Instructables

Building A Cedar Strip Canoe

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Picture of Building A Cedar Strip Canoe
A practical account of my experiences and a brief guide to building a cedar strip canoe. It includes links to stories of using the canoe for wilderness camping and fishing.

for more information see:
http://hubpages.com/_3v4wkz561vqja/hub/Bulding-a-Cedar-Strip-Canoe-The-Basics

estimating epoxy costs:
http://jimmar.hubpages.com/_3v4wkz561vqja/hub/Building-a-Cedar-Strip-Canoe-Estimating-the-Costs

estimating cedar strip costs:
http://jimmar.hubpages.com/_3v4wkz561vqja/hub/Building-a-Cedar-Strip-Canoe-Estimating-the-Cost-of-Cedar-Strips


lofting:
http://jimmar.hubpages.com/_3v4wkz561vqja/hub/Building-a-Cedar-Strip-Canoe-The-Details-Lofting-the-Plans

forms:
http://jimmar.hubpages.com/_3v4wkz561vqja/hub/Building-a-Cedar-Strip-Canoe-The-Details-Making-the-Forms

stems:
http://jimmar.hubpages.com/_3v4wkz561vqja/hub/Building-a-Cedar-Strip-Canoe-The-Details-Making-the-Stems

strips:
http://jimmar.hubpages.com/_3v4wkz561vqja/hub/Building-a-Cedar-Strip-Canoe-The-Details-Cutting-and-Milling-the-Strips

stripping the hull:
http://jimmar.hubpages.com/_3v4wkz561vqja/hub/Building-a-Cedar-Strip-Canoe-The-Details-Stripping-the-Hull

seats, decks,yoke:
http://jimmar.hubpages.com/_3v4wkz561vqja/hub/Building-a-Cedar-Strip-Canoe-The-Details-Seats-Gunnels-Decks-and-Yoke

sanding and fiberglass:
http://hubpages.com/_3v4wkz561vqja/hub/Building-a-Cedar-Strip-Canoe-The-Details-Sanding-and-Fiberglassing


final details:
http://jimmar.hubpages.com/_3v4wkz561vqja/hub/Building-a-Cedar-Strip-Canoe-The-Details-Final-Steps


I am starting a new project: a 17ft. Cedar Strip Sea Kayak - a new instructable will come but follow along in the mean time:

http://jimmar.hubpages.com/_3v4wkz561vqja/hub/Building-a-Cedar-Strip-Kayak-The-Details-Lofting-the-Plans


 
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Step 1: Gather Information – getting started

Picture of Gather Information – getting started
Read books about cedar strip construction techniques. Canoe Craft by Ted Moores, Kayak Craft by Ted Moores, Building a Strip Canoe by Gil Gilpatrick. I read Canoe Craft twice before I started the project.

Step 2: Select a design

Picture of Select a design
Determine what the boat will be used for, a canoe for the cottage, a canoe for camping and tripping, or a work of art just to look at hanging in the garage.

Step 3: Plans

Picture of Plans
canoecraft fredom 17tables.jpg
These can be purchased from Bear Mountain, Chesapeake Light craft (www.clcboats.com) or a number of other sources. They can also be created from tables of offsets, using a process called lofting.

for more info on lofting: http://jimmar.hubpages.com/hub/Building-a-Cedar-Strip-Canoe-The-Details-Lofting-the-Plans

Step 4: Build a construction platform

Picture of Build a construction platform
A sturdy, level, long thin table needs to be built on which the canoe can be assembled.

Step 5: Cut out the forms

Picture of Cut out the forms
The outlines of the hull cross sections are drawn on sheets of plywood, particle board or MDF.

Step 6: Attach forms to strong back

Picture of Attach forms to strong back
The forms are attached to the station blocks on the strong back with drywall screws, taking care to line up the centerline of the forms with the centerline of the strong back.

for more information on making forms: http://jimmar.hubpages.com/hub/Building-a-Cedar-Strip-Canoe-The-Details-Making-the-Forms

Step 7: Cover form edges

Picture of Cover form edges
The strips will be glued along their edges and stapled to the forms. Some protection on the forms is needed to keep dripping glue from permanently sticking the hull to the forms.

Step 8: Cut and mill the strips

Picture of Cut and mill the strips
Use the table saw with feather boards clamped to the guide and table to keep the strip thickness uniform. A circular saw with a guide jig for cutting the strips is shown in the photo.

for more information on cutting strips: http://jimmar.hubpages.com/hub/Building-a-Cedar-Strip-Canoe-The-Details-Cutting-and-Milling-the-Strips
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poofrabbit11 months ago
Just wanted to say congratulations on being a finalists in the Great Outdoors Contest! This was a fantastic instructable and just stunning to look at! This goes beyond being a canoe, but just plain art! Love it!! Good luck!
jimmar57 (author)  poofrabbit10 months ago
Thank-you for the kind words. I didn't really expect to become a finalist, nor did I expect 146000 view in less the a month and a half. I just like to create something I can use and enjoy documenting and sharing the process.
Reiff1 year ago
I just can't get over how beautiful that canoe is. I would love to know what you do with these besides show them off. What I'm saying is what kind of waters do you take them in? Or do you even take them out at all. Also, where do you buy kit for these canoes, or did you make it from scratch. I do have a lot of questions because I'm really interested in these kind of canoes.
BigMrTree1 year ago
Amazing work!! Truly a functional work of art!!
cub1691 year ago
I really enjoyed the read on this project. It was well thought out in its planning and in your explanation of the steps and details. Thank you for sharing this, and I look forward to your future projects.

Sincerely,
RT
clazman1 year ago
This is absolutely beautiful!

I love your fixtures

I love your attention to detail.

I love your quality of workmanship.

Someone posted an alarming question as to paint color. Paint!? Hide such beautiful work, such lovely wood grain.

I just cannot say enough.

..
godson19521 year ago
BEAUTIFUL!! well built and I love the way you explained how to do it.I have 3 plastic Coleman 14' canoes and I'd sooner have a wooden canoe than a plastic.For to ride in a canoe is nothing like the "SILENCE" of gliding through water with out any noise.You see wildlife as it was meant to be.Also you can sneak into places to watch the wildlife with out scaring them.LOVE THE canoe build.
nic nak1 month ago
Just beautiful.
Woodlandboy466 months ago

This project looks amazing. My grandpa said he would help me build this, as I don't have the necessary tools. I have looked at estimating cost websites, but my grandpa is insistent upon me asking you what your final cost actually was. I am an avid canoe/kayaker, as well as a big fan of Doing it Myself, so just the thought of making my own canoe just makes me feel awesome

jimmar57 (author)  Woodlandboy466 months ago

Hi Woodlandboy46,

This instructable includes links to help estimate epoxy and wood costs, which are two of the larger components of the cost. I have started on my 4th cedar strip boat, another kayak this time, maybe I'll try to keep an account of costs this time. Your final costs depend a lot on the type of wood and how much you have to pay and the epoxy costs which can vary a lot depending on manufacture. I would say that 1/3 of the cost is wood for strips, 1/3 for epoxy and fiberglass and 1/3 misc such as wood for gunnels, material for the station forms and strong back, tools, sandpaper, wood glue, screws, brushes, plastic, tape, squeegees, deck, yoke & seat frame material, Varnish. I tried to cut costs where I could by making every thing I could. I even reused some old white pine lumber I salvaged when I rebuilt the front porch on my farmhouse. It was used for the hull on my kayak. I think you could estimate about $500 on the low side if you find ways to salvage material and make everything yourself. If you purchase a kit you could spend $2000 or more.

Good luck!

Thank you sir i have decided on the Prospector Ranger 15 im just waiting for the weather here in ohio to warm up so the wood doesn't freeze as soon as i steam it

Just to clarify the Prospector Ranger 15 is the is the canoe plan i decided on and i did use the site you suggested www.bearmountainboats.com/">www.bearmountainboats.com/

ivan_stephens6 months ago
Beautiful canoe. how many hours did it take to complete?
jimmar57 (author)  ivan_stephens6 months ago
didn't count the hours, but I started in October and finished the following April and worked maybe 5-10 hours / week
spylock10 months ago
Really nice job,to buy a canoe like that one would dent the bank account for sure,but worth it.
andrea biffi10 months ago
wow impressive work!
Reiff1 year ago
That is a beautiful canoe! That is just beautiful!
triumphman Reiff12 months ago
Too nice to band on the rocks. Smooth lakes are for me! Nice job, but too much work and the smell!!! Just bought a classic one from a yard sale. Cedar with all the gear, oars, vests, seats, rods & reels, rooftop carrier and lake strap- on wheels., Guess how much ?
jimmar57 (author) 1 year ago
I built these to USE. Yes they do get scratched and banged up a bit, but since I built it I know how to repair it too. Sure looking at the finish product gives me some satisfaction, but not nearly as much satisfaction as using it. I get lots of looks and comments when I bring out one of me boats. I avoid rivers where it might bang hard into a rock, but any kind of lake is ok.

stevedawg1 year ago
That's really cool I voted
jimmar57 (author) 1 year ago
ranger 15- my second was shortened freedom 17
trker1 year ago
What plans did you end up following off of? I thought it might be the Freedom 17 but yours doesn't seem to have the same shape as others I have seen
What a magnificent piece of work!
jimmar57 (author) 1 year ago
In my experience all canoes feel a little tippy at first. After an hour or so that feeling subsides and after a week of paddling while tripping you done even notice. This design is stable. It is a BearMountain Ranger design with a stability rating of 104. A good tutorial is at http://bearmountainboats.com/compare-our-designs/
How is the stability of this canoe? I bought a fiberglass one last year and unless I sit on the floor of the canoe it wants to tip on me!!!
INTHERMA1 year ago
What a beauty!
stephenf1 year ago
All I can say is NICE!
So, being totally clueless, the fiberglass cloths/sheets actually become transparent after the resin & hardener are applied, and the beauty of the wood shows through. Correct?
jimmar57 (author)  stephenf1 year ago
correct
Also didn't need coloring paint only PU clear doff or glossy...
Rob O1 year ago
WOW. This is a beautiful boat. Stunning work. I've always been confused how the ends come together at the stem and stern. Can you post some close ups showing how the strips meet the pre-bent stem pieces? Thanks!!
jimmar57 (author)  Rob O1 year ago
The best photos I have are already incluede in the links in this instructable.
KILLERK1 year ago
gorgeous boat! I was wondering if you have seen my toy gun that shoots over 300ft with a repeating turret? just looking for opinions. http://www.instructables.com/id/TR8-2013-last-updated-07192013/ i also have a video coming soon. I'm sure ill spoof future weapons or something.
PictureKylephone2 153.jpg
Beergnome1 year ago
Amazingly enough...this build, and the instructions for building the Midwest Hobbies Indian Girl Canoe scale model is pretty much...

exactly the same
:D

that actually gives the confidence that even I could pull this off!!

Great build! and a gorgeous craft!
Teachable1 year ago
Beautiful boat.
romie4id1 year ago
It was beautiful strip... For 2 layer fiber: is 1 Matt + 1 Roving or 2 Roving only inside?
jimmar57 (author) 1 year ago
mine has decks too. they do add strength
hohum1 year ago
I bet the boat just cuts thru the water.. thanks for sharing how to make this canoe..
jhg
hohum1 year ago
WOW!!! what a project!! the one in the water seems to have a deck, does that make the boat stronger??
I don't hate these things, but they are SO nice, and such lovely works of art, that I hate the idea of using them and grinding them over rocks and all that, thus ruining the finish and allowing water into the timber..... which roones them.

I hate the idea of holing them and or grinding away parts of them or what ever....

Quizicat1 year ago
How much does it weigh?
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