Sunday, September 01, 2013

For two years, we've been making plans that always included the caveat "When We Sell the Boat."  "When are you going travelling again?" people would ask. "WWSTB," we'd reply. 
Well, WSTB. 
After two years of roller-coaster ups and downs, our broker called with an offer: low, but clean. No survey, no sea trials. 
The offer came in on May 3, and we accepted and had the paperwork underway the next day. She now belongs to a man in Florida, and that's about all we know. If anyone sees her out and about in the world, we'd love to know how she's faring. 
The day after we accepted the offer -- Cinco de Mayo -- we got married. After nearly 23 years and a lot of adventures, we realized that it was time to acknowledge what we knew about being together. This is it, there's going to be no one else, TDDUP.  
My sister came with me to get the marriage license in March, we finally decided on a date, and I bought a red dress at Frenchy's. The JP arrived, my dad and my auntie stood up with us in our living room, there was champagne, we all cried, and then we made a lovely fancy lunch. I have a claddagh ring from Randy's mother, my dad gave us his wedding ring for Randy. Auntie Mary said it was the best wedding she'd ever been to.  And the canoe was my wedding present from Randy. 
That's our happy ending to the Nancy Dawson story. Now I'll write the book. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

As you can see from the front tire, there's been a bit of a hitch in the launch. We carried the canoe home - not far, our first "portage?"  - but I hope to bring you news of the launch and several other important things in the next couple of days. Stay tuned!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Canoe - Part 7 

It appears the heavy sanding and cleaning worked as the next coats of resin went on without a hitch. So once again out with the sander to smooth everything up and remove the gloss to prepare the surface for paint.

Next job was to install the gunwales. First, I rabbeted them so they would cover the edge of the top plank and fit snug against the ribs. Bending the ends up and in to the decks was a bit of a challenge, calling for some creative clamping and an occasional strong word. All came out well so the shaping was done with spokeshave, plane and of course plenty of sanding by hand. A sealer coat of varnish was applied  which really brought out the beautiful reddish colour of the mahogany, a nice contrast with the cedar.

Next comes the finishing, varnished interior and trim with a red exterior. Depending on weather, should be able to accomplish this in a week or so. See below for photos.
Mahogany gunwhales and cherry deck with sealer coat of varnish

Varnishing will be completed before the seats and carrying yoke are installed

Still more sanding, preparing for varnish

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Canoe - Part 6
Another week has passed since the last update and things are progressing at a stately pace (ie., slow) After fairing and sanding the outside, fibreglass cloth was laid over the hull and epoxy resin squeegeed through it to wet it out and glue it to the wood. It came out pretty smooth so I decided to wash the waxy residue off and apply the second coat to fill the weave in the cloth. This is where the “oh, oh, dummy” happened. After a thorough washing, I spread the second coat and as I was finishing up, I noticed fisheyes forming in certain areas. That was odd because the washing was supposed to prevent that. So I tell Susan and she asks which rag I used and I say the nice clean blue one on the bucket. Whereupon she informs me this was the rag she used to wax the truck, so instead of removing wax, I was adding more. What a maroon, as Bugs Bunny would say.

So I now spend the next two days sanding off all the second coat of resin, after once again washing, this time with an old T-shirt straight from my drawer. No chances of screwing up this  time. Anyway, the hull is now really smooth and ready to be attacked again. However, being somewhat tired of sanding epoxy, I took a break , turned the canoe upright and applied a sealer coat of varnish to the inside.I figured I needed a lift in spirit so the sight of all that lovely varnished cedar did the job. Stay tuned for further adventures in canoe building.  See below for photos. 
filled and sanded
adding fiberglass cloth and first coat of epoxy
I could have trimmed it closer before I started and save having a bunch of cloth ruined by resin drips. 
Fiberglassing done. 
Sealer coat of varnish

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Ready to start sanding

Part 5

Well, a week has passed since the canoe was transferred from Scott’s shop to mine. Slower progress this past week due to other commitments.

The decks have been fitted in the ends and a temporary spreader attached where the yoke will eventually go. The interior has been sanded and today Susan and I did the outside with a long belt from a sanding machine to which I attached handles. One on each side with a back and forth motion took care of the rough sanding and fairing, after which I spent a couple of hours with the orbital sander refining the job. Tomorrow I’ll be applying fairing compound to get as fair a surface as possible before the glass/epoxy stage. See below for more photos of the week's work.
Finishing the planking (or pulling out a bad tack)
Cherry deck. On any other boat, it's called a breasthook, but on canoes, they're called decks.  Not much swabbing at all.
Sanding belt with handles. How to find out just how flabby your rowing muscles have got over the winter. Pathetic. [editorial comment from SB, if you didn't know]

Thursday, March 28, 2013

It must be five o'clock. Or at least four o'clock.

Canoe: Part 4

Terrific progress has been made this week. By end of day tomorrow, planking will be complete. The canoe came off the form today.

Fairing of the ribs was completed in a couple of hours, then the first planks were laid commencing at the centreline. We were able to lay about four or five planks each side before tapering was required. Since the canoe is fatter in the middle (as are the builders) than the ends, the planks need to be wider in the centre and taper towards the ends. Scott has this nifty marking gauge which determines the shape required at each rib. It’s just a matter of connecting the dots and sawing the shape on the bandsaw. If you get lucky, a few swipes with plane will allow the plank to lay up snugly with its neighbour.

The planking has to be stopped shy of completion so the canoe can be lifted from the form. The ends of the planks can’t be fastened to the stems until removal since the stems have to be able to move in order to clear the form.

After we removed the canoe and set it upright, the  interior was revealed for the first time. I must say it was a beautiful sight. The colour of the cedar and all the lovely curves make you realize how lovely a wooden canoe can be. So, after admiring our work, temporary lashings were put in place to hold the canoe near its final shape and the planks were fastened to the stems. Next, the stem was trimmed to height and bevels cut on the ends of the inwales so they could be screwed  and epoxied together, tying the ends of the canoe together.

Tomorrow, The last planks will be fit and then the boat will be shifted to my shop for fairing, glassing and final fitout and finishing. Great stuff!  (See below for photos.)
Sanding the ribs - very good for the waistline.
Using a board to check for high spots
Hot water keeps the planks flexible and soft so they can take the wicked twist on the bow.
The aforementioned wicked twist.
First planks fastened.
Scott's nifty and simple marking tool for trimming the planks.
High tech.
And he does it all with a pipe in his hand or in his mouth. 
As far as we go with the planks while the canoe is on the mould.
She's free! She's free!
Trussed up and waiting for epoxy to dry on the inwales.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Canoe - Part 3

Yesterday was an exciting day. Scott and I bent the ribs around the form so there is now tangible evidence of a canoe taking shape.

Earlier in the week, I cut the bevels on the stems and Scott attached them to the form. Notches for the ribs that cross them were marked and chiseled out so they would sit flush with the stems.

The ribs had been soaking for several days, then were boiled for about half an hour before we attempted to bend them. It was amazing how easily they conformed to the required shapes. With one of us on either side of the form, the rib is slid under a strongback attached to the centerline  which prevents the rib from lifting as it is bent. The rib is held in position temporarily with a clamp to the inwale while we drill pilot holes for the bronze ring nails, two per rib. After about two hours all was finished: it looks like the skeleton of some large marine animal. As you will see in the photos, we only put in every other rib on the form since we are covering the boat with epoxy and fibreglass rather than canvas. This will result in a lighter but just as strong canoe as the glass/epoxy will provide structural strength where canvas is mainly just for waterproofing.

Next step is fairing the ribs with a long sanding board in preparation for the planking. I’ll have to wait a few days for everything to dry before this step. In the meantime, I’ll carry on building up varnish in the seats and yoke and carve out a paddle for myself. See below for more photos.
Notches cut in the stem
Nice curvy bit
A mess of boiled ribs
Very bendy
Bending the first rib
Okay, says Scott. That's enough for today. 

Free Web Counter