Gluing Ribs

Dave Osborn

I'm working on a 1963 Old Town 50# Lightweight. I started to carefully remove tacks along three broken ribs (in a row). What I have found is unlike any other ribs I've dealt with. The ribs and planking appear to have been glued, or at least possibly assembled with lots of wet varnish. The are stuck fastly together at each plank. I tried a heat gun to soften the bond to no avail.
Ultimately, I will end up destroying all of the planks along these ribs, unless someone has an idea on how to deal with it because they have run into this problem before.
If the ribs are broken and the planks OK, would you not be better off destroying the ribs to hopefully save the planks? Saw/chisel off the ribs and scrape the remaining glue(?), I mean. Just a thought.


P.S. Don't forget to glue in the replacements ;)
Turkey baster...


You stripped the canoe already I'm assuming?

Could you drill some holes behind the ribs and inject some methylene choride stripper behind the rib with a turkey baster?? Let it work and try to move the rib again. Just a hairbrained idea.

I've had to wack ribs with a hammer and a block of wood against the edge of the rib to get them to move too.
No Fitzy, haven't stripped it yet. I wasn't going to because it is in pristine condition. Looks like I will need to now in hopes of freeing the ribs from the planking.:mad:
Hi Dave. If it's varnish is keeping the ribs from separating from the planks, try using an X-acto knife and running it in the groove where the ribs and planks come together. There's a slim chance that the varnish may have seeped in just far enough to hold them together, and once you cut this seal, they may come apart. Let me know how it goes!

An old "downstate" paddler...;)

stuck together!

Hi Len,
Nice to meet you at Canoecopia this year! Do you know about our outing on Saturday on the Milwaukee River?? Let me know If you did not get the info.

This adhesion is more than on the edge of the planks. In some cases it involves a large percentage of the rib/plank contact area.
Hi Dave.

Yes, I received the info from Margaret, but I'm afraid I won't be able to make it. Gotta do the "soccer Dad" thing this weekend. Anyway, it sounds like it will be a really nice outing.

I sure can't figure out how or why the planks and ribs would have been glued together, then tacked. Sure hate to see you have to strip the whole thing just to remove some planks...
Can you find a gap (away from the bottom of the canoe) where you can slide a hack saw blade under the rib? Then saw your way down pulling up on each end of the blade to keep it snug against the rib. Sort of like flossing with teeth. :)
sawing between the rib and plank is what i did on one but i used a cheep japanese pull saw from sears $20.00. if you wreak the saw no big loss. if not you got you an extra.