved tip syringe (highly recommended). Using a piece of scrap planking to push each strip down in place before stapling it to the molds helped a lot also.
After planking up to the centerline on one side, I ran a string-line and marked the center again before using a 2” slick (large chisel) and my shoulder plane to make as straight a line as I could. The hardest part of the building process so far has been fitting the second side along the bottom of the canoe. This style of canoe doesn’t receive a keel, so preferably each piece should fit perfectly to avoid any gaps. . . The problem is there isn’t a good way to measure the length of each piece. What I did that seemed to give the best result was fit one side, make a reference mark at the center of the canoe, then fit the second side until the reference line matched up again. Unfortunately they weren’t perfect. 🙁
The next step was fitting the outside cherry stems. They are actually mortised into the planking along the bottom side of the canoe. I started by tapering the stems to just over 3/8” along the last 20” of the stem, then using a knife I scribed where the stems needed to be mortised into the planking. One thing I didn’t do on this canoe but would definitely do on the next one, is smooth the hull before gluing the stems in place. After they are glued its hard to shape and smooth the hull at the bow and stern because the stems are in the way.