Wood Canoe Decks

Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
232
Location
Ontario, Canada
If I were to want a wood canoe deck to replace a missing, or broken one, where would I go?

I don't really need one, but I am noticing that there is a huge void for historically correct parts such as this. Am I correct?

What do you folks that need parts do when you can't build something yourself? Decks, Gunwales, seats, thwarts, yolks, etc

Is there an interest here for good quality parts?

Momentum
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
838
Hi Mo, If your really talking about historically correct parts, like you would have found on such and such a canoe back in 1907, then I'd guess that it's a build it yourself proposition. There are folks who build nice seats, yokes etc. for somebody who wanted to upgrade their canoe.
I've got a Teal yoke on a Old Town Camper, to replace that pathetically inadequate carrying thwart. And it works great but really it's not something I'd have done if the canoe in question were one of those like Mihun or Robin have.

When a person talks about "can't build it myself" I always wished they'd add...."yet." There's a good bit of blab about something being "liberating" nowadays, as I see it the ability to make a part or fix something once you understand what's needed is pretty darn "liberating"!! Plus it sure feels good!
Given that it's getting harder and harder to find people who work with their hands, if I was just starting out in that direction I'd go to the library and check out the Time-Life how to do it books and also the woodworking books.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
232
Location
Ontario, Canada
Hey Rob, thanks for your input. I am talking about the historically correct parts that are needed to get a canoe back on the water. I'm not trying to puff my self up here, but I'm one of those who do work with my hands. I have been building custom one of a kind furniture for over 20 years now. I have used all kinds of woods, and all kind of machines. The Hiawatha 15 build thread is my first attempt at a canoe. Go check it out if you are interested. You are correct in that there is a dwindling number of us out there. I'm just wondering if there is a way I can provide a service to help those talking a boat project that may not "yet" have the tools or expertise to manage all aspects. Kind of like a send me your old part and I will send it back along with a brand new duplicate kind of thing. Does that make sense? Do you know of other builders who do this kind of thing? Thanks for talking
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
2,290
Location
Warren, Manitoba
There are builders out there that will sell "rib blanks" for those who are rebuilding/restoring w/c canoes. White cedar is very difficult to come by out here in the middle of nowhere and we have gotten blanks from Douglas Ingram before, but with the volume of work we are doing now, we had to get our own supply of white cedar.

I understand where you are going with this though. You have the skills, equipment and space to replicate what others may need who lack those things. I'm sure you could pull a small amount of work out of it, but there are others already doing it and I would imagine most who are restoring the old boats already have the skills to do their own pieces. Conk builds seats and yokes. I build my own seats, thwarts, decks, etc.

Can you get me some 100 year old Honduran Mahogany for the Morris so the grain will match? ;)

You could look into getting full length woods, up to 20 foot lengths for gunwales and such and check the costs associated with this rare lumber. See if you could compete with existing suppliers. I know that out here they want about $45 a BF for H Mahogany since there is only one supplier.

If you can get some business and do better than good work, then go for it.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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6,386
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Raymond, ME
WCHA has builders young and old who make their own parts for historically accurate representation. Or a reasonable facsimile! I just delivered a crate of wood pieces to someone restoring an Old Town.

WCHA is a great place to swop parts, find parts, That 100 year old Honduran Mahogany is on my gotta get list for the Roberston. I I need the long end of a seat support .Sometimes its not easy ! And WCHA members swop advice for us not sure how to proceed re a certain step.

There are some 10,000 members but while all love wood boats, not all restore or build.

Anyway it's a good place to offer services if you can do a certain stage that not everyone wants to tackle.. (like internal stems restoration)
 
Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
232
Location
Ontario, Canada
Mihun- yep, you are right in that I am looking at the possibility of offering this kind of service to others. I do have the knowledge, some of the tools, but sadly, not much space, and even worse than that, not much time. If I start doing this kind of thing it would definitely be side line work. After hours kind of stuff. I can't understand a company charging $45 /bdft for H Mahogany. That's highway robbery! I have some old growth mahogany ( not nearly that old) but never get away with charging that much for it. I also sold some highly figured hard maple "shorts" (under 36") to a friend a short time ago and we both settled on $5 / bdft for that. I couldn't imagine getting 9x that for wood. Wow. Thanks to you also YC for the info on the WCHA tip. I'll have a boo at their web site and try to figure out if it's worth it. Maybe I'll try a few decks or something like that, and post some pics. You folks could give me some feedback Thanks for listening Momentum
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
2,290
Location
Warren, Manitoba
I'll be at my lumber supplier this morning getting wood for seats/gunwales and will let you know what they charge out here for other things. I know Walnut has gone up appreciatively of late but Cherry has gone down in price.

Once I get the Penobscot decks out I will get good pics and we can see if you can replicate the curve they bend them into. :rolleyes: (JK) Although a press would be ideal, another way after soaking and steaming is to wrap it around a tree and leave it awhile, but you would need an old growth tree to get the curve.

There will always be people who cannot do their own work so there is always a need like you are suggesting. Find the niche market, do good work and be fair in pricing. Then you won't have any free time at all.

I agree with OM. There are things I cannot do, only because I have not tried nor learned to do it yet and given the need, I will eventually.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
2,290
Location
Warren, Manitoba
Ok, we have Honduras Mahogany selling at $23 a BF. Walnut is at $14 a BF. The plantation cherry we bought was $6 a BF so not bad considering I use a lot of it. If you want a 4" thick slab of old growth red cedar that is about 12 feet long and 3 feet wide, which has 2 edges with bark, I hope you have $2000.
 
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