Rib Tip Repair

Joined
Jan 31, 2013
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Warren, Manitoba
YC had mentioned awhile back she would like to see how I repair rib tips. We are presently working on a 15 foot Tremblay that needs hordes of rib tips done, the one side alone has received 22 new tips out of 45 ribs. Some of them had been previously repaired with thickened epoxy but they are now totally rotted so need to be fixed. I have done the epoxy repair as well but it doesn't look very good so I am moving away from doing that.

This one tip took about 5 minutes total. Once the gunwales are off and you remove the sheer planking it is much easier to get at this. At times, the rot will extend further down and the next row of planking will need to be removed as well. In this case, only the sheer planking needed to come off. We do try to save the planking as much as possible, but it too usually has rot. On this particular canoe it had steel nails holding the ribs to the inwales and they are rusted, break or near impossible to remove.

First, if possible, remove the original nails holding the rib to the inwale. If not possible then just drive it in or nip it off flush.

The one on the left is the first one we are doing today.



Next, I remove the rot and get the scarf shape with a portable belt sander. Although I do use the roller end, I am careful to keep the cut flat. I do want to keep it behind the inwale so the joint won't show from the inside, but this isn't always possible. The split in the rib will be glued up at the same time. Cracks or splits running lengthwise on a rib does not weaken it.



Tip stock was prepped by cutting blanks out of our supply of white cedar on the table saw, then run through the thickness planer to match the original rib thickness. I use the bench top belt sander to get the angle cut on the tip blank and to sand the profile on the edges to match the rib I'm working on. I free hand the angle, start at what looks to be right, trial fit and keep working at it until it matches as close as possible.





Now, take your time aligning it, sometimes I will run a pencil line along the inwale once I have it where I want it which makes it easier to align once glue is on the piece. I am working with Titebond 3 now although I used to only use thickened epoxy on the tips. I figured to give the glue a try since I can work with if faster than the epoxy.
Clamp it to the inwale then clamp the actual glued scarf and move onto the next one. If there are a few in a row you need to do every other one as the clamps get in the way of each other.





Once you get the hang of it you should be able to do an entire side in one afternoon.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
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Nice! I likey! You guys are gonna get me hooked on this wood canvas thing.
 
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Mem, you could build 4 or 5 strippers in the time it takes to rebuild one w/c canoe. I cannot see your wife letting you spend that much time in the garage.
 
Joined
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Warren, Manitoba
We are in rib tip hell at the moment. A pair of 14 foot Tremblays that are the newest boats we have had and very likely the worst shape of any. In the photo of the two, the one on the right Christine bought last year in a fit of madness and that is her learning boat. Normally I do all the work but now she is learning on that one. She has replaced 3 ribs and done 57 rib tips. After sanding and stripping we found 3 cracked ribs which will get the behind the rib repair.

The one on the left is Red's boat. So far I have 37 tips done with 7 to go. I am doing 6 at a time as clamps allow. Have not found any ribs needing replacement, but one broken one that needs to be assessed still. Once I get all the tips done I will start putting new planking on. Based on the water damage from the fibreglass it looks to need about 80% of the planking replaced.

Red, do you want the tractor seats that came out of the boat? They appear to be kevlar and if you don't want them we will make them available to anyone on the forum who will pay for the shipping.



 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
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Appleton, Maine
Nice work on the rib tips. I see you use a flat topped horse and a curved "strap" type, any preference. I use just flat type but wonder how it is working on a canoe with the strap?
 
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Robin, the cradles on the right were made from directions here... https://canoeguybc.wordpress.com/tag/canoe-cradle/

They are quite low and really good for working on the inside of the boat, for sanding, varnishing, etc. I have 2x4's I lay across the top and screw down when we need to work on the bottom side, the boat sits flat on the cross bars as it were.

The one on the left is a normal set of horses but I needed cradles for the second boat. I screwed 2x4's to the ends and put the carpet strips across. It is much higher and worked well for doing all the rib tips, puts them right where I needed it. It might even work for when I start sanding the interior today.

I'm thinking of building another set like the low one, but adjustable height wise. The low is too low, the high perhaps too high. The carpet cradle set up is ideal since the boat doesn't rock like it would on horses. You can adjust where it sits on the boat as well. Another option would be to run stringers between the two cradles and put wheels on one end, then just pick up one end and roll it where you want it.

The set on the right easily held the 18 foot freighter just by moving them further along the hull. I can work on just horses, but prefer the cradles.
 
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Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
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Warren, Manitoba
Time wise, I think I moved everything from the boat house into the shop after the storms, so around 4pm. I had 4 tips done in the dark in the other building prior to the move. So, an additional 21 tips... pull or nip off nails, sand the scarf in the rib, make the new tip scarf to match, glue up 5 at a time, go wait 30-40 minutes for the T3 to bond, nail the new tip to the rail, start the next batch... 5 hours for 21 tips.
 
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