could you build a boat with one hand?

been planning a strip canoe build for winter project but stupidly injured my right hand and might need surgery pending doc visit friday.  which got me wondering just what one could do with one hand, some patience and ingenuity.

fortunately, i should be fine i hope, a tendon appears to have detatched itself from atop the big knuckle of middle finger rendering hand virtually useless.

coincidentally, i had just completed aron ralstons 127 hrs book which really got to me (fwiw, book MUCH better than movie) 

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RE: could you build a boat with one hand?


Yoiu're right-handed, I assume?

If you can train/strengthen your left hand to operate tools and if your right hand is well enough to support things, even if not able to hold them, you should be able to do most everything to build a CLC boat. You might need a helper for a few things, but as long as you're patient and willing to have the work take a little longer you should be OK.

As you get practiced, things will move faster.

Good luck with the doctor and hope you have a speedy and full recovery,



RE: could you build a boat with one hand?

I shattered my right wrist in august right in the middle of my Oxford shell project. It was in a cast for about 4 months. I can tell you that your project will be slow and at times very frustrating with only one hand. I was able to do most everything though. Be prepared to invent little tools to help you steady your work. I bought a bunch of those grip-to-tighten clamps which helped out a lot. I'm pretty sure I even duct taped one of them to my cast to help hold my work, doc didn't like that much but it worked and was pretty entertaining. Slow and steady is always key to building a CLC boat but it'll be especially important in your case. Good luck with the build, hope everything heals up nicely.

RE: could you build a boat with one hand?

Hi Skooter, When I read you caption I assumed some sad IED story but it sounds like you've just been saluting too many stupid drivers. I drive in Miami Beach and my middle finger is about to go. In any case I have to differ with my friend Laszlo and others. I'd wait. If you were building stitch and glue fine but a strip build will call for so much fine fitting and hand plane work that I think you'll end up as frustrated as I am with that old bat that just turned right out of the left turn lane. Hope you get well soon.   SEEYA Jack

RE: could you build a boat with one hand?


I don't see the harm in easing into the project now. Particuarly if you are making the forms, strong back etc yourself.

When you get to the point where you start clamping, tapping, stapling or however the strips in place [which will be just a few each night], inlist the help of someone else. Even with 2 good hands help is almost necessary at times.



RE: could you build a boat with one hand?

theres a million little unforeseen tasks in such a project. i would like to check my woodshed this sat for form/strngback materials and see how far i could get. i can support weight in palm or press palm down against tabletop for example, but can only grasp lightly with index finger to thumb. could simply order nymph forms/stback, but im after a more traditional look such as gilpatricks puddle duck which would require self made forms.

my question was as much theoretical, with the implication and belief that anything is possible with one hand attached to a good (and patient)brain    

RE: could you build a boat with one hand?


I am a Physical therapist who has built both stitch and glue and a stripper. I work in a hand therapy practice.  It is not completely clear from your description at which joint the tendon  ruptured, why it ruptured and therefore i can not be sure what surgery would be required to repair the situation.  I would be glad to discuss in more detail "back channel". edward  brubaker  using gmail. (my name is my handle.)

That said you should assume that for at least 6 weeks you will not be able to use the hand for much and probably 12 weeks before full use.

For most of that time attempting to manage will tempt you to do things that would put the repair at risk.  You might be able to do some of it but it is just not worth the risk of jepordizing the surgical result.  You do not want them to have to try to repair the repair.

the kit and the water will still be there when your surgeon and therapist say it is safe.








RE: could you build a boat with one hand?

The professional has spoken. All hail to the man who actually knows what he's talking about. Skooter, ignore everything I said, please.



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