Cedar Strip Canoe Build # 40 Both Gunwales On And Sanded

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Blog entry by farmerdude posted 03-01-2016 10:52 PM 718 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m back at it. Between my wife and myself, we seem to have enough Dr. appointments that it’s hard to get shop time. I did get the other gunwale on. I’ll tell you this, this word is spelled gunwale, but it is pronounced “gunnel”. So if you see that I have written it as gunnel, think nothing of it. Anyway, I didn’t get a lot of pictures of this side because it’s the same process as the other side. I used the same sock deal as the other side to keep it from gouging the surface.

I also better marked the lines for the outside gunwale. I got tired of squinting looking for the short lines.

Here are the screws I used for the job.

I don’t think I will plug the holes. It will be easier if the gunwales get damaged and need to be replaced. I have had my first cedar canoe for a few years now, and the screw heads have not rusted, they look great, so I see no need to plug them.

As I said, this side went the same as the first.

Now we have to do something with the ends.

When you get close to the ends the gunwales need to be pulled up, and in. I like to put a piece of scrap wood on top and clamp to it. Two bar clamps inside and two out, and you can work them upward to the line a little at a time. I also use two spring clamps to hold them in against the hull.

When the gunwales meet on the end, just chop them off so they won’t hit each other and deal with them after doing the decks.

Please don’t think bad things about me after seeing that saw in the above picture. I got it at a lawn sale for one dollar last summer. It doesn’t look like much but is sharp, and cuts well. I’ll clean it up later on.
You may be thinking that I haven’t done anything stupid this time. WRONG! Check it out.

The rest of the drill bit is, of course, still in the hole. I really don’t want to plug the hole and make another one beside it. It just wouldn’t look right. I can’t jam a pair of pliers in there without enlarging the hole. Hmmm. After looking around I find that I have two pair of needle nose vise grips. One pair is made in Japan, that one will be the victim. I locked it in the vise and got a file and gave it a facelift. I filed both jaws at the very end. Time to try it.

Problem solved, this side is done too.

It’s time to take the cedar down to the gunwales. I have a plane that I use for the heft of it. When I’m done with that I use a belt sander to make it all flush.

You may have noticed that I left the very ends. It’s better to sand them down after the decks are in. If all goes well I may get one deck done tomorrow. It takes a lot of fiddling around to get a good fit. If I pull it off I’ll update tomorrow night. See you then.

-- Jeff in central Me.

6 comments so far

View Andre's profile


993 posts in 1230 days

#1 posted 03-01-2016 11:25 PM

Looking better every update, I picked up a 16’ length of Fir that was going to be my Gunwales and maybe even a partial Keel?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View JoeinGa's profile


7383 posts in 1431 days

#2 posted 03-01-2016 11:35 PM

Looking Good Jeff !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View farmerdude's profile


606 posts in 1463 days

#3 posted 03-02-2016 12:49 AM

Andre, nice. I’m not sure if Fir is hard enough for gunwales, but it would be a nice keel when covered with fiberglass. It may work for gunwales if you are careful. Only you know how your canoe will be treated. Good luck, and please post it.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View farmerdude's profile


606 posts in 1463 days

#4 posted 03-02-2016 12:50 AM

Joe, thanks again buddy.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View English's profile


512 posts in 901 days

#5 posted 03-02-2016 02:36 AM

Lots of detail. It’s going to be a great Looking canoe.

Thanks again for taking us along.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View hoss12992's profile


3814 posts in 1317 days

#6 posted 03-02-2016 04:57 AM

It’s looking better and better with each update. Great job buddy and thank you for taking the time to take pics and post well explained update. Much appreciated

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

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