Replacing canoe gunewhales

Does anyone know where to find  strips of wood  @ 16' x 1" x 3/4" suitable for replacing canoe gunwhales?  Because it must be steamed and bent, knots are not acceptable.




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RE: Replacing canoe gunewhales

What kind of wood do you want to use?  I restore wood and canvas canoes and typically use spruce, honduran mahogany, or white ash.  Spruce can be found at a big box store, mahogany and white ash are readily available at a hardwood dealer or good lumber yard.  White ash is popular for gunwales, but it is heavy.  I personally like spruce.

You may have to rip your own gunnels, or maybe someone at the lumber yard could rip the dimensions for you.  It is easily done on a table saw with a fence and good feather boards (one on top and one on the side).

Honduran mahogany steam bends the easiest in terms of "mahoganies".  African can be bent with some effort.  Forget about bending meranti and other phillipine mahonganies...


RE: Replacing canoe gunwhales


Thanks wccanoe!

 I live in Solomons, MD and am hitting a brick wall trying to find the length of material needed for the project.

 If you live anywhere in the Southern Maryland area, would you be willing to recommend a specific source?  I have no problem with ripping the gunwhales (gunnells).

 Thank you for your assistance.


RE: Replacing canoe gunewhales

Hi Joe:

I forgot to mention that you can always scarf a length of material for your gunwales.  You should be able to find spruce and ash in adequate lengths.  Honduran mahogany is rather scarce, so you may have to scarf to achieve the length needed.

I'm in Massachusetts, so not much help with sources.  Post on the WoodenBoat forum and someone there may be able to help with a lumberyard etc.


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