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My first restoration

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Tom Heys, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. ebeeby

    ebeeby Novice Canoe Restorer

    A nice sentiment and funny you should say that as I cannot log on to my photo hosting site, there is no answer at the main phone, and they are not answering my emails. I hope they haven't gone tits up like PhotoPoint did to me 5 years ago.

  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    This forum does not have a files section but there is a section for Member Home Pages at which could easily include a link to Eric's photo essay. Eric, if you are currently homepageless then we can probably find some space to add your pictures. Let me know how you want to proceed. Thanks,

  3. acfults

    acfults Tennessee Canoeist

    One man Southern Canoe Club

    I am about to start my first W/C restoration and Eric's pictures have already been very useful to me, so if they can be put somewhere safe I think it would be a good thing to do.

    Speaking of a first restoration. I need to replace two adjacent ribs in my canoe, about a foot aft of the center thwart. I have studied Eric's pictures, and the books I have, but am still left with questions. Both of these two ribs are cracked in the same place, causing a slight bulge, or crease, in the planking at that point. Will that bulge interfere with shaping the new ribs on the outside of the boat ? Should I bend them at corresponding positions at the bow end of the boat ? Should I bend them in place on the inside of the boat ? The inside the boat method sounds more difficult to me, but I have never done it either way, so I don't know.
  4. ebeeby

    ebeeby Novice Canoe Restorer

    You're going to have to offset the rib if you use the outside method as I did. What offset means is that you have to move a rib or two toward the narrow end of the boat in order to compensate for the fact that you are using the outside rather than inside of the boat as a form. So, rib number 12 should be shaped over rib number 10, not 12, as the outside of 10 is more nearly like the inside of 12.
  5. acfults

    acfults Tennessee Canoeist

    One Man Southern Canoe Club

    Yes, that makes perfect sense. If I can offset beyond the bulge in the hull, then my problem is solved. This is probably possible as the bulge is only apparent a little beyond the area where the two ribs support the hull. I just don't want the bulge to get repeated in the new ribs. That is why I was considering either the inside the boat method, or using the corresponding positions on the other end of the canoe. I was also wondering if it would work to put a strap clamp around the boat at the cracked ribs and pull the hull back into shape. I am probably making this into a bigger problem than it really is, but I always like to study something thoroughly before I start doing the work.
  6. Jim Wilson

    Jim Wilson WCHA Member

    No sense making things more difficult then they need to be. Since your boat is symetrical (or should be), just use the other end as your bending form. You will naturally need to move towards the end of the boat to compensate for the difference of bending over the outside as opposed to the inside, where the rib will be placed. If near the ends, to start with, you can just move out one rib. Nearer to the center, you will likely need to move two or three. Oh, and don't forget to hold the middle of the rib down to the hull along the centerline as the rib sets.

    Ain't symetry nice?
  7. acfults

    acfults Tennessee Canoeist

    One Man Canoe Club

    Thanks for the responses. I think I am all set, once I get some white cedar for the ribs. I have made a steam box, similar to the one in Eric's pictures. I drilled a couple of holes in the PVC for vents, and left one end cap unglued as an additional saftey. I used to know an old fellow who made banjos. He would soak the wood for the body in hot water and laundry fabric softener inside a length of black pipe placed in the sun for about an hour. The wood would bend around a round form without splitting, but I haven't tried this.
  8. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I have found a home for Eric's 116 megabyte photo essay at and there is now a link for it at with the other WCHA Member Home Pages. Please ignore the references to the defunct Club Photo organization and the dead links to Feel free to contact Eric or me if you have any questions or want more information. Thanks,

  9. Blue Viking

    Blue Viking Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Thanks for that information Benson!........I have it saved and it IS a good pictoral description of a restoration process. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

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