This Instructable is to show how I created a Canadian canoe. Using the stitch and glue method. This is also shown on my web site along with web links which can be found at http://www.stevesolarhome.com/.
I hope you like the Instructable and give it a go.
You will need the following to make this.
2 sheets exterior 1/4" ply
10 meters 162 gsm weight fiberglass sheet
Epoxy boat kit which I got from Fyne boat kits.
1 ¼” x ½” wood buttoning length 14 foot qty 6
Tie wraps and wire.
Gloves, goggles, mask, sanding paper and paintbrushes/rollers
Step 1: Cut the Ply
Go to the following web site and down load a set of free
plans which you will need to build this canoe.
First mark out one side of the canoe and cut this out. You will notice in the plans that one side is made up of two pieces of ply due to the size of this canoe. When you have cut them out put them in a vice side by side and plane so they are the same profile.
Now place this side on the other sheet of ply so you can draw out the second side and get the exact same size and profile.
Cut out all the other parts and then using a plain put a small chamfer on all the inside edges that will be put together. This will make a tighter joint and less epoxy required.
Step 2: Sticking and Gluing
Drill holes along the edges that need to be stitched
together approximately 15mm apart. Now we can glue the two side parts and base together with some epoxy mix. Only mix up a very small part of epoxy as this is expensive and goes off quickly. Also remember to wear gloves, mask and goggles when using this glue.
The sides and base are placed on the ground butting up the edges to be glued together. A piece of ply should be cut to go over the joint as shown in the plans. Now using a paint brush or scraper smear over the joint with the epoxy then place the jointing ply over the joint. Place very heavy items on the jointing ply and leave to set overnight.
When this is set this will be a very strong joint. To pull this apart you will have to break the ply skin.
We can now start stitching the sides to the bottom using tie wraps. This is easier with two people, one to hold the side up whilst the other starts stitching it together.
Start with loose stitches until all ties are in place and the canoe is shaping up. Now put some braces in the top to shape the canoe. When the canoe looks like a good shape start tightening up the tie wraps and pulling in the joints as tight as you can. Removing some ties and using wire will make a much tighter joint
Step 3: Gluing the Joints
Mix up the epoxy a very small batch at a time and mix in the
wood filler to the epoxy mix that comes with the kit until you have a paste mix that is not too runny. You can use fine sawdust for this if you did not get the epoxy kit. Then using a wooden stick push the mix into the joints in between the tie wraps. I put masking tape along the joint edges to get a cleaner joint. Remember any spillage of this resin on the boat which is not cleaned up will need sanding down later. Also make your joints as neat as possible as this stuff goes very hard and will take a long time to sand down.
Word of warning which I found out the hard way. When cleaning your equipment at the end of the day, make sure any epoxy you might have drops on the floor or the sink is cleaned up. When set this is very hard to remove. Also use very old clothing.
Leave this again to set over night or longer if you have time.
When set cut and remove all the tie wraps. The canoe will stay together now on its own. You can now mix up some more resin and fill in between the joints where the tie wraps were. Again allow to set for a couple of hours then turn over the canoe and glue tooth picks into the holes with wood glue or fill the holes with wood filler. Allow to set and sand down.
Step 4: Fibreglassing
We are now ready to fiberglass the outer side of the canoe.
As with the epoxy you must wear safety equipment. Mask is very important as the fibres get into the air when using this, also long sleeved clothing is advised if you don’t want to be scratching all night.
Very carefully place the fiberglass cloth over the canoe as shown in the pictures. Try not to pull this too hard or catch it on any sharp edges. This is very easy to damage and pull a ladder like women’s tights which will weaken the fibre structure. If you do get some snags don’t panics just try to pull together as best as possible. Worst case if you rip a big hole you can patch it later with a second fiberglass patch.
When the sheet is in place, carefully trim around the bottom and store this safely for the inside.
You now need to mix up epoxy mix in small batches and poor on to the fiberglass. Use a squeegee or blunt scraper to work the epoxy into the fiberglass sheet and down the sides. You will need sheets on the floor as this gets messy. Also only do small batches a few pumps at a time as this starts to go off when you are working with it. When all the sheet is covered and gone clear it’s done and you will need to leave to set for 24hrs before turning the canoe over.
Once set you can turn over the canoe and do the same to the inside with the sheet you cut off earlier. The inside is much harder to get to lay flat so take your time. Again resin coat and leave to set for 24Hrs.
Step 5: Rub Rails
Now all is set cut the excess fiberglass off and lightly
sand down the edges. The edges are very sharper like glass so rubbing these down will prevent serious cuts.
We can now add the rub rails. I made up a number of wooden blocks about 3 inches long. These where glued to the inside of the canoe with a 1/2 inch gap in between. I used wood glue for this and then screwed through the outside of the ply into each block to hold in place. Then the external rub rail was glue into place and screwed through the rail, ply and into the blocks. The internal rail can also be glued into place and screwed.
You now need to plan these rails into shape as best as you can and sand off the edges to make them easy to handle. You will be using these to carry the canoe and pull it from the water.
Each end of the canoe I cut a piece or ply to shape glued and screwed into place and then planed into shape.
Step 6: Finishing
When you are happy with the shape and look of the canoe we
can finish off. First glue in some cross rails to strengthen the canoe. This will give something to hold onto when getting in and out. These were to be at the third mark point of the canoe and glued in place with epoxy.
Then give 2 or 3 coats of clear epoxy over all the canoe. Waiting the drying times instructed on the bottle between coats. Get this in all the parts, in between the rub rail holes and all the joints. This will give a water barrier coating to the canoe.
Leave to set till dry. This might take a week, when it’s not sticky its cured and ready for painting. You can use a number of paints on this. I used a marine green on the outside, as this is a strong paint for water. The black was car paint and the inside was some old gloss paint I had down the garage.
Now find your nearest lake and give it a go. Remember this is a new canoe so wear life jackets when in it.