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Cedar strip canoe - Disaster!

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ben2

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Hi
Good luck with the project. I built a cedar decked Mill Creek from Fyne Boat kits.

They sell all the component parts, including the resin and fibreglass. Super helpful, and they will give you loads of tips on glassing and finishing the boat.

Looking forward to more progress reports!
 

pe2dave

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Fascinating thread - and thanks for the photographs Dan.
Chuckling over the clamp count!
I note the boat building jargon creeping in over the post!
Am I right in thinking the fibreglass will cover the 'shell' of cedar strips?
Lovely mix of old and new (cad, cnc to manual build).

Look forward to the next episode!
 

Dandan

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Fascinating thread - and thanks for the photographs Dan.
Chuckling over the clamp count!
I note the boat building jargon creeping in over the post!
Am I right in thinking the fibreglass will cover the 'shell' of cedar strips?
Lovely mix of old and new (cad, cnc to manual build).

Look forward to the next episode!
Thanks Dave, you can never have too many clamps (and I definitely dont have enough).
Yes the fibreglass covers the cedar shell both inside and out to hopefully make a fully waterproof vessel...

Ok so we got down to cutting the bead and cove shape into the strips, you can make a strip boat with rectangular section strips but you have to plane each thin edge to match the next strip which looks time consuming and way beyond my skill level. The easier option is to make a simple joint that will stay relatively tight even when the strips meet each other at an angle, essentially a ball and socket joint.



This was done with a pair of router bits from Axminster, they did a lovely job.



Then we were finally ready to attach the first strips to the boat! This first strip is very important as it determines the shape of all the subsequent strips that you put on, it's essential to get a nice, smooth 'fair' curve along the boat. Good strong foundations and all that.
After a fair amount of adjusting, tickling, fettling, squinting and squatting, we got something we are pretty happy with.





 

Trainee neophyte

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Apologies if teaching you to suck eggs, but drain pipe cut into sections is a common clamp solution for this sort of thing:



It's that or buy 200 spring clamps, and I can't possibly afford that many!

Thanks to the weirdness this year, my paddle board build has been put back yet again, but the wife is talking about going on holiday so if she can ignore finances, then so can I. In the meantime, I am happy to salivate over your build - very jealous.
 

GarF

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Highly recommend these guys


I've never used anything but West epoxy for dinghy projects. It's never let me down yet. Shelf life is fine, and I've had no problems using stuff past it's date. The only thing it doesn't seem to like is freezing which is true of any epoxy.

E glass cloth mostly comes in 1 metre widths. If you can't avoid having a join, a keel band would be a neat way to conceal it. A lot of people use alloy now, but I think the brass probably looks nicer.
 

Solicitus

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Looking forward to following this. +1 for Fyne Boats- I just finished a stitch and glue kayak from plans I got from them - good service and quite quick delivery on epoxy and the like. If you haven't found them yet, have a look at Nick Shades videos on You Tube - cedar strip nirvana. It's a bit of a rabbit hole - but if you have a spare 20 hours or so you can get lost in watching his builds.
Robert
 

Dandan

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Hey everyone, sorry for the 2 week delay, we didn't get as much done last week as I would have liked so I saved the post until this week. The upside of this is that I have many pictures for you!
This next stage is pretty straightforward, just lay more strips on top of the sheer strip, yet it's surprising how much two amateurs can still struggle with it! We had a few teething issues with strips slipping out of their grooves and arguments over correct glue application but it's all lessons learned and nothing that will sink the boat (we hope).
The good bit about this stage is the canoe starts to form up before your very eyes, it's mighty satisfying.

This is the first 3 strips of cedar and then the first 'feature' strip of some pale softwood to create a double stripe along the canoe:





Then my dad put several strips on over the next week, to give us this:



A shape is forming!





Another strip:





And another, the shape is really starting to come out now, and the strips are falling into place really nicely





Still a fair bit of real estate to cover on top (or bottom)



Expect more of the same next week, where we might meet in the middle and have to start paying attention again...
 

Hornbeam

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Great project. Something I have always wanted to do. I made racing canoe paddles for a couple of years. Have you sorted out what resin/cloth you are using. I would recommend epoxy rather than the cheaper polyester or vinylestester resins as epoxy seems to bond much better to the wood but whatever you use you will need a UV resistant gel coat.
Looking forwards to the next chapter
 

shed9

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Great project. Something I have always wanted to do. I made racing canoe paddles for a couple of years. Have you sorted out what resin/cloth you are using. I would recommend epoxy rather than the cheaper polyester or vinylestester resins as epoxy seems to bond much better to the wood but whatever you use you will need a UV resistant gel coat.
Looking forwards to the next chapter
+1 for epoxy, the polyester resins are not nice chemicals to work with. The COSHH sheets for the poly and vinylest variations often read like a Bond-esq nerve agent description. Have a chat to your local chandlery's, Southampton must have more than most places in the UK. A good one will offer more than just selling the cloth and resin and they may be able to put you in touch with other local small scale builders.

This is superb by the way, this thread is very much appreciated.
 

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Looking good! Another vote for epoxy here. Fyne Boat Kits do glass at 1m and 1.27m widths - would that cover it?
 

Jameshow

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Agreed polyester would ruin a build like that it dosen't bond half as well as epoxy. And the amounts you'll be using the cost saving won't be significant.

Cheers James
 

Dandan

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Thanks everyone for the comments and advice!
I know for certain that I will be using epoxy and also varnishing it for UV stability, I will definitley check out Fyne for materials as several people recommended them.
The glue we are using for the strips is just normal wood glue, its a waterproof/resistant exterior grade glue but to be honest even using cheap interior glue should be fine as literally everything gets coated in epoxy.
Progress has slowed as the weather has cooled, we had an issue with a strip popping back out after 2 hours of drying so we only put on 1 strip per day right now, and have broken out the fan heater!



The twist from almost horizontal in the middle to almost vertical at the ends is getting to it's most extreme point which means the strips are under a fair bit of tension, a blast with a heat gun means we can pre-form them to shape a little before gluing, this seems to ease the tension a little.



We shaped the stems all the way to the bottom (the boat is upside down) now ready for the next couple of strips, this is quite a pleasing freehand job





Also we roughly trimmed the ends of the strips back to the stem, this gives a really pleasing cross section through the strips



And this is about as far as we have got:





We are going to put the short strips on next at the front and rear which create the upswept shape of the bow and stern (the lowest points while its on the uspide down support frame) which should bring out the canoe shape even more, plue they have very little twist in them so we should be able to glue them on pretty swiftly. Had we thought about it we could have been sticking these on while waiting for other strips to dry, but it's not like we are in a rush!
 

Dandan

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Right then, some good and some rather bad this week, lets start with the good stuff shall we?

A couple more strips have gone on, we are over the hump of the really twisted strips and on the home straight of the bottom of the boat.



My dad also put on the smaller strips to make the upturned bow and stern, and we tried to fair in a nice curve, partially using measurements from the table of offsets and also using a thin strip of wood to eye up a nice looking shape. We cut one and then made a template to transfer to the other sides to ensure they are all the same.




(It looks a bit off in this picture but it's much nicer in reality)



Now for the bad news.
Unfortunately my dad was climbing into the loft just above and to the side of the canoe when his ladder slipped and he fell out of the hatch, breaking his fall on the way down with his elbow on the side of the canoe.
He's ok, or at least he's alive, there is going to be a whole lot of bruising and I think he will be shuffling around for a few days, (he refused any kind of actual medical attention) but he appears to have no permanent damage. The canoe however:





While he was refusing medical treatment he did his best to push things back together along with some water to soften it up:



It looks a real mess right now, he is confident that we can patch it up as is, press it back into line, fill it and it should be ok, but i'm not convinced, i'm thinking we might need to cut the whole section away and patch it in with clean edges. It's not really about the strength of the fix, more about what it looks like, this canoe is for us to enjoy so it doesnt really matter if it has a random patch in it, but it would still be nice if it didn't look too horrendous!
At this point any and all suggestions of the best way to proceed will be thoroughly appreciated!
 

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