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Building a cedar strip canoe #5: Stripping the canoe up to the bilge.

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Blog entry by roaddog posted 07-25-2010 10:39 PM 1660 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Shaping the stems Part 5 of Building a cedar strip canoe series no next part

I started stripping the canoe a couple months ago but ran into a bit of frustration when putting in a walnut accent strip. The walnut machined a little differently than the cedar when I ran the strips over the router table to put the bead and cove edges on them. I had to walk away from the project for a while.

I came back to it recently and after fiddling with the strips above the walnut strips it has been easy going since. It’s very satisfying to see the boat taking shape. A few things I’d do differently if I build another canoe after this one. The lumber I used for the strips was S4S which made the strips not as wide as most people use. I have had to run the staples parallel to the strips so I don’t cause the cove edge to blow out on the inside of the strips. I also didn’t plane the boards down to the same size before cutting the strips since they were thinner than 3/4” which has caused an occasional gap here and there. I think the boat will still look great once it’s filled and sanded but I’d start with thicker boards and plane them all down to the exact same thickness. Third I’d use full length boards. When I started stripping I was scarphing(cutting at a bevel) the butts of the boards where they met but found it was easier and tends to look better just cutting the ends square and butting them together.

I’m getting to the bilge and there is a lot of twist from the stem to the center of the boat. I have had an easy time getting the boards to twist and sit flat against the stems and all the forms. A lot of people use clamps and jigs along with extra staples at this point to get the strips to sit correctly but I have only had to use an extra staple here and there between the forms. I think my strips not being as wide might be making the turn easier to strip.

Pretty soon I’ll be pulling a ton of staples and then comes a lot of planing and sanding. I’ll post some more updates on finishing the bottom of the hull.

-- Sawdust tastes mighty fine! Doane, Seattle WA, http://www.boatstrips.com



11 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1801 days


#1 posted 07-25-2010 11:22 PM

it looks good sofare frome here
looking forward to the next instalment

Dennis

View Alan's profile

Alan

443 posts in 2090 days


#2 posted 07-26-2010 12:52 AM

I understand your frustration. It is a good idea to take a break and return fresh. Look forward to the next update.

-- Alan, Prince George

View patron's profile

patron

13099 posts in 2027 days


#3 posted 07-26-2010 01:09 AM

frustrating can be …....well …....frustrating at times .

you did good on stepping away for a bit ,
and learning from simple mistakes is a good thing .

it always comes in handy ,
if you remember it the next time , lol !

looks real nice .
well done .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1608 days


#4 posted 07-26-2010 01:20 AM

I hope you continue to send progress photos. I find this very interesting. Looks good so far.

-- Life is good.

View roaddog's profile

roaddog

14 posts in 1707 days


#5 posted 07-26-2010 01:26 AM

Yes patron it’s always good to learn the first time :) Someone can tell you a hundred times to not do this or that but I always seem to remember the lessons I learned on my own the most.

As my wife was telling me to calm down while I filled the garage with a long string of profanity I was reminded of the spot in Canoecraft where Ted Mores mentions that you should have a chair in your shop and call it your “moaning” chair :) If my shop was bigger I’d probably have one in there.

I could have avoided the issue by leaving the walnut strips out and seriously thought about it but they just look so darn cool. It took 3-4 perfectly placed shots to nail the staple all the way through the walnut with the staple gun. More if you didn’t line the stapler up exactly over the old hole. If I do another one I’ll pre-drill some very small holes and hand nail the walnut strip in with some small finish nails.

-- Sawdust tastes mighty fine! Doane, Seattle WA, http://www.boatstrips.com

View patron's profile

patron

13099 posts in 2027 days


#6 posted 07-26-2010 01:30 AM

well on that note ,
when i finish my (someday) new shop ,

i will need a sofa , lol !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2398 days


#7 posted 07-28-2010 04:49 AM

Don’t the scarf joints make the joint stronger and more water tight? I thought a but join would leak? Mind you I’ve never made a canoe so I’m just reading about the theoretical stuff.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View roaddog's profile

roaddog

14 posts in 1707 days


#8 posted 07-28-2010 04:58 PM

Hi Mark,

Both the inside and outside will be covered in fiberglass and epoxy resin so there aren’t any worries about a leak. It would be much stronger to scarf the joints but I’m not sure I need to worry about that considering the strength of modern epoxy resins. I have seen a canoe built with cedar strips full of knots(they were very tight and solid) but covered inside and out with epoxy the boat is safe.

-- Sawdust tastes mighty fine! Doane, Seattle WA, http://www.boatstrips.com

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2398 days


#9 posted 07-30-2010 06:54 AM

Interesting, I keep forgetting that modern adhesives are often stronger than the wood they are holding together. It will be really great to see pictures of this canoe in the water. Do the epoxy layers add much to the weight? Cedar must be pretty light and I can’t imagine that the epoxy ( I am having a hard time typing epoxy this evening :-) adds much weight.

epoxy! Yeah typed it right on the first try this time…maybe I need sleep ;-)

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View roaddog's profile

roaddog

14 posts in 1707 days


#10 posted 07-30-2010 08:53 AM

Yes the epoxy and fiberglass add a bit of weight. Epoxy is pretty much a plastic. Most canoes 15-16 feet long weigh around 50-60 lbs if you are careful. The trim, gunnels, seats, and thwart add about half the weight of the canoe. I’m not sure how much weight the cedar strips are compared to the fiberglass and resin but some people have tried skipping the fiberglass on the inside while others have cut their strips at 3/16” rather than 1/4” and have saved a few pounds.

-- Sawdust tastes mighty fine! Doane, Seattle WA, http://www.boatstrips.com

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2398 days


#11 posted 08-01-2010 05:34 AM

A 16 footer for 60 lbs. is not too bad.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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