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It's Official - my '51 OTCA project

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by mmmalmberg, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Oh very glad to see that, it's just what I was thinking. I just need to replace the last few inches of the inwale tips, would much prefer to keep the rest original - thanks!
     
  2. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    It is possible to pull the inwales in, router a groove in the underside of the inwale, and epoxy in a hardwood splice. This is a good repair, but sometimes the kink is still apparent to the discerning eye.

    Fitz
     
    mmmalmberg likes this.
  3. Dave Osborn

    Dave Osborn LIFE MEMBER

    That’s a good idea Fitz.
     
  4. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    The first rule in "Canoe Restoration Club". – "The canoe is never in as good a shape as you think it is." Ribs will crack overnight, like magic.

    Determining to replace vs. repair can be an accumulation of issues. For me, I'd consider replacing the rail. It's such a visual aspect that is central to the boat's aesthetic. You may never be fine with rails that look like they were cobbled together. I had to replace 3 sets of rails on all three of my boats. They aren't difficult to do. They just take time and patience.

    Unless you can find stock that is long enough, you will be looking at a scarf joint somewhere in the middle of the rail. Actually this is a good thing because it gives you a couple of chances to bend that rail before cutting the scarf. For instance, if the rail cracks when you're bending it over the form, you can (if you have enough length) choke up on the rail a little further up and try bending it again.

    Or you could buy a set of rails pre-bent and shaped from Jerry S. or Rollin.

    As far as finding questionable plank work, My OTCA had a similar situation. No, I really don't think this was a later repair. Everything had the same amount of age to it. And some of this "stiching" continued for the length of the plank. I think there was a calculus when these were being built that if a plank started going pear-shaped they would try to save it instead of going through the process of removing the plank and reapplying a new plank. At the end of the day, these were commodities and not art. The number of boats that they needed to produce out of that plant was staggering. The fact that it was mostly manual labor is even more staggering.

    I don't think it gets enough attention. How well a craftsman can hide their sins that is almost an equal aspect of their talent.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    mmmalmberg likes this.
  5. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    monkitoucher and mmmalmberg like this.
  6. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Progress continues. Stripping is almost done - first pass strip on all, second strip and tsp wash on port half.

    Found, to my surprise and dismay, a cracked rib! I know, no surprise to anyone else:) And poking around noticed an apparent repair on the forward outer stem. Only actual repair work I've seen so far, hence also a surprise.

    Repairs anticipated so far:
    3 inwale end replacements
    1 inwale crack
    2 outer stem end replacements
    1 cracked rib tip.

    Nothing compared to what a lot of y'all are doing, but just enough for me to get a taste of things!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  7. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    The rib is an easy fix. you can scarf in a new tip, instead of replacing the whole thing.
     
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  8. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    What causes a rib to crack like that? I can't find any trace of an impact to the gunnels or planking.
     
  9. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Yup, or at least it seems like it. That one has been there for a while.
    The ones I hate are the ones you find during varnishing, after multiple wet downs and inspections, and you don't spot it until near the end.
    I've backsided those instead of replacing them at that stage. (noting that any canoe I restore will get light use)

    Dan
     
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  10. Don Read

    Don Read New Member

    I am in the same boat.... The lines on your canoe are beautiful. Slow and steady wins the race, or at least that applies to everything else I have restored.
     
    mmmalmberg likes this.
  11. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Thanks! I did take my time through the stripping, have yet to detail around all the tip ends behind the inwales... I'm hoping a slow and steady pace gets me on the water sometime before the end of summer. On now to matters of woodworking. Just bought a piece of ash this morning and looking for sources for spruce and cedar.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I'd be curious to know what anyone does to pull planks with the intent to re-use, i.e. doing as little damage as possible. I didn't want to dig around in the wood to get a tack puller under the tack heads, and they are all below the surface enough for this to be an issue.

    I thought cutting the heads off would be a good approach; ordered up a very nifty high speed pneumatic "pencil" die grinder, but the dremel bit was not cutting well enough and was smoking the wood around the tack head. Better bits coming tomorrow.

    Here's what I came up with in the meantime - two putty knives inserted up to the shaft of the tack, then a good sized screwdriver wedged between them. This worked consistently to pop the tacks out to where I could get them with the tack puller. The putty knives support the wood to keep it from breaking, and surprisingly the cedar is sturdy enough to pull the tacks without them tearing through the plank. This did not work on the steel nails however... IMG_7011.JPG IMG_7012.JPG
     
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  13. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    More on my cracked rib.

    I removed a plank and pulled the nails from this rib into the inwale so I could bend the rib tip back enough to see the extent of the crack better. It is pretty shallow and I thought could even have been from the plank tack that is right at that point. I'd been considering opening it just enough to get some warm epoxy to flow into it as deep as I can and clamp it and call it a day. It goes about 1/3 of the way through on one edge of the rib and about half on the other.

    But now looking at these pics, what I thought was a scratch, an inch or so above it, looks like it could be a crack as well, making me think this rib must have somehow taken a hit, even though there's not the slightest hint of a dent in the planking.

    IMG_7014.JPG IMG_7017.JPG
     
  14. mccloud

    mccloud Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Re-use what? Not the cracked rib? To remove remove ribs I use use a Multi-Max tool to cut the clinches off, then a prick punch from the inside to pop the remaining tack out, which leaves only the tack hole in the planking - no damage from a tack puller. Although the rib has many cuts in it, most often it can be removed in a single piece and serves as a mold to trace its pattern on a rib blank. .
     
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  15. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Look up "back side rib repair" on the forum. It is a good fix.

    Alternatively, put in a new rib. Steam bending is fun. It typically takes less time to fabricate, steam and install a rib than all these repair techniques.
     
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  16. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I'll need to do some steam bending for the outwale ends and possibly one of the decks. So perhaps that. Or a repair... I suppose I'll do some of the other work while I think about it:) - thanks.
     
  17. dtdcanoes

    dtdcanoes LOVES Wooden Canoes

    All of what Fitz offered....I have a rack puller that I ground to have thinner flat surface at the claws and sharper. It is easier to get under the heads and supported with the putty knife does little if any to the planks. But when removing the rib I snap off the clinches using one edge of a sharp claw point and hand poke or tap the shafts out as Fitz does. I measure for a new rib and fashion one a little longer at both ends. I made up a 5+ foot of PVC drain pipe for soaking ribs and fill it with hot tap water and soak over night . Refresh in the morning with hot tap and put on the kettle to boil ...then have a couple of smaller towels handy and pour some boiling water over the hot rib, wrap with the towels and soak with boiling water. ..let sit a few minutes and flex check and resoak the towels if necessary....you will have a rib like linguini and ready to set on the hull and clamp. You WILL have made sure to place the rib correctly with regard to the tapers if they are there, right ? Or, as the song goes, " baby, what a big
    surprise ". This works fast and is a very handy process for a few ribs to replace. Have fun !
     
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  18. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I was speaking of re-using the planking. But in this case, both. I'll be repairing the rib without removing it. Thanks:)
     
  19. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I like the sound of this method for when you're not keeping the rib, makes sense. Also you all have me more excited about bending wood which always seemed such a mystery. In this case I'm keeping the rib and repairing it without removing it.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    mmmalmberg

    mmmalmberg LOVES Wooden Canoes

    What I'm not in love with in the backside repair is that a mortise like that leaves you with effectively a square butt joint at either end, each of which would be a new weak point. And then for this particular repair, the back side is the side that's not cracked:) But maybe something similar on the front face could work.
     

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