16' Cedarwood canoe


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I am repairing some rot in the bow of a 16' Cedarwood canoe stretching over some 2 - 3" of both inwales.

Does anyone know typically what type of wood would have been used for the inwales and the breasthook. It looks like white oak but I am not really sure.

Thanks for any help,

John Robbins.
Hi John,

If you think it's oak, it could very well be oak. The wood species used for trim varies from builder to builder and model to model, but decks, thwarts, and seats are usually hardwood. Builders had preferences-- for instance, some used mahogany for AA grade canoes. Old Town used ash, birch, oak, and maple for CS (common sense) grade.

Hi Kathy,

Thanks for your reply - I'll go for oak, then.

The canoe must have been stored outside upside down. Sections of the canvas near the outwale have rotted - maybe 2" long by 1/4" deep. The owner is reluctant to have the canoe recanvassed.

I have some canvas strips left over from a recent recanvassing job and I have been wondering whether I can some 'glue' in the strips, probably for the full length of the canoe having faired off the existing canvas.

My preference would be to recanvas completely but is there any sort of 'glue' to join the canvas strips neatly?

Thanks again in advance.

Barge rubber cement

If you are willing to give it a try, consider this. A 6" wide piece of canvas that will overlap the old canvas by at least 3".
The trick with rubber cement is that if you take to pieces of canvas that you want to cement together and you apply wet cement to both pieces and press them together while the glue is wet, you can later pull the two pieces apart with a little effort.
If you wait until the glue is almost dry but just a little bit tacky you get a more permanent bond.
Last choice is to let the glue on the two pieces dry, now when you put the pieces together the glue acts like contact cement and the joining is tough and near permanent. But the warning is that in putting the pieces together you must do it right the first time as there is no pulling back and starting over. Therefore my suggestion is using the tacky glue and get an almost permanent joining. Make several trials testing just how tacky and find the right combo for your job.
Good Luck. PS. not all rubber cements are equal, Barge is the best.
Bill, thank you very much for the suggestion of using contact cement for the repair. I certainly would not have thought of this solution.

There are only two or three bad sections so I might insert the new canvas behind the old and overlap only say 1/2" or so as the outwhale will, I hope, help protect the patch.

Thanks again,

3" overlap

Experience tells me that an overlap of less than 3" will not hold for very long.
ovrlap outside the old canvas, paint the new canvas a new color and add an accent to the paint job. A 6" strip the length ofl the canoe along both gunnels could add a beautiful and useful acent.
Thanks again for the message.

I will certainly try out the idea of a stripe on the owner.

My preference would be to recanvas completely but is there any sort of 'glue' to join the canvas strips neatly?

Typically, for rapid repairs in the field, ambroid glue is used.

History of Ambroid Glue; http://www.ottertooth.com/Canoe_pages/ambroid.htm

Where you can buy it; hobbie stores eg. http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=AMB102

This is the same tube that I have several of. I recall a friend bought it in bulk as they didn't want to ship small quantities to Canada. The price of $45 shown is for a box of 12 large tubes ie. $4 each.
I see Rollin Thurlow/Northwoods Canoe lists it for that price.
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Thanks Rob, I have sent a message to Northwood as the US suppliers seem to be out of stock and anyway won't ship to Canada.

Thank you, John. I had expected white ash, but the surface showed small brownish flecks more like oak but I am embarrassingly poor at wood identification.