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Need help with an Old Town Guide canoe~

Discussion in 'Wood and Canvas' started by Ray Kepler, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. johnmetts

    johnmetts Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Ray,

    I'm new at this too and I am not a "cabinet maker" or a finish carpenter by any means. I read Rollin Thurlow & Jerry Stelmok's books and also Mike Elliot's "This old Canoe." All were very helpful. I took my time and made a lot of mistakes. My first one required 28 new ribs, new planking, inwales and out + decks. You will learn that before you do some things you should have done others first. Take your time and enjoy it. I have two canoes in progress now and hope to have both afloat soon. One in the spring and the other in the summer. This site is amazing and there are local chapters with lots of good folks who are willing to lend their expertise/ideas. Some of the folks on here are like me and others are actually good at it! However, all of us seems to love what we do.

    Best of luck to you.

    John Metts
    Northern Michigan
     
    Ray Kepler likes this.
  2. Andre Cloutier

    Andre Cloutier Firestarter. Wicked Firestarter.

    Don't even think of removing the inner gunwales. Look up splices on this forum. Outer rails are a piece of cake and decks aren't too difficult at all. If the rib tops are soft or rotten, as wood be expected you can either saturate them with epoxy or if too far gone splice in new tips. Lots on the forums on this also. Attached is a picture of new ends spliced in. Can stain to match if you're so inclined. Rib tips are similar but vertical.
     

    Attached Files:

    Ray Kepler likes this.
  3. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    I agreed, replacing tips is a lot easier then replacing the complete piece, either ribs or rails. And it saves more of the original wood.
    Done right, they are hard to see, match both grain and color.

    As for the ribs, IF you have some that are broken, research "top side repair" for them.

    Maybe you should find somebody close to you to take a look at it to help with a path forward.

    Dan
     
    Ray Kepler likes this.
  4. OP
    OP
    Ray Kepler

    Ray Kepler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I've decided to start by just cutting off about an inch of the rib tops that need work, just where they're flush with the bottom of the inners. Seems like they'll be easy to replace that way and very inconspicuous. The more rotted pieces I'll have to take more off of and scarf. My Rockwell multi tool made things pretty simple.
    I've also discovered that a colleague of my wife, a shop teacher at a private school, does some amazing boat work. I hope to be in touch with some for some guidance.
    Thanks again for all the help and encouragement.
     
  5. Brad Posey

    Brad Posey An Old Man with a New Project

    Ray Kepler, Looks like you and I are facing the same situation. I've just acquired an Old Town that had been covered with fiber glass. It also needs most of the ribs replaced, the end of the inwales as well as the ends of the decks are also damaged.
    I think as far as the fiberglass goes , I got lucky. It was easily removed. The outwales are complete gone.
    My intentions are to first replace the cracked/broken ribs, 2nd to replace damaged planking. After that I'll attack the inwales, I'm thinking that splice new ends to the inwales and same to the deck plates. If all this goes well, it should be in solid condition where I can clean up and re-varnish in preparation for new canvas.
    By the way, I've never done this before, but thanks to all the info on the web, YouTube etc.. I'm confident it will eventually get done
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Brad Posey

    Brad Posey An Old Man with a New Project

    Here are more photos
     

    Attached Files:

  7. OP
    OP
    Ray Kepler

    Ray Kepler Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Looks like a nice summer-long project. I've stagnated on mine a bit, almost afraid to move on and mess something up. Silly, I know, since the canoe is already "messed up."
    Best of luck!
     
  8. Brad Posey

    Brad Posey An Old Man with a New Project

    I just received a book, "This Old Canoe" by Mike Elliott. Its looks like is is going to be my go Bible, very good on the Why's and How's for a novice like me. You might take a look at it. Amazon $25
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Ray Kepler

    Ray Kepler Curious about Wooden Canoes

  10. monkitoucher

    monkitoucher Canoe Curious

    I'm really new here too. But I second on the Mike Elliott and the Jerry Stelmok & Rollin Thurlow books. Mike's book is a lot more procedural and really good for Canadian canoes like Chesnuts. The Stelmok and Thurlow book has a narrative style that is a bit of a page-turner. They also focus on details that seem to be more Maine centric and really useful for details that you would find on Old Towns. Both of these books along with searching this forum had really been incredibly useful in my restoration so far.
     

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