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Miller Canoe Refurbish

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by semaj, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    I'm not sure exactly what you are planning so that you can clamp, but if you can clamp the pieces you are joining, that should do the trick.
  2. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    But if you are going to do something like this:

    ss 100_3320.jpg

    I'm not sure how you can use a clamp.
  3. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    For the same repair, I have used a "backside" only from the inside.

    Not being a purist, I carve out a cavity in the rib, on the top side, similar to one that you would put an insert into, however, I just fill it with thickened epoxy, and sand smooth. (covering the epoxy with wax paper minimizes sanding).

    Then I made and fitted sisters out of bent cedar rib stock, matching the grain of the ribs as best I could. I tapered the bottom side of the sisters so they "feathered out" at the ends. Run them about 4-5 inches past the break.
    This repair is almost invisible without knowing where it is.

    Hold the sister "hard" to the rib with sticks from above. No screws needed.

  4. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Judging from the cracked planking under the cracked ribs, the cause for the cracked ribs was likely something that was a little too rough to take. Those are pretty thick, closely spaced ribs, not so much as an Ogilvy’s, but its heavily built.

    To judge how serious the rib cracking is, can you notice from the outside where the cracked ribs are; in other words, is the hull distorted?

    If you really want to super strengthen these cracked ribs, I would overlap the new cedar a lot more than three inches over the cracks. A total of full foot or more wouldn’t hurt. That would vastly increase the contact glue surface between the old cedar and the new cedar. You are going from relying on the strength of the natural wood fibers to making the old cedar and new cedar into plywood. The new cedar doesn’t need to be that thick.

    When it comes to using the T3 and clamping, I would worry more about squeeze out and too much pressure. T3 has a very fast tack and cedar is light weight and porous. Apply T3 to both surfaces and let it soak in good before you marry the two surfaces.

    Do some experimenting outside the boat. Play with the T3 and perform some models of your repair ideas.
  5. OP

    semaj Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thank you for the guidance.
    I am in favour of much sistering overlap. I like the idea of at least 6 inches on each side of crack to increase contact area. I like the idea of no screws.
    The hull has a bit of distortion. Nothing to bad really.

    I'm thinking once the glue and sistering project is completed ( varnish too ) I will start the hull fiberglassing. Maybe a first football layer of 6oz Followed by a 10oz full cloth sheet. 2 or 3 layers of resin with each cloth.

    Remember I have a merc 9.9 on this baby and I want her to be solid.
  6. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Be sure to check the transom out in good shape. Lots of rot can hide in there especially under glass. Wouldn't want to lose the merc.
  7. greyghost

    greyghost Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I helped a friend with a fiberglass covered 20' Miller who also had cracked ribs , they were fixed exactly as shown in Mr Nolan's pic above using West System Epoxy and brass screws . To add more fiberglass would be overkill imo , and only add unwanted weight to the canoe. Fritz's advise to check the transom is good advise. Mr Miller built these canoes for NB salmon rivers , he knew what he was doing .
    I have a canvas covered 22' Ogilvy that I run an 8 hp Merc on with no trouble , like you I also use this canoe on the Restigouche water's (Kedgwick , Upsalquitch , Little Main).

  8. OP

    semaj Curious about Wooden Canoes

    thank you for the advice. I'm hoping the sun comes out in the next day or so and i can make attempt to glue and sister up these broken ribs.
    I have no doubt bill knew what he was doing.
  9. Larry Meyer

    Larry Meyer Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I only bring up the Ogilvy because I have some dim recollection that Chestnut “borrowed” the design from Miller. The special qualities that characterize an Ogilvy are exceptional initial stability, due to it being very flat bottomed, and heavy duty construction. Its very hard chined boat and the extra wide center thwart was needed to offset the ribs wanting to unfold. This kind of canoe is what NB river guides wanted; just a big safe platform for their fishing customers.

    I’m not crazy about screws myself. If I had my choice I would glue in ¼ (or smaller) wood dowels; treenails, in other words. Even more gluing surface.
  10. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    I was looking at one of Rollins personal canoes a few years ago..he uses them so there are character marks. I noticed at least one maybe a couple splices over cracked ribs, neatly done with a short strip of cedar and a few brass screws..I suppose he plans to do as the rest of us would, use it until the next time it needs a canvas and then pull the rib.
    Someone mentioned clamping....use a strip of wood under the inside rails (side to side) directly above the repair. Either push down from that strip with a small jack if you have one or just jam a wedge in there to put pressure on your patch while the glue sets.
    Kent E. Nord likes this.
  11. OP

    semaj Curious about Wooden Canoes

    under the rail wedge idea seems very efficient.
    i was curious about holding a plank or piece of wood under the hull with some ratchet straps would be a way to have some slight counter pressure from the outer hull side.
    thank you for the ideas.
    just out of curiosity what is a suitable filler agent for small damaged areas prior to laying the new cloth and fibreglass. i dropped the bow end onto the trailer coupler and crushed a small gash through it.
    the blue hard auto bondo in a can ???
  12. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    The effect of a cracked rib in a canoe is usually less than most people think. A large part of the strength of a canoe hull comes not from the wood as wood, but from the planned stress interplay between the skin (canvas or glass), planking, and ribs. A canoe hull is a monocoque structure -- its strength is greater than the sum of any of its individual parts.

    The yellow canoe shown above being dragged over a beaver dam had 12 un-repaired cracked ribs when I bought it, when I dragged it over that dam, and during the five seasons I used it before beginning a full restoration. It did not get the kind of hard use you are planning for your canoe, but it got a lot of use and a lot of car-topping, some long distance (to New York for a number of Assemblies, for example). Neither the cracks nor the hull got any worse during that time.

    The dutchman repair shown above was in another canoe belonging to a friend. That and two other similar repairs were more than adequate for years of use (it has since been restored by another friend, with cracked ribs replaced). In repairing your cracked ribs, a dutchman a bit longer than the one shown (maybe 2 or 3 inches longer) may be a good idea given your intended use, but you really need not overdo it. A rib properly repaired with a dutchman, if overloaded again will likely not break at the old crack, but rather at one or the other end of the repair. However, in your case, a longer dutchman might be good, especially if additional length would put the raised edge away from a point where it might trip or catch on things.

    Indeed, if the cracked ribs are located appropriately, doubling them and a few adjoining ribs into ‘wanigan ribs’ would both repair the cracks and provide additional protection to the bottom of the canoe at stress points -- in front of seats or where coolers or other heavy equipment are regularly placed.

    And I don’t worry about glue squeeze-out, except to clean it up. Unlike epoxy, Titebond 3 is not a good gap-filler, and if the mating wood surfaces have any gap between them, the glue joint will fail. Sufficient glue (but don’t overdo it) and good close contact between the mating surfaces is very important. Especially with wood like cedar that soaks up the glue, it is difficult to apply enough pressure to create a glue-starved joint (that is usually a potential problem only with hard, closed-grained woods such as maple). Some squeeze-out is a good indicator that you have used enough glue and have made sufficient contact.
  13. OP

    semaj Curious about Wooden Canoes

    thank you for the words of advice and encouragement.
  14. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    WOW, a lot going on here , but all very good advise. If you don't want to add weight wet out a nice layer of kevlar on the bottom , like a skid plate. One layer like maybe the 5 oz cloth would make it bullet proof .... or boulder proof.
  15. David Satter

    David Satter LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Oh , and total fair from or any fairing compound will smooth out the dings or uneven lows and highs in the hull before paint.
  16. OP

    semaj Curious about Wooden Canoes

    image.jpeg Yes I agree. There is great dialog and advice in this thread.
    I'm not to worried by looks, appearance , hull high and lows or extra repair weight.
    Respectfully at this time, I and this boat are a bit far from a purist or traditional restoration.
    I am super excited to be a first time owner of this bill Miller canoe (square stern)

    Here is a pic of the hole cause by dropping on the trailer coupler
  17. OP

    semaj Curious about Wooden Canoes

    image.jpeg image.jpeg It's not pretty but it's my first time. Lol
    Kathryn Klos likes this.

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