1924 Otca Inwale Tip Taper

Michael Graessle

Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes
So I am working on the inwale tips on my 1924 OTCA. My original inhales were incorrectly spliced and I am trying to scarf in new ends. Unfortunately, I failed to take reference photos of how the inwale and the stem came together with the deck. I am looking for help determining the taper of the inwale at the stem and stern. Also, I need to know if I made my stems incorrectly. I have a strong feeling I did. If anyone has some reference photos or the measurements to the taper I would greatly appropriate the help.

I attached photos of my attempt at a scarf. The next photos show the old inwale on top of my scarf and the union with the stem. This shows how short the original inwale is in comparison to my new stem. The final photos is the original inwale and the taper, which appears to be too short to mate to the stem.


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I can tell you what I did on my HW, but I just made it up. It's not the way it was together originally.

I removed the sheer planks, cant ribs and stem. I kept the old deck in place and just needed to repair under the tip.

Then I used the tip as a reference point. I bent a new stem with a piece that was a little wider and deeper than the original, for a little adjustment. I was able to get the stem face so it just met the deck tip. I scarfed on a new inwale end without committing to a taper. I don't think it's glued in yet in the photo.

I wanted the stem to end in a tenon that was enclosed by the inwales and deck. I cut the stem height so it ended about halfway up the deck, then used that height to mark the deck and cut a recess in the tip.

The shoulders of the stem tenon are where the bottom edge of the inwales cross the stem. I beveled the stem with a spokeshave, matching the angles on the old piece. The stem outer face has to be 3/8" which is the stem band width. The inwales meet beyond my tenon. I made one inside inwale face line up with the canoe center line then sawed the other one to match with a flush trim saw. I glued the inside faces together because there wasn't much room for a fastener. Then I knew the end point of the inwale taper - they just had to end at the stem face.

I don't know yet how this will all work at the end. I like it so far.

Here's a before shot of the most intact end:


And an underneath shot:


You should be able to click on any photo to make them bigger.