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    My 2 cents, or 1.4 Canadian. Quarter sawn are easier to bend into shape and sand. I have many flat sawn strips in my present build that did not take kindly to being sanded nor did they like to bend much in the football area, making me use staples to hold them in place. The flat sawn also presented an issue when glassing, ending up rather difficult to get the glass to lay flat on the inside since it did not sand flat. I put up with those issues since the flat sawn grain is wonderful to the eye.

    One man's Wilderness is another man's theme park. ~Unknown~


      The grain orientation is more important than most people think. I have a rafter full of flat sawn STRIPS.
      They easily split. Tried using a few for tomato stakes. pound on the end and they split. Not so with quarter sawn strips. That means when your hull takes a hit, the fiberglass will hold but the grain will fail, between the fiberglass layers. Again not so with quarter sawn strips.

      Sanding a flat sawn strip will be uneven, because of the grain.

      I agree they can look cool ! If all you are going to do is look at the canoe, flat sawn strips are OK. If you plan on using it in some rough water, give me quarter sawn strips.
      When sanding the hull, flat sawn strips sand uneven, and are more difficult to bead and cove.

      To each his own, as every builder makes their canoe their way.

      Keep your paddle wet, and your seat dry !


        Good to know, Thanks guys



          Thanks for the information. Hoping to get started in the next couple of weeks cutting the strips. Will not get started on the build until after I get back in the fall. Summer job.


            Hi Jim - I started cutting strips yesterday using your method and had issues with the board moving with me. I noticed in one of your earlier posts on this thread you mentioned attaching the board. I found a solution but wondered how you attach the board you are cutting to the strongback? Also, the strip I'm cutting seems to get caught right at the end and gets dinged up by the saw blade. What do you do to avoid that?


              Originally posted by dogbrain View Post
              Hi Jim - I started cutting strips yesterday using your method and had issues with the board moving with me. I noticed in one of your earlier posts on this thread you mentioned attaching the board. I found a solution but wondered how you attach the board you are cutting to the strongback? Also, the strip I'm cutting seems to get caught right at the end and gets dinged up by the saw blade. What do you do to avoid that?
              There are probably better tricks, such as hot melt glue, but I use a small brad nailed close to the far edge at the far end. When I get to where the plank is reduced to about 3" wide, I lay up another plank, and the first plank becomes a support for the saw base. I have several leftover planks for this purpose !

              The little "Ding" on the end is part operator error. Three things that help me, and I've not totally eliminated the Dings, is to ease the side ways pressure on the saw. Tip the front of the saw blade up at the end, and most of all.
              The fence only needs to ride against the plank, about 1/2". My aluminum angle is cut from 3/4"x3/4" stock, about 16" long. I reduce one side of the 3/4" angle to between 1/2"-5/8". This side rides against the plank.
              Here's a pic, that I hope will help !
              Keep your paddle wet, and your seat dry !


                Thanks again Jim for all the minute details. I'm not a natural when it comes to woodworking and every little tip helps a lot. I think part of my problem with dinging the end of the strip is that my fence is way too long, about 24", which seems to make it easier to pinch the strip at the end. I did trim the one side of the fence to just under 5/8". My improvised solution to keep the board from moving was to make the cleat on the far end slightly thicker which serves as a stop that I can cut through. This may be adding to the pinch at the end, so I'll do some more experimenting.


                  I position my fence, so more sticks out the front, than the rear.
                  And by the way, I'm greatly lacking in woodworking skills ! But I keep trying.

                  Keep your paddle wet, and your seat dry !


                    Success! I really got the hang of cutting strips after just a few. My higher cleat idea didn't work out, but the little nail trick worked like a charm. Thanks. The shorter fence was a bit easier to control.

                    Of course I way overshot the number of strips I'll need for this canoe and ended up with a little over 2000 linear feet. Now I'm most of the way to having enough for another boat if I ever make one. I was amazed at the consistency of the strips. All of them exactly the same 1/4 inch thickness of my planed test strip. The wind here in Livingston gave me a fit, blowing sawdust back in my face and into my eyes. My neighbors are going to be a little unhappy with the sawdust they'll be tracking into their house for the next few weeks. On to the bead and cove next week. I should probably go ahead and start a new build thread of my own now. Here's a couple photos. DB


                      Great !

                      Always impressed at how accurate the strips come out with the Skilsaw method.

                      I cut extra strips and never regret it ! You tend sort out the best . Every once in awhile, I end up with enough strips left over for a canoe. These are usually the less desirable strips, but can make for an interesting looking hull.

                      Tell the neighbors that the cedar dust will repel bugs, as it's used in cedar chests, and dog beds ! That should make them happy, and maybe willing to clean it up for you !!

                      Good luck on the bead and cove ! A good move !

                      Looking forward to your build !

                      Keep your paddle wet, and your seat dry !


                        Just an update, as I know many new builders, and Old are waiting for warm weather to start cutting strips !

                        I picked up a great bargain on a Skil Brand Skilsaw, and so I set it up for cutting strips. It's a 15 amp saw (good !), and a magnesium base, that takes little effort to push the saw down a plank ! The base seems ridged, unlike a Dewalt saw I checked out.There was more play on the Dewalt than I was comfortable with. Pass on the Dewalt for that reason !

                        After trying my set up I decided I used too thin of an aluminum angle ! I recommend a 1/8" thick 3/4" x 3/4" x 12-15" piece. I always trim one side of the angle down to 5/8". This insures plenty of clearance on the cleats that support the planks . I tried to Cheat and use a thinner aluminum angle, that I had, it was too flimsy ! A mistake, I hope others don't make my mistake.

                        Use a decent caliper and accurately measure clearances between the blade and fence, for smoothly cut strips ! No need to plane to thickness !
                        Once I set up a saw, I hate to change, unless it leaves saw marks on the strips !
                        I will use this saw to cut gunnels, and so I set it to cut 3/8" Ash strips.

                        Last edited by Jim Dodd; 04-17-2019, 08:59 AM.
                        Keep your paddle wet, and your seat dry !


                          Guess I can chime in a little on this thread ..... Jim, a good saw makes a world of difference for this method and it is not restricted to just strips or 4/4 wood. I use it to make strips for all sorts of things, after all .... gunnels are just strips. I have ripped up 8/4 ash strips for steam bending to be used in furniture, it is just an overall good technique to add to the work shop repertoire.
                          Some points:
                          - use a thin kerf blade with few teeth (I would say max 24 tooth or less)
                          - the guide should be kept shorter, extending past the saw bed by no more than a few inches (this short guide is the key to the consistent cuts IMO, it even follows a warped board)
                          - I use 1/16" aluminum, which I find works well (sorry Jim, I think 1/8" is pretty HD ... in reality it was my neighbor had on hand and it works for me)
                          - at the front of the aluminum guide piece, where it rides on the wood edge, bend the corner back a bit ... this prevents it from jabbing into the wood, makes it run smoothly along the edge

                          When possible, I like to use rough lumber to make strips, this presents some challenges as a support board of the correct thickness isn't always an option, when I get down to the last strips .... the easy way around this ..... I just line up all the pieces on the strongback and edge glue them, before I start. Now I have essentially one wide piece to work with and it is only the last piece that may have a little wastage.

                          To hold the planks in place while sawing, just clamp a couple of additional pieces that stand proud of the sacrificial strips, think backrest .... to keep it moving forward and back, add a scrap piece to the last sacrificial that is just proud and an inch from the inside edge .... now your plank is held from moving and you can cut all your strips in one go. The stop pieces cannot extend past the thickness of your strip wood, so "proud" is limited to a little less than the plank thickness.

                          The blade selection is also worth a mention (some may not already know). Strip cutting is a ripping operation, the fewer the teeth on the blade the better. I have read on other forums where the poster was using a very fine blade to cut strips and was having a few issues of heating and binding, but refused to consider anything else because " a fine blade, gives a fine finish". When ripping you are creating longer cut fibers (and longer cuts) and more space/room is required for the dust to clear the blade, so fewer teeth creates larger gaps between teeth, increasing the blades ability to remove the sawdust it is creating. Any blade marks are dealt with during the finishing/sanding phase later in the build and the only reason IMO to plane or smooth is for thickness purposes, not a better finish.
                          The thin kerf blade actually removes less wood, which eases the loading on your saw (less wood = less work) and will give you more strips per board.



                            Great advise Brian!
                            Yes ! I've edge glued planks several times ! More recently 1" x 4" were glued for a 1" x 12"plank !

                            Here is one of those pics I tried to post earlier.

                            Click image for larger version

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                            Last edited by Jim Dodd; 04-17-2019, 02:55 PM.
                            Keep your paddle wet, and your seat dry !


                              Adding that little bend at the leading edge of the aluminum guide, like a sled runner, keeps the guide from digging in and makes it run more smoothly over the edge. Hope this pic is clear enough to show it:

                              Last edited by Cruiser; 09-18-2019, 07:47 AM. Reason: pic link corrected


                                Originally posted by Jim Dodd View Post
                                A strongback is a great aid in building a canoe ! I cut my strips on it, I cut my gunnels on it, using a different saw, but the same setup . And I glue up my accent strips on it. Multi-task ! Oh and it even holds my forms while stripping .

                                I started bead and coving my strips on my fourth canoe. I slapped my self for not doing it on all of them !!!

                                I bead and cove a little different than others, but I'll bring that up in another post !


                                Jim, any pictures of the differences between bead and coving and not that you could share? At some point I will build a boat. Already have all the books but the one major component missing is the time. I suppose when all three of my kids are off to college then I will have plenty of time. Anyhoo, curious about the aesthetics of a finished boat when it has been bead and coved and not bead and coved.