stemless

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Jim Dodd
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stemless

Post by Jim Dodd » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:00 am

ImageI've always built my boats stemless, because that was how I learned from the Minnesota Canoe Acsc.
Here is a pic of my latest canoe.Image
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

BearLeeAlive
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Re: stemless

Post by BearLeeAlive » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:12 pm

Interesting way of doing it, Jim. Do you have any close up photos of how it looks finished?
-JIM-

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Jim Dodd
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Re: stemless

Post by Jim Dodd » Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:32 am

I will try and take one tonite.
The strip ends are simply trimmed, shaped,sanded, and glassed.
It's really a simple technic and in my opinion just as strong with a lot less time and effort involved.

Don't get me wrong ! I'm not downgrading stem construction, this is just what I do.

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Jim Dodd
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Re: stemless

Post by Jim Dodd » Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:37 pm

As promised.Image
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

BearLeeAlive
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Re: stemless

Post by BearLeeAlive » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:23 am

Looks great, Jim.
-JIM-

alick burt
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Re: stemless

Post by alick burt » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:37 am

Hi Jim
I made my fourth Peterborough without stems
Image and have gone back to using stems as I find it a little easier to do the stripping straight over the ends rather than alternating strips over each other.
Could just be that I find using stems easier because I built my first boats that way. :wink
I guess using the finger joint technique would ultimately make a lighter weight boat. :thinking
Cheers
Alick

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Jim Dodd
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Re: stemless

Post by Jim Dodd » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:36 pm

I've always said to each his own !
I love seeing different technics. That's what makes things interesting !

The time that it would take me to build the stems, I could be stripped at least to the football.

Speed building is not everything though.

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

Trailguide Pictures
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Re: stemless

Post by Trailguide Pictures » Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:20 am

I’ve tried building with and without the stem and have found both methods to be equally challenging during the building process. I have a little article about it here: http://trailguidepictures.com/building- ... nner-stem/

The only real benefits I’ve found in building a canoe without the inner stem is the reduced time building and the slightly reduced weight of the finished boat. It's also a bit easier fitting the deck without an inner stem and you can get a nice tight fit against the strips.

On the flip side, it can be a bit tricky sometimes attaching the strips at the ends depending on the design and how the curves are.

I think a big rule of thumb is that you shouldn't mess with the design of a boat and so if its your first build, you should probably stick to the plans.

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Jim Dodd
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Re: stemless

Post by Jim Dodd » Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:19 pm

Welcome Jason !

I started building canoes under the tutelage Of the Minnesota Canoe Associations building directors, back in the late 80s.
And all the those builders, I worked with, preferred Stemless.
But I've always been open to improving my builds, even when it meant straying from what I learned earlier.
Bead and cove was something I learned from Ted in CanoeCraft. It is in my mind a revelation. As it produced the kind of hulls I was proud to show ! Not to mention the ease of stripping !

Stemless is also one of the things that in my opinion, was a revelation. In the extra time, and energy it takes to fashion inner and outer stems, I can have a hull stripped, in stemless with bead and cove, and staples...

I realize there is a Tradition of Stems, and that is perfectly fine, just once I learned to ride a bike, I quit walking.

It's easy to adapt stem construction to stemless.

It is not my goal to enter into a dispute, just to share the technics I've learned !

Again Welcome ! I'm always anxious to learn from others skills.

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Cruiser
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Re: stemless

Post by Cruiser » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:10 am

I second the welcome Jason, I am a big fan of your videos and tutorials and have learned a great deal from them/you ( I extend a huge Thank You for your efforts).

Once you have the boat design/plans, there are a lot of choices the builder has to make, just to get started. Some of those choices affect the build timeline, complexity, strength, weight, visual impact and usability of the finished product. Most of those decisions will be made in consideration of the final purpose (and to some extent the tools and ability available).

I trip with my canoes, so weight and strength are a concern to me, I also do wood working in general, so appearance is also a consideration. When building, the actual timeline is not a concern for me, I enjoy the creativity of the process and strive to create something new, different and something I want to look at, with each build.

Building without stems may save a step, but in the context of the build timeline I don't think it would be in the "major time savings" category and for my purposes (tripping) I want that chunk of hardwood upfront to help mitigate any frontal impacts. I am not saying that stemless isn't strong, I am saying that bashing into a rock ledge with a hardwood stem versus softwood strips, will yield quite different results.

Depending on your canoes' purpose, an argument for stemless or stemmed can be reasonably made, but trying to debate the issue without first establishing the environment the canoe will operate in is probably not going to yield a consensus. There is no debate that both of these methods will produce a strong finished product, that will not fail during routine use ... but ... if your routine use includes a chance of a frontal impact, I also think there is no debate as to which one I would rather have at the moment of impact.

Personally for my tripping canoes, I use stems for strength, impact resistance and alternatively as a visual interest feature.

Just a point of clarification as well, I think Jason is talking about no inner stem and Jim is talking about no stems at all ... that makes quite a bit of difference IMO.

Brian

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Jim Dodd
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Re: stemless

Post by Jim Dodd » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:09 pm

To date, I've lost two, well actually three canoes that flew off my truck, traveling 60mph down the highway. Excessive side wind from semis traveling in the opposite direction, a strong side wind, and poor strapping, all contributed. Two survived with minor repairs, one was crunched by a passing SUV. The stems all survived !
All stemless, and none of the stems were compromised ! I had one deck split apart, but the stems held.

A debate about which is stronger, is useless, unless a test is made.

Me, I'll stand by stemless for strength.
Enough said.

Jim

PS two of the canoes had flotation chambers. I believe this was a factor in their survival !
Stems would make it difficult to add flotation chambers and make them water tight.
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Patricks Dad
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Re: stemless

Post by Patricks Dad » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:40 am

Stems would make it difficult to add flotation chambers and make them water tight.
oh, come on now... Jim, you can make anything water tight.
Randy Pfeifer
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Jim Dodd
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Re: stemless

Post by Jim Dodd » Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:51 am

You are correct Randy !

It's just the ease of doing it.

I hope I'm not coming off as a KNOW IT ALL !

It's just what has worked for me, and the miss conception others have of the strength of stemless.

One last tip ! Double strap those canoes, when travelling the highways ! I think I've done more damage transporting than paddling ! :thinking
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Cruiser
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Re: stemless

Post by Cruiser » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:41 am

Jim,

I think I stated quite clearly that both produce strong structures and neither would fail under normal use.

The whole point of the post was to simply point out that each may have it's place and that how you intend to use your canoe should be considered, when making the decision. I don't believe this is a "one shoe fits all" situation.

Brian

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Jim Dodd
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Re: stemless

Post by Jim Dodd » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:49 pm

Agree !
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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