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damaged strip repair?

Discussion in 'Traditional All-Wood Construction' started by mccloud, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. mccloud

    mccloud Wooden Canoe Maniac

    I'm working on a strip-built canoe, which might be a Peterborough. There was a place in the hull that was very thin, plus longitudinal cracking in nearby strips, which (in my opinion) had to be replaced. Cut out with a razor knife, the resulting hole is 2 strips wide by 6 inches long. In the attached photo you can see the lap, nearly 1/4" wide, is dangling from the top, but even if I could remove the lap at the bottom without doing damage, it's hard to see how that would do any good. I hate the thought of gluing butt joints, but is there a better way? You can see that I've started to grind a taper to the long edges to create a larger glue surface. What is the recommended method for doing a strip replacement like this? Tom McCloud
     

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  2. Cliff Ober

    Cliff Ober Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes

    Tom, you're on the right track - you want to create a scarf joint at each end that's equal to the width of a rib under the joint. That way, when the patch pieces are glued in place at the scarf joints, the replacement tacks go through each. You don't want to glue the edges of the patch pieces, only the scarf joint surfaces (some folks don't even bother with the glue at all). The repair will be visible from the outside of course, but invisible from the interior (if you match the wood color). You'll want to drill new holes for the tacks from the inside out using the ribs as guides. When you're ready to clinch the tacks, apply HOT water with a bit of detergent in it to the outside of the patch pieces. That will soften the wood fibers on the outside surface and prevent them from breaking as the tack heads are sunk flush. It makes for a neater repair.

    Since your repair cutaways are already cut back past the edges of the ribs, you might want to consider extending them to the next ribs at each end to obtain the maximum length for your scarf joints. To cut the scarf joints in the cedar, use a razor sharp chisel and a bit of patience so your joint surfaces are perfectly flat. Carefully done, patches like this are barely noticeable.

    Good luck!

    Cliff
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014

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