Enthusiastic about Wooden Canoes
I am going to need to replace the outer gunwales on my Mansfield canoe. If I were to get something like this rather than fabricate my own, would they work?

Do most people fabricate their own? or buy them pre-fabricated?

Edit: I have spoken to them and they will work. They will even sell just outer or inner if you call... Still curious as to what others here are doing.
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Thanks for posting the link, looks like a interesting source of parts.

But, as for the rails, to date, I've both made them from blanks and used rails others have machined.

As for the spliced pieces you linked to, I wouldn't.
To my way of thinking, that joint is just a 45 degree splice with an extension in the cut. Not very strong. You want a 8 or 10 to one taper for the splice.

One option would be to get those pieces and re-machine with a proper angle.

Looks to me like the joint pictured has about the same glue surface area as an 8:1 scarf. Since the shiplap joint has a run parallel to the grain you might actually get a better bond than a scarf which is all cross-grain. Ed claims he cuts his knock-down rails from full length stock and marks them so you should get perfect grain match allowing the joint to disappear more so than scarfing two different pieces. Just my 2 cents...
Sounds like a test somebody should do. :)

Think of the two 45 degree cuts as butt joints, with a lap joint in between.

Meaning that at the start and finish of the joint the rail is only 1/2 thickness.

Of course the reality is the 45 degree will be something more then a butt joint but well less then if it was a full 8 or 10 to 1 joint.

The question, is why does Ed's make this joint, as it has to be harder to make then a simple angle cut.

But, back to the original question, if your canoe is short, ie, 13 or 14 ft, why would you even consider a spliced joint, 16 ft stock is readily available.

Because I thought someone else could manufacture it for me more easily. They knock down the size to save on shipping costs. I have decided not to go that route anyhow. I am going to have a local boatbuilder or apprentice shop mill the pieces for me. I would consider manufacturing myself, but I have little experience ripping long lengths of narrow pieces and finishing with desired bevels.(Ok, I have limited woodworking experience)... Another question, where is the best place to find single boards of hardwood. My local Lowe's and Home Depot do not carry a wide variety of woods...
:) :)

That's because they don't carry wood.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Go to a hardwood lumber yard. Most will carry stock to 16 ft.

If in the MPLS are, Youngblood's on Central.


another option, buy rails from another builder or even manufacturer and shorten them to fit your canoe.
It would help to know where you are. For example, the M.L. Condon Company in White Plains, NY is a well-known long-established supplier of marine-grade hardwoods, but would not likely be the place for someone up in New England or in the mid-west to shop.
Two places in Maine I know of that you might try are Rollin Thurlow at North Woods Canoe Company in Atkinson, and Premium Specialty Hardwoods in Rumford. Neither are on the coast, but may be within driving distance of you. Maine, of course, has quite a few hardwood lumber yards -- Google is your friend.