Building The Canoe

I have spent the last month researching how-to-build-a-canoe by reading books & surfin' the web and have put together a plan to build a stripwood canoe out of plywood and fiberglass. This is a picture of the strongback in our basement. The strongback will hold the forms that will hold the strips that will make up the canoe.

This is the form for one of the stations. I plotted the forms on graph paper and traced them onto cardboard which I then trace onto the plywood. The plan is for only 1/2 of the form; i trace one half and then flip it over and trace the other half. There are 15 forms/stations; one at the center and 7 in each direction towards the bow and the stern.


This is a picture of 8 of the forms, I still need to cut out the other 7. My worktime is limited by Ambiana's sleep periods as my workshop in the basement is directly beneath our bed. Our neighbor Donna gave me a jigsaw and I have bought a level, a framer's square, a set of files and a rasp. Once I get all the forms cut out I mount them on the strongback and then I have to get the plywood and cut it into 3/4" strips which I will then staple to the form and glue together to create the hull which is then fiberglassed. Add deck, gunwales, thwarts and seats and we got us a 16" ride down the Connecticut for our paddle-to-the-sea!

With my Dad visiting last week I put him to work! We went to Home Depot and rented a table saw for 4 hours and ripped ~160 3/4" x 1/4" x 8' strips from 4 sheets of plywood. The molds are all cut out and ready to be assembled on the strongback, then I can get to work gluing and stapling the strips to the mold!