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Cedar Strip Canoe Build #3 #1: Mounting The Stations

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Blog entry by farmerdude posted 12-15-2015 12:29 AM 1683 reads 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Cedar Strip Canoe Build #3 series no next part

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.



13 comments so far

View David Taylor's profile

David Taylor

326 posts in 547 days


#1 posted 12-15-2015 01:05 AM

You’re having a rough time with this build!

Thanks so much for sharing, I really appreciate it!

-- Learn Relentlessly

View farmerdude's profile

farmerdude

607 posts in 1499 days


#2 posted 12-15-2015 01:40 AM



You re having a rough time with this build!

Thanks so much for sharing, I really appreciate it!

- David Taylor

I know what you mean. Sometimes I cause myself a lot of grief. I guess as long as I’m still able to build it’s all good haha. Thanks for following.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View onoitsmatt's profile

onoitsmatt

225 posts in 636 days


#3 posted 12-16-2015 02:17 AM

Great post, Jeff! I really like the story about the station. Also great ingenuity with the clamp that lets you keep working. Really enjoying your blog.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

View HerbC's profile (online now)

HerbC

1592 posts in 2319 days


#4 posted 12-16-2015 02:56 AM

Great blog.

Thanks for the details.

I thought I told you…

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View Andre's profile

Andre

1016 posts in 1266 days


#5 posted 12-16-2015 07:12 AM

Wondering about the overlap joints, my Cedar is 16’ long so shouldn’t have too many. That Cedar sure is light!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View JimYoung's profile

JimYoung

224 posts in 1047 days


#6 posted 12-16-2015 06:25 PM

Hi Jeff,
Sorry about your ER trip, been there done that!

Nice build and blog so far. You just rough cut the strips? I guess there was no need to smooth/plane them if the whole canoe will be sanded to shape. Will you use a hand plane at all, or it is just block sanded?

Also, I was looking into canoe plans and kits. One place that offered pre-cut forms said theirs had slots to accommodate clamps for the strips. It looks like you’re just using staples, do you need that many staples, or could you just clamp the strips at each form, or would that not give you a good glue joint between the forms?

Thanks for posting your project,

-- -Jim, "Society is well governed when its people obey the magistrates, and the magistrates obey the law." -- Solon

View farmerdude's profile

farmerdude

607 posts in 1499 days


#7 posted 12-16-2015 10:01 PM

HerbC, sorry about that. My wife says I never listen, I’ll try to do better.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View farmerdude's profile

farmerdude

607 posts in 1499 days


#8 posted 12-16-2015 10:13 PM

Andre, My canoe is to be 16’ when done, however, today I measured the eighth strip up. The canoe gets wider in the middle, and as you get nearer to the ends the strips have to bend downward. The strip measured was 16’ 2” long. I wouldn’t want to make a joint that close to the end due to the stress of the bend. You may be able to put all the stations just a little closer together to shorten it a bit. When you build you will have to let me know how you make out. The book author says white cedar is the lightest of several kinds he had tried. When you get the outside all glassed and take it off the forms to turn it over you will be amazed how light it is even with the glass.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View farmerdude's profile

farmerdude

607 posts in 1499 days


#9 posted 12-16-2015 10:39 PM

JimYoung, once I am ready to start smoothing the outside I will use a block plane to knock off the highest spots. You just have to be careful of grain direction so you don’t take out big chunks. At that stage big chunks give you a little sick feeling in your belly. As far as your question about the kits. I haven’t looked at those much but I think they may be referring to the very end ones that are called the stems. These forms have holes drilled all along the edge because their canoes have hardwood stems. They lay thin strips of hardwood in layers over the forms and glue them, then clamp them through the holes. I may be wrong, but I think that may be what you saw. The staples. I put one at each station but need to put a couple in between because the strips will not stay down as tightly as they need to without them. Some strips act differently than others so I sometimes put in an extra one or two. It is possible to build a canoe with none. It’s called the stapleless method. It looks great when done, but takes a long time to build because you can only put on one or maybe two rows of strips per day.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View TennesseeTony's profile

TennesseeTony

2 posts in 144 days


#10 posted 07-11-2016 08:43 PM

Jeff,

I’m building the Wabnaki canoe also from the same set of plans and book. I’m using Western Red Cedar.

Did you have any difficulty making the first strip line up to the stations without too much trouble?

Thanks

Tony

View farmerdude's profile

farmerdude

607 posts in 1499 days


#11 posted 07-12-2016 12:49 AM

TennesseeTony,

The first strips went on really easily. The biggest thing is to make sure the strip makes a fair curve the whole way. You don’t want to have it waving up and down as it goes. I don’t know if you read the story above about the station being wrong, but if you have an older book you may have the wrong pattern. If your book is newer you should be all set. You will know for sure if that first strip approaches the ends and it dips in too far, then has to come back out to meet the stem form. If I recall correctly, it was stations number 1, and nine that were not correct. The rest were fine. If you have the wrong pattern for those two stations let me know and if you need it I will try to talk you through it. It’s not as hard as I imagined it would be ( I guess it’s easier when the author is there guiding you). If you have questions on your build don’t be afraid to ask, I’d love to help out. I hope you post the finished canoe, I would like to see it. It should be beautiful with the red cedar. Good luck, Jeff

-- Jeff in central Me.

View TennesseeTony's profile

TennesseeTony

2 posts in 144 days


#12 posted 07-12-2016 02:49 PM

Jeff,

Thanks for your reply and your offer to help.

I have reached out to Gil also and he has always been very helpful and responsive.

Still, I’m a little concerned about my first strip (that establishes the sheer line). It flows pretty smoothly from station to station, however when it comes to bending from the tip of the stem form to the edge of station 1, it’s a pretty wild bend that puts a tremendous amount of strain on the strip in that section.

Gil gave a good suggestion which was to use shorter strips and fill in as needed if I feel that I can not bend them. However, I don’t understand how I am the only one having difficulty making this bend.

I just bought the book about 2 months ago from Amazon so I am not sure if that means that the patterns for #1 and #9 that came within are updated or not. Would you happen to have them in PDF form?

Tony

View farmerdude's profile

farmerdude

607 posts in 1499 days


#13 posted 07-12-2016 08:10 PM

Tony, Gil is quite a fountain of knowledge for sure. I’m not sure about bending the strip, I’ve never worked with red cedar, but the white cedar up this way will bend easily. With that said, they do bend harder on the first 8 or 10 strips, then the bend gets easier. I’ve never broken one, and I’ve built three canoes. I don’t have anything on pdf, however, if you don’t feel too weird about messaging me your address I would be happy to mail you a paper copy of the corrected station pattern. I don’t know when the Amazon book was published. I found an old e-mail from Gil saying the correction would be in the next edition, it was dated Jan. 2013, so you should be all set there. The issue I had was in the strip bending in towards the station, if I’m not mistaken your issue is in bending the strip down towards the floor. If that is true, the station pattern would not make a difference as the issue with the incorrect pattern was only in bending the strip inwards, not downward. I’m not sure how to help you further other than to say just to bend it down and see if it takes it or not, it may surprise you. As I said before, if I can help in any way just let me know. Good luck, Jeff

-- Jeff in central Me.

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