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Morris keel shape

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Howie, Apr 8, 2021.

  1. Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    I'll soon be painting a 16' Morris Model A Type 1, and have just started to look closely at the keel that was installed on the canoe. To say that it is unlovely in not an exaggeration. It's 13'-2" long - I'd expect it to be longer. And while both ends start to taper a bit in thickness as they approach the end they are still quite chunky at the end.

    20210408_135340.jpg 20210408_135334.jpg

    I expect someone just lopped 6" off both ends. Can someone show me an example of what they should look like at the ends?
     
  2. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Howie,
    I think the keel may be correct. It is probably missing the outer stems that butt into the chunky ends. All of the Morris canoes that I’ve restored had outer stems.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Michael Grace

    Michael Grace Lifetime Member

    Dave, that’s a gorgeous Morris! Well done. How long are those decks?

    Howie, In a couple of days I’ll be reunited a few Morris Model A canoes. All are 17’ and two are Type 1. Not the same length as yours but I can get photos, measure the length of the taper, and indicate where the keel ends on the canoe.
     
  4. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Michael,
    The bow deck was 48”. Not sure of the stern deck, but quite a bit shorter. This canoe was a true basket case or burner, but when the family approached me, I couldn’t say no.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Dave, Michael... Yeah, at one time I was wondering if mine had external stems. Thing is, the width at the tips is barely 1/2" - the only external stems I've seen are Old Town & Penn Yan canoes which both had about 5/8" at this area and about 7/8" tall. O -wait - I remember the big deal with Morris is that the stem bands were held by rivets because of the cedar stems. So it can't be that all Morris came with external stems because nobody would use rivets when there's external stems. Right?

    So ok... I'm thinking if I were to make external stems I'd have to make them about 5/8" square & taper them to 1/2" at the inner bend and 3/8" at the outer for the stem bands. Not too tough.

    Not sure I need more pics now. What I'd be grateful for is the dimensions of the external stems of the Morris canoes you can measure. Like, how tall are they? And how wide are they where they meet the boat.

    Also... How do they attach to the inner stems? #8 wood screws I assume since the stems are cedar - #6 wouldn't hold as well.
     
  6. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    You are correct Howie that Morris had finer external stems than others.
    I use the width at the the inner stem to determine the size of the outer stem. Quite often the width will vary some and you will need to fair it to the hull, or at least that’s how I do it.
    I’m fairly certain that Morris riveted the stem band and outer stem to the inner stem. Often the rivets are gone because the only way to rescanvas a Morris it’s to remove them. Thanks Bert for a easy to repair canoe!!
    I have been using #6 Stainless Steel Buglehead screws for fastening outer stems. They have an aggressive thread with a deep root. You’ll need that in the soft cedar. Jamestown.
     
  7. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I have a later Morris with no external stem. The stem band is riveted on.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Fitz... Can you post some pics of the stem band area please. I'm curious whether the stem band (I assume it's the 3/8" type) is as just as wide as the tip/prow of the canoe or if the prow is a bit wider.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Dave: I see Jamestown has what they call: #6 S/S Self Tappers Oval Head Phillips. Is this the screw you call 'Bugle Head'?
     
  10. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Howie, you are welcome to come over and look at my 16 footer. The keel runs out to the stem bands. There are no outside stems. The stem band is rivetted in place.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Thanks Mike. I think I'll try for a mini external stem . Just cut up .5x.5 oak that ought to steam bend easily. Figure I'll try bending on the canoe itself and see what happens.
     
  12. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

  13. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    So Dave... I saw your above Thread when you posted it. Nice. I heard that nearby (to me) Jack McGreivey used a similar technique. Do you keep the stem in place to dry? (How long to dry BTW...) I was thinking bending & installing the external stems just before the last or next-to-last painting. That way I could just keep them on the canoe and not risk them losing shape when they're removed. Thoughts?
     
  14. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    I usually bend stems early in the restoration and leave them on until it’s time for canvas so that they have a long time to dry. Could be months.
    But I think you are well beyond that....
    You can let them dry for a few days, remove them to bed them and reinstall them.
    They may spring back some but should reinstall just fine if you put them right back on.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Right Dave, the canoe is already canvassed & mudded. It needed a bunch of inside work and I completely forgot about the clunky keel and the possibility of external stems. I'll steam up the wood I've for soaking, bend, & see how it goes. If the wood breaks then this canoe will proceed w/o external stems. Ditto if I decide the 1/2" tall external stems look silly. In either case today will be fun!
     
  16. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    Howie, Don’t forget that you will need a compression strap of some kind that allows you to drive screws through.
    It helps to have a buddy, too. On guy to bend and one guy to screw.
    As I mentioned I’ve been using bugle screws with aggressive thread. Drywall screws will probably work too.
    You need that aggressive thread in the soft Cedar. Nothing worse than getting a “spinner” when you are trying to lay down a stem.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Actually, last time I bent full sized stems I used a 3/16 thick chunk of wood left over from forming the stem itself. Worked fine - I steamed it along with the stem. in fact I straightened it out and reused it for the other stem. I'll try the trick again today. O - I have no friends left... They are all bored by canoes!
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Tada! Looks like I'll be adding external stems to this canoe. They're only 1/2" tall - much shorter than Morris's original external stems, but a whole lot easier to make. Thanks for the idea Dave on how to bend in place.

    20210410_130715.jpg
     
  19. samb

    samb LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I'm sure you could have got a few more straps on there!
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Howie

    Howie Wooden Canoe Maniac

    You can never have enough straps on hand. Happily I had just enough to do the other end as well!
     

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