It's Official - my '51 OTCA project

Still looking for some eastern white spruce. Will contact some more from the supplier's list but if anyone feels like putting a stamp on a board or two let me know:)
 
Go to your local lumber yard, and look at the 2x SPF piles. Look for a piece that has tight grain and can be up graded by cutting off the knotts.
Boards with wane on the sides will have fewer knotts.

Or just go up the coast and get some Sitka.
 
Go to your local lumber yard, and look at the 2x SPF piles. Look for a piece that has tight grain and can be up graded by cutting off the knotts.
Boards with wane on the sides will have fewer knotts.

Or just go up the coast and get some Sitka.
Hi Dan. Out here the SPF would be fir; I'm hoping to come as close as I can to a match. I have plenty of Douglas fir around so I can cut some and see how it looks visually, 'though I don't know how well it bends, comparatively - ? The SPF fir might be a whiter variety. I can (and did) get Sitka here but it looks completely different. Thanks:)
 
Bent my first (ever) pieces of wood today. I tried boiling a popsicle stick in a pan at home and it broke when I tried to bend it, so I figured I was ready to do it for real. Pics of my boiler and a bent piece of ash. I'm only replacing a few inches of outer stem tips but I wanted to bend them just to try it. Plus I'll be needing to bend longer pieces of spruce, once I find some, for all the inwale tips.


I know unorthodox but it was fun and as easy as anything else...
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Going to replace tip on one outer stem and am going to attempt to bend a whole new outer stem for the bow. Found some cracks in it when I stripped it and didn't make sense to have it all cobbled together.

Here's two ways of generating the tighter curve to compensate for spring-back. Assuming the second is prefered (?), which I obtained simply by springing the existing stem inward and tracing that.

Also the bow outer stem has a short section between it and the keel that tapers from a smaller size for the stem to a larger size for the keel. I'm assuming that would have been a repair, and would that taper have originally been part of the keel or part of the stem?

Thx...
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Cut and fit the patch for the inwale. Top and bottom I can plane after gluing; not sure when or how to cut the outside angled surface...

p.s. As of this picture the fit was pretty close but not perfect, even after some time sanding/planing/filing. So I soaked it for about an hour, brought it up to boil for about 4 minutes just to soften the surface, and then clamped it very thoroughly to the rail to mold it into a better fit. Maybe superfluous, but seemed clever in the moment:)
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How do stems and rails come not to meet like this? At one end, it seems the end of the stem sits about 3/16" below the rails. At the other end the stem meets the rails about 3/16" before their ends. Is there a way to know which is right?
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Regarding above stems, figured out that both had curved more inward which is unexpected (to me). I have them propped back to the correct position, maybe they'll get a little used to it by the time I'm putting the tips back together.

First splicing repair, the cracked inwale. Not perfect but good enough. Cut a bit over the line when trimming the rib-facing side, in one or two spots but it will be stronger than it was anyway.
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The inwales on an Old Town should mate beyond the tip of the deck and land on top of the stem. The inwales were attached to the stem with two small steel nails driven through the sides of the inwale into the top of the stem.

Cheers,

Fitz
 
On the second page of this thread in a reply from monkitoucher the second link he attached shares very detailed illustrations of the stem and deck tip repair. There was follow-on discussion about the joinery and use of nails on the third page of the thread.
 
The inwales on an Old Town should mate beyond the tip of the deck and land on top of the stem. The inwales were attached to the stem with two small steel nails driven through the sides of the inwale into the top of the stem.

Cheers,

Fitz
I was surprised to realize the stems had curled inward a bit. I wedged a stick under each and got them back into exactly the position you describe. But there's a good bit of tension bound up in doing that. I'm hoping they'll relax back out to that original position after a month or so, although I could imagine that not happening...
 
Stern outer stem repair. Still need to add the recessed underside... Will need however to bend a new outer stem for the bow - it has several cracks in it.
 

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Bent new outer bow stem yesterday. But my backing strip end block broke off in the middle of things and I can see two small cracks, one of which I suspect might reveal itself to be larger when unclamped. The grain does run off a bit there, and it's also right where I was in the bend when the backing strip loosened. Will pull it out of the clamps tomorrow and see, expecting I'll need to bend another, 'though that was my straightest grain piece (naturally).
 

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This is a great thread! New member here. Really appreciate the pics. Such a lovely canoe too. I may be in your shoes this winter.

How is progress going?
 
Hey there Bo. Welcome to the group! I'm pretty new here myself and this is the first canoe I've owned or worked on. It belonged to my grandfather and the last time I was in it would have been in maybe the 60's.

Had it shipped out from my sister's last year and started work on it. Progress recently stopped for about a month after I made a really nice steam explosion and seriously burned my hands and a foot! So be careful and wear gloves if the opportunity to make a steam explosion arises.

I just cut pieces for inwale tips today. It's confusing because it's four different angles. Plus they change along the length, so I just cut to the largest cross-section and am planning on bending the pieces and then carving the taper onto them probably after I've fit each scarf joint together, maybe leaving it a little oversize until after gluing. Not 100% on how that goes. It's a confusing little sub-project within the whole endeavor. I probably should have just bent them square and then carved them to shape. I don't mind trying this way though, I'll be wearing gloves in any case:)
 
Haha. Thanks Mmmalmberg. I will invest in some good mitts. In highschool, I once lit my hands, hair, and forearms on fire after a weak join failed in my potato canon (I was liberally doused with with flaming accelerant). Nothing too serious (it burned off quickly) but I was told by several friends it was quite a sight.

Steam burns are no joke though. Did something similar by prematurely taking off a radiator cap from a hot engine once. A once bitten twice shy type of lesson! I'll exercise extreme caution.

I have a friendly neighbor who is bending wood tomorrow for a toboggan project. He's offered supervision and friendly pointers when I start the more extreme woodworking, and even the use of his PVC pipe and crab boiling steam rig.

Best of luck! Looking forward to seeing your progress. I think it's really great that you have the family history with your canoe. Hopefully both of ours will be enjoyed by following generations for many years.

Bo
 
Here's my simple setup for bending the inwale tips. I think it will work but I don't have the best pieces of spruce for it as far as the grain goes.

First I cut the stock to the profile of the inwale at the furthest point back that I might end the scarf, figuring I'll taper and further refine the shape after bending.

I cut forms with bevels to match the angle on the top side of the inwale stock, then used the cutoff from the bevel to bring it back to square on the pulling side (see pics).

Used a thin strip of wood as a backer instead of a metal strap since it's what I had, glued and stapled scrap blocks on the ends.

The wood ended up soaking for a good four or five days. I boiled the wood for an hour before bending. Got a couple of crush/cracks on the inside of the bend. Is this from soaking too long, overcooking or ?? I bent two test pieces. The next ones are for real and the only decent pieces of stock I have left, naturally.
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