Photographic update


Name says it all, people.
I know you're all sick of me, but I just took project number one off the form this very night, and wanted to share with you all the results of your collective knowledge (and all of my attempts to mess it up). It's a little unconventional - red cedar planking AND ribs, and a red oak keel (I busted the ash one on bending attempt number 1), and it of course needs everything re-clinched to tighten it up, but... Well... I could have done worse... :)


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Looks great! I always love the moment the canoe comes off the form and you get to see that beautiful interior for the first time! Keep up the good work.
Way to go. Looks like an awesome job. I too am impressed with all the bent red cedar. I have enough trouble with the planks of RC.

Keep the photos coming.
Well, after presoaking/steaming didn't seem to be enough for the red cedar ribs, I switched to a presoaking/boiling, and after maybe 20 minutes(ish) they actually bent fairly decently (there's plenty of prior posting/complaining on my part about the ribs not bending - see earlier threads... Sigh...) I got a few fibers sticking out around the chine in a few places (took a little extra sanding), but they mostly took the bend well. Definitely tougher around the stem...
My inquiry is about using RED OAK in a boat. I hope you are aware that red oak has NO decay resistance and is a big no no in boats.

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Well, to be fair, it has little decay resistance. If you consider the keel consumable and are ready to keep it covered with paint and fuss over it, it should be okay for awhile. Depends on how you use the canoe. But he's right, generally white oak would be a better choice for a keel. Hard, not as open grained, and pretty rot resistant for a hardwood. Osage Orange would be really sweet.

Woops! Just read the stem part. Red oak doesn't like water once it's dead. It is GREAT at biodegrading.

May the force be witcha.
This first project was more about experimentation - i.e. seeing how this whole thing works, before I used all my good (and more expensive) white cedar stock etc. Hence the use of red cedar (cheaper, easier to find in clear lengths etc). Truthfully, this project probably won't see much of the water - this first attempt was more to see how all the pieces fit. The NEXT boat will be my true and honest attempt to do everything right (once I've learned how to do it on this one). And in that boat, yes, I wouldn't use any oak at all. This one wouldn't have had it, except I busted the ash stem before I knew how to bend anything.
And remember, my name could just as easily be "dumb actions guy." So I am going to be that guy who does things that probably don't make sense to anyone, and it's just because at this point, I don't know any better. That's where all you fine folks come in... :)

For the record, I wouldn't have gotten anything off of the form without all the knowledge and collective support of this community. I truly owe you all a very large debt of gratitude...
What type - kind - model canoe?

Hey Dumbquestionsguy:

What kind of animule, erh I mean, canoe is this? What did you build?

Maybe it is a dumb question and I missed it in your posts....:eek:
thompsonboatboy said:
My inquiry is about using RED OAK in a boat. I hope you are aware that red oak has NO decay resistance and is a big no no in boats.


I guess they forgot to tell Mr. Rushton... :)
Yeah. But look where it got him. He's DEAD!

Beware of Red Oak!

In the thread about the Rushton-esque canoe you were building (that we didn't see a picture of, btw) you mention boat builders using some white pine. For the working boats up here ALL the AuSable boats were made with white pine boards. 2 - 1" x 12" x x24' or so long for the sides and one or two for the bottom, depending on what they could get, I don't know, but expect they used what-ever they could find for all the small parts. The boat looks like a long pirogue, and was used during the river drive for whatever you needed a boat for. Carrying food, tents, dynamite, tools, the boss, whatever. They must have soaked them to get them to swell for water tightness. When they went south they tossed 'em and made a new one.

BTW, that white pine had upwards of 60 growth rings to the inch. Different from the Home Depot variety.
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Yeah. But look where it got him. He's DEAD!

Aye, but more of his canoes are in museums or are sought after by collectors than any of us can ever expect to realize...

Agreed, red oak is not your typically desired boatbuilding wood, the point is, it has been used successfully by someone who is perhaps the most respected canoe builder of all time.

White pine, on the other hand, is regularly used as a boatbuilding wood, and with good reason. In some applications it is superior to white cedar, in fact.

The Rushton paddling canoe project was put on hold by the job change and move. The lofting boards are safely tucked into the basement for future resurrection. But, we are in canoe sailing and St. Lawrence skiff country now...
When you look at the red oak he used, is it obviously ancient virgin timber. Late 1800's would be the right time.

Red oak is still oak. It just doesn't have as much lignin or whatever as white, so something has to fill the voids.

Hiram Leonard built lancewood and greenheart flyrods that are in museums, but no one would use them today. Anyone would love to paddle a Rushton canoe. He was a really good craftsman and I'm not second guessing him. But, maybe if he'd used more traditional woods he'd still be with us. Sniff!