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New project... 17.5' Atkinson Traveler

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This project will have to wait for warmer weather, but due to the generosity of another wood canvas canoe builder, I now have a form for a proven hulltempImageqdPyde.pngtempImageuKVBGU.png to gear up for. Rib stock and most of the planking is already made. Inwales, outwales, decks, seats, thwarts still to be prepared. This is new territory for me, but I have been assured that building new is easier than restoring which I have experience with. We'll see...

Stem form:

tempImage9IUIlO.png
 
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Excellent! I saw that form advertised and was tempted. I’m glad it found a good home. Im looking forward to seeing your progress.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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I now have a form for a proven hull

Patrick, the infallible CDC has officially informed me that, in the 3+ years you've been a member here, your disease is noticeably progressing and perhaps even accelerating. Revel in it!

Quite seriously, to increase or even maintain aggregate interest in wood canoes, I believe things must be done to stimulate the wood canoe market both on the demand side and the supply side. That is, people must be stimulated to buy or otherwise acquire wood canoes, and others must be stimulated to build, restore and repair them. I'm positive that well-documented and pictured build/restoration/repair threads on this site and others help stimulate interest on both sides of the market.

Perhaps you can become part of the supply side, at least part time, for potential customers of the Atkinson Traveler. Rollin Thurlow won't be around forever and he currently has a two year wait list for everything.
 
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Congrats, the Atkinson Traveler is a nice poling/tripping canoe. Building your first one should be pretty exciting.
 
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Very cool! Congrats Patrick. I had to google this canoe, and came up with this.


Sounds like a beautiful tripper.
 
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Patrick, the infallible CDC has officially informed me that, in the 3+ years you've been a member here, your disease is noticeably progressing and perhaps even accelerating. Revel in it!
Haha. I resemble that remark!

Wood canvas canoes dovetail (pun intended) with my carpentry/woodworking skills, my semi-retirement, and my sense of history, aesthetics, and love for the outdoors.
 
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In the interest of providing some content at Glenn's suggestion, here's some progress on the Atkinson Traveler build.

I built a rolling stand for the form so I can roll it out into the center of the workspace, or, out of the way when other projects take precedence. It also provides a place to store ribs, planking, & other materials during the process.
tempImageyRS2Ge.png

I built a steam box for steaming the ribs, stems, and inwale/outwale ends. I still have to arrange the steam vessel to hold boiling water and the hose delivery system to the box. Atop the box is the blank which will be steam bent around the stem form, then split into two (for bow & stern), as well as a blank of Atlantic White Cedar for ripping planking. This will yield about 72 lineal feet of 3" wide x 5/16" planks. And, a couple of pieces of figured Maple for decks and carry handles.
tempImageicmhf2.pngtempImage2YUaqg.png

I'm having difficulty in finding 18' (or longer) lengths of Spruce for inwales and Mahogany for outwales. That's not exactly off-the-shelf lumberyard stuff.

Stem form:
tempImageJt4iwc.png
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Yes, keep us apprised of this most interesting development, Patrick.

I had forgotten about this Atkinson Traveler form thread when I recently posted a thread linking an article from Small Boats Magazine about that Rollin Thurlow canoe design. It's a very highly admired design based on E.M. White's canoes from the late 19th century. So, I'll link that thread here:


I'm also having administrative classification schizophrenia because wood/canvas canoe builds have been historically posted on this site in both the Wood and Bark Canoes forum and the Boat Builds, Restoration and Repair forum, and whether I should move them all to one forum or another. I'll continue to procrastinate about that decision for a while.
 
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Patrick I recommend a wallpaper steamer for steam source. They cost around $50 I’ve used one for years. They are easy to maintain steam and safer than a new gas can on a propane burner. I’ve done that too. Steam is up in just a couple of minutes and will produce steam for 45 or more minutes. That is plenty for ribs, but on occasion I needed more time for bigger boat planks I was working on. In that case I had an electric tea kettle, one that was boiling I would unplug the steamer, open it up and pour in the boiling water, close it back up and plug it back in. Less than a minute with barely a break in steam generation.
If you want to drive to Maine I have some 21’ long mahogany just for gunnels.
Jim
 
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I don’t have any pics of the steamer using a steam box (kind of boring) but here are a couple pics steaming planks while in place on the hull as only half or less needed steam.
The plank ends were wrapped in a plastic trash bags or tarp then some fabric was wrapped for more insulation.
5065BE48-8088-4901-BE1F-1E0B885A2684.jpeg
246B27B3-FF2F-4918-9092-548E1CF51619.jpeg
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And a different project.
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You can see the steamer on the floor in the last pic a white plastic box with a black top.
Sorry they are not canoes but a guys got to make a living.
Jim
 
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Jim, thanks for your reply about the steam generator and the offer of mahogany! Unless I can find long material closer your offer may look attractive. I have considered the wallpaper steamer, and the idea of keeping a kettle of boiling water on standby is pretty smart.

What's the lapstrake boat you're working on in those pictures?

Pat
 
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It is a one off boat built by a shop Pennsylvania, it was designed by the owner so nothing one can look up. It had slipped its mooring and went onto rock riprap for a couple days. I had to replace all the planking below the waterline.
Jim
 
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First steam box experiment:

I bought an automobile heater hose for 13 bucks, an old 4 gallon kerosene can for 10 bucks, a meat thermometer for 8 bucks, and borrowed a turkey fryer burner from a pal. Once the dial indicated 200 degrees F, I stuck a canoe rib blank into the box and left it for about 15 minutes. I hadn't pre-soaked the rib beforehand. Once 'cooked' my brother and I put it on the form and easily bent it to the inwale position. The temporary inwale stock is simply some unshaped 1"x1" ash clamped to the form for the experiment.



tempImageutbO36.pngtempImageJAKn8h.png
 
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Once 'cooked' my brother and I put it on the form and easily bent it to the inwale position.

Patrick, I think I can guess, but what is the purpose of the 2x4 (2x6?) and small shim board on top of the rib? Interested in more detail of the process for myself and other non-builders.
 
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The 2x4 'spine' on top of the form is to hold the rib tightly to the form. The space under the spine is greater than the thickness of the rib so it's easy to slide the hot rib into position, then use the thin shim, driven relatively tight with a mallet or hammer, to keep the rib in contact with the steel straps. The spine is mounted to the form with (5) 3/8" machine bolts which can be adjusted up or down as needed.

The steel strapping comes into play when planking is nailed (tacked) on. The copper tacks have fine points which once nailed through the planks and ribs contacts the steel and 'turns' the point back into the interior of the rib. Hence, a "clinched" tack.
 
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Looking forward to progress reports.
Wood Canvas has been in the back of my mind for quite awhile !

A great start !

Jim
 
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copper tacks
You should use brass canoe tacks. Copper cut tacks are not the correct shape and don't clinch very well. They have a big flat head too which is difficult to seat below the surface of the planking. However, copper is better for salt water use. I just don't think you can find copper canoe tacks anymore.

Cheers,

Fitz
 

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Copper cut tacks

While looking at Rollin Thurlow's hardware page last summer for seat bolts, I thought I recalled seeing copper tacks. Yes, small ones are there just for tacking canvas to the stem. It says:

"Stem Tacks — Small copper tacks for fastening the canvas to the hardwood stem. Using large tacks or the standard canoe tacks to fasten the planking to the face of the stem will cause large splits in the face of the stem, which is why you want to use the smaller copper tacks! Most canoes will only need 2 to 3 ounces of the small tacks."

The standard tacks are solid brass, as Fitz recommends.
 
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You should use brass canoe tacks.
Yes Fitz, quite correct. In a moment of inattention I did say copper; in actuality I have, and use, brass tacks. I get mine from Northwoods Canoe in Maine.
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Anticipating my first stem bend, I made a compression strap from 16 ga. steel, the full width of the blank. A steel angle iron segment was bolted to one end, with an Oak block attached to the strap to retain the opposite end of the blank as it is bent onto the form.tempImageV8nn8I.pngtempImagevHa6wU.pngtempImageQyAbHj.png
 
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