cedar rib construction


Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes
I came across this interesting feature today that I had not seen before. Probably because I've only partially taken apart one other cedar rib: it's a thin copper strip that runs 4 ribs back on each side underneath the stringers and holds the interior stem in place. Kinda cool - if you like going deep into the weeds with these things.


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Andre Cloutier

Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.
Maybe its late in the day and im missing something, which is not at all unusual, but is that a Peterborough product? Would it not have a flat, and planked flush inner stem? but that looks like a tapered outer stem ready for a stemband? Might be time for a nap. I think Rice Lake did that with cedar strips but far as i know they didnt make a vert rib. Very kool detail, thanks for sharing that!


Michael Grace

Lifetime Member
Looks like an inner stem to me. The photo shows holes in the sides of the stem where ribs were attached, and what appear to be holes for screws that held on an outside stem. I haven't taken a cedar rib apart so can't speak to this copper band, but agreed - it's very interesting. The stem appears to have a different shape from the one above given the apparent planking (rib) pattern on the stem. Maybe a different model, or maybe a Stephenson or Toronto?


Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes
Michael is correct as I am sure Andre will see now that he has had his nap. :) The boat is a Peterborough #4 with 2558 4 stamped on the combing and has thwart tags etc. and is actually fairly similar to the pic Andre posted except for those weird exterior runners that seem to be common on ones shipped overseas. And if I may get geeky; regarding exterior stems the other thing I have noticed is how all the older cedar ribs' exterior stems i've seen are thicker at their tip and tail and are thinned down in the middle (as Andre's pic illustrates) which is curious but perhaps are a result of the shape of the building form and how the entry lines widen and are fuller at the water line and narrower at sheer and keel lines?