Something to pass the time

samb

LOVES Wooden Canoes
I spent the previous week in Scotland, paddling with a friend. We both came back with Covid: Who knew paddling could be so dangerous?


Having had a positive PCR test, I have now got to isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms. That now gives me 8 full days of not leaving the house while trying not to get too bored. It’s a bit cold out in the workshop to be out there so I’ll need to find something to do inside instead. What could be better than an understanding wife who will allow me to build a boat in the living room?


A quick check of materials shows I have a bit of yellow cedar which will do for rails, stems, thwarts and seats, enough red cedar veneer for the ribs and planks and cotton sheeting for canvas.


Luckily I have access to the form I need.


I’ll be making a Chestnut CC Playmate to go with the two I already have, but maybe it will be a Peterborough CC Mermaid, or even a Canadian CC Breeze. Luckily I have access to the form and bending jigs I need.


Day one:



I machined up the ribs :
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Machined the stems which are soaked in hot water in a thermos for an hour then microwaved for about 3 minutes before being bent on the stem form. They are bent as one then split as I have found that way causes less chance of failure :
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Inwales are soaked in boiling water for a few minutes then bent into place on the form.
These are allowed to dry and set on their forms somewhere warm until day 2 :
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The thwart is shaped and seat frame is made up :
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then drilled and caned :
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. . . . and that will do for today.
 
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samb

samb

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Day 2

The stems come off the form. They are marked out and split to make two.


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They are then placed on the canoe form and the slots for the ribs are marked then cut.


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They next need to be shaped so the planks will fit against them.


I found this quite fiddly on the full sized boat I made, it’s even more so at this scale.

When I’m happy with the fit, the inwales and stems are tied together where they meet and the stem fixed to the form.


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The face side of the ribs are sanded before they are cut which saves loads of time. I then mark the unsanded face with a marker pen so I don’t get them on the form the wrong way round. The ribs are softened in hot water before being bent over the form. They have temporary fixings until they dry a bit, at which time they are properly fixed in place. I tend to do about 5 ribs at a time. By the time the 5th is done, the 1st is dry enough to superglue in place and the dampness helps with superglue.


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Just a matter of soaking, pinning, drying and gluing all along. A bit of extra care is needed as you fix to the stems: if you get glue in the wrong place you have a problem!


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Working with cedar is not as nice as it should be when you have no sense of smell!
 
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samb

samb

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Planking


Ist job today was to check that I hadn’t glued the boat to the form; all good there, so next I trimmed down the stems to the ribs so the planks would lie flat over them.


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After that, there weren't any photos as I was too busy trying to not glue my fingers to the boat and not to glue the boat to the form. I succeeded in that fairly well as I fixed on the first 4 planks each side then removed the boat from the form. It's much easier getting the planks to lay flat using tacks rather than superglue.


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samb

samb

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Today I got the planking finished. Getting them to lie flat at the turn of the bilge is very fiddly. I’ve got to get it close enough otherwise I’ll end up sanding through the planking. There must be an easier way: perhaps soaking them then letting them dry in position - but I can’t hold them in place with any great pressure - something that needs thought. While it was on the form, I could use elastic bands to pull the edges down but not now as it is too delicate. . . . . but maybe if I put temporary thwarts in?

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I’ve also made a start on the carry yoke
 

patrick corry

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Perhaps several firm elastic bands around the entire canoe at the difficult turn of the bilge (though with a spacer between inwales to avoid pinching the inwales together). One could then insert tapered wedges if necessary under the band to hold the moistened planking tight to the form until dry- then fasten?

This project looks marvelous. Even your planking pattern looks authentic!
 
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samb

samb

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Perhaps several firm elastic bands around the entire canoe at the difficult turn of the bilge (though with a spacer between inwales to avoid pinching the inwales together). One could then insert tapered wedges if necessary under the band to hold the moistened planking tight to the form until dry- then fasten?
This project looks marvelous. Even your planking pattern looks authentic!

Patrick, I think this is the way forward although it will greatly increase the time needed to build a model because of drying time. It will also cause a few extra problems to deal with: The basic half planked hull is very delicate so would need some spacers or thwarts fixing to save it from being crushed; it is also very light so would need some way of firmly holding it so as to allow use of both hands in order to get the elastic bands and wedges in position along the whole length of the boat. . . . . definitely worth some thought

Sam
 
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samb

samb

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Today I spent a bit of time fixing the last few planks which didn’t want to stay put. I also started on the carry yoke.


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The hull got sanded - it still has a few edges where the planks meet, but I daren’t sand it further.


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Although quite fiddly, canvassing on this scale takes about an hour. Another bonus is that you don’t catch that pad of flesh on the palm of your hand in the canvas pliers, kneel on dropped tacks or catch your fingers with the hammer.


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I’ve got the first 2 coats of filler on, and machined the rebates in the outwales.


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samb

samb

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Low odour emulsion (I can't smell but Gills nose is super sensitive!) with added light weight filler.Even quicker than Zinser!!
 
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samb

samb

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Getting near the end now. Official covid isolation ends Monday evening, the canoe will be launch ready on Tuesday morning.


Fitted the decks and gunwales - as always more clamps are good.
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Then the seat:


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And thwarts:


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Then out for the first coat of paint
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samb

samb

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Very little progress to be seen today. Just as on a full size version, the last stages are mainly about sanding and waiting for paint and varnish to dry. Maybe todays coat of paint will be the last but we'll have to wait and see.
Sorry, no pictures.
 
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samb

samb

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Final coat of paint needed so the stem bands will have to wait till tomorrow. . . .
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. . . .should take about 5 minutes then launch time.
 
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samb

samb

LOVES Wooden Canoes
As predicted, it took about 5 minutes to fit the stem bands, then it was a matter of loading up the car and driving about 15 minutes to a local river for the launch:


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Then back home to join the fleet.

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Blott

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Very good. Was the launch at Belaugh on the Bure? If so the water looks very high.

Covid free now and suitably recovered?
You really do need to try a Cedar Rib
 
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samb

samb

LOVES Wooden Canoes
Correct ID! It was the perfect height for the new boat, but it had been higher.
Isolation / covid free today so celebrated with a paddle and a take away. I know how to spoil myself.

I'm considering a board and batten as I can see a way to do that. When I have the mould for it, I might be able to see how to do a rib boat. joining the 1:8 ribs with any degree of accuracy sounds tricky to me. I could lend you the mould when I've finished with it?
 

Michael Grace

Lifetime Member
LOVE the first three photos! If we hadn't seen your building process, we easily could have been convinced that the little tyke is actually a full-sized canoe.
 
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