more newbie questions


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I noticed in photos from the Facebook link in the previous post that spring clamps were used to secure ribs to the inwales once they were bent around the mold. Is that method better than securing with nails like I've seen elsewhere?

Also, I've begun making replacement stems for my Otca. The stem I removed from the hull has a nasty looking shape from springback and I think the previous splice is a little misshaped. I took a piece of corrugated and traced the other stem that is still planked into the hull. I think I have a reasonably accurate pattern after refining the tracing with the removed stem. My question is...How exact to the original should the stem shape be? I need to re-plank the bow end so I think I can adjust for a slightly different stem shape. I guess I could buy pre-bent stems.

Third question...I notice that the stem area right under the deck is where rot often occurs. I also notice that the deck plates have no place for water to drain when the hull is turned upside down for storage. I put a drain hole in the deck of the stripper I built last year. Why don't wood canvas hulls provide a way for water to drain?

Your stem jig should be as accurate as possible and compensate for spring back which is more by feel than some mathematical equation. The OTCA’s stem will have less spring back than a stem that is more plumb so you don’t have too much to worry about.

Pre bent stems never seem to work. I'm sure people have had success with them but I think you will find them to be inaccurate somewhere along the line. The shape of the curve might be off, the notches for the ribs won’t line up, the bevel on the stem face is not right, the face of the stem is to wide, or something will drive you nuts. Make your own, you will be much happier having control over shaping it the way it should be.

I wouldn’t worry about the ends filling up with water. This really doesn’t happen. Even when stored outside and upside down off the ground, more water will be sucked up into the ends by capillary action than water blowing up in there in a rain storm.
Ref. the drain at the ends:
I normally truncate the tip of the deck thus making a triangular "hole" where it meets the inwales and the stem. The drain hole is covered by the stem band so you can't see it. This provides enough clearance between the band and the deck for any water to drain if the canoe is upside down and air to circulate at any time. It works.


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