top of page
  • Alick Burt

Building a Stitch and Glue Canoe - Part 2

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 end joint as one of the splices needed to be re-glued. It was glued in the 1980's after all!

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 at the time this kit was started.

Gunwale end to end joint glued up.
Glueing up an inwale splice with PU glue.

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 panels. First a little bit of tape is removed where the inwale crosses it.

Chiselling away fibreglass tape where inwale will sit.
removing excess tape from ply where the inwale will go.

Then the inwale is glued in place and again I used PU as it is such marvellous stuff and the excess cleans off easily once it has set. It does have to be well clamped though hence the quantity of clamps used.

fitting the inwale to the plywood side plank.
Inwale glued in place with lots of clamps!

Next comes the gluing of the keel to the bottom panels. It is important to get this straight unless you want your boat to go in circles! so I begin by using a string line to mark its eventual position on the bottom panels.

The keel position is marked with a taught cord line.
Marking the centre line for the keel using a string line

Once again a small bit of the glass tape has to be removed where the keel will cross it.

removal of glass tape so keel not be lifted.
where the keel crosses the tape it is cut away in order to allow the keel to sit flat on the plywood

and then the keel can be glued in place.

clmaping the keel whilst adhesive sets.
The keel is glued and positioned with laths to the ceiling providing pressure.

Here again I used PU and you can see the props I put on it up to the ceiling to hold it in place whilst the glue sets.

Once set the excess glue is easily cleaned off as with this glue it turns to foam wherever it isn't clamped and this is what happens to the excess.

adhesive that squirts out is esialy cut away with a chisel
Once the glue is set excess is chiselled off.

Next the bottom is turned over a string line is used as a guide and the keel is also pinned in place.I am not sure this is strictly necessary with modern adhesive but it does look nice so I put them in anyway.

Fitting the keel with glue & brass pins using string line to align it
The keel is fitted on the other side using a string line to centre it

The keel was over length so the ends are trimmed and planed to shape.

Cutting the keel to size with Japanese saw.
Trimming the keel to length with pull saw.

The ends are planed to match the ply.

Then the outer corner is rounded and the whole keel given a quick sanding with a belt sander. Any other sander will do but this is the sort of thing the belt sander is good for as long as you are careful not to let it dig in, by keeping it moving.

Sanding the keel. Note the vacuum on the belt sander.
Cleaning up the keel with belt sander.

That's where we leave it all for now, Thank you for reading.


bottom of page