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RE: [Cedar Strip Canoes] Slow progress

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  • Jon
    Do the strips need to be 1/8 of an inch, or is there any information about bending them at 1/4 inch. Please let us know how it works for you. I have a heat
    Message 1 of 15 , Apr 3 11:03 AM
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      Do the strips need to be 1/8 of an inch, or is there any information about bending them at 1/4 inch. Please let us know how it works for you. I have a heat gun at work I might be able to use to try it.

      I am also interested in finding out how long you have to apply the heat. Maybe a comparison between the two types of wood. If possible, can you try to keep track of that for us? Don't have to be really particular about it, but some general ideas would be nice to know.

      Jon

      charles.k.scott@... wrote:
      --- You wrote:
      Hey Corkey,



      I soaked my stem strips in a bathtub for a couple of days. They bent
      without problem after that. I think that this was one of the suggestions in
      CANOECRAFT.
      --- end of quote ---

      Yep, I know that techique will work, has for everyone else. I'd like to try the heat gun method anyway, just to try it. There are pictures on John Michne's website where he demonstrates how he used his heat gun to permanently bend his stem pieces. The nice thing about this technique, is that the wood it instantly ready for gluing, you don't have to wait for the wood to dry.

      Here's a picture of the setup and some results: http://mywebpage.netscape.com/jmichne/

      Corky Scott


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    • charles.k.scott@dartmouth.edu
      ... Do the strips need to be 1/8 of an inch, or is there any information about bending them at 1/4 inch. Please let us know how it works for you. I have a
      Message 2 of 15 , Apr 3 12:08 PM
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        --- You wrote:
        Do the strips need to be 1/8 of an inch, or is there any information about bending them at 1/4 inch. Please let us know how it works for you. I have a heat gun at work I might be able to use to try it.

        I am also interested in finding out how long you have to apply the heat. Maybe a comparison between the two types of wood. If possible, can you try to keep track of that for us? Don't have to be really particular about it, but some general ideas would be nice to know.

        Jon
        --- end of quote ---

        He uses thin strips. Here's his website describing the actual process: http://www.michneboat.com/Making%20Stems.htm

        It's a TERRIFIC website by the way and the guy is a meticulous craftsman.

        I didn't realise it until revisiting the website for this answer, but he uses spruce for his inner stems, which might bend a bit better than the cedar. We'll see when I try it out.

        He doesn't care that it takes a few more passes with the saw to get the material he needs. He's just interested in the results.

        Do look at the entire website when you have a chance, it's one of the best I've seen in terms of explanations and pictures.

        Corky Scott
      • J. R. Sloan
        ... information about bending them at 1/4 inch. Please let us know how it works for you. I have a heat gun at work I might be able to use to try it. ... the
        Message 3 of 15 , Apr 4 9:42 PM
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          --- In cedarstripcanoes@yahoogroups.com, Jon <ssnvet637@...> wrote:
          >
          > Do the strips need to be 1/8 of an inch, or is there any
          information about bending them at 1/4 inch. Please let us know how
          it works for you. I have a heat gun at work I might be able to use
          to try it.
          >
          > I am also interested in finding out how long you have to apply
          the heat. Maybe a comparison between the two types of wood. If
          possible, can you try to keep track of that for us? Don't have to
          be really particular about it, but some general ideas would be nice
          to know.
          >
          > Jon

          Jon, last time I made stems, I used mountain ash (because I had
          some), trimmed to 1.25 inch x 1/8. I soaked them for several hours,
          then mounted them to a stem mold to dry (overnight, two days, I
          forget).
          I dismounted them, then epoxied the whole thing back together--no
          springback with epoxy filled with sawdust.

          JR
        • waldadum@comcast.net
          Hi all. When I made the stems for my canoe project, I used my 1/4 sassafrass stripping stock cut down to about 1/8 I clamped two 1 x1 wood fences on my
          Message 4 of 15 , Apr 5 9:24 AM
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            Hi all. When I made the stems for my canoe project, I used my 1/4" sassafrass stripping stock cut down to about 1/8" I clamped two 1"x1" wood fences on my small Delta benchtop bandsaw so that the blade was centered in a 1/4" slot. I was then able to run all my stem stock through the bandsaw in about 15 minutes. The stem stock, now at 1/8" (minus the saw kerf), bent easily around the stem forms with no breaking or cracking. Glueing and clamping to the forms took only a short time and by the next morning, both stems had the proper bend and were ready to clean up on my jointer. By the way, I am using Elmer's white glue for the whole project including the stems because it is strong and will be kept waterproof by being encapsulated in fiberglas and epoxy. Good luck to all,
            the Tank

            -------------- Original message --------------
            From: "J. R. Sloan" <jr_sloan@...>

            > --- In cedarstripcanoes@yahoogroups.com, Jon wrote:
            > >
            > > Do the strips need to be 1/8 of an inch, or is there any
            > information about bending them at 1/4 inch. Please let us know how
            > it works for you. I have a heat gun at work I might be able to use
            > to try it.
            > >
            > > I am also interested in finding out how long you have to apply
            > the heat. Maybe a comparison between the two types of wood. If
            > possible, can you try to keep track of that for us? Don't have to
            > be really particular about it, but some general ideas would be nice
            > to know.
            > >
            > > Jon
            >
            > Jon, last time I made stems, I used mountain ash (because I had
            > some), trimmed to 1.25 inch x 1/8. I soaked them for several hours,
            > then mounted them to a stem mold to dry (overnight, two days, I
            > forget).
            > I dismounted them, then epoxied the whole thing back together--no
            > springback with epoxy filled with sawdust.
            >
            > JR
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • charles.k.scott@dartmouth.edu
            ... By the way, I am using Elmer s white glue for the whole project including the stems because it is strong and will be kept waterproof by being encapsulated
            Message 5 of 15 , Apr 5 10:25 AM
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              --- You wrote:
              By the way, I am using Elmer's white glue for the whole project including the stems because it is strong and will be kept waterproof by being encapsulated in fiberglas and epoxy. Good luck to all,
              the Tank
              --- end of quote ---

              You took the words right out of Martin Step's mouth. He too sees no reason to use anything but ordinary wood glue to glue the stems and hull strips. The gunwales on the other hand he recommends bonding to the hull with epoxy.

              Corky Scott
            • waldadum@comcast.net
              Corky, I also plan to epoxy and screw the outwales, inwales, and scupper blocks. The screws will be countersunk and plugged. This, my first canoe project,
              Message 6 of 15 , Apr 5 11:41 AM
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                Corky, I also plan to epoxy and screw the outwales, inwales, and scupper blocks. The screws will be countersunk and plugged. This, my first canoe project, is a "Sairy Gamp" 9', sit-on-the-bottom-with-a-backrest, Mac McCarthy design from Feather Canoes. So far, I've made every mistake in the book that a first timer can make, and then, on my own, perfected a few choice mistakes that aren't yet in the books. Hopefully my next canoe will be built easier, faster, more accurately, and with less angst. Best regards...the Tank

                -------------- Original message --------------
                From: charles.k.scott@...

                > --- You wrote:
                > By the way, I am using Elmer's white glue for the whole project including the
                > stems because it is strong and will be kept waterproof by being encapsulated in
                > fiberglas and epoxy. Good luck to all,
                > the Tank
                > --- end of quote ---
                >
                > You took the words right out of Martin Step's mouth. He too sees no reason to
                > use anything but ordinary wood glue to glue the stems and hull strips. The
                > gunwales on the other hand he recommends bonding to the hull with epoxy.
                >
                > Corky Scott
                >
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • charles.k.scott@dartmouth.edu
                ... So far, I ve made every mistake in the book that a first timer can make, and then, on my own, perfected a few choice mistakes that aren t yet in the
                Message 7 of 15 , Apr 5 12:58 PM
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                  --- You wrote:
                  So far, I've made every mistake in the book that a first timer can make, and then, on my own, perfected a few choice mistakes that aren't yet in the books. Hopefully my next canoe will be built easier, faster, more accurately, and with less angst. Best regards...the Tank
                  --- end of quote ---

                  Heh heh, I feel your pain. Next project may be a stripper, love those lines, but perhaps will be a day sailer.

                  Corky Scott
                • calvin plato
                  Corky, Who is your supplier for cedar. I live on the seacoast of NH, Stratham and I have been using Selectwoods in Portsmouth. If there is a cheaper supplier
                  Message 8 of 15 , Apr 15 5:12 AM
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                    Corky,

                    Who is your supplier for cedar. I live on the seacoast of NH, Stratham and I have been using Selectwoods in Portsmouth. If there is a cheaper supplier of cedar I am interested in it. I am thinking of making a kayak soon.

                    Thanks

                    Jordan

                    charles.k.scott@... wrote:
                    I'm being careful, so everything is taking a while to accomplish. I spent a while last week setting up the centerline string to align the station forms, then spent a while chasing my tail in regards the forms being vertical. Turned out, my nice stiff strongback wasn't so stiff after all.

                    I sighted down it and discovered that it was sagging a bit in the middle between the saw horses. I could have moved the saw horses closer together, but decided to jack up the middle using a building jack I had sitting in a corner of the shop. That way I could precisely correct for the little dip. But after the correction, I found the vertical lines of the forms to be slightly off on a few. This is where the tail chasing occured. I finally discovered that the building jack had lifted one corner of the strongback from it's saw horse, affecting the "verticallity" of all the forms at that end of the hull. I readjusted the jack, and used a long clamp to clamp the strongback to the saw horse on the side that was lifting.

                    The reduction of pressure on the jack, plus the clamping of the strongback to the saw horse had the desired effect, now everything seemed level and vertical, and properly under the centering string.

                    Time to check for fairness of the hull.

                    I ripped a bunch of strips from some longish 2x4's I had, making them 1/4" thick. This left them stiff enough to follow the untapered forms without undue bending.

                    The result? Things are looking pretty good. The hull appears fair with no apparent dips or bulges. Time to anchor all the forms and prepare material for the stems.

                    As everyone knows, the inner stems (if you're using stems in the construction) don't have to be made from a hard wood, although I know some folks do so anyway. The outer stem normally is made from hardwood, although again, some folks don't use hardwood. Each to their own.

                    I'm not planning to use a hardwood for the inner stems, just plain old cedar. So I began preparing the material this weekend, in between replacing the starter on my wife's Subaru. Unfortunately that took me all morning as the starter fought me all the way.

                    All my cedar is rough cut and requires planing. That's much of what I did on Sunday, plane plane plane, lots of shavings. I planed some five boards because most of it has knots in it and I was thinking I'd need to scarf some to get the lengths I needed in clear stock. But I may not bother. If I just position the strips such that the knots are not right at the sharp bend of the bow and stern stems, it really shouldn't make for any trouble. I can also place the strips that have knots showing on the inside, or bottom and they'll never be seen.

                    I ripped all the strips so that they were 1/8" thick, thinking that this would allow me to bend them without needing to soak them. Guess I'll have to rethink that idea. I tried out one strip on the stem form and it snapped instantly. The Winisk has a very sharp bend at the waterline as it rises up. It's not gradual at all. So I'm planning to purchase a heat gun per John Michne's suggestion, which he used to heat the strips and bend them by hand rather than soaking them. I've always wanted a heat gun for work around the shop so I'll get one and try it out bending the strips that way, first.

                    More stuff when I have it.

                    Corky Scott


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                  • charles.k.scott@dartmouth.edu
                    ... Corky, Who is your supplier for cedar. I live on the seacoast of NH, Stratham and I have been using Selectwoods in Portsmouth. If there is a cheaper
                    Message 9 of 15 , Apr 16 5:47 AM
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                      --- You wrote:
                      Corky,

                      Who is your supplier for cedar. I live on the seacoast of NH, Stratham and I have been using Selectwoods in Portsmouth. If there is a cheaper supplier of cedar I am interested in it. I am thinking of making a kayak soon.

                      Thanks

                      Jordan
                      --- end of quote ---

                      I bought some white cedar locally, rough cut. My choices for other locally procured cedar are to go to Baker lumber in White River Junction VT, which specialises in quality hardwoods and softwoods, or drive over to Newfound boatworks in Bristol NH which offers cedar in unfinished lengths, or finished strips. They offer eastern white, western red, alaskan yellow and cyprus. They may offer more, I'm just going from memory.

                      I spoke to them about my local source for white cedar but they declined, saying that they've tried using local sources and found that it was just too much trouble to get quality clear wood. I'd agree with them, I'm going to have to mill what I have and then scarf a lot of it to get the necessary lengths in clear. I will likely have to put together several lengths at a minimum, and probably three or four frequently. I'm prepared to do that, but it's a lot more work than simply paying for clear wood to begin with.

                      I'm not doing this for speedy creation of a canoe, it's just a hobby so I don't mind the process. But I admit it would be nice to have the lengths of what I'd like to use just sitting in the shop ready for selection and installation.

                      Corky Scott
                    • calvin plato
                      Thanks for the tips. My source of lumber here on the seacoast is Selectwoods in Portsmouth NH, www.selectwood.com. The have a good selection of red cedar and
                      Message 10 of 15 , Apr 16 6:13 AM
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                        Thanks for the tips. My source of lumber here on the seacoast is Selectwoods in Portsmouth NH, www.selectwood.com. The have a good selection of red cedar and some others choices. It comes in great lengths and boards clear of knots and etc. They supply a lot of the carpenters and builders who do saunas, decks, and etc. Their inventory turns over a lot so the wood is always moving out. I have build three boats and have been really pleased with what I have gotten from them. If you ever get the chance you should check them out.

                        As for Newfound Boatworks, I have been in contact with them with all of my building projects and they have been very helpful. They are my suppliers of glass and cloth. I have taken a course on boat building there and was very pleased with what I learned. They are great people there.

                        Thanks for the help.

                        Jordan



                        charles.k.scott@... wrote:
                        --- You wrote:
                        Corky,

                        Who is your supplier for cedar. I live on the seacoast of NH, Stratham and I have been using Selectwoods in Portsmouth. If there is a cheaper supplier of cedar I am interested in it. I am thinking of making a kayak soon.

                        Thanks

                        Jordan
                        --- end of quote ---

                        I bought some white cedar locally, rough cut. My choices for other locally procured cedar are to go to Baker lumber in White River Junction VT, which specialises in quality hardwoods and softwoods, or drive over to Newfound boatworks in Bristol NH which offers cedar in unfinished lengths, or finished strips. They offer eastern white, western red, alaskan yellow and cyprus. They may offer more, I'm just going from memory.

                        I spoke to them about my local source for white cedar but they declined, saying that they've tried using local sources and found that it was just too much trouble to get quality clear wood. I'd agree with them, I'm going to have to mill what I have and then scarf a lot of it to get the necessary lengths in clear. I will likely have to put together several lengths at a minimum, and probably three or four frequently. I'm prepared to do that, but it's a lot more work than simply paying for clear wood to begin with.

                        I'm not doing this for speedy creation of a canoe, it's just a hobby so I don't mind the process. But I admit it would be nice to have the lengths of what I'd like to use just sitting in the shop ready for selection and installation.

                        Corky Scott


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                      • Charles & Dana Scott
                        Ever since we got our golden retriever puppy Lilly, things have gone very slowly out in the shop. We are still getting used to each other and she really wants
                        Message 11 of 15 , Apr 16 6:45 AM
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                          Ever since we got our golden retriever puppy Lilly, things have gone very
                          slowly out in the shop. We are still getting used to each other and she
                          really wants to be near us, or me since I'm the one home all the time. I
                          don't like leaving her in the house while I'm in the shop, even though the
                          shop is attached to the house. She gets vocal about being away from me when
                          she knows I'm just on the other side of a door. If I let her into the shop,
                          she tends to be underfoot or into things that I don't want her chewing, so
                          it's a distraction at the moment.



                          At this point the stems have finally been formed and the inner stems are
                          screwed to the bow and stern forms ready for tapering for the strips.
                          Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon trying to mark a level line all
                          around the forms for the first strip on both sides. I used a laser device
                          that seeks out level when it's hung vertically. It isn't that easy to use
                          because if you hang it from the hull, the forms disappear from the laser
                          line as they curve to the ends of the canoe. I've been using levels and
                          lots of patience to transfer the level line from one side to the other.



                          Finally, I just grabbed some line and wrapped it around the forms, passing
                          around the bow and stern at what I hope are marks that are level to each
                          other. Then I stepped back and made adjustments to the line using my
                          eyeballs so that the string appeared level and straight as it curved around
                          the forms.



                          I'm trying not to obsess about this. I know that if these first strips
                          aren't >PRECISELY< level from one side to the other, it really won't matter
                          that much. Things will all come together in the middle, eventually.





                          I think I'm ready to begin with the strip installation, we'll see.



                          Corky Scott







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