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  • Alick Burt

Building a Wood Canvas Canoe - Part 4

Cant ribs are the last few at each end of the canoe and they are made in two parts as opposed to being bent at the stem. Mainly because the bend is too tight so they would break! First I prepared them from some of the yellow cedar I had, and then I cut the tapers on them followed by routing the edge with a round over bit in the router. Then I gave them a sand with the orbital sander as once fitted this will not be so easy.

A pair of Cant ribs for a Wood Canvas Canoe.
Cant ribs. These are the ones closest to the bow and stern

Where they meet the stems the butt joint has a compound angle and the only way to work this out is really by trial and error. Once I had cut and test fitted one I was able to set up my mitre saw with a wedge under the rib to replicate the angle on the rest of them.

Making an angled cut on the end of a Cant rib on a wood canvas canoe
Making the angled cut at the bottom end of a rib

In order to fit them they required a little steaming to bend the ends though this wasn’t difficult as the bend is not extreme. Whilst waiting for the ribs to steam I decided to begin making a couple of quarter thwarts from some lovely pieces of Yew. Once I had cut the initial profile I rounded the edge with the router (again with the round over bit) before refining the shape further with a spoke-shave.

Canoe thwart held in vice for shaping with spoke-shave.
Shaping edges of thwart with spoke-shave.

Routing edges of canoe thwart with round over bit in router.
Further rounding of edges with round over bit in router.

Then they were fitted although it was temporarily, as they will be removed for varnishing.

A Yew quarter thwart bolted in place.
One Quarter thwart temporarily fitted in place with bolts

Once steamed the cant ribs were pushed down the inside of the planking and nailed to the gunwales at the top to hold them in place.

That’s all for now until the next thrilling instalment...


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