Archive for the ‘Canoe’ Category

Inside Glassed

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

The inside of the canoe was glassed last week. There are a few ragged strands of glass at the stems but I will sand most of those out. I was pleasantly please with how stiff the canoe was when the epoxy curried. Only two coat of epoxy were used on the inside so there is texture to the glass that will make a non-skid surface. I am going to do scuppered gunwales as described at I cut 6 pieces of 3/8 x 3/4 out of a 2×2 by 16 foot Alaskan Yellow Cedar. My gunwales will be a little smaller than I wanted but they will still look great on the canoe. Most books recommend hardwood for the gunwales but I like the look of AYC and it will complement the Western Red Cedar well. There were some knots in the AYC that I will have to splice out. Since the strips are 16 feet long and the canoe is only 13 feet long, there will be at least 2 feet left over from each strip. I might have enough strips to double up on the outer gunwale. I estimate that I will need 10 feet of the 12 that will be cut off of the strips to make the blocks that are part of the inner gunwale. I think that I will have a 12 inch block where the center thwart will go and use 3 1/2 blocks with 3 1/2 spaces elsewhere.

For the thwart, deck and bulkhead I will be using Port Orford Cedar. I have 2×12 board that I have been saving for the canoe. I am in a quandary on the shape of the thwart. I could do a simple thwart or I could do a carved thwart that would be more practical for carrying. I will have to decide in a few weeks. Alaskan Yellow Cedar and Port Orford Cedar both have a strong smell when they are cut. The Port Orford Cedar is more spicy and the Alaskan Yellow Cedar is more musky smell. The boat shop was quite aromatic.

For the seats, I have a second 2×2 by 16 piece of AYC that I have cut into two 3/4×1 1/2 strips. I think that I will start with a woven cane seat using plastic cane. I talked to someone who cane’s at last year’s San Diego County Fair and he said that it was hard to get good quality cane anymore and he uses plastic cane for anything that will be outside.

Sanded and Sealed

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

After two moves last year, the canoe in storage for 4 months and sitting 5 months in my living room; I have started working on the canoe again. I finished sanding the inside just after Christmas and finally was able to make time to seal the canoe. The idea of sealing the cedar strips is so that you have a uniform color when apply the fiber glass cloth. The process is simple and was recommend by a fellow canoe builder. Put a thin coat of epoxy on the hull and let it soak in, once is starts to set, scrap off all the excess. I then filled all the cracks and crevices with epoxy thickened with cedar wood flour. Once the filler has set, scrap off any excess and wait a week for it to cure before a light sanding with 120 grit. The next step it to cut the fiber glass cloth to size.

Scraping and Sanding

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

I have started the scraping and sanding of the epoxy on the canoe.  I used a cabinet  scraper to get the most of the lumps off and then went over the area with a random orbital sander.  I still have to make one more pass and then I will put another coat of epoxy on to fill the low spots.  I will try using the cabinet scraper when the epoxy is green to see if I can reduce the sanding later.

Fiberglassing the Outside of the Canoe

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

The outside of the canoe has been sanded,  sealed and sanded again in preparation for fiberglassing.   The fiberglass cloth is laid over the hull and trimmed to be at least an inch in excess on all sides.   I used clothespins to hold the fiberglass cloth in place while I apply the epoxy.  The intent is the just fill the weave of the cloth and not have any runs or puddles and not to have any spots that are starved for epoxy.  I am using a 3 inch chipping brush instead of a roller or squeegee to apply the epoxy.  It is the first time I tried one and I found that it worked very well.  There were several loose bristles that I had to go back later and clean up.

The only problem I had fiberglassing the canoe was with the stem reinforcing strips.  The stips are cut on a bias of 45 degrees to the weave.  The strips are had some runs in the cloth that I will have to sand out later.   I will wait until the epoxy has gone green before I apply the next layer of epoxy to fill in the weave.

Canoe All Stripped

Friday, April 9th, 2010

I finished stripping the canoe. Toward the end the bungee method did not work as well as I would have liked. I think that I will try clamps and wedges on the next canoe.

For the next canoe I am also going to cut the strips 1/16 thicker than needed and run them through the thickness planer, taking 1/32 off each side. I would do this both for the 3/4 inch cut and the 1/4 inch cut. I found that my strips varied a little bit in thickness from one to another.

I have started taking off the high spots with a plane and I will do the outer stems next. Between the inner and outer stem the bow and stern can take some punishment without breaking the canoe.

First Strips and the Bungee Clamping Method

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

I have put on the first few strips for the canoe. I have set aside the first 13 strips for each side of the canoe. I am using the bungee cord method to hold the strips in place while the glue dries. I have 20 one foot pieces of 1/4 bungee cord. I also have cut over thirty pieces of 2 inch long 1/4 inch dowels. I have placed the strips with the cove up so that it is easier to glue. I run 2 inches of glue then skip 6 inches then repeat for the length of the canoe. Once two strips are in place I start from the center and work to each end. I place a dowel in the cove and then tie a piece of bungee around the strips to hold the two new ones down. I place a bungee each mold and in between each mold, about one every 9 inches. I also use clamps to hold the strips close to the mold as the bungee can distort the hull. I have to keep cutting the 2 inch dowels as every time I drop one it seems they run under some thing like cockroaches. By the time I have done the 13 strips on each side I will have to get 2 pieces of 2 foot bungee.

Bead and Cove

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

I setup my router to cut the bead and cove on the strips. I cut the bead first because the cove is weak and would have gotten broken going through the router the second time.
I was amazed at how fast I was able to cut the bead and cove on all the strips, about five hours including an hour of setup.

With the strips done, I have finished phase 1 of the canoe. The second phase is to put the strips on the mold and fair the hull. The third phase is to put the fiberglass on both sides of the canoe and the fourth and final phase is to finish the canoe with the rub rails, middle thwart and deck.

I have matched the first 13 strips on both sides of the canoe for a better look. I have set a side another 24 strips for the turning of the bilge. These strips all have similar color and will complement the accent strips.

A Pair of Paddles for the Canoe

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

I made two paddles for the canoe. A Greenland style double paddle and a ottertail single paddle. The Greenland paddle is made out of Western Red Cedar with Port Orford cedar inlay for the edges and weights only 1.75 lbs. The WRC is very light but is also a little too flexible for a touring paddle and is also too soft and weak to stand up to any abuse.

The ottertail paddle is made out of Douglas-fir and also only weights 1.75 lbs. The DF is is much heavery than the WRC and is prone to splitting so I splince the tip with Port Orford Cedar. Both paddles are finished with four coats of Daly’s Seafin Aquaspar varish. Being a water based varish it goes on very easily and has low VOC’s.

The cost of the wood for the paddles was only $6. Being lamintate paddles I was able to use serveral short pieces for the blades and a two long pieces for the handles.

Mold Installation

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

All of the molds have been installed. You can just see the stem mold on edge followed by the other molds. Each mold was aligned in the X and Y axis using a laser level. Setting up the laser level was more difficult that expected. To get laser to line up with the center line and with the 10 inch horizontal line took a lot of trial and error. The edges of the molds will be covered with plastic packaging tape to prevent the strips from getting glued to the molds.

The next step is the cut the strips and then route the bead and cove.

First Stem Mold

Monday, January 4th, 2010

I installed the braces for the station molds and the first stem mold. Each of the molds have been marked with a vertical center line and a horizontal line 10 inches up from the base. If everything goes correctly each of the molds will be in alignment in both the vertical and horizontal plane. This alignment does not need to be perfect but I don’t want to start accumulating too many errors this early in the process. The next station mold to be installed is Station 1 followed by station 2, 3, 4 … until I install the other stem. I will setup my laser level to help make sure that the stem mold and each of the station molds are in alignment.