"The Canoe Shop"

I elected to build from scratch the 16' Sassafras canoe. I have some woodworking experience and a lot of fiberglass experience and build large scale model airplanes for a hobby. Given that, the stitch and glue method and this canoe seemed like a great project. So, I purchased the book and have read it cover to cover several times before buying any materials - I strongly recommend this practice before building any boat or kit.

Observations and upsets:

It seems like the author and contributors make too much of the making of scarfs and trimming the planks and one very big omission. Any of the methods of making scarfs will do fine, using a belt sander is a very easy and quick way to  do the job and is perfect for trimming the planks for an exact fit.

The one big upset I have is in the section "Cutting out the planks" on page 65 makes no mention of orientation of the plywood sheets to insure you can have a good side (flawless or at least matching grain) for the interior.You must place two up and two down to accomplish this. I will buy more plywood and fix the problem, an expensive solution.


9 replies:

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RE: "The Canoe Shop"

What is easy for you may not be for others.  I am on my 3rd yak and am making scarfs for the first time.  All that was mentioned in my manual was using a plane.  Didn't like that, didn't like my router jig, my ros was almost the way....Tomorrow the belt sander.  Thankfully we have the forum for expert help.

 Kim

RE: "The Canoe Shop"

Jimmy,

What do you mean by a "good" side for the interior and 2 up/2 down?

Laszlo 

RE: "The Canoe Shop"

My comment on plywood - "The good side" means that every sheet of plywood has one side that is better than the other, could be color match, grain, whatever. I was dissappointed that there was no mention of this in the plans and instructions.

RE: "The Canoe Shop"

Kim- my experience is that the sander is easier for a beginner. Others may prefer the plane, and that is an excellent tool, but beginners usually have some problems with it until they learn to "feel" the cut.

RE: "The Canoe Shop"

Don't go there, Laszlo

RE: "The Canoe Shop"

Jack - ???

Jimmy,

Either some paint or an attitude change will deal more cheaply with the  wood match issue than getting a whole additional boat's set of wood. You might want to consider this boat as a practice piece and let it be a target for all the gotchas involved in learning how to build boats, because if you haven't done this before there will be surprises. When you've finished this one and no longer have anything sneaking up and catching you unawares, then buy the new wood and build that boat to perfectionist standards.

And quite honestly, most people will never even notice the mismatches. The "civilians" will be so busy being impressed by the pretty handmade, light and graceful boat that they'll never even notice the grain pattern details. You'll probably be able to sell it for a price that'll let you buy the materials for the boatshow version and your labor will have been an education.

Have fun,

Laszlo 

RE: "The Canoe Shop"

Laslo,

In my case I only had to buy two sheets of plywood to get the match, and with the original already cut I used them as patterns for the new planks. I'm lucky in that regard.

I actually will build two canoes because I have enough material on hand to do exactly that and enough grandchildren to make happy with the additional boat.

The issue of covering the ugly, I would know and that's good enough for me. There will be no ugly boat built here. I am having fun with this project.

Jimmy

 

RE: "The Canoe Shop"

Kim - you will find that using a router with the 3/8 inch rabbiting bit will make cutting the rabbits simple and flawless.

The author's comments on this are right on target as is most of the instruction. These guys have done all before many times and with many different tools.

Cutting the gains is best done per the instructions, easy and controllable.

For thos guys that are really cheap, try using the wire made for binding rebar. It comes in a large roll for about $3 and is easy to cut and twist.

Jimmy

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