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Blog series by Woodcanuck updated 05-14-2010 08:21 PM 8 parts 14043 reads 26 comments total

Part 1: Introduction

03-12-2010 08:23 PM by Woodcanuck | 2 comments »

Even though this project was done a few years ago, it has been the biggest project I’ve worked on and one that I’ve enjoyed a great deal since. I decided several years ago that I wanted to get more serious about woodworking and to try something that I perceived as out of my league. The idea for the canoe was one that had bounced around in my head for a while. I finally chose to make the leap after seeing a magazine article showing someone in the Toronto area who had a large workshop wher...

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Part 2: First steps

03-12-2010 08:27 PM by Woodcanuck | 3 comments »

Let’s start with what we’re building. This is a 16′ Peterborough canoe built from cedar strips edge joined with a cove and bead, covered with a layer of fiberglass adhered with a thick coat of epoxy resin and protected with a marine spar varnish. I believe the hull is a Steve Killing design, or at very least a modified version of it. The forming of the hull is done on a strongback, which is basically a long rigid beam with panels rising from it that look like cross sections of the hull. ...

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Part 3: More stripping!

03-16-2010 04:01 PM by Woodcanuck | 1 comment »

Now that we’ve got the sides of the hull planked, we close in the bottom of the hull. The process pretty much remains the same, edge glue the strips together, staple them onto the form to hold them in place. This is a point where having extra hands was quite valuable. You really need to flex the strips quite a bit to bend them onto the form as they work around the curved part of the hull. At one point, the each strip is essentially flat (horizontal) on the bottom of the hull, but...

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Part 4: Finish up the hull

04-23-2010 11:02 PM by Woodcanuck | 3 comments »

I’ve been negligent in wrapping this up….but here’s the next stage, finishing up the hull itself. I out last episode, we had finished up the one side and now we’ll close it all up. Before we close up the other side, we’ve got to trim down the first side to get a nice clean line to work with. Nothing too scientific here, for the most part we eye-balled the parts around the stems and laid a strip down the keel-line to mark off the center. Getting the keel-l...

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Part 5: Sanding and fiberglassing

04-29-2010 04:58 PM by Woodcanuck | 6 comments »

With the majority of the construction complete, we move on to doing some of the finishing on the outside of the hull. The hull as it stands is pretty rough, there’s a lot of squeeze-out of the poly-glue that we used on the strips, rough edges to the strips, slight tearout around the areas where the staples were. I have to confess, I don’t look forward to the sanding process for any project, but once resolved to the idea, I find it a calming zen-like process. The sanding was...

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Part 6: Fiberglassing the interior

05-03-2010 10:32 PM by Woodcanuck | 0 comments »

One thing I forgot to mention was what we did to seal up any holes/gaps in the hull before we did the fiberglassing. Even though we soaked a lot of epoxy into the fiberglass, and it will fill in most of the gaps, we did a bit of proactive work first. We mixed up some epoxy with some of the cedar sawdust (of which we had plenty) and made a woodfiller which we rubbed into any gaps or holes (yes, the staples holes got filled). For the most part this ended up looking pretty seamless once it wa...

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Part 7: Final assembly

05-14-2010 07:25 PM by Woodcanuck | 4 comments »

With the fiberglassing complete, we finally get to add some of the detail work. First up, we have to install the inwales. In order to allow water to pour out of the canoe easily, you need to install the inwales with a space between them and the hull. The spacers are called scuppers. I love nautical terminology….you call that a what??? I wanted a contrast, but not so much that it took away from the cedar. I found that a strip of mahogany that I had kicking around would be just ...

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Part 8: Varnishing and Maiden Voyage!!!

05-14-2010 08:21 PM by Woodcanuck | 7 comments »

With all of the assembly in place we were down to getting the final finish on it. Just as it is all looking like it’s “this” close to being done, we get to revisit our friend the random orbit sander! I had thought that sanding the hull was a lot of work…but sanding the epoxy was an entirely different experience. Not only is the epoxy that much harder, but you can’t go too hard at it or you’ll get through the epoxy to the fiberglass. Once you hit fiber...

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