In which a canoe is built, its progress described and photographed.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

29. Sairy Gamp at the Adirondack Museum

On my way home from Little Tupper Lake, I stopped at the Adirondack Museum on Blue Mountain Lake. I was happily surprised to see the famous canoe Sairy Gamp. In the Wooden Boat article that started this project, the author Nick Schade mentions Sairy Gamp as inspiration for my canoe. (See my very first post on this blog)

Sairy Gamp is only 9' long and 10.5 lbs. She is on permanent loan from the Smithsonian.

There were many other Rushton canoes on display (among many other classic boats, including famous speedboats)

Admission was pricy at $16, but the museum is Huge, with many other exhibits, not just boats.

28. Maiden Voyage

This past weekend I took the canoe up to the Adirondacks. She's not done yet (I still need to glass the gunwales and breasthooks, and add a backrest) but she was ready to go in the water.

I decided on Little Tupper Lake, which does not allow motorboats, and has many good campsites.

Also, I was expecting rain all weekend, and cold nights, but I got lucky. It was (relatively) dry, and warm.

Putting in at the launch on the northeast shore, I paddled to the southwest end of Little Tupper, went up the beaver creek to rock pond, and back, camped for the night, and then returned to the launch; about 12 miles total.

I saw a beaver and a pair of loons, and no bears :-)

Beaver out fishing

Beaver dam


Fall colors

Saturday, August 30, 2008

27. Paddle Bag

I've made a happy discovery. This $11 rifle bag fits my paddles perfectly. (For more about these paddles, see post #13 from March)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

26. Gunwales

Using leftover cedar strips, I've added inwales and outwales (collectively: gunwales).

If anyone ever tells you that you have too many clamps, don't believe them. The spring clamps work OK, but the small C-clamps can apply more pressure, and I wish I had more of them. After the glue sets up, I will go back and plane down the top of the gunwales, then sand.

Next: Breasthooks

Monday, July 7, 2008

25. Status Report

So, the past three posts catch us up to today. I have started bending the laminate strips for the next outer stem. After I finish installing both stems I will start on the gunwales. I had hoped to be in the water in May, or at least June, but I can see the conclusion approach now, and take heart from it.

This project has never been a chore. When I'm thinking about what I want to do with the next chunk of free time that comes my way, it is common for me to look forward to spending it on the canoe.

24. Installing an Outer Stem

To prepare the surface for installation, I first sawed, then planed the strips flush with the inner stem. Then I cut a rabbet (stop line) with a pull saw, and chiseled to that line. (not shown below, sorry)

I used way too many screws installing the outer stem, but they were brass and so shiny.. anyways, do you see where the outer stem stops? (in the picture below) That's where I cut the rabbet. (The outer stem is inset a bit)

In addition to the screws, I used a mix of epoxy and lots of wood flour between inner and outer stems. There was a small gap ( < 1/8 " ) and the thickened epoxy hides it.
I shaped the outer stem in place with a sanding drum attachment on my corded hand-drill.

When I was happy with the shape, I applied another layer of fiberglass and epoxy over the whole thing. Below, I have started to feather out (sand down) the new fiberglass. (The white dust is mostly epoxy dust) When I am happy with that the whole assembly will get another coat of epoxy.

23. Laminating an Outer Stem

As a guard, and a structural element, an outer stem covers the inner stem and the ends of the strips. Like the inner stem, I've laminated the outer stem from oak, except the outer stem is wider.

I've used waterproof polyurethane glue again, and as before, it's a bit messy. The glue drips come right of the floor easily, but I still should have laid something down.

I scraped the glue drips off ..

22. Fiberglass the Inside

Long time, no posts. I'll catch up a bit tonight. Here's the fiberglass cloth draped over the inside, ready for epoxy. I started pouring epoxy in the middle, and worked outward. It was more difficult to spread the epoxy on the inside than it had been on the outside. Puddles formed in the middle, and the area around the inner stems did not turn out as well as I'd like.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

21. Rainbow

Seen from my porch, while working on the canoe.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

20. Fiberglass and Epoxy

I've added fiberglass cloth and the first coat of epoxy! It didn't take long at all, but it feels like a big step!

Up close, it's not as pretty, but if you step back, it looks great.

You can see what I mean in this picture; the drips don't look good. Well, this is just the first coat of epoxy, so it'll get better.

The epoxy. The pump handles ($10) measure out the right amount of resin ($90) and hardener ($35).

The fiberglass cloth ($60 for 10 yards, only 5 yards shown)

Jamestown Distributors
Fiberglass Cloth 6oz
50" x 10 Yds.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

19. Sanding

I'm sanding now.

I've finished one pass with 60 grit ..

The level areas are easy to work with ..

The tumblehome is more difficult. It is not possible to use the power sander here.

Soon I will be ready to apply fiberglass!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

18. Scraping

I have finished adding strips! I have begun scraping off glue drips, in preparation for sanding. Here's the scraping tool I'm using. It was a little pricy (20$) (I bought it from the marine catalog when I bought my epoxy) but it comes with three different blades, with different shapes, and it's really sharp. It pulls off most glue drips in one stroke.

Note: If you get the stroke just right, you get a terrible screeching scraping sound, hence the earplugs.

What a difference a little scraping makes! This picture is a pretty good action shot.

It's pretty easy to gouge the cedar, so take it slow. Also, the blade is very sharp, so don't cut yourself!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

17. Countdown: Four strips to go

About four strips remaining! I like this picture. Getting excited ..

This was earlier in the day. I trimmed down to the centerline with my awesome rabbet plane! I'm getting a little better with that tool, I think. It's not a great picture, but I hope you can see the curve of the strips on the left, and how the centerline runs across that curve.

The final few strips will require some tricky beveling. I'm glad I've had some practice by this point.

16. Glue and Stapler

Here's the glue I'm using.

It's at least twice as expensive as the regular wood glue, but it claims to be waterproof.

Besides, if I'm dropping $130 on epoxy, I can pay $7 for a tube of wood glue.

New Stapler!

Ahh, simple pleasures ..

I replaced my old (three months old) stapler that was jamming frequently. It's so nice to have a stapler that works again!

My old stapler could fire brads or staples. I'm not sure if that's such a great design idea? It didn't seem to work to well for me anyways. So, this time I made sure to get the regular version.

As with the last stapler, I've applied masking tape to protect it from my glue-y hands.

15. Cornell Crew

The prize for first boaters out on the lake goes to the Cornell crew. They were preparing for a race the next day. It's cold out on the water, with the wind chill..

Sunday, March 9, 2008

14. Progress

I'm almost ready to start closing up the hull! Less than a dozen strips to go now.

13. Paddle Purchase

I got a great deal on a quality paddle from a local guy. He was unloading a whole bunch of kayak equipment, and I was afraid I'd have to buy the lot, but I was able to just get the paddle.

It's very lightweight, well made, and attractive!

Lightweight carbon fiber offsets.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

12. Cayuga Lake in Winter

As seen from my dock, on Feb 26 2008, during a light snowstorm.
Click on the thumbnail.

Six more weeks of winter?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

11. Trimming to a line

Life gets busy, progress gets slow, but I am still working steadily on my canoe.

According to the instructions, when laying the strips gets difficult, when I reach a point where they twist and don't want to lie flat, I strike a line where they do want to lie flat, and trim to that line. So, with a sigh, I cut into the strips I had laid, again, as I did at the tumblehome edge.

The most trimming happens at the ends. So, for the last few strips on each side, I could have used shorter strips. If I had read ahead a little bit, I would not have used my finer, full length strips.

I have been a little reluctant about this step. Yes, after trimming down to this line the next strip went on more easily. However, the strips are still vertical at the ends and horizontal at the beam (in the middle) Having said that, I'm still going to follow the directions closely. Just take a look at my last post (#10) to see what Mr. Schade can do .. so I will follow his instructions.

Here are the tools I use for trimming down to a line; chisels and planes.

This wooden rabbet plane belongs to my father and has a wonderful patina. It is more difficult to use than the modern plane, and more difficult to adjust, but it's blade is full-width (the definition of a rabbet plane?) With it, I am able to plane next to the forms. The forms get in the way of the other plane I have.

This picture shows the stamp of a previous owner, a "C. Nelsen"
A much fainter stamped impression reads:

Ohio Tool Co.

The number 11 or perhaps a roman numeral 2 is also visible.