Katie and Mike's Canoe Building Page
More Canoe Building
MIKE'S CANOE BUILDING PAGE
(-or One Lady and her
Katie is Paul - the designer's
daughter and Mike is her man and both are keen canoe enthusiasts with little
time to spare from busy jobs and little space to build a canoe in - typical
really of many people who would like to build a canoes or small boat. Neither
have anything more than basic woodwork skills or tools - but they do have 2
advantages - enthusiasm and a dad who can advise.
So we thought we would show their
slow progress to building a canoe in a small and in a garage already full of
bikes and gardening tools.
The canoe is our Kate design and
she is being built in 2 halves to save on the building space required and to
make storage easier. Incidentally, the Kate design is simply a deeper version of
Little Kate which Paul designed many years ago and which was named after the
Kate you see in these pictures - when she was a lot smaller.
On the subject of building a
canoe in 2 halves, this can be done with most of our open canoe designs and
simply requires 2 plywood bulkheads (frames) in the middle of the canoe attached
to the planking with a simple wood frame or fillet and bolted together using
four 6mm bolts with large penny washers - we used to put a neoprene gasket
between the bulkheads but this was found to be unnecessary. We have a simple A4
sketch on how to do this, so if you want to build or store your own canoe in
this way, let us know when you order the plans and we can include the sketch.
The planks have already been
marked and cut out (for more information on this go to our FAQ's page), so we
start with stitching the hull planks together.
|1. Katie is using a medium
gauge garden binding wire - this is a shot of the inside of the planks -
holes were drilled along the top edge of one plank approx. 6mm in from
the edge and spaced around 200mm and, whilst holding the adjacent plank
in place, a hole was drilled to match - the planks are light in weight
so this is easy to do.
|2. This is a shot of the
outside showing the ends of each stitch twisted together - initially
thay are not twisted too tight, allowing some adjustment in the position
of the planks. Stitching starts from the middle of the canoe and works
towards the ends - thin cable ties or scrap copper cable can also be
|3. Starting from the
bottom planks, Katie now has all 5 planks stitched together - lastly she
has stitched the bow and stern seams and standing back, has the
beginnings of a canoe. The stitches are temporary and simply hold the
planks in place - they will be removed later.
|4. This is a shot of the
inside - with all the planks together, Katie has gone round all the
stitches, starting from the bottom and working up and tightening them
all and making sure that the edges of the planks are together properly (ie.
one is not riding over another) - you can see some gaps but small ones
are not important and will be filled by thickened epoxy - larger gaps
either require a bit more filling with wood and epoxy or releasing the
stitches and having any bumps either side of the gap planed down a
|5. We mentioned above that
this example of Kate (the canoe) is being built in 2 halves - here is a
shot of the centre/middle join - the bulkhead does not come right up to
the gunwales and can have a removable seat fitted over it - the simple
pine frame can be seen and the 4 bolts will go through this, spaced to
dictribute the stress.
|6. Katie has mixed up some
thickened epoxy (epoxy resin+hardner+filler powder) and is applying this
with her trusty lollipop stick to the chine and centreline seams in
between the stitches.
|7. A closer view of the
epoxy filleting - the centre frame (not required when building the canoe
in one piece) has already been glued in place. Once the epoxy fillets
have cured, Katie can remove the stitches altogether ready for glass
taping the seams which will be the next stage.
|8. With inside seams given
an initial epoxy it was found that the low temperatures were not
allowing the epoxy to cure so after a couple of days the canoe has been
turned over and the opportunity taken to clean up the outside seams
.....................the canoe is covered with a tarpaulin and a small
heat source is applied under the canoe using a small fan heater - the
upside down canoe traps the rising hot air allowing the epoxy to cure
under better temperatures - always check that the canoe has not taken on
|10. To be