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Backside repair or replace?

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Brly, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. Brly

    Brly Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Title says it all. I'm bending replacements for broken ribs now and have enough stock to replace this and another that isn't as bad.
    20190826_211211-1209x1612.jpg
    20190826_211256-1209x1612.jpg
     
  2. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Depends on your taste and the situation. If this were a hard user, not rare, and there were a series broken ribs, replacement would be the best option. If it's a pleasure canoe for use on lakes, rare, and only one rib is cracked as it appears here, a backside repair might be best. Your canoe is probably somewhere between these to ends of a spectrum. Still, after seeing the photos if this were me, I'd do a backside repair. It's quick, easy, and done well it's strong. Plus everything is there - this isn't a displaced fracture with missing wood. Whenever I've done such a repair a crack in the bilge like this, I back it up on the inside with a custom-fitted block of wood (covered with plastic so it's non-stick) to restore and maintain the proper curvature of the rib.

    Michael
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Brly

    Brly Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Michael,
    I was hoping for this response. It's a 1951 Otca, so not rare or historically significant, but I'd rather not tear it apart any more than I have to. There's one other cracked rib 3 or 4 ribs away, similar to this but not as bad, so I'm not worried about a weak spot. Couple broken ribs in both the bow and stern that I'm replacing currently.
    Thanks,
    Ben
     
  4. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    I’ve done hundreds of back side repairs with no failures. It’s easy, fast, and saves original patina.
    If a rib is totally disarticulated, or rotten, I’d replace them.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Brly

    Brly Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks Dave. I did the back side repair tonight. Looks good so far!
     
  6. MGC

    MGC Paddlephile

    I tend to replace when the crack on the visible side is that obvious. It will really stand out when you varnish it. I lean towards the backside repair on boats where it matters that the wood is original. That said, the rib will be plenty strong enough if it's done correctly.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Brly

    Brly Curious about Wooden Canoes

    MGC, the crack on the inside is even more visible now that the repair is done. I made a clamping caul to fit the inside of the rib as Michael described and I think when it pulled back into the correct shape, the crack opened slightly. I guess I'll have to decide if I can live with it or replace the rib.
     
  8. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    On bent areas of the rib, I make a backer.... it does two things.
    You can pre-bend the hardwood patch with it, and it gives support when clamping it back into shape.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. OP
    OP
    Brly

    Brly Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Dave, that's exactly what I did. Works great!
     

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