Last summer my wife saw a need for a canoe. In 2008, I built a SOF Sea Kayak for myself and in 2009 a Stitch & Glue recreational kayak for my wife. The Rec boat is perfect for guests… very stable, easy to paddle… BUT we are now short a boat (or two). After borrowing my sister’s canoe last summer to spend time with family on the water, it was decided… we need a canoe! This coincided with a discussion and fellow builder neighbour Matt, we both decided to build a 66 each. Then, talking with a colleague at work, there are now three 66s in the works.
Today, July 15 2021 I stated my month long vacation with plans to start the build in earnest. I have already purchased all the materials and started to process the wood. As I am building a full size tandem, red cedar is out, I found a local supply of Yellow Cedar, a guy who imports wood as a side hustle focusing on boat building types. it was slim pickings but I managed to find enough wood though I will have to scarf. The Burr Oak for my ribs came from a local farmer/hobby wood worker friend who fell & milled the tree two weeks ago! All three of us bought our Oak!
Made the stems, started to rip the gunwales and process the wood this morning.
July 16 2021 – started work in earnest today, ripped the gunwales and stringers today. As I could not get 17′ lumber, I am working with 12 footers. I cut my stems first and the remainder of the board will become stringers & gunwales… I did not want to accidently rip that material. BTW, I am using a table saw I bought 40 something years ago as a present for my dad, they do no make then like they used to!
July 17 2021 – finished the setup of the shop, scarfed the gunwale pieces. I have a 16′ x 32″ work bench, so I chalk lined 3 lines, but down some plastic wrap to prevent gluing the pieces to the bench. Now, onto the keel and stringers!
July 19 2021 – laminated the gunwales, left them overnight and ripped them this afternoon (once my assistant was off work. As I had not in/out tables on my table saw, we found it way easier to rip the gunwales as a hump and not as a “U”. We did a couple dry runs to practice, went really well.
July 20 2021 – cleaned up the gunwales (aka sanded and sanded again), all set to mortis. Worked on carving a paddle as a gift for my nephew… almost done. It is a northwest design made out of Cherry.
July 21 2021 – mortised the gunwales and slick planed the keel & stringers… starting to feel real :-D… Finished the paddle, ready for test paddling tomorrow
July 22 2021 – had a great day on the water with Evan as he tried out his new paddle… HE LOVED IT!!!
July 23 2021 – installed spreaders and symmetry is looking good, amazing how much a shift in the ends effects the symmetry. tied and pinned the ends. I found working on the bench is great… until you get to the 3D curved parts so I made a couple of mini workhorses… they are working really well. I can slide them along the bench as needed, even added a little stop on the ends.
July24 2021 – trimmed the ends, attached the stems and checked symmetry… took some figure’n as the string was a good 1/2″ above the keel, then I followed Bryan’s sage advice and triple checked everything to find I was using the planned shear height and not the actual… fixed my error and everything fell into place. shifting gears to rub rails before ribs.
July 25 2021 – took a day off from canoe building to launch a SOF kayak that my nephew started building in 2008, left it for a bunch of years and asked to complete it just before the pandemic started. Working around the restrictions, progress was slow. Finally the day came and we had a successful launch!
July 26 2021 – Rub rails ripped and scarfed. And made the steam box… got creative and adapted the one of the steam fittings to the box… another great day!
July 31 2021 – TROUBLE! started prepping ribs, followed Brian’s sage advice to do test ribs, #1, #7, #16, #26 & #33… the middle three were perfect, the ends were 1.5″ too short… I have double-triple checked everything and am at a loss for the error. Back at it this AM to sort things out. very glad that I did not cut, prep & bend all of them to have things go so far wrong. I am going to add temp blocks to the Rib #1 so see if adding 3″ (1.5″ x 2) solves the issue. I will report once back on track. In the mean time ripped the rest of the rib stock, all ready to measure, cut and bend.
August 1 2021 – BIG DAY – bending in all the ribs and clamped the stringers. went really well, definitely worth it to get good quality bending stock.
August 2 2021 – lashed in the first two stringers… busy day hiking with friends so not much work on the Canoe. Tomorrow is another day – I did setup a nice rack for varnishing my rub rails, needed to get them off the bench. Added a small triangle block to minimize the contact with the wet material. nice to have it out of the way… 5 coats and counting.