Blog - Tales From The River & Workshop

My first Stitch and Glue Canoe (Cleaning up and coating with resin inside.)

Hello folks Now the resin in the joints has set they can be cleaned up. They are carefully sanded and in my case because I had stained the ply I had to be extra careful not to sand through the stain. Even with the greatest of care this was never going to happen so I decided to stain the hull again. Then I turned the hull over and cut the inside curve to shape on one of the decks.With this done I could then mark the curve on a scrap of mdf and then cut and use this to mark the second deck. With that done the inside was given a final look over sanding where required and the tops of the decks were also sanded in readiness for a coat of resin. This coat of resin on the inside and on the tops of

My First Stitch and Glue Canoe (Filling the Outside)

My first Stitch and Glue Canoe (Filling the Outside) Hello Folks Once the decks had set the overhanging strips were cut off and the hull turned over. The next stage was to fill the outside of the joints. First the parcel tape is removed and then the wire stitches can be pulled out. Between the wire stitches there was also a line of fishing line which was easily cut away. Then the joints were all filled with more epoxy filleting mixture. This took a lot longer than it takes to write. The important point is to make sure the epoxy is properly mixed and the joints well filled. The neater you can make it the better it will look at the end so its best not to spread it too wide. It needs to set ove

A Sunny Spring day on the Nene

Hello Folks It is such a long time since my last paddle I was beginning to get withdrawal symptoms.Every weekend in March seems to have been foul weather usually accompanied by strong winds so when I checked the forecast on Friday I was relived to see only light winds and some sunshine. I got to the workshop reasonably early and was at the waters edge by 9 am. Once on the water I noticed it was quite still, and what breeze there was, was pushing me along against the current nicely. I soon passed the boatyard and then saw this rather smart new boat house. I hope it will house a lovely wooden boat. A little further on I was sad to see the remains of one of my favourite trees. It had been hangi

My First Stitch and Glue Canoe (Decks)

The next day with the joints taped and set inside I continued by fitting the decks and centre thwart. The decks supplied with the kit are simply triangular pieces of ply and are fitted over the supports I put on earlier and over another small triangular piece of ply that goes at the thin end. These small pieces of ply required a bit of planing to get them to fit properly and then were glued and screwed in place. Whilst I waited for the glue to set I gave the centre thwart a clean up with the belt sander. Then I chiselled the recesses of the seat supports to size and cleaned them up. The Thwart was then fitted followed by the seat supports. The decks could now be fitted on top of their suppor

My First Stitch and Glue. (Taping the inside)

Hello Folks Once the parts are together the outside joins are taped with parcel tape. This is not permanent as it is just to allow the inside joints to be filled with resin without it all dripping through the other side. The hull is turned upside down and the joints taped. Then it can be turned right way up and filling with resin can commence on the inside. This is done with a mixture of resin and filleting compound that is mixed to a peanut butter consistency. It is put along the joints as neatly as possible aiming to produce a neat fillet in the corner without spreading it too wide. Once this is tacky a strip of fibreglass tape is put over the top and more resin applied at intervals to fin

My First Stitch and Glue Build (Stitching)

Once the inwales and keel are fitted the next stage is to stitch the hull together but before this can take place the meeting edges need to be chamfered slightly on their inside corners. I used a spokeshave but you could use a rasp, surform or even a block and sandpaper will work. With this kit the stitches are made with copper wire and fishing line. Other things can be used some people use electrician's cable ties. Whatever is used, to begin with they are tied loosely to allow for adjustment as the parts are put together. The ends of the chines are put together first. Then these are stitched to the bottom. It is important not to have the stitching sticking up too high on the inside corner s

My First Stitch and Glue build (Keel and inwales).

My First Stitch and Glue Canoe.(Keel and inwales). Hello folks Once the long parts had been glued end to end with fresh tape and new epoxy I could continue with the build. The next stage was to glue the keel to the bottom and glue the inwales to the sides but before that could be done I needed to glue one inwale as one of the splices needed to be re-glued. Rather than using epoxy for this which would mean waiting overnight for it to cure I proceeded with waterproof PU glue which is perfectly adequate for the task but which wasn't available in the 1980's. Once the glue had set enough for handling five minutes later I was able to continue with the next stage of glueing the inwales to the side

My First Stitch and Glue Build

Hello Folks A few months ago I had a call from a lady who had a stitch and glue canoe kit that had been in her garage since around 1984! It seemed a pity to let it go to waste and originally it was her husbands intention to build it but as is so often the case with these things he sadly passed away before he found time to complete it. The kit was a Granta Kayel Ranger 14.Stitch and glue technique is different to how I normally make canoes as the hull is made from plywood panels that are first stitched and then glued together, (The clue's in the title!) as opposed to making up the hull out of wood strips. Once the hull has been made it can then be covered in cloth and resin or just painted/ v

Felix's Canoe, De nibbing and cleaning

Hello Folks One of the most important parts of varnishing is the preparation that is done between coats. This is something that should be done between every single coat on the very best work for the very best results but as you will see this will add considerably to the time taken to do the work so most people simply do not bother with all the stages or skip de nibbing (rubbing down) between some of the coats. Here is a sequence showing the stages I go through which for Felix's canoe takes around three hours and don't forget that doesn't include the time to apply the varnish itself. I begin by sanding between the ribs on the inside of the hull. Don't forget there are around 120 of these! Luc

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