First Time Build

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zxcvbnm
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:41 pm

First Time Build

Post by zxcvbnm » Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:32 pm

* Please bear with me as I am an aspiring canoe/boat builder. I tried to use the search function before I posted but due to my lack of knowledge on the subject I probably searched with incorrect terms *

Hi! I’m new here. I am looking to build my first canoe and as a fathers day present, I bought the CanoeCraft book for my father. I plan on making this a father/son build, and hope it is the first of many!

Fortunately, we have access to a saw mill that would be able to cut the wood needed for our build. Would you suggest this route or to purchase a kit from Bear Mountain Boats for a first build? We are both unfamiliar with canoe building, but not to woodworking. To add onto this question I figured that we would need to rout the boards to the bead and cove. Does anyone have any specific links that would help understand a process for doing this?

Lastly, I’ve tentatively picked out the Nomad 17 as we will need the extra weight capacity. As we should not exceed the 680 pound maximum listed here: http://www.bearmountainboats.com/compare-our-designs/, I am wondering about the boat and the seats holding the extra weight. Does anyone know of a way to add some support to the seats?

Forgive me if these are in the canoe craft book. I have had it wrapped for a week and am too excited to start working on the canoe!

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Cruiser
Posts: 621
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: First Time Build

Post by Cruiser » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:43 pm

I am sure lots of builders will chime in on this, but I will share some thoughts on the process you are embarking on.

Getting the book was a great starting point, making this a father son build is also a great bonding experience, last weekend I was helping a father/son team with fiber glassing .... they were thoroughly enjoying the build and time together.

To buy strips or make strips, is a topic that recurs throughout these forums, and if you have the base power tools and wood working experience, it would be my opinion that it is well worth it to make your own strips (think ~1/2 the cost). If time is a concern or money is no object, then buying strips is obviously the best choice. Also, there a few Youtube videos that do a good job of showing you how to cut the strips and do the cove and bead ... it is very straight forward, as long as you don't over think it.

As far as the Nomad 17 goes, make sure you take a look at that directory on these forums as I am sure there will be information, pictures, issues etc. posted by builders of the Nomad (it has it's own directory). You might also consider the Winisk (John Winters) which seems to be in the same size class and is a very fine craft as well.

I have come to think of the canoe build as a series of sub projects (just an example):
- clearing the garage
- cutting strips
- making strongback/mold
- setting up molds
- stripping
- fiber glassing
- trimming
- finishing

Each subproject is completely customized by whatever decisions you make, the only thing that is fixed is the canoe shape, which is what the plans give you (and even those can be customized somewhat). For the first boat, Ted's book gives about the best advice you are going to get IMO, I read mine 3 times before I even started the project.

As far as beefing up the seats, that comes under the trimming subproject, you don't have to buy commercial seats, you can put together your own that are proportioned better to your needs. You can also select to widen the gunnels where the seats are to be located to strengthen where they hang. The design of seats/gunnels/decks/yokes are not in the plans, you get to be a bit creative with how you complete those sections. I purchased a commercial seat for my solo, after 1 trip I decided that my butt is somewhat larger than the commercial seat was designed for, I am in the process of installing one I designed and built, that better fits me ( I will be posting that when I get it completed).

Once you get started, and have questions (and you will) the forum folk are here to lend support.

Brian

Brian

Rabbit
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:20 pm
Location: Downunder

Re: First Time Build

Post by Rabbit » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:09 am

if you have the tools and the skills then i think it comes down to how much time you have and how easily you can get good timber. you possibly don't have the same issues of location. i'm not a woodworker, so i managed to find a place where i could buy strips, but then it took ages to actually get them, some of the strips were crap and all of them needed the bead and cove re-machined by me because they were the wrong radius or all broken up. since i also got the amount of material required wrong i ended up having to make some of my own strips. if you can get them from bear mountain you wouldn't have the quality issues that i faced and probably not the same delays.

making strips isn't all that hard and if i had to do my build over again i'd definitely make my own. setting up the saw bench and router table to get the cutting tool at just the right level to cut down the middle of the strips is probably the trickiest part, but once everything is set its just a matter of repetition. the upshot is that you can check your timber and have control over the process. :tu

as for the seats there is a myriad of ways which i'm sure others will chime in with. speaking from my own experience (one canoe), i was also a bit worried about the inwales being able to handle the weight because i wasn't too sure about the actual strength of the particular timber i used. my solution was to add some blocks epoxied to the underside of the inwale and against the side of the hull where the seats were to be hung. i'm pretty sure i got the idea from the companion dvd to book.

as has already been mentioned, any problems just sing out to the forum and people here will help you out :dancing

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Jim Dodd
Posts: 1173
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:08 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: First Time Build

Post by Jim Dodd » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:37 am

Welcome to the world of canoe building ! You are definitely at the right site !

Great advise so far, and use the search, to find more. I've posted pics of how I cut strips and other topics.

I started building while raising a family, and couldn't afford big tools, or store bought strips, rolling your own will add an extra level of pride and satisfaction to the finished product.

It has been a big part of my life, and have enjoyed every minute of it !

I can think of few ways better to bond with your family than building that first canoe with them.

Again Welcome, and don't be afraid to ask questions !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Cruiser
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Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: First Time Build

Post by Cruiser » Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:15 am

There are quite a few discussion threads on strips in the forums, this is just one of them and it talks about what to source and has some peoples experiences sourcing wood. In the course of the discussion, I think a lot of good information was brought up.

http://bearmountainboats.com/phpBB3/vie ... ood#p26631

If your general location was in your profile or you add it to a post, there may be forum members in your area that can supply more specific information.

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Cruiser
Posts: 621
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: First Time Build

Post by Cruiser » Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:33 am

Here are a couple of references for making your own strips:

http://www.michneboat.com/Making%20Strips.htm
-covers a lot of background on the "hows and whys"

http://www.greenval.com/FAQstrips.html
- another reference, I included this one because it suggests using a size larger than 1/4" for the bead and cove and the reasons make sense. If I didn't already have the 1/4" bits I would definitely try this.

Also, to actually make the strips, I don't have a planer, I am just careful with my saw setup, and my strips don't get planed. I am happy with the results, however I am sure the higher the skill level in building the boat, the more this will make a difference ... for me, it's good enough.

I use a radial arm saw and the last strips I made were from 1x8 cedar, I used a thin kerf 7 1/4" Diablo blade (it's a 10" saw) and it worked great. The kerf is less than 1/16", so the waste was minimized ... don't underestimate the importance of blade thickness if you make your own. Before that I used a thicker blade and 2x4s, more waste, but it worked just as well.

I was told that a radial arm saw wouldn't be good for strips, but I successfully used it for cutting strips for 2 boats now and I know people on this forum who routinely use a Skillsaw with a holding jig to cut strips. There isn't just one way to setup to cut strips, if you have wood working experience, then you know that figuring out how to get the machines you have, to do the job you need, is part of the challenge. However, it can also provide a good reason for you to get more toys and who doesn't like a trip to get more tools .....



Brian

zxcvbnm
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:41 pm

Re: First Time Build

Post by zxcvbnm » Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:59 pm

Wow! Thank you Brian, Jim, and Rabbit. I was not expecting anything like the response I got when I signed on! I appreciate it and hope to be able to add to this community as I gain experience.

Thank you for the links, and I have quite a bit of reading ahead of me now!

Snowman
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 6:21 pm
Location: Gatineau, QC

Re: First Time Build

Post by Snowman » Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:00 pm

You have received excellent advice by all of the fellow builders, so I won't attempt to repeat any of it.

One comment I will add is that (as Brian said), there are some very distinct steps that you need to do, I found that on my first build I overthought each step, wanting to make sure that I was doing everything "right." Once I got into the next step, I found that it was always much simpler than I had made it up in my mind.

Just remember, when you are working with wood, there is no such thing as "wrong." It might take longer to redo or turn a goof-up into a feature. Oh, this mantra does not apply to fibre glassing...
In addition to the comment on working with wood - you always have this forum as a great resource (and Canoecraft)!!!

Best of luck - post pictures.
Snowman back East

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