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Building a cedar strip canoe

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Blog series by roaddog updated 1488 days ago 5 parts 13488 reads 26 comments total

Part 1: The strongback and forms

1646 days ago by roaddog | 5 comments »

Several months ago I decided I was going to build a cedar strip canoe. I picked up Canoecaraft from Bear Mountain Boats and decided on the 15’ Ranger. I drew out the station molds in October and then had to wait until after Christmas before I could start making any sawdust. In the last two weeks I have made the strongback and have just about finished the forms. I set the forms up on the strongback with spring clamps and then checked the entire area to be stripped for any high spo...

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Part 2: My $12 steamtube

1643 days ago by roaddog | 5 comments »

Here is my high tech steambox setup. The cedar strips for the canoe are easily bent over the forms but the laminations for the stems at each end of the boat need to be steamed to be bent around the stem molds. I did a little test run last night to make sure my PVC pipe wouldn’t melt on me when I actually steam the wood. I scored the teapot at a thrift store for $6 and the PVC pipe was $6 at the local lumber store. I already had the burner and a few cans of butane in the garage. For ...

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Part 3: Bending the stems

1633 days ago by roaddog | 2 comments »

I finally decided to steam-bend the stems. I had a lot of worries leading up to this but it was much easier than I had thought it would be. I machined a dozen strips 1/4” x 7/8” x 4’ out of walnut. I threw the strips in my steam-tube for about 20 minutes and then my wife helped by applying the C-clamps while I bent the strips around the form. We put the first clamp at the keel end and then I bent the strips around the form and held it while she put a clamp at the bend and t...

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Part 4: Shaping the stems

1570 days ago by roaddog | 3 comments »

Well after a long wait I finally finished shaping the stems for the canoe. It was a lot of work but very pleasing. I had never made anything like this with a spokeshave and plane and after a little getting used to it I got comfortable with it and it went pretty smoothly. Being a cheap wad I picked up a spokeshave at Harbor Freight for $7. I took it home and worked the face up a little on some sand paper and honed the blade and it worked great. I finally settled into doing the initial s...

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Part 5: Stripping the canoe up to the bilge.

1488 days ago by roaddog | 11 comments »

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...

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