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Roy's Mystery Wood Canoe

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    Roy's Mystery Wood Canoe

    I've been wanting to build a strip canoe for a couple of years now, but it always seems like every thing else gets in the way. First was home remodeling, work, parents, work space and wife projects. So on New year's day, I started running some lumber through my planer checking the blades and getting in the, groove. Now I'm ready.

    I moved some stuff around in the basement to see if I had enough room. My 30" x 72" work bench and table saw are on casters and mobile. I have about 22 by 10 feet for work space. I have a garage door in my basement, so I can take my work outside if needed. I have built some cabinets and other furniture, so wood working is not new to me, I'm not great at it though.

    My wife wants me to build with local lumber in this area, so we can say it's an East TN canoe. I know this will be slightly heavier then if I used white cedar, Western red cedar and other preferred wood, but this will be fun and a great learning experience.

    #2
    Forgot to mention my build. It'll be Gil Gilpatricks Wabnaki.

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      #3
      Originally posted by Roybrew View Post
      Forgot to mention my build. It'll be Gil Gilpatricks Wabnaki.
      I love mine!

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        #4
        Always great to see another canoe build !

        Having the room to build is essential ! The dust that is created cutting and sanding, is best done outdoors, if at all possible !

        So how do you plan to machine your strips ?

        What wood did you settle on ?

        Jim
        Keep your paddle wet, and your seat dry !

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          #5
          Going to set up my skil saw like you did Jim Dodd.
          ???Cut my strips outside on strongback. Then bead and cove on my router table. I started on my strongback this evening. Got dark and cold fast. Not sure on wood yet. I may go to Asheville NC and check to see what they may have at a lumber place. Lightest wood I can find locally is sassafras. It weighs in at about 31# per cubic foot. I've got 80 board feet in shed and can get more for about 50 cents a foot. Of course going to be alot of waste. Western red cedar is about 23#/ft3. 8 or 9 pounds per cubic foot less then sassafras... What would be difference in finished product? 20 pounds? I don't really carry my old heavy, 80+ pound, Mad River very far, but I can sling it from trailer to water with no problem. I have plenty of aromatic red cedar 33#/ft3, black walnut 38#/ft3 and black cherry at 35#/ft3. Besides my wife is a Big Women. She lifts weights and does arobics. She got scary when she was doing kick boxing. Ha she might weigh in at 143 pounds soaking wet. She helps with the canoe. Other than her sitting to left of center and dragging her paddle sideways, sort of like a cross draw, she makes a great bow paddler.

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            #6
            I have built quite a few canoes out of white pine, which on paper looks to have a similar density to sassafras. It does add weight, but it shouldn't be anywhere near your 80 pounder. I don't know what sassafras is, never seen it or worked with it, so the question I would have is about its workability. You will be doing a lot of sanding....a lot. If it sands well and easy and looks good and you have lots, sounds like the way to go. A quick google of it said that it has a lot of oils in it, I read it on the interwebs so it must be true, lol. Does it have pitch spots in it like some pines? Those pitch patches are no good. Looking forward to the build!

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              #7
              I'd thin my strips to 3/16" or less, with the heavier woods.

              A trick to keep the bow paddler centered is a contoured or bucket seat !

              Page 9 shows the seats I make !
              http://www.canoetripping.net/forums/...-nokomis-build

              Jim
              Keep your paddle wet, and your seat dry !

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                #8
                Some people adopt the 100 mile diet, eating only what food is grown or raised within 100 miles of home. Your wife wants to see a 100 mile canoe project. Cool idea. I'm looking forward to this. Your shop will smell great when you're ripping strips.

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                  #9
                  Memaquay, I haven't noticed any pitch pockets or sappy areas. I have a sassafras growing in my yard. They are native here and plenty of them. I've never seen any pitch sap leak out even when trimming limbs off of green trees. The roots are dug, dried and make tea out of them, root beer. It runs through the planer about like pine. Comes out with a good clean surface. Don't know about how it is to sand. I guess I better find out with a little experimenting.
                  Jim, I've seen your contoured seats, and I like them. I don't know if she would? I think she likes sitting closer to the side. Sometimes I get a little fishing in while she's paddling, so maybe I better keep her happy. I might do the 3/16 thickness if I use sassafras.
                  Thanks Odyssey, we love the smell of wood. Around here there's a fast food joint within 30 miles even if you are hiking here in the mtns. I've got to stay away food.
                  I started on the strongback. I'm making it 16 feet long. Wife done figured out that if this canoe works out, I may be be building a longer one next time. I've only ever been in 3 different canoes. First was the Coleman RamX with the metal pole down the center. The I bought a Mohawk solo 13 made of their R84 material. The last one I purchased was a MadRiver 15.6 made of the heavy poly stuff, but better then the old Coleman. I wouldn't know a good canoe if it fell on me.

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                    #10
                    Another local option would probably be eastern red cedar. You'd certainly have a unique looking canoe.

                    I'd think you'd get Basswood down there too. We have quite a bit growing here but most are poor specimens. If I can ever get my hands on a straight clear one I'd love to turn it into some canoes.

                    Pauwlonia (sp?) isn't native but I know there were some people growing it in the SE. I don't think most were successful so might not be real easy to find.

                    Like Mem said white pine would be a good option if you've got it.

                    Alan

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                      #11
                      Sass makes wonderful paddles. Strong, flexible and relatively lightweight. I have not used it in a canoe. It grows here, but it is at the limit of its range and doesn't get very big.

                      Good luck with the build.

                      Fitz

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                        #12
                        Alan, I do have some eastern red cedar and plan on using some. I can't say I've seen any basswood, but I never asked around.

                        Fitz, yes I plan on the majority of canoe being constructed of sassafras. I want to work in some other local woods also. I don't want to create a pattern, but I don't want it to clash.

                        I have got the strongback done. Some of the materials have been repurposed or just pieces of stuff I had laying around. The only new materials was the 2 sheets of OSB, glue, screws and nails. It's flat, square and very sturdy. Ready to cut strips. Question tho, how many strips does it take for the 16' Wabnaki? Strips will be 3/4 in wide.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Roybrew View Post
                          Question tho, how many strips does it take for the 16' Wabnaki? Strips will be 3/4 in wide.

                          I've built the Wabnaki and I can say I don't know the answer. Partly it depends on the length of the strips. If you are making 16 foot strips you need fewer than if you use shorter strips.

                          I tried to estimate how many I needed and ended up having to make additional strips, twice!

                          It's easy to make 'em once you are set up and have everything dialed in. So make lots.

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                            #14
                            You can get a ball park estimate of the number of required strips by measuring the distance of the widest station (usually the center station) around from the sheer strip location on either side, and dividing by .75 (for 3/4 wide strips) - e.g. if the distance around is 60 inches, then you will need 60/.75 = 80 strips, more or less. They don't all have to be full length, as the strips will get shorter as you reach the top of the stems and get into the bottom portion (and you can easily butt join shorter strips anywhere to get full length as needed). Good luck - this will be a lot of fun to do.

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                              #15
                              This guy appears to be in East Tennessee as well. Don't know how close he is to you but he's on a sawmill forum I frequent and seems to be nice and knowledgeable. I know he cuts a lot of different stuff. Might be someone to contact.

                              https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiP...Lkubw/featured


                              Alan

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