Ain't been out yet, but...

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It has been nasty so far, cold and wet last weekend with a strong east wind kept us off the water, which gave me the time to start setting up my new shop. Smaller than before but it should be better equipped in the long run, working towards making it my future home based business.



 
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Looks like a good start. Is your home based business going to be a canoe shop? Can you get canoes up in the eves with a rack or pulleys?
Any the most important question for Winterpeg, Heat?

I think I see a heater just off the bow of the canoe in picture 1.
 
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For you folks with canoe shops.. just how much do you have to invest for tools, dust collection systems, and heating before you can start building in earnest? Sounds like a labor of love. Must be some several thousands of bucks before the first canoe comes out.
 
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The canoe in the photo is a 1938'ish Canadian Canoe Company "Habitant" as best we have figured. She is 16 feet and has needed a great deal of work so far. I'm hoping to get to replacing the 5 broken ribs in the next couple of weeks and am shooting for new canvas before the end of July. It is an odd boat, steel screws but copper tacks. White cedar ribs and red cedar planking. Best we can tell, Douglas Fir in-wales and oak decks.

Robin, that is actually an a/c unit that just happened to fit in that window space. No idea yet if it works since there is no power in the garage at this time, just running things off extension cords but a more permanent supply is forth coming, besides, it is too darn cold still to need a/c. For storage, there is a 20x30 shop space on the adjacent lot which is where storage is happening at the moment, and eventually that will be the shop, once we invest 10k or more into that building, or tear it down and build a combined shop/living space.

YC: I don't have expensive tools yet, just basic HD table saw and other units. I do need a thickness planer which will be acquired soon. The space in question is still being fitted out with insulation and the heat source we aren't sure yet what will be used. It does need to be a year round use of space with how long winter is here. It is though a large investment in tools and I need a ton more still, so I get what I can when I can. Longer term, within 3 years I want to be doing boats/wood working full time and stop working for someone else.
 
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Congrats on the new shop...I suppose it'll take a while to get it just where you want.
I have/had the same dreams as you, stop working for someone else and build boats for a living. 19 years ago, I fullfilled part of that dream, I stopped working for someone else and co-founded a now world leader in Foil Bearing technology, serving the aerospace industry. While the past 19 years have brought me recognition, wealth and personal satisfaction beyond my dreams, it has come at the sacrifice of the other half of my dreams. I still long to build boats for a living, but it is quite difficult to find the time to do so. In the next year or so, my wife and I will be building a new house on acreage shared with my kids. So I'll be outfitting a new boat shop realtively soon, and cutting back on my work hours and efforts. Maybe I'll get there yet.

So, my advice for you (from someone who has lived the dream) is to not delay your plan to work for yourself. Create a solid plan and then don't deviate. But be careful, there's a price to pay for dreams to come true!
 
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SG: It is a work in progress and goes along with yard work and renovating the house at the same time. It sounds like you have a much better advantage than I do when it comes to opening a boat shop. I'm poor, but lead a simple life, so don't need much which should reduce the amount of income necessary to make it work. I also don't have children or a partner, which to me is advantageous, while to others it might be otherwise. I enjoy my alone time and get a lot done when just left to do what needs to be done. I have a concept for what my ultimate shop would be like and will begin drawing up the plans for it in my spare time, which I have tons of.
Are you planning on doing the building yourself? It would save a lot of money to do it that way. I have built a home in the past and would build my shop myself given the opportunity. Also, I was in the family business right out of high school so I know what it is like to work for oneself already. My sister still runs my fathers original business, albeit in a much smaller capacity, but it is still around 56 years since it's inception.

All good things to those who wait and plan...

Karin
 
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Karin,
I will probably build a pole barn first, maybe splitting the cost and space with my S-I-L...I need around 1,000 sq ft for the boat shop, nearly the same for a wood shop, and space to work on my Jeeps.
It seems difficult to get the balance just right, plenty of time, short on funds, or plenty of cash and no free time. One's just as bad as the other.
Build myself? Uhmmm, my wife and I built our first house by ourselves, starting before we were married and just 20 years old. Since then, I have been building and remodeling (for us, and as a sideline) ever since. Currently, we have 19 rental properties that we own and maintian ourselves...I think I've had enough building, I don't mind to help the economy and some local contractors.

I've seen photos of your work, I'm pretty sure you could make a go of boat building and repair. As for me, building is what I do, be it boats, houses, businesses, familiy, marriage, cars...I just need to build. Whether I can turn my need to build boats into another income producing venture will remain to be seen. I have been in contact with some outfitters in the Adirondacks about them offering my boats as part of their rental fleet. A couple of the proprieters are quite interested, it would be win-win for all parties. I really like those passive income sources...
 
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I got my thickness planer this weekend, found it on Kijiji. It is pre-owned but never used and paid less than half price and it works like a charm. It is a general use machine, nothing heavy duty but should handle my needs for now very nicely. Tried it out on Saturday after bringing it home and it should be just the ticket for when I need to plane up some new planking later this month.

Although it isn't a shop pic, I spent most of today prepping to do ribs, hand planing the ribs to match the existing, set up the new steamer rig and then bending them up. I love this step, it is too sweet how the white cedar bends so easily.

 
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What does your steamer rig look like? My hubby got a thickness planer and it was all our canoe builder friend's fault :) The two of them like to visit a particular hardware store and they found a planer new at half price.. The words went something like this : if you don't buy it I will.. There was one planer. And our canoe builder friend already had one. Now husband lusts after his canoe builder friends thickness sander....
 
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My steamer is pretty simple, just a couple pieces of ABS pipe 3" diameter, removable cap at one end, hose fitting at the other. Then plumbed to an old steel watering can which is heated on my Coleman propane stove. The new parts are the hose and fittings and the ability to check the temperature through a hole in the end cap. Max temp today was 200f. Eventually I will build a proper steaming box for when I build a complete wood canvas canoe from scratch.

I could get 3 of these larger sized ribs in at once but it is a tight fit.

 
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I asked because I know that builders have innovative ways to improvise. My canoe builder friend uses an old Fry Daddy to supply steam.
 
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I use a Wagner wallpaper steamer and a box made from foil backed sheet insulation and duct tape. I have steamed ribs for about 14 kayaks and canoes with that rig.
 
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The boat and shop are coming together

The boat and shop are coming together

Moving forward on the project boat, got the new ribs in and clinched, new planking on and most of the old stuff as well where I wanted to re-use, finished sanding the interior today so hopefully I can do the bleaching this coming weekend. Getting much closer to canvas. The decks have 3 coats of varnish on them, the old thwarts were sanded and have 4 coats.

I had an issue with the new Western Red Cedar planking cracking when trying to bend it around the bilge, heat and boiling water didn't work, so I cut it to size, soaked it for a day then strapped it to the boat in the corresponding spot on the opposite side, let it dry then could install it without breakage. Takes a little longer but worked spiffy.







 
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Is that me or is that wide plank? That piece you strapped to bend looks wider than I'm used to. You can see the bend in it though, good idea to strap it.
Nice looking interior, will the bleaching make the old and new ribs closer to the same color? I have never done that and my last canoe with new ribs probably should have been bleached, or a least some stain on the new ribs to match the old. The new ones really stand out, but after some time they match, just about when the canoe is ready to be restored again....:confused:
 
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The minimum planking width is 3 7/8", some out to 4".

Not sure if the bleach will bring them all closer together, it hasn't in the past. I'm more hoping the wrc planking will be more uniform. The 2 pieces that were soaked and bent went darker and closer to the original. The fact the entire boat was finished with a dark brown deck stain is influencing final colour since I cannot sand it all out.
 
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It has been bleached and the first coat of varnish is on. The photo is a comparison from when I got it last year to today, after the first coat. Quite the difference for sure. There will be 3 or 4 coats of varnish to finish. Still hoping to get canvas on early August but I need to fair the outside and get rid of the rest of the fiberglass residue from the hull.

 
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I like that look, very nice, are those new ribs either side of the thwart? If so, they look like a good match, a season in the sun and they will match nicely, if not new, well a season in the sun and they will match nicely.....
 
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I like that look, very nice, are those new ribs either side of the thwart? If so, they look like a good match, a season in the sun and they will match nicely, if not new, well a season in the sun and they will match nicely.....

(I cheated and went back to the previous pictures, nice match on the those 3 new ribs)
 
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