The strips are finally done. Now to make something to put them on. Mounting the stations is an easy process. First I snapped a chalk line down the center of the strongback. I also mark all the cross pieces as to which side the station is mounted to, if I don’t I’ll screw up and put one on the wrong side. The stations must all go on the correct side so the space between them is all the same. This model calls for 18”.
Use a carpenter’s square to make a line up the center of both sides of the stations for reference when mounting. Each station has an exact mate on the other end, except the center one, of which there is only one. I just started at the far end with station number one, then put it’s mate, number nine, on the near end. Once these two are up, and centered, run a string from the top of one to the top of the other. This string will keep the rest of them in a straight line.
You will notice on the ends I have attached the stem forms. They are the same on both ends. These hang out over the end of the strongback, that is why you can build a canoe that is two feet longer than the strongback.
When all of that is mounted, I tacked on some old strips of scrap wood. Use the square to plumb up each station and tack the strip to keep them in place. If everything is straight, and looks good, it’s time to start putting on strips.
A quick story… a few years ago I built the first Wabnaki. When I mounted the stations, the small ones (numbers 1 and 9 ), didn’t seem to be the right shape. It made the sides of the canoe dip in way too far. After a lot head scratching and double checking, I was really discouraged. So I e-mailed the author, Gil Gilpatrick. I got a reply quickly, he said I was not the first. It seems the publisher got the wrong pattern or something like that. I knew where he lives, only about 10 or 15 minute drive from me. He asked if he could come to my shop and use my setup to get the pattern straightened out. You can’t beat that for service. He came over and we scabbed together some scrap wood onto the station to get it the correct shape. From that corrected station he made a new pattern to take to the publisher. So I thought that was pretty neat, he’s a really nice guy and I enjoyed talking with him.
OK, back to business.
The lumber I chose is only six feet long so here is how I make the joint to overlap the strips.
You don’t have to use this type of clamp to hold the joint, but I like them because you can continue to add strips right through the clamps. I can fit three rows of strips inside these clamps, by the time I am done three rows the glue has set up enough to remove the bottom clamps so you can continue on up. Some of these joints look a little rough but they will sand out just fine. After I lay up 3 or 4 rows I like to force some glue into the where the ends meet and clamp them with a C clamp. If you cut a couple of angled blocks it makes it easier to clamp.
I cut the angled blocks with the bandsaw. It seems I wasn’t paying attention to what I should have been.
A trip to the E.R. ( I take blood thinners), a few stitches, and back in the shop the next day. I decided it would be easier on the finger if I worked on the seats, so I started the seat frames.
So here is where the project stands right now. The finger is healing nicely, the stitches were taken out today. The seat frames are drilled, I will try to get some poly on them tomorrow. When that is dry I can start caning them. I have eight rows of strips on each side of the canoe. Maybe I can get some more on while the poly is drying. Cedar $180.00 Router bits $30.00 E.R. I have no idea and don’t want to. Total $210.00
-- Jeff in central Me.