Lazy Weekend Canoe — 3D at Last

This week Eliza and Abby are competing in the clogging national championships at Lagoon.  Brooklyn is competing next week, but she has classes that are competing this week.  This means that most of my family is out of town this weekend.

I assumed that I would spend most of the day just watching Sam, but he’s slept enough that I have made some progress.  In fact, the canoe has, at long last, gone 3D.

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This isn’t quite 3D, but you can see that I am getting close.

The first step in putting on the bottom was drilling and fitting the bottom with lath screws that will later hold the bottom on while the glue dries.

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The first step was to drill holes and dry fit lath screws all around the bottom of the boat. The external chine logs gave me something that I could have used to clamp the bottom down. However, I wasn’t sure how well that would work. I knew from past experience that screwing the bottom on allowed for an exact fit and great hold. The only downside is that you have to go back afterward and fill in the screw holes.

Drilling all of the holes and filling them with screws took quite a bit of time, but it gave me time to think about how I was going to actually apply the glue.  My original thought was to simply remove the bottom, butter each side up with glue, and then wrestle the two halves back together again and try to line up the screw holes.

I did a quick test run of this plan while I was waiting for Zachary to come outside and help me get the very floppy bottom off of the boat.  It quickly became clear that removing the bottom entirely was not going to work.  Not only were the screws in the bottom holding the chine logs in the correct place, but the bottom only fits on the bottom of the boat if it was in precisely the right spot.  There was no way that the two of us were going to be able to line things up while the bottom (and chine logs) were covered with glue.

So instead I simply started pulling up the bottom and squirting glue underneath.  Doing the middle was tricky because I needed to leave some screws in so that the chine logs didn’t move away from each other, but once I got started it was easy enough to glue part of the boat and then follow up the glue with the screws.  I just needed to make sure that I didn’t leave any places dry.

Stella came out while I was gluing and wanted to help.  So I gave her a rag and had her cleaning up the glue that had run out of the joint.  She actually was very helpful.  I was very glad that I don’t build boats with epoxy.

Sam woke up about the time that I had finished gluing the bottom on. So we flipped the boat over and had him try it out.
Sam woke up about the time that I had finished gluing the bottom on. So we flipped the boat over and had him try it out.

I honestly thought that was as far as I was going to be able to get this weekend.  However, Sam fell asleep again that afternoon and I decided to see if I could get the gunwales on.  It turned out I couldn’t quite get both of them on, but I did get one on.

The gunwale really evened out the curve on that side. I can't wait to see what the boat looks like with both gunwales.
The gunwale really evened out the curve on that side. I can’t wait to see what the boat looks like with both gunwales.
Stella helped with the gunwales as well. Then she wanted to make sure that I took a picture of her.
Stella helped with the gunwales as well. Then she wanted to make sure that I took a picture of her.

I think that I need to find a better way to put on the gunwales.  As it was I buttered the gunwale up with glue, and then dripped that glue all over creation.  Most of it did not end up on the boat, and the glue that did end up on the boat did not end up in the right place.  There should be a way to do things little by little like I did with the bottom.  It also might help if I put the boat on its side.

If you have a tip you want to share, please feel free to contact me.

By the time I got done gluing up the gunwale it was too cold to really continue.  Worse, I needed to get the canoe out of the garage before my wife got home.

It’s raining pretty hard today (Sunday).  It doesn’t appear that the glue on the gunwale is going to set up very well.  Oh well, it probably is more important for my wife to be able to park in the garage for mother’s day than for my boat to turn out.

If worse comes to worst and the gunwale comes completely off I suppose I can always just glue it back on.

Like reading about this build?  Here’s a link for more about my Lazy Weekend Canoe build.

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