Stem material

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hughhallhh56
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Stem material

Post by hughhallhh56 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 8:38 pm

Thanks for the help on the station dimensions. I have now made the stations and am ready to make the stems. My overall design goal is a simple double paddle canoe that is light. With that in mind, I will likely be avoiding hardwoods as much as possible. So what material would the forum gurus suggest for inner and outer stems?

I now live in British Columbia - just weren't enough mountains in Texas for me....

Thanks again. More questions to follow......

Hugh

Rick in Pender Harbour
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Re: Stem material

Post by Rick in Pender Harbour » Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:16 pm

Good morning Hugh
I'm building a pair of wee lassie II's right now...
I like red cedar inners and yellow cedar for the outer if you want to avoid hardwood, have used big leaf maple for the outer too.

Rgds

Rick

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Cruiser
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Re: Stem material

Post by Cruiser » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:58 pm

From a weight perspective, couldn't agree more that hardwood adds weight. I think my philosophy is not to avoid, but to use it wisely. I prefer hardwoods for the outer, because they will take some punishment, no matter how careful you are.

When you consider that a lot of the outer is removed during shaping, it is probably a relatively small weight increase and you will have a much stronger impact material. Some of the hardwoods, like cherry and walnut, look great but don't add as much weight as others.

Just my $.02


Brian

Rabbit
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Re: Stem material

Post by Rabbit » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:42 am

i'm with cruiser on this one. i reckon the outer stems are likely to take some abuse. whilst i have read that some people use softwoods, for the sake of a few grams i'd rather use hardwood. you could compromise since the stems are generally laminated and use a lighter, softer wood for some laminations and a hardwood for the final one. as for the inner stems, some people don't bother with them at all. i ended up using softer hardwood inner stems and rock hard hardwood for the outer stems and still ended up with a boat that was reasonably light. :tu

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Patricks Dad
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Re: Stem material

Post by Patricks Dad » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:53 pm

somehow my response to this post is missing.... Anyway, I would encourage you to use a softwood (I use Western Red Cedar) for the inner stem. You will appreciate this as you go about shaping the inner stem as you strip the hull. As for outer stems, I always us a hardwood. The weight differential is tiny and the extra strength is a bonus (although as noted, some guys build without either inner or outer stems).

I generally match the wood for the stems with the gunwales and seats (cherry being my favorite choice).

if you're really looking to reduce weight, don't use both an inwale and an outwale. Use just one piece of wood for both. That will save you much more than using a softwood for the outer stems vs hardwood outer stems.
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hughhallhh56
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Re: Stem material

Post by hughhallhh56 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:23 am

Thanks for the input. I bent the inner stem tonight using softwood. Still debating on whether to use an outer stem or just go without. Since getting the cedar seems to be the challenge, I'll likely have some time on my hands. If so, I'll go find some cherry and see how that works.

Hugh

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Jim Dodd
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Re: Stem material

Post by Jim Dodd » Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:57 am

I would think there's plenty of cedar in BC ! West Red of course.

Surely there should be a mill somewhere near !

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Denis
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Re: Stem material

Post by Denis » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:19 pm

I would suggest you bend the stems inner and outer at the same time. Glue them up as well at the same time and clamp them on the stem form overnight but ensure you dont glue the inner and outer together :-)

Denis

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