Today I will start to work on the gunwales. I have some material half ready. I am using white ash. Here is what there is to work with.
I need 16ish feet for the outside. The wood I had was not in great shape, so the pieces are 8’ and shorter. I have to make a scarf joint where they will meet, and will lose some length in each joint. The book calls for a 12” joint so I need to use three pieces to make each run. The joints need to start at 12” and taper to nothing. I made a quick sled for this job.
Then I put on a scrap piece to keep the offcut from flying up.
Thing were going well and I put the screws form the sled away, and then…...
I hope this is not a sign of the coming day. Here are the pieces ready for joining.
I put the pieces together and mark them so I won’t have to fool with them when I put the glue on.
I make the glue with the epoxy and add cotton fibers, this makes a very strong, and waterproof glue. You just want to make small batches so you have time to clamp them without the glue setting up before you are done.
The only place I have in my small shop to glue up something that long is on the floor.
I let them cure overnight, and the next day it was time to remove the clamps. They will need some serious cleaning up to be able to use them. I did this with a plane and chisel.
Now to work on the two for the inside. When you put them on, you screw them from the inside. First find the center. Now you need to mark them for drilling, and countersinking every six inches.
I’ve been putting this part off, but now is the time. I need to sand the hull again before putting on the gunwales. It’s easier to sand it now than it would be later, so here we go again.
It’s getting late but there is one more job I want to get done before I quit. The gunwales need to be “painted” with an epoxy mixture to seal the wood to prevent rotting. The book suggests doing three sides, leaving the top for later. This way the side that is against hull will be sealed to keep the water from soaking in. Keeping in mind that the longest ones are over sixteen feet long, where on earth am I going to put them to paint them? Looking the shop over I realize that the canoe is hogging up all the prime real estate. So why not do the gunwales in the prime spot. I did a little cleaning and put the canoe on top of the table saw. This leaves the canoe cradle open. Yes, I have a plan.
There you have it, the gunwale stock is glued up and painted with epoxy. Now I just need to let it cure overnight and then I can put them on the canoe.
You may have noticed that I have not updated for almost a week, some of you know the website had a problem with posting pictures. I am not good with computers so it was a struggle trying to figure out the whole third party picture hosting thing. By the time I was starting to get it, the site is fixed. This is a good thing. Now I can get back at it. So that explains my absence.
Next up, putting on gunwales. See you then.
-- Jeff in central Me.